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slick's shoulder surgery blog

  1. first meet in the books!

    by , April 30th, 2013 at 03:48 PM (slick's shoulder surgery blog)
    Happy to report that I have survived my first meet at 6 months post-surgery

    After over-doing it the week before and suffering the consequences, I was pretty nervous going into this meet. Wasn't sure how I would feel, had no idea what to expect, etc. I just knew I had to survive! I had overdone it the week before the meet, and I was so sore that I imposed a 3-day NO swimming taper on myself. My last (crappy) practice before the meet was Tuesday and I didn't get in the water until warm up on Saturday morning! During warm-ups things were feeling pretty sore still. I didn't want to over-do it again so I only did about a 400 and then 2 starts/breakouts which felt OK on the shoulder.

    I was signed up for 50 SCM free, 100 breast, and was on the roster for both relays on Day 1. Day 2 I had the 100 free, 50 breast, and both relays again. Before the 50 free on Day 1, I was laughing and thinking to myself, 'Why the hell did I sign up for the fastest, most intense event there is in this sport as my first race back from surgery?!' I had seeded myself at a :35.5 and I went a :34.0, so that was OK I thought. I made sure to start things out slow and sort of get the feel for it and build into it if I could. Halfway through the second lap I felt a fairly sharp tinge in my shoulder, and after the race I could feel that I was still really, really sore. I cooled down a bit and immediately took some NSAIDs, got out the ice pack (and I iced after every race), and wondered if things were only going to get worse over the meet.

    But it turns out that things only got better! I actually ended up doing 3 more 50 frees over the weekend as part of the relays. This really helped me gauge my range of improvement, which was as follows:

    Indv 50 free - 34.0
    Relay #1 - 32.8
    Relay #2 - 31.4
    Relay #4 - 31.1 (Day 2, last race of the meet, dead tired)

    At first I just assumed that the relay start gave me an advantage on that first relay, but it became clear that I was actually improving as the meet went on. Apparently I just had to warm up a bit! My shoulder actually felt BETTER as the meet went on….not sure how to explain that (adrenaline? def was not the altitude….). I am very pleased because at this meet last year I was splitting :30.5-:30.8. Heck, I swam this event back in October two weeks before my surgery and did a :30.9 flat start. So I am very encouraged by this! Not so bad at 6 months post-surgery!

    Other meet highlights:
    100 breast - Seeded 1:41 and went 1:35.7. Never swam this event in SCM before so nothing to compare to, so that and the fact that I am the furthest thing from being a breaststroker helped make it fun lol!
    100 free - Seeded myself at 1:19 and went 1:11! Swam this in a 1:09 two weeks before my surgery. Glad I wasn't the only massive sandbagger in my heat….
    50 breast - Seeded :45.5 and went :43.9. Did a :42.2 before the surgery. I was really feeling this one as the 100 free and relay #3 were both within an hour before this event!

    Big meet highlight:
    Women's 200 medley relay (relay #3) - I DID A 50 FLY!!!!! Coach had me down for fly, and I was immediately like "Did you not remember that I am only doing free at breast at the moment?!" So I was going to switch strokes with my teammate but then I decided why the hell not? I literally had not taken one stroke of butterfly since early November. So I did a couple strokes during my cool down after the 100 free and decided to just go for it. Well, I survived! I did feel a bit sore after but that soon dissipated. What sucks is that I have no idea what my split was due to touchpad and/or breaststroker error!! Argh! It feels like it was a 33-high/34-low? But I have no idea. Sigh.

    Lessons learned:
    - Seems like my shoulder can handle short distance/higher intensity at the moment, at least better than long distance/lower intensity
    - Underwaters, I have them And they are stronger than ever, which really helped me out at this meet I think.
    - 72 hour no-swim tapers *may* have beneficial properties

    So, back to a normal routine. The shoulder is feeling pretty good again, and I don't seem to have any residual soreness from the meet. I am going to SLOWLY ease back into regular workouts again, and will try not to overdo it this time! I know my current limit and will try and do whatever it takes to move forward while limiting the setbacks. It has definitely been an interesting past couple of weeks with all the ups and downs I've experienced! LCM season is right around the corner and next meet won't be until August so there's plenty of time for improvement. I am SO GLAD that I survived this first meet….it was a great confidence-builder and it feels good to hop over yet another fence! Woo hoo!

  2. grumble grumble

    by , April 24th, 2013 at 12:32 PM (slick's shoulder surgery blog)
    Well, I've got to suck it up and admit that I've overdone it.

    Was feeling great so I ended up doing 5 workouts over 8 days, about 3600 average per practice. I was sorta feeling it during that 5th practice but I decided to push through since I had been doing so well the past week or so. I am paying for it now! Hot damn my shoulder is killing me! Very sore, feels like it is going to fall off again, etc. I threw in the goggles after 2000 yards last frustrating because I could feel that my shoulder was beyond fatigued but my cardiovascular system was still rearing to go. Bah! Was not expecting to hit another threshold so soon! Looks like I'll need to scale back for a while longer. I need to keep reminding myself that I'm just 6 months out at this point...what do I expect?

    And I am supposed to race this weekend !!!!

    The plan: Ice and medicate like hell and not swim at all until warm-up at the meet on Friday evening (not racing until Saturday). At least I now I am well acquainted with this feeling, and I know that rest is the only fix for it. Hopefully 72 hours out of the pool will do the trick. Hows that for a taper!? LOL

    Updated April 24th, 2013 at 12:43 PM by swimslick

  3. the other side of the fence

    by , April 17th, 2013 at 03:46 PM (slick's shoulder surgery blog)
    You know you're on the other side of the fence when:

    - You arm no longer feels like its going to fall off at the end of practice
    - You can swim 2 days in a row with only very minimal soreness that doesn't even call for ice
    - Your arm doesn't go numb when you decide to push the pace
    - Your PT no longer wants to see you!

    Yep, pretty much able to do full distance workouts now! Its a lot of work to just keep up with my lane mates but I'm doing it! Still sticking to mainly free and breast....I've ditched the fins but I'm keeping the snorkel on for most of the main set still. I did 3600 yards on Sunday and a 3850 Monday and felt pretty good! Normally I wouldn't swim 2 days in a row quite yet but my schedule got tripped up for a bit. Breathing on the right is still a bit difficult but I'm forcing myself to do it so I don't widen any imbalances that I have right now. While the intensity isn't there yet the endurance is definitely back!

    I signed up for our association's meet at the end of the month (free and breast sprints) so we'll see how that goes! I'm a bit nervous about handing the starts/dives, but it will be a good exercise for my shoulder and I so we can start trusting each other again, lol. Its actually been pretty the meet draws near, coach has been having us practice our underwaters. Lately we've been ending our workouts with 8-10 x 25s, half underwater kick-out and half swim. Let's just say I am CRUSHING my teammates on the first half of those 25s.....then they all crush me on the latter half lol.

    Next month: a butterfly attempt!

    Grass is definitely greener.....hello spring!

    Updated April 17th, 2013 at 03:54 PM by swimslick