Thursday, January 18, 2007

Grr, Back Pain

This is not my week.

Warning: Much bitching, moaning and belly aching ahead.

First off I have a mild sore throat.I've had it since Monday. Hasn't progressed to be much more than that but it is sitting there just waiting to be a full blown chest cold. I can feel the heaviness in my lungs. And I know, all too well how it goes: first the sore throat, then the head cold and then it all drips into my chest and then wham: Bronchitis. I use to think if I took it easy I would avoid getting all that but that has never proved to be the case. So my general course of action these days is to ignore it and run until I am forced a few days in bed. No sense missing workouts until I really have to and even then I can usually still cross train.

But now I have lower back pain too. I have never in my life had back pain--hip, hamstring, butt pain? Yes. Back pain? No, never. Not even when I was 9 months pregnant and running did I have back pain--bladder distress? Most certainly but back pain? No, absolutely not. Not even after my car accident when I broke my pelvis. (Okay, maybe I had a little pain when it was broken but not since they put it back together and I healed--and that was almost 17 years ago.) So I am a little, tiny bit freaked out.

My first thought, of course, was cancer but I don't think cancer comes on suddenly with mild annoying lower back pain on only one side that is most bothersome when you bend over or sit. Luckily, I don't sit too often. But bending over? I do that all day long. It is called picking crap up off the floor because I am a Mom. It is my job. But, again, lucky for me I have rather dexterous and strong toes and I am able to pick up most objects that way. I think if Carmella and Beau weren't so squirmy I could pick them up with my toes and toss them up the stairs or the car or wherever, but alas, I need my feet to chase them down.

Needless to say all this has greatly compromised my training this week and it is pissing me off. I get really cranky anyway when I don't feel 100% and then even more bitchy when I can't run.

Foolishly, I took Sunday off from running. My thinking was that I needed a rest day. Idiot! Then on Monday I ran a 7 mile general aerobic run and then went to the gym and did 3 miles on the treadmill of speed work and lifted weights. The plan was to run 10 miles again on Tuesday. But then I had some stuff I had to take care of in the morning that required my attention and that is when my back started to bother me. I tried to run in the afternoon but wasted my time hunting for my headphones-- which I never found-- and by that point my back was really bothering me so I just stayed home. Wednesday morning I knew I wouldn't be able to run anyway because I had an errand to do that took up most of my morning.
My back was feeling even more uncomfortable than the day before so I orginally thought running would be out of the question. But then, as the day progressed, I decided that I probably could run since when walking around my back wasn't really bothering me--just bending, twisting and sitting was painful. I figured if I could avoid those things while running I should be just fine.

So I sucked it up and ran 6 miles on the treadmill, 4 of which were speed work. I did some ab exercises for good measure and came home. My back didn't really bother me too much during the run but I was afraid to make sudden movements for fear of the shooting pain or that I would end up stuck in some half-bent position because of a muscle spasm. Not that this has ever happened to me but I have seen it be the base of many comedic plots on television--so I know it can happen.

I took some Motrin and iced the area when I got home to see if it would help. No dice. It seems to be most bothersome sitting, bending or laying down. It is really hard to find a comfortable sleeping position. Hence why I have been up since 3:30 this morning.

And, upon my late night Internet diagnosing I have pretty much decided I have some form of sciatica or pseudo-sciatica. I am not going searching for the links. Just take my word for it. And, right: I am not a doctor. (So Carrie, please don't call me and ask me to diagnosis your back pain as I am not, in fact, a doctor.) But I am a person who will avoiding going to one if I think they will tell me to rest and not run for x number of weeks. Why would I waste my money on advice I don't want to hear or plan on following?

Yeah, so right now I am thinking I will be scrapping my plan of a 16 mile run this morning. It could still happen but with the icy, rainy weather, my sore throat and geriatric back problem I kind of doubt it. Looks like another treadmill day for me.

Okay, I need to go stand up. My butt and back are killing me.


  1. More puppy and child pictures please.

  2. You're smart to cutback on your training if your back is sore, continuing to run when your body is giving you signals might make it worst. Get Hubby to massage your lower back, utilize a throw pillow for the small of your back when sitting as it'll help with support, avoid heavy lifting, and above all don't wear high heels. Be gentle with yourself...I know it's hard as I get cranky too when I miss a run, but it does help to keep a positive outlook (a good rest can be considered training too) Be aware that your current situation can easily plunge you into deep depression. GET WELL SOON!

  3. Have you tried a heating pad? Sometimes that, plus some curl-up-in-a-ball stretching helps when I get that kind of pain.

    I'm sorry. It sucks not to run.