Friday, April 29, 2011
I got some unhappy news today. I went to a sports medicine shoulder specialist for a second opinion about my shoulder.
I hurt my shoulder while snowboarding last month.
While they were waiting for the inflammation to go down enough to do an MRI I came up with a plan to focus more on my diet and exercise the things I could.
It's been working and between then and now I've lost 8.61 lbs according to Physics diet, and my % body fat has dropped from 27.2% to 24.42%
I had to drop out of a kayak race and do the bike section instead.
I finally got the MRI results done and the first surgeon (a general orthopedic guy in the small town where I work) said I could continue paddling and fix the shoulder in the fall if I could handle the pain. When I tried explaining that I'm not talking about piddling around in a lake in a rec boat, he glazed over. I don't think he even knows what class IV white water kayking is. Anyway I tried it last weekend and paddled 9.5 hours over 3 days and had almost no pain, which made me a little suspicious, given the scary sound of the MRI report.
So today I went and got a second opinion from one of the highest-regarded sports shoulder surgeons in Rochester. His eyes did not glaze over when I mentioned white water. And when I said "class IV" they widened. He knew what I was talking about.
And he basically told me that while I probably could physically paddle this season with the injury, that such injuries tend to gradually fray apart and become harder to repair. And that there was a risk that it would get so bad that it would not be repairable at all.
The recovery time for this surgery is 6 months.
So I was basically left with a choice. Either give up this entire season of kayaking or possibly risk never kayaking again.
So of course I'm going to choose option A, but I'm not happy about it. He's cutting me on Tuesday.
This summer is going to suck. I'll probably be able to do the elliptical and spin class with the sling on (4-6 weeks) and after that I'm guessing I'll probably be able to ride on the road, but there won't be any boating.
Which is horrible. Because I love boating. I love it more than anything. I even love it more than eating, which if you've noticed I love an awful lot - a person doesn't get to be super morbidly obese without eating an awful lot.
I'll get over it and make the best of it, but right now I'm just upset. And I'm going to LET myself be upset. Because processing the feelings is better than eating them.
So much for getting that new boat once I go below 160. So much for all the camping trips and epic adventures I'd planned with my friends. So much for learning how to surf better and do tricks in my new boat.
Monday, April 25, 2011
This past month or so I've been out with some injuries. I tore my rotator cuff snowboarding in March and had to stop paddling, lifting weights, and tae kardio. Basically all I could do was cycling - and even that for the first week or two I could only do indoors so I could sling my bad arm.
In the meantime I've been focusing stringently on the indoor cycling and on controlling my food. I've been using the energy expenditure estimates from Physics Diet to try and figure out my caloric needs and a sane deficit. So far it's working. I'm back down to 165 again.
I'm pleased to report that although the MRI came back last week indicating the need for surgery*, the PT exercises have been working and I've got full mobility and a lot of strength back on that side. The surgeon agreed to defer cutting me until the end of kayak season, provided I can handle the pain. He tried to be comforting, saying, "sometimes these injuries can be asymptomatic."
My shoulder was so much better this weekend that I ended up paddling 2 hrs in a pool class on Friday night, 5.5 hours in local creeks Saturday, and another 2 hours in a local creek on Sunday. And it didn't require a SINGLE PAIN PILL. So maybe I'm one of the lucky (asymptomatic) ones.
Saturday AM, Fall Creek, Ithaca
(9+ miles, class I-III+)
Saturday PM, Taughannock Creek, Trumansburg
(2.7 miles, class III-IV)
Sunday AM Flint Creek, Phelps
(5.4 miles, class III-IV)
Sunday afternoon I went to a spin class and burned some more calories.
There is sometimes discomfort if I move the wrong way, but I can DO paddling, and all it seems to require is icing to calm down the inflammation after use. Now I just think I need to start gently lifting weights again so I can regain my former strength.
Upshot: I'm Baaaaaaack, baby!
*Here's what the MRI report actually says, for anyone who knows what this gobbledygook means:
The glenoid labrum appears intact with no evidence of labral tear. Supraspinatus is disrupted and retracted with a gap of approximately 2.1cm. There appears to be a small amount of supraspinatus which remains attached to the greater tuberosity, although this is a slender bit of tendon. The infraspinatus demonstrates slight hyperintensity near its humeral attachment, consistent with tendinopathy but without frank tear. Subscapularis tendon appears intact. The acromion does have a downward lateral sloping position with undersurface spur along its lateral margin. Deltoid attachment to the acromion appears intact. Degenerative changes are noted in the AC joint with only slight undersurface spurring, as seen on coronal image 11. Long head of biceps remains intact, although there is slight increased signal intensity centrally, as seen on sagittal images. The supraspinatus tear and retraction has uncovered the biceps which may contact the acromion.
