On Saturday, October 19, I was upstairs in our living room folding clothes. We have a small Elmo table with appropriate toddler sized chairs. For about 3 years now, I have sat in one of those chairs while I folded clothes on the living room floor. When I got up from the chair this time, my back felt stiff. Not horrible; just a bit stiff. No biggie. I'm 51. My back does that on occasion. Indeed, about two hours later, I went for a small 4 mile jog. As the day progressed, my back felt worse and worse. Nothing worked. I tried stretching, icing, and tons of Ibuprophen. By the end of the day, I was essentially immobile.
My plan for Sunday was my next to last really hard run before my November 10 marathon. The plan was a 2 mile warm up, 15 miles at marathon pace, and a 3 mile cool down all done deliberately with no fuel. In other words, I'm trying to stress my body's ability to use fat as a fuel. Instead of that hard workout, I spent the entire day on the couch. I might add that I haven't watched much NFL for a while and now I know why. Reminds me exactly of the NBA. Boring as hell until the last two minutes. I was hoping that a day of rest would make things better.
I was wrong. If anything, today was worse. The only thing that doesn't hurt is if I sit. The pain is deep in the left side of my lower back. It hurts when I stand. It hurts when I walk. It hurts if I bend to the left. It is agonizing if I bend backward. It actually doesn't hurt if I bend to the right nor is it painful to the touch. I called my family doctor and she actually got me in this morning. She wrote me a prescription for Flexeril (sp?) and recommended a chiropractor. I called the chiropractor right after I called my insurance to make sure chiropractic was covered and he worked me in this afternoon. The bottom line is this.
My right leg is 9mm longer than my left leg. Over time, I have unconsciously compensated for this discrepancy. The clothes folding was merely the straw that broke the runner's back. (heh heh. Couldn't resist even if it was at my own expense). The chiropractor is going to do some things along with deep tissue massage although he thinks a heel lift probably isn't needed. More to the point, I am sidelined for anywhere from 10 days to a few weeks depending on how long it takes me to heal.
A sub 3:00:00 marathon was always going to be right at the edge of my ability in the best of circumstances. Losing two of the last three weeks before the race makes it a non-issue. Won't happen. Hopefully, I can still run the race and I'll readjust my goals accordingly. My PR is 3:08 so perhaps a PR isn't out of the question. Still, I am in the best aerobic shape of my life. I finished a tempo run on Friday and felt incredibly good. I'm finishing workouts and feeling halfway fresh the next day rather than wiped out. I'm able to do hard workouts with only one rest day in between instead of two. On fresh legs in cooler weather, I'm having to hold back to keep from running faster than 7:30's. Best shape of my life without question and I'm not about to waste this level of fitness. My original plan was to move into 5K training after this marathon but I still want to break 3 hours. Thus, my new plan is to target an early spring marathon. At this point, I'm leaning toward the Myrtle Beach Marathon on Feb 15. Flat as a pancake, well supported, and not an insanely long drive.
I'm trying to take this with a bit of equanimity. There's not much point in raging against the reality of what is nor is there any point in trying to push myself and getting hurt so badly that I'm out for months. The timing of this injury sucks but whatcha gonna do?
Oh yeah. I know what I'm going to do. I'm going to have a beer. A good one.
Fuck me running. (Sorry. Had to vent at least once).
Short term goal: 17:59 5K
Mid term goal: 2:54:59 marathon
Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life. (I started running at age 45).
Sorry to hear this. Did they say if it was piriformis or a disc (if you said I missed it)?
Hope you heal soon.
Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner
Next: RnR Country Music Half Marathon
"The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."
Smaller By The Day
Argh! That suck! I don't know what else to say.
Weight 100 pounds lost
5K 31:02 Sept. 2012 / 23:36 Sept. 2013 (Same Course)
10K 48:59 April 2013
HM 2:03:56 Nov. 2012 / 1:46:50 March 2013
MARATHON 3:57:33 Nov. 2013
St. Jude's Hero Profile
Sucks. I was pulling for you to get that sub 3 in this race, and was excited to hear all about it. If you were to mend completely before the race, it wouldn't surprise me at all if you could still run a sub 3. Regardless, picking a later marathon to target and building on the training you've done is only going to help your fitness. That's a tough pill to swallow, but I'm sure you've got the right Pilsner to make it go down easier.
PRs: Marathon (2:49xx; '13) Half (1:25xx; '12) 10k (40:26; '11) 5mi (29:23; '13) 5k (17:33; '13)
D, I had already been going to physical therapy for the piriformis issue and it had improved to a tolerable level. The chiro took an x-ray of my back and the discs looked good. In fact, he said they looked remarkably good for someone my age who puts in the kind of mileage I do. What I have strained is some muscle very deep in my lower back. Damned if I can remember what he said. I'm going back tomorrow for deep tissue massage so I'll make sure I ask.
A sub 3:00:00 marathon was always going to be right at the edge of my ability in the best of circumstances. Losing two of the last three weeks before the race makes it a non-issue. Won't happen.
That is not written in stone and yet to be determined. But if you believe it will not hard and long enough, your mind will find a way to concur.
Why is your living room upstairs and the NFL rocks.
"Training is not always fun, but it should always be rewarding."
Ugh, that sucks. I'm sorry.
You really can't see a disc issue with an x-ray, only a narrowing of the disc space. All of my herniated discs were diagnosed via an MRI. In the end, it doesn't really matter - since the treatment for general low back pain is the same as if you have a disc injury itself, typically.
[I am like an encyclopedia of back-related shit, but I know that most people don't want random advice. If you'd like my two cents (that goes for anyone else dealing with a back issue), feel free to message me.]
Flexeril and alcohol - sounds like you'll be in for a fun night. lol
Want a discount code for the San Francisco marathon? Message me :)
Really sorry to hear that, LtH. It's a real pisser to have your goal taken away from you due to an injury. Hope you heal quickly and can salvage a good marathon.
ETA: Had to google 'equanimity.'
What I have strained is some muscle very deep in my lower back. Damned if I can remember what he said.
Sounds like the sacroiliac, don't ask me how I know.
Next time link it, so the rest of us won't have to.
That sucks, I'm so sorry! But I am shocked to hear that you are human after all. I had come to believe that you were some kind of crazy fast android, built to whip the bejesus out of us whenever we whine or do something wrong. :-)
Get rid of the pain and don't dwell on the race that could have been. You will be even faster come Spring. Healing vibes sent your way, (((LTH)))
PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013
Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013
3 years, 13 marathons, 13 BQs
Wow. That really blows. Sorry to hear that, LtH.
Santa Anita Derby Day 5k - 5 Apr
Mountains to Beach Marathon - 25 May
Well there's nothing much else to say but to concur that it truly sucks.
I certainly do not have the back pain pedigree as my esteemed colleague Dr. Oski, but I have had my share. And I will say that while it can certainly linger for a long time, there are also times when I have found the pain to subside surprisingly quickly. So best of luck, you never know what can happen.
In the mean time, feel free to join us whiners on the injury thread.
rather be sprinting
I'm really sorry to hear that. At this point, I more than understand the shock of a sudden setback, but at least you know what's wrong, know it will heal in a matter of weeks and not months, and have a plan for the future. To us tenuously time-bound creatures, a view over the hump of the next few months is often the best kind of hope.
Good luck getting your head around the new circumstances and try to enjoy your marathon anyhow.
PRs: 5k 19:25, mile 5:38, HM 1:30:56
Lifting PRs: back squat 176 lb
Grand Master for a day
Aww, man, that blows. The deep massage is a good idea, maybe it will resolve sooner than later.
When they say to put cold on it, I don't think they mean beer.