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

September 29, 2011

Everyone Needs A Little MO’ Cowbell!

This Sunday I will run my first half marathon since the May 1 Oklahoma City DISASTER (if you didn’t read that recap you can read it here).  It was the coldest, rainiest, slowest, most miserable run of my life.

The MO’ Cowbell is going to be CRAZY COOL.

You can get your picture taken with this life size charmer…..

The weather forecast for Sunday:


The race is mostly flat from miles 1-9, 10-11 are pretty much uphill, and 12-13 are downhill.  AWESOME!

I’ll be meeting and running with coy Martinez of First in Philly!  SUPER AWESOME!

It’s going to be an absolutely AMAZING Day!

My only wish – that I was more prepared.  I am in full marathon training mode, but I’m early into my training.  My longest run since May has only been 10 miles.  I did 8, 10, and 9.3 over the last several weeks.  I know I can get through the half, but I do think I’ll start struggling a bit around mile 10…..just in time for the hills.  I’m also STILL dealing with some back pain.  My visit to the chiropractor last night brought some much needed relief, but it’s still painful.  I’m hoping I’ll continue to improve over the next several days.

I had to skip my speed run yesterday.  I was supposed to do 5 miles (3 speed).  I ran/walked 2 and called it quits. I was in way too much pain – it was very frustrating.  So today my back felt much better and I decided that instead of my regular 4 mile easy run I would do a 4 mile speed run (2 miles speed) since I missed it yesterday.  I did my two miles in 10:24 and 10:20.  My overall pace for the 4 miles including the warm-up and recovery mile was 11:08….NICE!  My times are improving. 

I’ll probably do a couple of miles on Friday and maybe even Saturday before I head to St. Charles, MO for the race.  That's it....then it's COWBELL time!

September 24, 2011

3 PRs in One Race - Cerner 15K Race Report

This morning Jim and I headed over to Kansas City, KS for the first annual Cerner 15K race.  We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful morning!  The weather was literally perfect for running.  It was about 52 degrees, sunny, and light winds.  There was moderate humidity (about 75%) but with temps like that you really didn't notice.

For some reason Jim and I were both really not feeling the race this morning.  I've been having some trouble with my low back, and have been limping around all week.  I've had my physical therapist work on it some during my shoulder appointments, but it hasn't provided much relief.  Jim said he just wasn't into it.  He had just ran a marathon two weeks ago and had back to back long runs of 18 and 20 last weekend...and I think he was just a little tired.  I was too.  As I limped across the room to the bathroom, he said "Let's just not go".  To which I responded...."whatever, we are going".  We both knew we were going....sometimes you just have to get the grumps out.  So we got our running clothes on and did our pre-race "dance ritual" to get in the mood.  This time Jack got in on the action.

Me trying to do the "sprinkler" - oops blocked Jim from the shot :)

We arrived early and sat in the car to stay warm.  52 degrees is awesome for running, but a little chilly for standing around.  It was just a short walk to the race start so we could stay in the car until about 15 minutes before the race.  After a few trips to the porta potty we headed over to the race to warm up a bit.  I was planning to take it slow.  I have a half marathon next weekend, and with my back a little out of whack I figured I'd be lucky to average a 12:30 pace, but I secretly hoped I'd still finish around the 12 minute mark. My plan was to use this as a training run vs. a race.  I would run it the same way I was doing my long runs on the weekend.  I have been running the first 3 miles (with a 1 minute walk break in between miles) and then doing a 3 minute run/ 1 minute walk combination for the rest of the miles.  This is my running plan for my marathon.

The race started and I was off....running slowly to start...taking it easy, or so I thought.  I looked down at my Garmin when I was about a 1/2 mile into the race and I was averaging a 10:30 pace.  Oops, that race adrenaline will get you every time.  I slowed down..again or so I thought, but when I hit mile 1 my pace was 10:37.  OK, I really needed to slow down, I still had 8.3 more miles to go.  However, I was feeling good, so I decided to skip the 1 minute walk between the first few miles.  Maybe I would just run the first three without stopping.  Mile 2 comes....10:54, slower but still a little fast.  However, at this time I realize, at this pace I could break my 5K PR.  It won't be an official PR, but that's ok.  I slow down a bit more, but not too much.  Mile 3...11:18.  Now I'm watching my watch, to see it  hit 3.1.  When my Garmin registers 3.1 my time is 34:02. That's a 10:58 pace....that's sub 11!!!  My previous 5K PR was a 34:58 - an 11:16 pace.  I didn't crush my PR or anything, but I beat it....and I still had more than 6 miles to go.

