So I’m not superhuman

My training for the OAT Run trail half marathon has gone really well. I’ve been running lots of hills and getting in plenty of unpaved trail time. I’ve been delighted by how much stronger and faster I’m becoming on hills — I can run a few miles up a steep trail without having to walk or stop! I can really feel the difference in my hill strength as a result of all the hilly runs and bike rides I’ve been doing.

So yesterday I set out to do 11 miles on the Adventure Trail. I had planned that this would be my last really long trail run before the race on 4/26.

There was rain in the forecast that hadn’t happened yet. The rain started right about the time I started running. Mud puddles quickly formed. Eventually large sections of the trail began to resemble a small stream. I slowed down and watched my footing more carefully, but I was feeling great so I kept bounding along.

At 10.3 miles I was congratulating myself on my awesomeness. In that brief lapse of focus I stumbled over a rock and went down hard. I got up slowly, marveling at the mud all over myself. The damage seemed to be limited to a few abrasions on my forearms and knees and a small cut on my chin. But my left shoulder was a bit sore.

I ran the last bit back to the car where my friend, who’d ridden the trail on his bike, was waiting for me. By the time I got home my left shoulder was becoming extremely sore. It was all I could do to get out of my wet, muddy clothes and into the shower.

I had a full range of motion in my left arm, so I didn’t think I’d done anything to warrant a trip to the emergency room. However, during the evening my pain-free range of motion got smaller and smaller. There was no swelling or bruising, but eventually I could barely move my left shoulder at all.

So this morning I went to my doctor’s office, where they immediately sent me to the emergency room. The X-rays revealed a “closed fracture of the left proximal humerus.” It’s a small chip at the very top of my arm bone where it meets the shoulder. You can’t put a cast in that spot, so I’m in a sling. I’ll be in that sling for 4-6 weeks. No running. No bike riding. I’m left handed, so I’m currently typing very slowly with my right hand and wondering how I’m going to feed myself.

I am extremely disappointed to miss the trail race and other upcoming planned activities. But I’m trying to be okay with all of this. I sat in the ER waiting room this morning surrounded by overweight people with weak, tired bodies. I’d much rather injure myself in the pursuit of health and vigor than succumb to diseases of inactivity. I will heal. My knees will appreciate a few weeks of rest. I’ll keep up the daily activity with walks around town.

I’m not superhuman, but I’m strong. I’m stubborn and determined, and I love to run. I’ll look forward to running another NODM half marathon in June!






Posted on April 4, 2014, in Running and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Ouch Lori! This sounds like a similar break to when I snapped the greater tuberocity of my left humerus skiing. What I learned in that was to get very specific guidelines of how little to move my arm. Because I moved it too much, I was in a sling for 9 weeks and the shoulder froze, which required months of physical therapy. I think that, had I not tried to do too much, it would have healed faster and I could have avoided that. Extra ouchies for it being you being a lefty too. Sending healing thoughts your way.

  2. Colleen, that’s great and timely advice. My natural inclination would be to shrug off the pain and get moving again as quickly as possible. I am seeing an orthopedist on Monday, so I will be sure to ask for very specific guidelines and then I’ll do my best to actually do what she tells me.

  3. Hi Lori,

    So sorry to hear you’ve been injured. Chele and I still treasure our years in Port Angeles, and would like to get back, but I fear we’re going to have to endure the craziness that continues in California. I continue to have Kurt on my mind.

    John Smith

    Sent from my iPad


  4. I agree that visiting the ER due to a sports trauma is much better that being there because you didn’t take care of your body. Hope you make a speedy recovery.

  5. I never did get specific rules, but the one I made for myself that worked was to keep my elbow glued to my side. Below the elbow I could move.

    How are you now?

    • Colleen,
      Right now I’m still at the “everything hurts” phase, but I’m progressing rapidly to “I’m pissed off because I can’t do anything.” I have vowed to go for a daily walk at least, but I’m still dealing with the shock of having large gaps in my calendar where “10 mile run” or “25 mile bike ride” used to be. I’m going to need to work on my attitude and find a way to make the best of it.
      “One step at a time.”

  6. Awww, I am so sorry you got injured. As I was reading I was hopeful it was just a spill. I hope you can heal up and get back to your regular routine. I know it stinks being out. I’ve had to take a few long breaks after surgery and tried to enjoy my walks. Walking is still better than sitting 🙂 Take care

    • Karen,
      Thanks for visiting my blog! Yes, all the way through writing this post I was wishing it had a happy ending too. Ah well, I may have to slow down for a while, but it doesn’t mean I’m stopped forever. I will heal!

  7. Oh Lori, I am so very sorry to hear you’ve been sidelined! I am sure it’s temporary, but it’s still disappointing. You’ve been working so hard and making such progress. Those falls can come so quickly and out of nowhere, but I hope you can take advantage somehow of the rest. I’m sure you’ll put the same level of strategy to your recovery as you do your running and biking! Your observations about the people lined up in the ER is a really good way to look at it. I’m also thinking you’ll probably heal quickly, due to being in good shape and so healthy. Big hug to you–but a gentle one. ox

    • Debra, thanks. A GENTLE hug is definitely indicated right now. I’m bummed, but I’ve realized that a good attitude is going to be crucial. So I’m working on that. And I’m really looking forward to getting a more detailed prognosis from the orthopedist tomorrow! Right hand fingers crossed!

  8. The holes in your calendar won’t stay empty for long, I’m sure, but you may have to fill in with more cerebral kinds of activities.

  1. Pingback: If there’s a rock on the trail | Slow Happy Living

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