I started 2012 by quitting halfway through the New Year's Day WoD when I realized I was not just in pain but actually injured. Aside from squatting every week and doing one hard 500 meter row, I've done nothing this year. I realized I'm unprepared for a 2,000 meter row, and trying to do one in competition would only be demotivating, so I decided to race only the 500 meter sprint at this year's Mile High Sprints.
All I can say is that I desperately wanted to win this thing. I was racing against some friends I wanted to beat. I was racing against some rivals I wanted to beat, and I was - and am - truly afraid this would be my first and last competition in 2012 with my shoulder injured. I thought that winning outright was realistic, though I knew it would require coming up with a career best day.
Before the race, I got some accidental and well-meaning advice to hit a pace of 1:14/500 before settling down to race pace. Entirely of my own volition, I tried to do that. I remember seeing the monitor go to 1:17/500, and Mike D told me later he saw 1:16/500. I only know that I chased 1:14 too long before I backed off, and that I had one of the worst 500's of my life. 200 meters in I had the pain that is normally reserved for 300 or even 350 meters, and only Mike D's screaming kept me pulling.
I finished tied for second with a time of 1:26.2. That's not at all a bad time for me, but I think I can still do significantly better by racing smarter. I'm sure, though, that 1:26.2 was my absolute best on January 21st, 2012 at 1:20 pm. I laid astern my erg as long as propriety allowed, then I got up and started walking across the basketball court where the race was held. I made it about 3/4 of the way across before my legs collapsed again.
|James Falls the Second Time|
In retrospect I think a second place finish was the best thing that could have happened to me, and finishing first would have brought nothing but bad luck. I suspect that even had I finished first, I wouldn't have gotten any product endorsement contracts, and I might have felt satisfied sitting around doing nothing while I wait for whatever my shoulder needs to do.
As it is, I'm fucking pissed. If both of my arms mostly work, I'm going to be doing concentrated work on high-repetition squatting with a goal of hitting 315 x 20 this year, and if I end up unable to hold a bar, I'll be doing high-repetition belt squatting.
In any case, I realize I still have work to do, and if it's not the way I had envisioned this year going, I'll still be doing the work.
I went to the orthopedist last week and got a preliminary diagnosis of a posterior labrum tear. Yesterday I got an MRI so the doctor can confirm the diagnosis and recommend a further course of action. I have to admit the procedure scared me. I was told they would inject dye into my shoulder joint, and four or so years after, I still remember how much it hurt to have cortisone injected into my shoulder. This was actually very close to painless. The doctor doing the injection took an x-ray to make sure the needle was directly inside the joint, and when I got off the table the picture was still up and illuminated. I had a hard time believing that big-ass needle was actually shoved that deep into my shoulder, but I was told that yes, that was really a picture of my shoulder.
In all, this anything but what I wanted. I'm happy at least that I have the process of figuring out what to do next underway, and I'm sure I will grind out some progress this year.
I'll see the doctor Friday; I have the Denver Indoor Rowing Championships Saturday.
It can't be bad to disregard medical advice for just one day.
At the DIRC's as opposed to the Mile High Sprints, I'll be racing within my age group.
It won't be as satisfying as winning an open race, but I should be able to beat old fuckers with one arm if I have to.