OK, I knew I had to get serious now and slow down, or I was going to completely burn out.  So I decided to stick to my plan and start doing my 3/1 run walk method.  Mile 4 was mostly down hill, so in spite of my walk/run method I still did it in 11:16.  My next few miles were certainly slower, but I was still feeling really good.  As I approached mile 5, I realized if I just kept a decent pace I was also going to beat my 10K PR. I started envisioning my blog post...3 PRs...yes I was thinking about blogging while racing.  You know you guys do it too!  I kept tabs on my Garmin and hit 6.2 miles at 1:09:3, an 11:11 pace.  I killed my best 10K time which was 1:14:17 - a pace of 12:01.  I killed it!!!!

I was running on air.  I still felt strong....but then came the hills.  From about mile 6 to 8, it seemed like it was literally up hill the entire way.  There had been several pretty steep but short hills throughout the race, but these were long gradual hills.  Mile 6 to 7 was uphill, then a short break, and then back uphill again for mile 7 to 8! But I stayed strong.  Once I finally reached mile 8, I knew I was good.  I looked at my Garmin and I was averaging an 11:30 pace.  I decided my goal was to keep that.  I wanted to end with an 11:30 overall pace.  Finally, shortly after mile 9, you see the entrance to the Live Strong Sporting Park where Sporting Kansas City (our pro soccer team) plays and I know the finish line is close.  I looked at my Garmin, I'm still at 11:30, I can't slow down if I want to keep my pace.  I enter the stadium and I can see the finish line - I didn't expect it to be so close.  I sprint the last few feet and run across the finish line with 11:29 on the Garmin!  I threw my hands up in the air!  So excited for such a wonderful race.

Jim captured me coming across the finish line.

I finished in 1:47:43 with a pace of 11:29.  Unfortunately, as we all know you usually run a little bit more than the exact race distance so although my official race time was 1:47:39, my official pace was 11:34.  That was a bit of a bummer, for a second, and then I realized I had just PR'd in 3 races...a 5K, a 10K, and a 15K (just because it was my first 15K).  I had just finished a race with an 11:34 pace.  I had never finished a race over 3 miles with less than a 12 minute pace before....EVER!

15K Finisher gift....nice!  
It was a great day.  In spite of my own personal bests, I was 904 out of 975 runners.  That part is so frustrating to me.  How can I do so well, but still so bad?  But I can't focus on that.  I had a great race and I improved and that's all that matters at the end of the day!  I was fast for me.

Jim of course did AWESOME as usual finishing 1st place in his age group.  If you don't follow my husband's blog (50after40) you should.  He is truly an amazing athlete and does some amazing things.  You can read all about his race experience here.  I am so proud to be married to such a running super stud...yes Honey.....I said it, you are a running STUD!  I love you baby!  It was great to be able to share such a wonderful day of running with my husband.

Jim accepting his medal...I wasn't a very good photographer

Sorry if you read Jim's blog and see some of the same pics....we did do the same race after all.

Up next.....MO' Cowbell!  I know I won't be able to run this fast for 13.1 next weekend, but maybe, just maybe I'll finish around the 12 minute pace which would be another PR.   I'm hopeful to have this same wonderful weather....but who knows.  Today was a great day, one you don't get very often.  I'm thankful for it.

Hope everyone else had a great weekend as well and had AWESOME racing or training experiences of your own!

September 20, 2011

Here We Go Again!!!

Well if you have been following my husband Jim’s blog for awhile then you know that periodically he likes to embellish or totally make up stories about conversations we have around the house, and then I of course have to respond and set the record straight.  So here we go again…..The Story of the MO’ Cowbell Half Marathon……the CORRECT and actual ACCURATE version of the story.  Even his dates are wrong….come on now honey!!

