Saturday, August 23, 2014

Surgery, Age, Fitness, and Marathon Training

So here's the deal.

I just had major rotator cuff surgery on my right shoulder.  On a scale that went from minor to major, my surgeon described my tear as "fucking massive."  He showed me the pictures, it was gross.  The pre-repair inside of my shoulder looked like a pre-cooked bowl of kung pao chicken.  Seriously, there were peanuts.

Six years ago I had a similar surgery on my left shoulder.  That tear was pretty bad, but my surgeon (same dude) described the repair as a "chip shot."  He operated, the recovery and rehab was indescribably miserable, and I eventually recovered full use of my left shoulder.  Back to the recovery, though: it took me over a full month to tie my shoes.

Yesterday marked one week since my most recent surgery.  A more serious injury than my last surgery, a more traumatic repair than my last surgery.  The day BEFORE yesterday I tied my shoes and walked nearly three miles fast enough to break a sweat.  On its own, this means nothing, but compared to where I was a week (hell, a month) following my previous surgery, I'm left scratching my head trying to make sense of things.  To put it in perspective, last time, a week following my surgery, I could barely make it from the bed to the bathroom without passing out; this time, a week out, I nearly trotted out 3 miles.

How is this possible?

There are two major differences between the last surgery and this surgery: this surgery was on my dominant arm, so the muscles had a lifetime of better development; between the last surgery and this one I became a marathon runner.

I have no idea why this recovery is progressing as freakishly well as it is, but I will take it.

Suffice to say that I will start my next Marathon training program as soon as I can.

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