It's a very slow process - two steps forward, one step back - but I'm inching in the right direction. - Rob Reiner

August 28, 2011

Why There May Be No Hyvee ......... and a 10K

Caution:  I haven't even started typing this, but I have a feeling it's going to be a long post .....if you are just interested in the 10K Recap...skip to the bottom.

As most of my followers know, I have my 7th triathlon next Sunday and my FIRST Olympic distance race.  I started seriously training for this triathlon at the end of April.  I am ready.  I put in my training, I am improving my race times from last year.  I AM READY for this RACE.....except - I am injured.  If I had to race today, there is no way I could.  I have had my share of injuries in the past from back problems, to a tibial stress fracture, foot issues.  And I swear it's like a pattern for me.  It's like my body revolts against me before big races.

The week before my first tri this year, I pulled a hamstring.  The week before and during my first half marathon of the year I was incredibly sick with a head cold and fever.  And now I have injured the rotator cuff of my shoulder - almost out of the blue.

Last week I swam twice...nothing extraordinary.  I went to Masters Swim on Tuesday and swam about 2200 yards.  On Thursday, I had a short swim of only 1000 yards.  On Wed and Thurs I was feeling some very minor pain in my rotator cuff...the kind of pain that was just kind of there, but didn't even require Ibuprofen or anything.  On Thursday, I said to my coach, you know I'm starting to get a little minor shoulder pain...maybe I'm doing something wrong.  After I finish the Hyvee Triathlon, I really want to start focusing on technique vs. endurance.  I swam Thursday and felt fine.  I went to a movie with my girlfriend after the swim and felt fine.  I went to bed feeling FINE!  On Friday morning I woke up and I couldn't move my shoulder the pain was so intense.....and it's pretty much been that way for three days now.  I looked in the mirror and my left shoulder was probably two to three inches lower than my right shoulder.  There was a visible difference between then.

I thought, I must just have slept wrong or something and my shoulder is out of place.  I struggled through the pain most of the day Friday during work and then went to the Chiropractor that afternoon.  I sat in the waiting room, dying of pain.  Tears in my eyes I hurt so bad.  I just knew that I would have relief in a few minutes though.  I went in to his office....yes, he said, it does appear the shoulder is a bit out of place.  But, your muscles are so inflamed and spasming so badly, there's not going to be much I can do for you.  I won't be able to get your shoulder in place until your muscles relax and then it will probably happen on it's own.  He did some gentle stretching and put some kinesiology tape on shoulder to help try to keep it in place.  I was devastated.  I needed relief from the pain.  I had a busy weekend with a 30 mile bike and a 10K run planned.  My last "long" workouts before my triathlon.

I can suffer through the bike and run.  I learned that this weekend.  I however, cannot swim unless this improves.  I can lift my arm overhead, but I can not lift it behind me or side to side.  If I physically try to do the movement of the high arm recovery stroke - I CAN'T do it.  Physically, the restriction in my shoulder is too great.  I cannot put my hand on my hip.  I can't put on my deodorant under the right arm because I can't cross my shoulder across my body.  I can't wash my hands, it's too painful.  I can't explain how much this hurts.

I went ahead and did my bike ride on Saturday, cutting it to a 25 miler instead of 30.  It was slightly painful, but the bike doesn't require alot from your shoulders.  Hills were a little tough, but I managed.  I had really hoped to wake up this morning and feel much better.  It has been 2 days of ice and Aleve.  But my shoulder hurt worse this am than ever.  I'm not sleeping much at all.  I can't move during the night because it causes immediate pain.  I sleep on my left side, which is the one that's injured so I can't sleep in my natural position.  I'm forced to sleep on my back...even sleeping on my right side is too painful.

I woke up this morning for my 10K and decided I couldn't do it.  I was in too much pain and running does require the use of your shoulder - at least some.  I sat in bed and cried.  Cried because I was in pain, cried because I couldn't do something simple like go run a 10K, cried because I knew my possibility of doing Hyvee in a week was fading.  And then I just got mad, and decided I was going to go run.   Jim said he didn't think it was a good idea.  He said I should probably stay home and get some rest.  I thought to myself.....would this honestly change anything?  Maybe it would, maybe it wouldn't, but I was going to try.