Me & Jim
If you would like to read Jim’s “version” of the story….you can read it here.

Last Friday, I happen to come across the most awesome half marathon of all time.  The MO’ Cowbell Half Marathon in St. Charles, MO (near St Louis).  I mean the medal is a cowbell and they are trying to set a record for the most cowbells, and then of course there is the SNL skit that goes along with the race theme.  Brilliant!!  Maybe you already ready my last post about it.   Anyway, here’s the story.

So, again, last Friday, I happen to find this race and I sent Jim the following e-mail……to which he did not respond all day.

On Friday night, we have the following conversation:

Me:  Hey did you get that e-mail I sent you?

Jim:  Oh probably, but I never pay any attention whatsoever to anything you ever send me or say to me.  Why what was it?

Me:  Oh, just quite possibly the most AWESOME Half Marathon of all time – the MO’ Cowbell HM.  They have an awesome logo so I bet the t-shirt is pretty cool and it just looks like so much fun, and it’s only 4 hours away.  It’s in 3 weeks, what do you think?

Jim:  Michael, I’m not sure what you don’t understand about my Back to Back marathons.  That would be my last weekend to get in two long runs….and a half marathon just won’t cut it.  I mean, you know I am the most amazing athlete of all time right?  Have I mentioned to you that I’m running back to back marathons???  Do you know how many people have done that in the history of mankind….two – me and Dean Karnazes.  We’ll have to do your silly half marathon some other time.  My training schedule is way too important to be interrupted with some trifle half marathon.

Me:  Oh, ok sweetie.  I understand you need to train.  Maybe next year.  Maybe I could just sit and stare at some rocks or something that weekend.

Flash forward to Sunday.  I post my blog about how I’d love to do the race, and how Jim “crushed” my dreams….yes it’s there on Sunday….that he said NOOOOOO!!!  I have written internet proof that his interpretation of this is entirely false.

Sunday afternoon, Coy Martinez of First in Philly leaves me a comment about how it sounds like fun, and maybe she would do it with me next year.  (If you don’t read Coy’s blog you seriously should.  She has the funniest blog on the web…I promise. It’s a daily dose of humor.)  Anyway, I just responded back with a well if you wanted to do it this year, I would totally be in.  I won’t bother you with the barrage  of details from all the  back and forth e-mails, but at the end of the day she decides to do it.  Wahooo!!  I get to do my half marathon, meet Coy and have a girls weekend!!  Perfect ending!

Flash forward again to Sunday night.

Me:  Hey honey, guess what??!!  Coy is going to do the MO Cowbell Half Marathon with me!  Isn’t that cool?

Jim:  Yeah, it will be fun to meet her. 

Me:  Huh??  You said you didn’t want to do it. 

Jim:  Um well, that’s before I saw your blog post about it and found out Coy was going to be there.  After all there is only one other person in the blog world who can rival my humor….so I have to meet her, so I’m thinking about doing it.

Me:  Hmmm……..


Me:  Hey, I just got an e-mail from Coy – she’s registered for the race.  I can’t wait to go run it and meet her.

Jim: Yes, I think I will go too.

Me:  Wouldn’t you rather stay home and run?  I mean I don’t want you not to get in those long runs and crash and burn during those back to backs…….Dean K. would be so disappointed in you.

Jim:  But I want to go.

Me:  Too late!  You missed your chance.  You already said no.  Now it’s a girls weekend and that’s all there is to it!  Sorry man.

Jim:   OK sweetie, you girls go and have fun!

The morale of this story.  MICHAEL is always right.  If she says something is going to be AWESOME than it is.  Jump on the bandwagon early, or the bandwagon leaves you....sitting in the dust...crying...wishing you could have MO' Cowbell PLEASE!

One other thing to note, I DO NOT commonly use the word casual conversation.  Come on now honey, at least try to make it realistic.

