Saturday, November 19, 2022

Some Areas of Concern

While my RA flare is winding down, I've got a few 'areas of concern' on my body: my right shoulder/scapula, my left knee, and my right SI joint. The left knee has been bothering me since that wipeout on the trails last summer. I've been diligent about doing my VMO activation work with the resistance band, but for some reason this week, it flared up again. My SI joint is also an old issue that has been quiet for a long time but has been talking to me over the past couple of weeks.  I'm dusting off the exercises I did while I was going to PT and hopefully, it will calm down quickly. 

The shoulder/scapula pain has been troubling me for about a month. It started with me waking up in the middle of the night with right shoulder pain and having to adjust my position. That usually took care of it and I mostly forgot about it. Then I started having pain in my mid-back, around my right scapula. Last week, SJ noticed that my shoulders were not aligned while I was doing bench presses. I always joke that know enough to be dangerous and I diagnosed myself with shoulder impingement syndrome. I consulted the PT at the gym and she agreed with me, giving me some exercises to do.

It's crazy that after feeling so good for so long, I'm experiencing all these 'hot spots'. SJ thinks that it's because I've been under so much stress lately--I'm tense, I have inflammation, and my cortisol levels are probably high. As we are in the middle of a heavy strength cycle at the gym, I will be focused on my prehab and being extra cautious with my body position during the lifts. It's a good thing that I'm not training for any races! I was also considering participating in the gym's powerlifting meet but I'm taking that off the table now. I really need to get back to yoga and stretching because clearly, my body is telling me something. 

Weekly Rundown
Sunday: run with Trail Sisters 6 miles
Monday: CrossFit
Tuesday: pool running
Wednesday: trail run 7 miles
Thursday: strength training
Friday: run 6 miles
Saturday: rest, work, and Covid shot #5

Running

It's been a while, but I met up with the Trail Sisters Chicago Northwest on Sunday for the weekly group run. The run was held at a local preserve. It was COLD, but the sun was shining. We had a large group and the conversation was lively as we traveled over the limestone-covered trails. After we finished, several of us went out for coffee. I am so grateful for this amazing group of ladies. I didn't realize how much I needed this and I felt that pervasive anxiety loosen its grip on me as I drove home.


I returned to Deer Grove on Wednesday for my weekly trail run. I hadn't run there for a few weeks and with snow on the ground, I was looking forward to running there. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't thrilled about the snow! It was beautiful and very peaceful. I mostly had the trails to myself, save for a few deer running in the woods. The cooler weather always helps with pacing too. 


On Friday, I woke up with low back and leg pain on my right side. Oof! While I drank my morning coffee, I did some gentle stretching, which helped loosen the muscles in my back. It was cold and windy, with a wind chill of 14F and if there was ever a day to skip a run, it would have been this day. I decided to give it a go, knowing that I needed the stress relief. I figured I could always bail and walk home if needed. Right at the start, my legs felt surprisingly light and that was a relief. I started out into the wind and ran a nicely paced 3 miles at 9:30m/m. BUT on the way back? That wind gave me a push that I could feel and my average pace was 9:03m/m. What a difference a tailwind makes! The back pain? Gone. Can you hear my sigh of relief?

CrossFit/Strength training

The WOD had bench presses for the strength portion, sets of 3 for max. Last week, SJ had me do sets of 8 bench presses at 60#.  I consulted with SJ prior to class and she reminded me that my 5 rep max was 72.5#. She advised me to challenge that. So I did. Paired up with another classmate, I was able to hit 80# for my 3 rep max! I attempted 85# but my arms said nope and that's that. For the MetCon, we had to complete 4 rounds for time of 12 cal on the bike, 18 ab mat situps, and 15 single arm dumbbell snatches (20#). I finished mine in 12:05. Whew!

SJ had deadlifts on the plan! I warmed up to the goal weight of 140# for 8 reps, doing 4 sets. She told me those were at 80% of my max! It's crazy to think that I can still get stronger, even at 60. Even better, she thinks that my trail running is really helping me get stronger and that is translating to heavier lifts in the gym. Amazing. Anyway, she had me alternate the deadlifts with 4 sets of 10 dumbbell bench presses, 20# each hand. After that, I did 3 sets of 12 GHD situps alternating with 3 assisted pull-ups. Paying extra attention to form throughout, I didn't tweak any of my tender areas. 


How was your week? Are you rehabbing any injuries? I promised myself I wouldn't complain about the cold but it's COLD! It was 77 degrees a week ago! Is it cold where you are?

Sorry, Kim, but I had to share this...


I'm linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Rundown. 


31 comments :

  1. Bummer about all of the niggles. Hopefully they'll get straightened out soon!

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  2. I don't know, I think it feels colder than it actually is. The wind has been brutal but I keep telling myself 20 shouldn't feel so cold. Of course it's 9 here today. Ugh. I'm sure we're paying for those balmy temps and a wonderful fall overall. Hope all the niggles resolve themselves soon. Glad you're listening to your body!

