As 2011 came to a close, I was finally thru a very long stretch of injuries. Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis, Patella Tendonitis, Shin Splints, Stress Fractures… name the running injury…I’ve been plagued by it! But I seemed to be finally over them all. New shoe style, new Orthotics, compression sleeves… if there was a miracle item out there…I was using it!
My mileage starting increasing in December and I was thrilled! This was the year I would set new goals for myself! In fact, this was the year I would run my first Marathon in nearly a decade. I would re-enter the world of the Ultra Marathoners! My days as a 16 minute 5k runner were long gone…but the sky’s the limit when it comes to how far a person could push themselves!
I joined a Group that trains for Ultra’s and was met with open arms. The best part – they trained in my old marathon training grounds, Indiana Dunes State Park. The first long run was a bit daunting, but I did it and felt tired and sore and…GREAT! A week later I wouldn’t be able to meet with the group do to obligations, so one of my sons went with me for a run at the Dunes. I remember the day…vividly…January 8th, it was cold and we had been running for less than 5 minutes when I stumbled on a root. I managed to catch myself, hands & knees, but I landed on frozen leaves and my hands slid forward. I heard a ripping sound and felt a burn thru my shoulder!
Like every other runner… I had a run to finish! Which my son was more than willing to do! The rest of the day it felt sore, but nothing that scared me. Having injured both shoulders in the past, I knew all the proper techniques to rehab the shoulder and after a week went by (and the pain went away) I began all the proper exercises.
I continued running with the group telling myself that nothing was wrong, and that I would be fine…next month! My mileage increased and gains were made. At one point, I was accused (jokingly of course) of sand bagging the first few weeks.
April came and still no recovery. It was now time to take drastic measure… a DOCTORS Appointment!
The dreaded day came, after both an X-Ray and an MRI, I was told that I had indeed torn a muscle in the Rotator Cuff. Do to Loss of Strength and Pain, the prognosis was surgery! Surgery was scheduled within a few days, followed by a week flat on my back in a drug induced stupor. It’s amazing how such a little tear in the shoulder can lead to a surgery that ravages the whole body…The Doctor and his staff warned me, my Wife (a Nurse) warned me, but I fear I was not prepared for what was to come!
So follow me know as we explore what it takes to be…a Recovering Runner!