Thursday, March 29, 2007

Danger Zone

This is a difficult time.

I was able to run two miles comfortably on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Same pattern, I walked 4 minutes and run for two. There wasn't any pain - or even discomfort really - while I was running, but there was some lingering soreness in my back last night and this morning.

Part of the problem was that I started watching the time. I pushed a little yesterday to see if I could get in the 2 miles in UNDER 28 minutes. Not world-class time, I understand. And I'm not a big time-centered guy. But still, I was watching the clock with just a little bit of anxiety.

Today I'm flying to Yakima, Washington for an event this weekend. I'm going to have a long flight and lots of sitting. That doesn't sound good. But, I'm going to try to get out tonight and at least walk.

Things aren't right. I know that. I need to be patient. I know that too.

But it's a struggle.


Monday, March 26, 2007

Two Minute Warning

OK, just in case someone is NOT a football [American football] fan, the 2-minute warning is given at the end of both halves of play.

I'm still on the treadmill, but I made the decision to TRY to up my running time to two minutes while keeping my walking time to 4 minutes. I was prepared [HONEST] to bag the run after one minute if I felt any discomfort, let along pain.

The first two minutes were fine. I was shocked to see where my heart-rate went to, but maybe that's to be expected. I stayed on for 30 minutes which was exactly 2 miles.

Some gentle stretching and then I'm going for another massage to see if they can break anything loose.

By the way: I hate this!

ORN: 2 miles

Friday, March 23, 2007

Easy Does it, and I'm not kidding

I've got to keep my head on straight.

Yesterday I walked on the treadmill for a mile and a quarter. But see, that's not EXACTLY true. What I did was walk for 4 minutes and then RUN for one minute. Smart? Not really.

But my theory is that the problem was caused by the nearly 30 days of INactivity and NO running and walking, so MAYBE a little running and walking will CURE the problem.

Not sound medical thinking, I know.

But, I'm going to continue to try to find something that I can do that DOESN'T make things worse.



Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Walking the Walk

Oh my!

First off, thanks to those of you who have written with your "Get Well" wishes. They've helped some, but we're not out of the woods yet.

I decided early on that I didn't want to "dance with the devil" on the pain pills and muscle relaxers. I took only what I absolutely had to in order to get through the day - or night. I've now decided to move off all the pills and just see where this goes.

And where it's going now is nowhere fast. The pain is more isolated but I still don't really have full use of my right leg. I'm trying to do some gentle stretching and rolling but nothing seems to be helping much.

So, today, I'm going to walk for 20 minutes on the treadmill. Not fast. Not far. I'm just going to move and see if that will help free things up.

Running again soon doesn't sound likely.


Monday, March 19, 2007

Great weekend, lousy back

We're on our way home from Tucson. This weekend was the 3rd Arizona Distance Classic, which now features the Valley of Gold Half Marathon, the Northwest Medical Center Oro Valley 5K, and the Kid's Fun Run.

The weather, while a little warm for some snow birds, was just about perfect and we had the best overall event we've had here in Tucson. We had a great mix of local, regional, and visiting runners and walkers and the blue skies and mountain vistas made for a picture perfect day.

I'm still dealing with whatever is wrong with my back. I had a deep tissue massage hoping that something might 'let go', but it didn't help all that much. The good news is that it doesn't appear to be bone or disk related, just some kind of major muscle malfunction.

So, I'm walking but not exactly normally and sitting and standing - and getting in and out of the car - is still an ordeal.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Day Four

Wow. I'm afraid I've really done something this time.

At my age - and with my absolute and total avoidance of stretching and flexibility, it's not unusual to have a bit of stiffness in the morning. But this is WAY beyond that.

It feels like something is out of place. There is some nerve involvement because there's numbness in my right leg and groin. I've got to try to get to Tucson today and hope for the best. The good news is that our race is sponsored by a hospital and if things go from bad to worse at least I'll have help close by.

This is, without question, the biggest set back I've encountered since i started running. I've had the standard IT band and sore knees, etc, but nothing as completely debilitating as this.

Running seems pretty far off at this point. Right now I'd be grateful just to be able to stand up without pain.

My big concern, and this is a very personal one, is that I not abuse the pain medication. I've got to commit to using only as much as I need for medical reasons and not start thinking about "recreational" use.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Oh, my aching back

I can't believe it!

Monday I was bending over to set something down and BANG!, something snapped in my lower back. A trip to the emergency room and it looks like I've either got a ruptured disk, or slipped disk, or something.


So I am laid up, laid out, and laid down.

In trying to figure out what happened I remembered that I took a pretty nasty fall on the boat and that, combined with 27 hours of sitting on a plane, combined with just being exhausted took it's toll.

I have no idea when I'll be walking again, let alone running.

ORN: You must be kidding!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The good, the bad, and the ugly

I'm baaaaaack!

My fourth trip to Argentina and Antarctica was, without question, the best. Each time I go I'm more open to the experience, less likely to chase after the excitement, and more likely to embrace the large and small moments that make the trip worthwhile.

Make no mistake, it's a lot of work, but, it's about the most satisfying thing I've ever done. There are only two sanctioned sporting events in the Antarctic, the marathon and half marathon AND the kayak championships. Being a part of the very elite operations team for these events is a unique opportunity.

I've given up trying to articulate the beauty, the animals, and the people. All I can say is that is is the most difficult 3 weeks of my year, and I can't wait to go back.

We stayed over for a few days in Ushuaia so that Jenny could run the Fin del Mundo marathon and get another continent. I think it helped to have a transition time between the ship and home. We had some FANTASTIC food, good company, and a chance to begin to recover.

Got home late Friday, ran a little on Saturday, then bent over to move something on Monday and ended up in the emergency room. Not sure whether it's a slipped disk, or ruptured disk, or WHAT, but I'm down for the count. I'm still hoping that I can get to Tucson for our event there this weeekend, but I've just got to take it a day at a time.

As our Argentinian friend, Gus, would say: It is what it is.

ORN: I did run a little on Saturday, but don't have any idea when I'll be able to run again.