March 12, 2009

And I Used To Walk Six Miles to School, Uphill, Both Ways

The Wii Fit was wrong about my age. I'm not 30. I'm pretty sure I'm inching up toward 65 years young. I had to postpone dinner plans with a friend tonight because of my back. My back. Oh my aching back! Really. I have back problems at the ripe old age of 28. That doesn't seem right.

It started Tuesday morning. I went for my standard Tuesday morning run (per training guidelines) and was to run three miles. I started feeling a little yucky and ended up running only a mile and walking on an incline for another half before I called it quits and went home. I then proceeded to call into work and spent the next five hours in bed.

Later that night as I was laying on the couch I started to notice a dull pain in my lower back. I kept shifting my position but couldn't get comfortable. At that point, I chalked my pain up to all the sitting on did on the train the previous day and all the sleeping I did that morning. I just needed a good stretch, I reasoned. I stretched by moving slowly and really focusing on my lower back. I felt better, but I couldn't help noticing it didn't alleviate my pain, particularly when I arched my back. There was a definite sharp pain each time I did that.

Not sure what to make of the mess in my lower back, I decided to skip the gym yesterday. At the end of the day though, that dull ache was still there, just sitting on my tailbone. What else was there to try? Our massage chair. I sat in it for about 15 minutes trying to really focus on my lower back, but the chair just couldn't reach it right. I went to bed, my back not feeling any better.

Today was a running day. Given my poor performance on Tuesday, I wanted to make up for the 1.5 miles I didn't run. My goal this morning was 3.5 miles. I didn't know how my back would react, but I hoped running might loosen it up. I felt fine while I was running, but my back felt progressively worse as the day wore on.

By 11:30 a.m., I was googling "lower back pain from running." A ton of Web sites came up listing various reasons running can lead to lower back pain. Those that seemed most likely for me were tight hamstrings, weak abdominal muscles and poor running posture. I cannot touch my toes. This in ability is a direct result of my extraordinarily tight hamstrings. I've never actually worked on my running posture which leads me to believe it could use some improving. As for the abs... my six pack is nonexistent. I don't think I have a pack to speak of.

Knowing what I now know, I'm going to try a few things. The first will be becoming more conscience of my posture when I run. That's more than I have ever done in terms of my running posture, so easy enough. Secondly, I am going to start doing hamstring stretches at least 5 times a week. I would say every night, but I know that won't happen. Lastly, I'd like to start taking Pilate's more than once a week. I think my weak midsection would benefit from the extra core strengthening. I need to check my gym schedule, but hopefully I can find another class to take besides the one I go to on Monday mornings.

So that's the plan. I hope it works because I really don't want to be a 28-year old who regularly complains about her achin' back. Right now though, I'm going to try one more remedy I saw online. I'm going to take a bath. I'm going to soak my old weary bones in the tub and when I'm done I'll watch my stories on that there talking box. You young whipper snappers try not to make too much noise. And stay off my lawn, sonny!


kelsalynn said...

I'll always have back problems... i'm sorry you're plagued with them too. Hopefully it's just temporary for you.

go to youtube and type in "chi running"... it's a great form that's more ergonimically (sp?) correct and takes pressure off your back and your knees. It also focuses on using your abs and pulling your heels back as opposed to striding forward. It's good.

Lay on your stomach and put a bag of ice on your back. It might just be muscle soreness but in a way you've never experienced before. Keep me posted... maybe it's time to take a week off???

Alexis said...

your last few sentences cracked me up. i love how even though i haven't seen you in ages- when i read what you write- I hear it in your exact voice in my head. I can totally hear the tone you would have had doing your "grandpa" thing :)
hope your back gets better soon!

Madre said...

Alternate hot and cold (heating pad and cold pack) 20 minutes of each. Also Motrin (or similar drug). The other thing you might try is some Yoga moves. After doing some on the Wii I like how they are low impact but can help strenghen back, legs, etc.
Blame your Dad (-;
Love Madre

kelsalynn said...

Ditto to Lexi and I forgot to tell you that I like the title of your post... cracks me up