This sounds weird, but my shoulder is melting. No, it has nothing to do with the heat, it has all to do with my frozen shoulder. I just came back from the hospital. The doctor thinks I am in the last phase, the melting phase, which means I will slowly regain my flexibility again.
The Dolomiti Extreme Trail was the first race my shoulder wasn’t bothering me. All other races, since October last year, I was in pain. That’s how long I am already dealing with this problem. Which is, seemingly, normal. It can take up to 3 years, although the doctor told me that’s mostly the case when somebody has diabetes.
In the beginning I was in pain all the time. I couldn’t even sleep properly. Bit by bit the pain became less, but my shoulder got more and more stiff. The last couple of months it only hurts when I make certain movements, like bringing my arm up straight into the air, opening my arm sideways or trying to bring my arm behind my back or overhead.
While running it was mostly the weight of my running vest, and all I carried in it, that started to bother my shoulder. On top of that, in the mountains I had problems putting my running poles away, as I’m using a quiver and to put my poles in it, I have to bring my arm overhead.
No more yoga
I was also limited in doing yoga, as I couldn’t do Downward Facing Dog, Chaturanga (low plank) and Trikonasana (triangle pose). Okay the last post you can do with your arm on your side, but the first two are vital poses in Vinyasa Flow Yoga. As a result I stopped doing Vinyasa flow and now I’m as flexible as a piece of wood.
I strongly believe yoga is good for trail runners. Yoga – if you practice the whole of it – gives you mental and physical flexibility and stability. We need that as trail runners. Plus the flexibility prevents injuries. I mean trail running is a lot of slipping and sliding as well.
Born to Run
I just started reading Born to Run 2. Eric Orton, the running coach who created the book together with writer Christopher McDougall, sees inflexibility as a cause of many injuries as well, and he sees massage and stretching as an option to get rid of and prevent injuries.
So I’m happy I’ve entered the melting phase. I recently picked up Vinyasa Flow Yoga again and I can now step up my practice. Carefully, because the doctor has warned me if I push too much the pain can come back. So slow and easy it is.