The name of the game is steady progress

Yes, I know, I’m not going to grow my fitness at the rate that I did when I was in college. Which is too bad, because I’ve got a lot further to go. But I have to admit that my various join problems isn’t going to allow me to work that hard, even if my body would get fitter at that rate.

Today was another work-out on the kayak machine. I’ve been having a lot of problems with my left shoulder – I think it’s a different sort of pain than I have in my knees, hips, and to a lesser extent my elbows. After paddling for a bit, my left shoulder feels sore sort of along the back “corner” – Dan says “trapezius muscle”, and from Wikipedia it actually looks like just the very upper edge of it. It even feels sore just holding my arm up level with my shoulder with my elbow bent so my forearm is pointing forward.

Trapezius muscle

I had the same problem back in the summer when I was going out to paddle 5 miles in Irondequiot Bay every week to get ready for Long Lake. I would paddle for a bit, stop and stretch, and then resume paddling. I considered it a major accomplishment the first time I made it to “1 Mile Point” without having to stop.

A few sessions ago, Dan had me paddling at a moderate pace (around 5mph) for 5 minutes at a stretch, resting and repeating for 20 minutes total speed. But the second time I tried to do that, my shoulder started hurting before the first 5 minutes was up. So Dan has adjusted, and now we’re doing things like shorter sessions where I do some time at slow speeds, some times at moderate speeds, and some time at quite high speeds (for me), all with breaks for stretching as needed. At the end of it, I feel like I’ve had quite a work-out, and my high speed is certainly a lot higher than it has been. My moderate speed for these short times is up around 5.7 to 6.0 mph, and on the high speed runs I actually hit 7.0 mph at one point.

Hopefully with some stretching and strength work, I can fix up this trapezius muscle and work up to more long distance work-outs.