I put my running clothes on and went and ran around the block just to see if I could run.  I had a very unnatural body position.  I kept my left arm up and couldn't force myself to swing it.  I was swinging my right arm and keeping my left still.  There was pain, but it was minimal. I might look a little silly, but I could get through it.  I wanted to race and I was going to do it.


- This was an inaugural race in Kansas City.  It's typically a trail race in other cities, and this was the only city where it was a road race.  They had a marathon, ultra marathon and marathon relay on Saturday and a 5K, 10K, and half marathon on Sunday.
- I saw it advertised in Runner's World and immediately wanted to do it.  My training plan had me doing a 6 mile run this weekend, and I thought this would be perfect.  Plus, it's the exact run distance of my tri next week.  It was a perfect "practice" event.
- Only one hitch, it was the same day as the Royals 5K, an event Jim and I have done for the last 2 years, and where I currently hold my 5K PR.  Plus Madi (my step daughter) and her boyfriend Nate were also going to do the Royals race.  It was difficult to decide, and a bit odd that Jim and I would split up.  But he signed up for the Royals 5K and I signed up for this one.
- The race was great and well organized for an inaugural event.  Dean Karnazes was there to kick off the race, and was available for a meet and great after the race, but I didn't stay long enough.
- The swag was pretty good.  You got a Northface technical tee that you had screen printed on site.  Everyone got a different color and type of t-shirt, which I thought was kind of cool and then they screen printed it with the exact event you completed.  So not everyone in Kansas City is running around with the same race shirt.  I liked the idea.

- You also go a medal, which was great too.  It didn't matter which race you completed.

- If you did the half marathon or above, you also got Northface arm warmers.  I was bummed I didn't get these....but maybe next year.
- The race was pretty hilly - as pretty much every race in downtown Kansas City is.  My calves are a bit tight after the many hills.
- It was a little cooler this morning, but still pretty humid.  I was definitely hot, but luckily some of the race was through some shaded parts of the city so you go to get some relief from the sun.
- My final time was 1:14:17 - a pace of 12:01 per mile.  It wasn't great, but it was ok, and was just over a 3 minute PR for the 10K distance.
- There were only 464 participants.  I was 405 of 464.  Man I need to be faster on the run.
- My shoulder actually loosened up during the race and felt alot better.  It wasn't much of an issue at all.  I was afraid I would end up being in so much pain I would walk, but I didn't.  I pushed through and got a PR.  That made me happy.  The shoulder pain relief was short lived and I'm pretty much back in severe pain as I write this.

That's all.  That's where I'm at.  I'm hopeful that I will improve enough to just be able to get through the swim somehow next Sunday.  I do still have a full week.  I'm not going to do much, if anything this week as far as training out goes.  If my shoulder feels significantly better by Thursday, I may go for a very short swim just to test the waters and my flexibility, but we'll see.

Anyone up for a team triathlon next Sunday that lives in the Des Moines area??????  Maybe I can switch races.

Anyone else ever had a major shoulder injury?  What did you do for it?  I would be open to anything that might help speed recovery!

Don't forget to enter my giveaway if you haven't already.  It ends tomorrow!


  1. Oh bummer, hope your shoulder heals up fast! Great job on getting out there and doing a 10k with a PR!

  2. Wishing for your shoulder to heal by this weekend!!! I know how hard you trained for this and I really hope you will be able to do it.

    Way to go on a PR in the 10K with a bum arm. Impressive.

  3. Feel better.

    Shoulder injuries take a long time to heal (speaking from experience).

    Rest,ice, and anti imflamatories are a good start. If that doesn't work after a few days, see a doc. You may want to see a doc earlier for an opinion on the race.

    Remember, all you can do is all you can do.

    Ps:epic PR!

  4. Best 10K PR story I've ever read! Great job. I really hope that your shoulder loosens up/gets back in place/feels 100% for Sunday!