September 18, 2011

I Love Gimmicky Races

I love a race that has a gimmick.  Halloween races where you get to wear costumes, the Diva Races that have cupcakes and tiaras, etc.  Call me silly, I can't help myself.  So when I came across the MO' Cowbell Half Marathon in St. Louis I was immediately interested.......just because it has cowbell in the name and I love the SNL cowbell skit and I love to hear a cowbell at a race.  What a fun race idea.  Check out the medal and logo.

This is an inaugural race and looks like it only has a about 1000 runners, but they are going to try to set a record for the most cowbells.  I just love it.  It is about 4 hours from our house, so I immediately sent the link to Jim to say let's do this race.  He crushed my dreams by telling me a half marathon just wouldn't cut it for the training he needs right now :(   I'm bummed.  I want to do this race.  It's in 2 weeks, and I wouldn't be quite ready for it yet.....but I would be close enough.  Oh well, maybe next year.  Sounds like fun though huh?

In other news, I completed my first 10 mile run in a very long time.  It went GREAT.  I averaged exactly a 12 minute mile which was 10 seconds per mile faster than my 8 miler last week.  It was a cool fall day in the mid 50s.  It also rained about the last 3 miles, which made those last few miles pretty darn cold.  

Jim and I are doing our first 15K race next weekend.  It should be fun.  We finish in the new Live Strong soccer stadium.  I guess the stadium finishes are the new "it" thing in racing.....yet another gimmick!  Love it!

Off to see the KC Royals today in their last Sunday home game of the season.  We are taking our grandson Ryder to see his first baseball game.  He is so really he could care less.  I guess it's the adults that are more excited.  

Hope everyone has had a terrific weekend!

Do you guys like gimmicky races?  If so what's been your favorite and why?

September 14, 2011

Party Rock!

Nothing to do with running, biking or swimming.  I just think it's HILARIOUS!  It's only 1 minute.  Check it out if you haven't seen it.  Enjoy!

September 13, 2011

Who Knew I was THIS Fast!

Speed is relative….as they say, so when I say I am FAST, I mean fast for me.  I know I don’t have to say it again, but I am a slow runner.  I own it, it’s ok.  It’s just who I am.

This morning I had a 5 mile “speed” run planned.  This included a 1 mile super slow warm-up, 3 – 1 mile “sprints”, and a 1 mile super slow cool down.  I was hoping to negative split the three miles.  My goal was to do 11:15, 11:10, and 11:05.  My average pace is around 12:00 – 12:30 so this was still a pretty quick pace for me.  My 5K PR is an 11:15 pace….so seriously this would be fast for me.  

No, this is not really me, but I was this excited!

I run early, as in 5am and still completely dark early.  So I can’t see my Garmin.  I have no idea what my pace is.  After my 1 mile warm up, I just decided to run at a good pace.  One that felt difficult, but not overwhelming.  I pushed myself and when mile 2 beeped I pushed the light on my Garmin and what popped up – 10:49.  What?  10:49, who’s this girl?  I just ran 1 mile in 10:49.  That’s smoking fast.  I still wanted to do negative splits, but I had just ran too fast.  What the heck, I’ll push it and see what happens.  Mile 3 – 10:33……HOLY Toledo!  Now I was done for, no way could I go faster than that for my 4th mile, but I’ll give it all I’ve got.  Mile 4 – 10:30…..wahooo I ROCKED it!  I negative split like a CHAMP!!  Mile 5, slow, slow, cool down.  I couldn’t believe it.  I would have killed my 5K PR this morning and the weather was even hot.  It was 70 degrees this morning with 70% humidity.  Not exactly ideal running conditions.

What a great way to start the day.  Now, I have to tell you the complete truth.  I did stop in between each mile for a quick stretch, just to make sure I didn’t pull anything.  I’m not sure I could have put those times together consecutively, but even with the short break, I was super happy with my run!!  I love it when a plan comes together!

Now, tomorrow, I’m sure I’ll be back to my old slow self, but that’s ok.  At least I know I have it in me to go faster.  Those miles in the 10:30s are my fastest miles on record.  That’s right, I broke a record this morning baby!!  Love it!

