**This is an old entry I never published, so this is a couple weeks late but there are new things afoot that I wanted to add with updates, so…here we go!**
Please note that this first part was written early January:
It pains me to even write this, but my time has finally come to take a step back and rest. After years of running pain-free, I finally have an injury that is going to sideline me for a while. The day after Christmas, I woke up with extreme back pain. I couldn’t bend over, and any effort caused extreme amounts of pain. My back muscles were spasming and compressing SO tightly around my lower back, it was hard to do anything without teeth-clenching pain; even the easiest things like leaning over the sink to wash my face (I had to prop myself up with one hand) or even to put on socks…it was nearly impossible without a lot of slow, painful effort. It’s so funny, because I have absolutely zero idea what caused it. I just woke up and it was there.
After a couple days, I finally bit the bullet to see my family doctor. While I wasn’t able to get an official MRI, I definitely have sacrolititis (an inflammation of my sacroiliac joint, which is the area where the lower spine and pelvis meet), a lumbosacral strain, and sciatica, as well as a very likely slipped disc (which would only be determined officially by MRI, which is a long and arduous process for insurance to approve). She said that my muscles were spasming/seizing and working very hard to keep the disc in place. I was told under no circumstances to do my marathons next weekend, even if it was a slow walk. Honestly, I can maybe walk 2 mph if I tried right now, so there’s no way I could even try without making things a lot worse.
I was given a cocktail of steroids, muscle relaxers and prescription painkillers (which I really hesitate to use, and only WILL use at home so I don’t have to worry about driving or concentrating at work), as well as at least four weeks of physical therapy two to three times a week. No running. Nothing strenuous. Just rest and recover.
This is a very hard thing for me to do, but I am in so much pain I realized I have no choice but to obey her orders. I was able to cancel the flights, hotel and rental car. I was able to defer for Mississippi Blues to 2017 with zero financial penalties, and First Light was happy to issue me a refund (by check!) with best wishes for a speedy recovery. Whew, that was a huge relief.
So now I am simply committing myself to getting back on my feet, sticking to the PT and hopefully won’t need to see the doctor after my treatment.
OK here’s what I’m up to since then!
It’s been a less than two weeks since my DNS at Mississippi Blues and First Light. I haven’t done ANY running yet, but I have been making sure I walk 2-5 miles at least every other day, as well as continue stretching and doing my PT exercises. While the pain is substantially less, I am still a bit stiff in the morning and can still feel the wonky back issues.
My goal is to start incorporating walk/run intervals into my training starting February 8. I don’t know how much conditioning I might lose but I am definitely doing my best to be as active as I am allowed to be…I’m not doing any core work or weights, and walking is pretty much the only cardio I am doing for now. Fortunately walking has been pain-free, which is great.
Also…it’s weird, but I’m not depressed. I am actually getting back into some old hobbies and embracing some passions that were lit a LONG time ago but died out due to my running kind of taking over my life a little!
I used to be very artistic and into crafting, and have been wanting to make my own custom jewelry and hair accessories for a long time. I absolutely love accessorizing in a fun and unique way, and did it a lot when I was in high school, but it can be expensive to keep up with it. Any girl from my generation can just envision Claudia Kishi from the Babysitter’s Club books…yeah, that’s me, more or less. So I am going to start working on making my own custom jewelry and hair accessories as a side hobby, not just for myself, but also for gifting, and eventually selling. My younger sister is majorly into knitting and crocheting and makes fantastic items with her hobby: beautifully knit hats, gloves, leg warmers, etc. So between the two of us, we are working toward creating an inventory and hopefully/eventually opening up an online shop by the end of the summer for holiday shopping. The whole theme is simply: “cute”…cute everything with a dash of steampunk thrown in on the side. We have a lot of ideas and will spend the next several months working on building a solid inventory.
I am also busy helping my brother edit his novel. Since I am actually an editor by trade it was a perfect opportunity to step in and help, and it’s been very enjoyable for me to read and immerse myself in the story and see my brother’s talents come alive. There is something to be said when you are emotionally affected by events that occur in a fictional tale, and this book definitely has tugged at my sensitive heartstrings. Plus I really feel like it’s bringing us closer as siblings! The same can be said for my sister, since we started collaborating with the crafting ideas, we have been in contact on a daily basis throughout the day.
In short, it’s just been wonderful to feel close to my family again, and not alienated because of my running schedule, which took up so many of my weekends.
So I will, of course, keep you posted on all of that as things progress. I will begin training for a local half marathon in mid-April and will have a full marathon in late May. So I WILL be back to running, but at the same time I think it’s OK to take a step back and NOT allow running to take over my life. It really did for a while, to the point of KIND of overtaking every aspect of my free time. It was hard to tell friends and family that I couldn’t socialize because of a race or travel for an event. But now, all of a sudden, I can cut back, allow myself some room to breathe, create, organize, and socialize. It’s kind of nice to suddenly have some balance and perspective, and not feel like I need to dedicate every second to training.
So who knows, maybe it’s good that this back injury happened. I feel like all things, good or bad, happen for a purpose. I need to embrace whatever comes my way and just go with it, take opportunity when it strikes, and use my talents that I was given and use it to my advantage.
I can’t wait to see where this little chapter of my life takes me!