  5. I'm so sorry to hear about your shoulder. Get some professional help on it - you don't want it any worse than it already is and you may get some stronger pain-killers which will help get you through the day, and night.

  6. Okay, first: Congratulations on your PR!!! You sort of buried that in your report, when you could have been shouting from the rooftops!
    And then, second: UGH! I'm sending magic healing vibes your way for the shoulder. You are completely trained and ready - take the week off of everything if necessary so you can kick ass at Hyvee.

  7. OH NO! I'm both crying for you and your shoulder pain and cheering for you and your PR!

    Keeping my fingers crossed that there is a major change in the shoulder that allows you to do the tri!

    Way to go out and kick some A$$ despite the pain! Great job on the 10k and PR!

  8. I am so sorry to hear about your injury! That is one of my biggest worries.

    Awesome job on the 10k PR though! Way to go for it after everything you went through this week!

  9. Oh NO!! I'm so sorry. Glad you are getting professional help already. Nice 10K.

  10. So sorry about the shoulder--sounds awful! I am even more impressed that you got a PR with that pain. Way to push through! Heal quickly.

  11. Congrats on the PR! I hope your shoulder feels better soon. Have you seen a doc besides the chiro? With that much pain, it sounds like you need to see a doc sooner than later.

  12. I am sorry about your shoulder. I hope it heals very quickly!

  13. yikes, so sorry about your shoulder! My injuries are always in my legs, so I don't have any advice, sending you fast healing vibes!

  14. I hope you get better soon, I have felt similar pain like that, it took 3-4 days before it went away, I am hoping the same for you

    Congrats on the race

  15. YAY on the PR! I am doing a North Face challenge next month. Can't wait :) On the shoulder thing, gosh hopefully you just need to rest it. Feel better soon!

  16. :-(
    Sorry. That just plain sucks.
    Have hope, though!! Sometimes I'm hurt with a pulled muscle and it seems it will never get better and then I wake up one morning and it's all right. Let's hope that morning comes quickly for you!

  17. So sorry to hear about your shoulder.

    I wish I could help you out but we are camping this weekend and wont be around. Sorry.

    I hope you are better soon.

  18. Congrats on a great 10k!! So so sorry to hear about your shoulder. That is one of my biggest so hard for something big and then having an injury. :(

    Hoping you find relief and that you'll be at the starting line next week!!

  19. So sorry about your shoulder! You have a whole other set of body parts that you have to pay attention to as a triathlete than I do as a runner. But great job on your 10K PR.

    Fingers crossed for you!

  20. oh no! so sorry to hear about your shoulder. and CONGRATS on the PR!!!! i had some mystery shoulder problems a few years ago. nothing exacerbated it, just BOOM, one day woke up with a shoulder i couldnt move. turns out that the way i'm made (lol) my shoulder are always in a constant state of being slightly out of socket. my clavicle and scapula have an almost 1/4 inch gap. i was given PT exercises to do (which i am never compliant with!) and mobic (an Rx antiinflammatory) it comes and goes. hope it gets better soon. i swear, if i lived anywhere near you i would do a relay with you!

  21. Wow, sorry to hear about your shoulder, sounds like it came out of nowhere. Did you do anything crazy that would have aggravated it? Do you think it just started to develop from overuse from doing Olympic tri training? I guess I would make sure that you are swimming with the right form, that is all I can think of.

    That is a real bummer that the doctor couldn't at least help you to get rid of the pain when you saw him.

    I have no idea what to suggest, other than somehow it sounds like you dislocated your rotator cuff, and hopefully the swelling goes down soon. I'm assuming that you've been icing it constantly? I would avoid any activity that makes it feel worse for now.

    Good to hear about the 10K, glad it went okay despite the shoulder injury. Unfortunately you might have to cut back or stop the olympic tri training, unless the training doesn't aggravate it.

  22. I'm sorry you're hurting so bad. Wish I was there to take care of you. Maybe you should get an x-ray and see how much damage is done to the rotator cuff. This could be serious.

  23. I am sorry about your shoulder. I hope it heals very quickly!