Impression: supraspinatus disruption and retraction. Mild biceps tendinopathy. Downward later sloping acromion with slight undersurface spur. AC joint degeneration with slight undersurface spur.
Friday, April 22, 2011
One of the things I wanted to do after losing 180 lbs was ride a century again.
The event I selected is the AIDS Ride for Life, and I did it September 2010. It circumnavigated Cayuga Lake and took me 6:53 of actual biking (about 14.7 mph on average), and 8:38 including breaks off the bike. My friends and relatives generously donated $360 to sponsor my ride! Here is a blog post about that ride, with pictures:
Over the past year I've managed to KEEP the weight off (in many ways harder than getting it off in the first place) and I'm going to ride in this event again. It'll be held on September 10, 2011 (9/10/11).
This year I'll be riding with friends from the Cornell Outing Club, who are fellow avid outdoors people. Our team page is here:
To find my page on there just click my name ("Angela").
I'm hoping to have team jerseys made - when I rode last year it was solo and the folks in teams looked like they were just having so much fun! Here is a design I'm contemplating:
Here are closeups of what the front and back say:
The money we raise will benefit the Southern Tier AIDS Program which provides comprehensive HIV/AIDS services in the Southern Tier of New York. Founded in 1984 as a local response to the HIV epidemic, Southern Tier AIDS program provides effective and innovative HIV and Hepatitis C (HCV) prevention education and outreach services to people living with HIV/AIDS. Having grown up in the SF Bay Area in the 1980s I suppose I'm particularly sensitive to issues surrounding this disease.
If you live in the area, we'd love more people to ride with if you'd like to join in; there are 42, 50 or 100 mile options.
Perhaps you'd like to volunteer at one of the stations; LJOHN44 from Syracuse makes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for rest stop #2 (Union Springs) every year - there are pictures of us at the blog post link, above. There is more information about volunteering, here:
If you don't feel up to riding or volunteering, perhaps you could help sponsor us?
Just click on one of our names and you'll find a link for donating (I'm "Angela" on there) . People have put in as little as $10 and it all really added up...
If so, I'm grateful. If not, no worries. It's all good. Heck, I'm just happy to still be in the shape I'm in, to be ABLE to ride in something like this!
Based on GL's comment, here's an alternative shirt back.
Update as of 5/9/11
The jerseys arrived!
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
This past Saturday I joined a team of four Cornell undergrads and we raced in the Tuckerman's Inferno Pentathlon in New Hampshire.
Tuckerman's Ravine is an east-facing bowl on Mt. Washington in the White Mountains where there is snow late into spring:
The Pentathlon course starts in the valley at about 500 ft, winds up to an elevation of almost 3000ft at the summit and ends at about 2000 ft.
Here are four of us the night before (Jon joined us the morning of the race):
From left to right, Shay, Eric, Luke, Angela (me)
The event consisted of five segments:
(what other sort of team name would you expect undergraduate males to come up with? LOL)
Shay RUN 8.3 mi (600 ft climb) 0:53:25.10
Eric KAYAK 6 mi (200 ft drop) 0:59:29.03
Angela BIKE 18 mi (2000 ft climb) 1:29:09.03
Luke HIKE 3 mi (2,268 ft climb) 0:54:08.46
Jon SKI 1 mi (hike to bowl, ski to road) 0:18:07.44 (06:46.77 Giant Slalom)
TOTAL TIME 4:34:19.06
(14th place out of 28 teams who finished - 3 didn't finish)
The fastest team did it in 3:29:53.
A solo guy did the whole thing in 4:11:22
A solo woman did the whole thing in 5:26:00
(She did the bike in 1:18:41.69)
Here's a picture of me on the bike course:
It's hidden by the bike, but my right legwarmer slid down below my knee within the first 5 miles and I didn't want to stop and pull it up so I rode most of the race looking like I was wearing shorts with knee socks on that side. LOL
Here's an elevation profile of the bike course:
I could have done it faster but hadn't ridden the route before and wasn't sure how much energy to save. I came in 54 out of 64.
A newspaper photographer got an awesome shot of Jon descending on the last leg:
He had the fastest time on the course of any skier.
We probably would have done better if my shoulder had allowed me to kayak. Eric was a trooper doing the paddling part because he originally wanted to bike and agreed to switch, even though he doesn't have a lot of downriver experience.
The other Outing Club team came in 9th (4:29:06), even though the kayaker skiied too.
It was a great time. Too bad it's so far away - the drive was kind of heinous (7.5 hours each way).
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