I started this post with the intention of including the WFL race recap within it, but now that I’m posting this on Monday, the race definitely deserves it’s own entry. So look for that tomorrow.
Last week, I started my blog post on Thursday and made the draft title something about doing two long runs. And then I hurt myself and took two days off in a row and the big week I was planning ended up not happening. So, as I start this post on Thursday and I’m still experience back pain, I’m not making any assumptions about what else is going to happen this week.
Monday: I slept in and went for an easy run along after work. I ended up going a new route, basically to New Terrain Brewing. I passed the most gorgeous Montessori school right at the base of North Table and daydreamed about maybe having kids that go there one day. 6.6 miles.
Tuesday: I slept in again which was glorious. My back feels worst in the morning and I was banking on it feeling loose enough in the afternoon for another run. I ended up feeling okay later but I was dreading the run. I was debating a podcast to help pass the time, but realized that what I really needed was to disconnect. So, I left my phone and went out and got in a lovely 7 miles on South Table. I was able to really clear my mind of some stuff and it was so refreshing. My back felt fine during this. I’d been doing the exercises Woody suggested and was noticing improvements – yay!!
Wednesday: Robyn, Erin, and I were taking over leading November Project for the day, so I went to both the 5:30 and 6:15 workouts. I was determined to do the workout, which included stairs, bomb-diver push-ups, plank rotations, and hill repeats, with the group and my back was feeling okay so I did. At some point during the morning, though, I started to really feel it. Running has felt fine because it’s just one plane of motion (forward and backward) but either the stairs or the twisting of the planks/push-ups really aggravated my back. After the improvement I had made the past couple days, I took two big steps back and was in a lot of pain for the rest of the day. That evening, I was feeling pretty distressed – every movement hurt. I couldn’t imagine flying to California on Saturday or running on Sunday. Dan and I have had this trip planned for so long and I’ve been so excited about it pumped for him and his race, but I was afraid I was going to ruin the whole thing because of the pain I was in. The greatest fortune with this injury though is that it hasn’t affected my sleep and I’ve been able to get some deep, restorative sleep.
Thursday: I woke up ready to go to PlayGldn and walked to the bathroom and every step hurt. I decided not to run and instead, desperately googled things and sent Woody a panicked text message. He recommended a PT in Golden and I was able to make an appointment for first thing Friday morning. Instead of running with my friends, I did walk to the coffee shop to at least get to say hi to them and the walk felt nice and helped to loosen things up.
Friday: I had an appointment with Dr. Freeborn Modello at RunFreePT for 7am. As soon as I made the appointment, I felt immediate relief at getting to talk to someone. I was so excited to go and ended up spending almost 90 minutes with him. He examined me and we talked about what caused the pain – I probably wasn’t strong enough to run 21 miles on Monday after traveling and as I got tired, my lower back took the brunt of the force from running because my upper back and my hips are very inflexible and don’t move well. He did some dry needling on my back, which was the first time I’ve had this done. Needles don’t bother me so I wasn’t worried about this – it was slightly uncomfortable but not painful. We also did a lot of stretching/pulling/pushing of my legs while I was on the table. We talked about plans going forward and he advised that I could run as long as I didn’t get to the point that I felt very fatigued and would overcompensate for the pain in my back and mess something else up. After work, I did an easy 5 miles which felt harder than it should have because it was hot out!
Saturday: We were up in the 4am hour to get on our flight to California for the race. I was in a lot of pain on Saturday morning and carrying a bag walking through the airport didn’t help things. Dan, being the sweetheart he is, ended up carrying my heavier bags and I took his. We got into LAX with no issues, rented a car, and started our race weekend! We stopped for a bite to eat at Clementine in Culver City and then headed north to Santa Clarita. Once we got there, we drove the WFL race course. Gulp. Did we go uphill the entire way? I was worried that it might have psyched Dan out, but he said he was glad we did it. After all the sitting in the car, I was moving like an 85-year old woman. I honestly thought I might not even start the race. After we checked into our hotel, I laid on the bed and did some light stretching then went into supine twist and my back went crack-crack-crack. I turned the other direction and heard another series of cracks. I stood up and felt immediately better. I then soaked in the hot tub and did some more light stretching and felt like a new woman afterwards. As I texted Woody the next day, I have no idea if there is any PT validity to the feeling that cracking my back saved me, but I finally felt some relief. I went to bed feeling optimistic.
I wanted to have a really big week of training, but the back pain got in the way. That’s life sometimes, and I’m starting to accept that this training cycle just isn’t going to live up to my expectations. You’ve gotta work with the cards you’ve been dealt, though, and I’m figuring out ways that I can do the work while still honoring my body and the journey.
High: Leading NP on Wednesday with Erin and Robyn. The vibe was tight!
Low: I think you can guess.