The last 12 months have been a hiatus in my running adventures. In 2015 I developed achilles tendonitis, which kept my training at a painfully low level. Then in September, just as I was planning to ramp things up for the fall, I suffered a tear in my left gastrocnemius = end of fall running. Also in 2015 I struggled increasingly with my left shoulder, which had been damaged and surgically repaired as a teenager.
Fast forward to December 2015, I finally went to an orthopedic surgeon, got my shoulder x-rayed, and was promptly diagnosed with severe arthritis. The fix? A total shoulder replacement. Eeeek. I had never even heard of a total shoulder replacement, and the prospect of going through with it terrified me. But go through with it I did, after pondering my options through the winter as we traveled around in the Bambi.
On April 7, Bruce drove me to Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston , where they replaced my shoulder. Oh Joy. And I faced a full year of therapy. The first three months were painful and frustrating. It wasn’t until I was in the fourth month post-op that I began to be able to get through the day without constant pain, and life got better. As the doc suggested, I waited until eight-weeks post op before trying any sort of running at all.
I took my first baby-running-steps on a treadmill on my eight-week anniversary. It was a no-go. Simply too must stress on the shoulder joint, which proclaimed it was Not Ready.
In the subsequent weeks I played with baby-steps of walk-runs on the treadmill, generally one minute of easy running followed by four to five minutes of walking. Between lack of cardio fitness, lack of leg strength, a few extra pounds, and the damaged shoulder, this was a very frustrating exercise. Meanwhile, I continued with thrice-weekly therapy, and resumed gentle gym workouts with faithful, patient Paul at Bridge to Fitness.
Fast forward again: July 31, three months and three weeks post-op. I hit a terrific milestone. A complete 10K. Not a race. Not fast. But a complete 10K. I did it in the gym, on the treadmill, on a day when few people were there and the atmosphere was a blissfully cool, dry 64 degrees. Awesome. So I did it. A milestone to celebrate. Maybe this will happen. It will take time and patience. I’m still struggling with the achilles. But this 10K it represents significant progress.