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    1. Yesterday's Covid booster pretty much put me over the top, so I'm taking an extra rest day.

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  3. I'm not sure if niggles are a part of getting old, but rarely is there a day that is not niggle free for me any more. On the plus side, it does keep you more aware and alert for proper form and execution.
    You still get out there and get it done. That's impressive.

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    1. I'm really working to stay injury free. I don't want those niggles to turn into problems.

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  4. Sorry to hear about the challenges. You still had a great week! I hope everything resolves quickly.

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    1. You and me both! I just have to be diligent about doing my prehab.

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  5. Yay for meeting again with the Trail Sisters again. Running friends really are the best and time spent with them helps distract whatever is bothering us and lifts our worries - truly therapy in itself!

    I have a similar pain near my right scapular and have also self diagnosed myself. I find typing on my laptop to be one of the things that aggravates it the most. Hope we both feel better quickly!

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    1. Ha--I'm sure all my screen time doesn't help! I was reading an actual book--not on my iPad as I usually do--and that really aggravated it!

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  6. Not only cold but very, very windy today. I'm not sure Bandit will get a walk . . .we'll see.

    Sorry about all your areas of concern but it sounds like you've got it all under control. I've been doing some Yoga with my husband & noticed his shoulders are uneven -- but he also has scoliosis. So that might be part of it.

    Sounds like you had some great runs this week despite the cold!

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    1. I'm so right dominant and I think that has a lot to do with my shoulder issues.

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  7. Ah, "areas of concern." I like that, and I have them! Luckily most of them aren't affecting my running (like, I have a trigger finger on my right hand- that's fun.) It's a good thing you have a coach. When I go to the gym with my son I'm going to have him take some videos of me so I can look at my form- I'm sure he'll love that, ha ha.
    I like the story of the Friday run. So many times I've woken up feeling awful, and the run is surprisingly good. It just goes to show- it's always worth it to get out there and try.
    I hope your work stress calms down a little (if that's possible.) And I hope you get some time off this week!

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    1. I video myself during the WOD and it has helped me a ton with my form. I have no body awareness!

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  8. Yeah, this suddenly-frigid weather can go back to where it came from, LOL. Thankfully, it's looking more "seasonal" this coming week. Hope the niggles feel better soon!

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  9. It does sometimes seem like if one thing gets better something else starts to bother me. Doing more stretching and yoga and can never hurt. Hope you are feeling better this week

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    1. I'm pretty sure that all this stress at work has made me more vulnerable to injuries.

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  10. I promised not to complain about the wind at Oaklands parkrun after it cooled us down in the heatwave this summer. It was OK yesterday but that's because I was parkwalking ... Sorry to hear about the flare and continuing hot spots. My friend here with RA is having a problem with supply of her drugs (humera) and I'm panicking about how she will be when it wears off, blasted falling-apart country we're in here. Anyway sounds very plausible that the cortisol is not helping and good to see you were relaxed and made happier by being out on the trails with your friends. I'm coming back OK from my back issue but feel quite unfit!

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    1. Oh no about the Humira! I recently learned that it is coming off patent, which means there will be generic versions too. Maybe that will help your friend!

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  11. Congrats on the 80 pound bench press! YAY! I think SJ is right, trail running is definitely helping you to get stronger in the gym and vice versa.
    Sorry about all the aches and pains. I was feeling the same this week. Achilles, shoulder and knee pain and mysterious allergies. One by one, I know they will all disappear again. But I agree with you, it's so annoying!
    Are you still taping your knee?

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    1. I haven't been taping my knee but this past week I thought I might need to! Still just doing my VMO exercises. That seems to help.

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  12. Sorry to hear about your aches and pains... hope they disappear soon.

    Every time I hesitate to meet up with my friends and then I do, I realize how important it is to be with them... it really lifts my mood.

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    1. Isn't that the truth? I can't imagine you ever hesitating to meet up with friends.

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  13. Ha! That meme you shared is spot on. We really went from Summer to Winter within days.

    Sorry to hear about your areas of concern :( It's always frustrating when you have multiple pain points all at the same time. I hope that you get some relief soon!

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    1. I'm looking at them as reminders to stretch and do my PT exercises. At least they aren't holding me back from anything.

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  14. Niggles aren't fun, hopefully those go away soon for you! I think it's awesome that you continue to get stronger at 60! There's always room for improvement so it's great that you are seeing your strength improve!

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  15. I'm sorry you're having this flare after such a great season. I love that your coach is so in tune with what's going on can help.

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  16. Love that bright outfit on your last pic! Perfect for morning runs. Glad things seem to be settling down with the flare, but I'm sure that's frustrating :(

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