Thanks for all the thoughtful and wonderful comments on my blog lately about my shoulder injury!  Seriously, you guys are so awesome!  If you missed my update, read it here.  I started my PT last night.  Fingers crossed things go well!

September 10, 2011

I Get Knocked Down...But I Get Up Again!!

Great, AMAZING, AWESOME news!  At least for now.....I don't need shoulder surgery!  Yea!!!  I could not be happier!

Will was pretty excited to hear the news too!
I went to the Dr. yesterday (I was able to get in to see a different doctor a little earlier) and he said he thought surgery might be jumping the gun at this point.  He wants me to do a month of Physical Therapy with a daily anti- inflammatory and come back for a re-evaluation in a month.  So, I could be here again in a month, but for now I feel like I have at least a month to keep moving toward my marathon and other fall races.  I'm a little perplexed by what the PT is going to do for me because he did said I had sublexation in the joint (meaning it is shifiting) which is doing cartilage damage and "flattening" out the humeral head of my shoulder, but he thought a good majority of my pain was coming from inflammation of the rotator cuff and that if we could reduce that inflammation it will hopefully reduce my pain.

I can't all...for I'm not sure how long, and he wasn't crazy about me cycling either due to the pressure it puts on  your shoulder and the chances for falling, but he thought running should be ok or stationary biking.  I probably will keep cycling, at least short distances while the weather is still nice. I have been cycling anyway, and while it does hurt more than just sitting, it doesn't seem to bother me too badly.  But the good news is I can keep running.  I had already registered for a 15K in 2 weeks, a half marathon in mid Oct, and of course the Disney Marathon in January, so I feel like I can keep working toward these races and that feels GREAT! 

This morning I got up for an 8 mile run and felt wonderful.  The weather is finally just about PERFECT here in Kansas City. It was sunny and about 65 this morning......ahhhhhh, amazing!  I did my 8 miles at a 12:11 per mile pace which is not bad for me at all.  My long runs all summer were closer to 13 min miles with the heat.

Hope everyone's weekend is going as GREAT as mine!

September 06, 2011

The Hyvee Triathlon Race....errrr Spectators Report

Well, those of you who have been following my blog know that Sunday should have been a HUGE day for me.  My first, official, OLYMPIC distance Triathlon.  The Hyvee Triathlon in Des Moines, IA.  I trained for months and I was ready to take on that 1500 Meter swim, 25 mile bike, and 10K run...but alas, it was not to be.  Instead it looks like I'm facing shoulder surgery and an uncertain race future.  I couldn't get in to see the specialist for 3 weeks!  That really sucks.  I just want to know what's going on and how long I can expect for recovery.

From what I've been reading, the prognosis is likely surgery, and the recovery is lengthy.  Although it's arthroscopic - because it is your shoulder (and a very movable body part) - it pretty much means no physical activity besides walking or a stationary bike for 2 to 3 months and no swimming for at least 6 months!!  At least that's what I've been reading.  That will be truly devastating and throw my first marathon and many other races out the window.  Sigh.....I digress...this post is supposed to be about the Hyvee Triathlon.

I decided that in spite of the fact that I couldn't race, I wanted to go to the race anyway.  I wanted to go ahead and pick up my packet and get my free stuff.  This was a $150 I had already invested a lot of money.  I wanted my stuff dang it.  Plus, I thought it would be fun to go watch the pros race.  Unfortunately, we didn't end up seeing the pros race.  I didn't realize that they didn't race until late in the afternoon and we hadn't planned on staying in Des Moines that long.  We did go to the race and watch the Elite Men and Women and some of the Age Group race.  It was fun to see those first few racers cross the finish line and to cheer on so many different people.  I did get to see one of the Coach's from my Women's triathlon class cross the finish line.  She got 2nd overall for the Women in the Age Group Tri.  She is truly an amazing athlete!

