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Pain management for endurance athletes

There are many things going on in my mind...and body...the past several weeks.

I did allergy testing this past Thursday to determine what family of wasps shoots deadly (for me) venom, then went to get my shoulder checked Friday.

Have been processing how to best deal with my recent onset of problems.  One advantage looms large when facing injuries:  Endurance athletes train for pain.

I had this discussion with Chuck, my riding buddy who suffered a horrendous cycling crash earlier this summer.  On every ride, on every climb, we practice the art of enduring pain.  More pain = a better performance.  You might believe you can't take any more; then the guy next to you upshifts from low gear and you can either drop back, or shift and absorb the next level of pain.

As we grow our tolerance, we also prep for the art of aggressive rehab.  Most times doctors will tell you "let pain be your guide."  My tolerance for pain lets me reach deeper and further than others who have not  developed the ability to increase their thresholds.

I'm 11 days out from my crash and already have overhead range of motion in my right arm.  I plan to be in the pool very soon for swimming, the ultimate activity if I want to get my body back on track.

It won't be fun or pleasant, but I will tolerate the discomfort to reach the outcome I intend.  When we train for pain, there's a life advantage that gets us through the rough spots.


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Some medical issues, some sadness is loss of speed. I don't have much range left in my pulse rate and I have put on a blob of weight.

I "ran" my 10 mile loop this 2:18. Is that ugly, or what? An overall fatigue follows the run. I remember a few years ago, I'd bang it out in straight 9's for a 1:30 - and at that time had a long section of medium effort trail included, too.

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Rode my mountain bike Sunday after church. Don't know what I hit but I went…


You have to look closely (click and enlarge photo if needed), but when you do, check out the 5th metacarpal (bone furthest from thumb).

The diagonal break is symbolic of what happens when your mountain bike handlebars snap around 360 degrees, and those bars catch your hand against the bike frame during the rotation.

Well there you have it. I got up after my ride over the bars and knew something was wrong, but didn't want to admit it. Rode about three miles back to the car, then went a week with some ice and heat. Thought it was good, until I smacked the same bone on the bars during a road ride the following weekend.

Time to stop the charades and get to urgent care.

For the past three weeks, I have been in a formed splint that kept the pinkie and ring fingers immobilized in a hooked formation. Don't want those tendons to move across the bone. As the doc stated, it's a "forgiving" break, but nonetheless you don't want to give the bone any excuse to shift; that…