I had SEVERAL teary moments throughout the weekend.  I was trying so hard to stay positive, but everything was difficult.  I kept thinking about how I SHOULD be feeling - nervous, giddy, anxious, excited, but instead I felt sad and depressed.  When I picked up my packet I had to say, I'm not racing, can I skip the 20 minute safety briefing and just pick up my packet.  The expo should have been fun and exciting.  It would have been cool mixing in with all the other athletes.  I tried to enjoy myself in spite of it and I did.  I had ups and downs.  One minute I was fine, the next I was not.

Sorry, about the race.  The race itself looked AWESOME!  It was just another reason to be disappointed.  It was such a major production.  The finish line was padded in blue carpet with flowers and banners.  It was amazing.   It finished at the Capital Building in downtown Des Moines and there were enough Grandstands set up for probably 5000 spectators.

The finishers area

The Capitol building
It truly looked like you were at some huge world class event.  And I guess you kind of were.  There were literally athletes here from all over the world.  This was the first ever 5150 Championship race.  The 5150 is a new race series from the people who produce the Ironman race series.  There was a Pro Race,  an Elite Championship race, and then the Age Group Triathlon.  There were 60 pros, about 300 athletes in the Elite race, and about 1500 in the Age Group race.  They said there were over $1 million in prize money and awards for all the races.  The male and female winners of the Elite Championship race won Mini Coopers and some other prizes.  The Elite Cup (pro race) winners won over $150,000.  So yes, the race was a pretty big deal!  It would have been so much fun to be a part of.

The Men's Elite Winner - Adam Webber

The Para Triathlon World Record Holder - he is blind - and he swims, bikes, and runs with a partner!  Crazy!

The Women's Elite winner - Kimberly Pancoast
The packets were definitely the best race swag I have ever seen.  I was seriously glad I went to pick up my packet.  You got lots of great stuff.  You got a backpack, a bike jersey, a stocking cap, a visor and lots of other "stuff" including sunglasses, a shower cap, and some food.  It was sponsored by Hyvee afterall....a local grocery market chain in our Region (which is based out of Iowa).  I even bought a separate race t-shirt.  It says 5150 on the back, spelled out with all of the race participants names.  Mine is on there.  I had been trying to decide if I would use or wear any of the stuff since I didn't do the race, but then I decided I put ALL of the work into it.  I did everything I was supposed to do.  I knew I was ready and would have finished.  I didn't earn the finisher's medal, but I did earn the gear.  And I am going to wear it.

Sad Michael...picking up her packet at the expo

The backpack

My name is in the "0"

I wish I had more details to share, but I have no stories about setting up my transition or that huge monster hill at mile 2 on the bike.  I just hope to find myself in Des Moines, IA next year....proudly crossing that finish line and earning my medal!  But for now, I am trying to stay active.  I am still running and biking until I'm told I can't.  That's all I can do.  I am still working toward my marathon in January....I'm just continuing to move on.

On a separate note, Jim got me the cutest necklace ever. It was supposed to be my "Congratulations" present, but instead it was more of a "hope this cheers you up" present.  But I love it!  It has a turtle on it!  I have pretty much been wearing it non-stop since Friday.

September 02, 2011

Nope....No Hyvee....Shoulder Update

Well, here's the deal on my shoulder.

First off, I will not be doing the Hyvee race this weekend. I am extremely disappointed, to say the least.  I have put in 5 long months of training.  I have worked so hard, I am so ready, but I am trying to make the right decision and not make the situation any worse.

The MRI suggests that I do have a SLAP lesion or tear - which is
"A superior labral anterior-posterior (SLAP) lesion is an injury to the part of the shoulder called the labrum. The labrum is the cuff of cartilage that extends the socket part of the shoulder blade to better accept the ball end of the arm bone. A SLAP lesion is a tear that occurs where the tendon of the biceps muscle meets the labrum".

Basically from what I've read you have a layer of cartilage in your shoulder socket that helps keep the shoulder in place...when this gets damaged you have a SLAP lesion or tear. It's most common among pitchers because of the repetitive overhead motion, but I guess it can happen to swimmers to. If you are really interested you can read more here or there is lots of information on line.

I also have some other cartilage fraying at the anterior of the shoulder and possible Hill-Sachs lesion which is caused by shoulder dislocation....I've never dislocated my shoulder before, unless this injury dislocated it. Which I believe it did at least partially.  I also have some tendonosis and bursal surface fraying...whatever the heck that means.  Basically, my shoulder is totally messed up.

I have been referred to an Orthopedist, but my doctor thought the next step would be orthoscopic surgery to get a better look at what's going on, but I'll wait to see what the Dr. says. Apparently this is not something that generally heals itself or is improved through physical therapy. So that's where I'm at. I have no idea what this means to my future races, or how quickly I will need to do something. I do know that I'm in alot of pain and want it to go away.

Trying to stay positive :) Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers!

September 01, 2011

Mind Games

An old commercial about drug addiction used to say, “Your Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste”, but sometimes I think your mind is just a terrible thing.  Things get in your head and you can’t get them out.  I’m struggling.

It’s Thursday – I’m supposed to have my biggest race EVER on Sunday.  I have no idea if I’m going to be able to race or not.  Things have been up and down for the past week.  Last Friday – Monday I had intense shoulder pain that I could hardly bear, by Monday night it had improved and I was certain my shoulder had just been out of place.  I went to a Sports Medicine doctor on Tuesday.  He evaluated me, told me he was almost 100% certain it was tendonitis (just an overuse injury/inflammation).  He said if that’s all it was I would be fine to race on Sunday.  He would give me some steroids.  I would be in some pain, but I wouldn’t do any damage to myself.  After the race I could come back and he would set up some type of rehab to get me back in tip top shape.  I was on cloud 9!!  But, just to be safe, he scheduled a CT scan………

Flash forward to yesterday… from Doctor – So, it’s not tendonitis, there’s some cartilage damage.  I need you to go in for an MRI so we can see how extensive it is.  My first thought was….huh?  I’m too young for that aren’t I, and I haven’t been swimming that long.  My second thought was, cartilage damage doesn’t sound like a big deal…I mean is it really going to get worse?  Then, I started doing some internet research – probably a bad idea.  Based on my symptoms and some tests available on You Tube, I’m pretty certain I have a SLAP tear.  What the heck is that?

It’s an acronym (Superior Labrum from Anterior to Posterior)…yeah that tells you a lot huh?

It’s a common problem among baseball players and it’s caused by repeated overhead movements.  It’s also common among swimmers.  Basically, you have a ring of cartilage that goes around your shoulder socket and it attaches at one of the biceps tendons.  You can get a tear in the area where the tendon attaches to the cartilage.  I have not been diagnosed with this, but I swear everything I read about it is 100% accurate to what I have been and am feeling.  Time will tell.  I had my MRI this morning.  I’m hoping to get the results of by tomorrow.

I’m not sure what the doctor will recommend – race, don’t race, surgery???  Who knows?  I don’t like unknowns.  My mind goes to the worse.  I won’t be able to race.  I’ll have to have surgery.  I won’t be able to do that Half Ironman next summer that I’ve already been somewhat secretly planning for (expect with my circle of girlfriends who are all planning to do it too).

Then I think.  What if I just race anyway……what if the pain is so intense I can’t do the swim.  It is almost a mile swim after all.  We are talking about 45 minutes in the water (at least for me), maybe even more with an injury.  What if they have to pull me out of the water and rescue me?  I don’t want to be one of those people.  That would be mortifying.

I just don’t know.  I’ve put in 5 hard months of training.  I want to race, but I want to be smart.  I’m trying to stay positive.  I still don’t even have a diagnosis yet.  These are the things I know:

1.       If I can’t race – IT WILL NOT be the end of the world.  Things like this happen to people all of the time and they survive.
2.      If I can’t race – I WILL be able to race again.  I don’t know when, but this is not forever.
3.      If I can’t race – I WILL still go to Des Moines.  I will watch the 5i50 Championship Series and it will be fun.
4.      I WILL not let this defeat me.  I WILL not.

I’ll keep you posted when I hear more.  I’m still looking for that swimmer!!!  I’m serious. Anyone that wants to do the swim portion of Hyvee on Sunday let me know.  I’ll make Jim run and I can bike.  We’ll be a great team J