I've been having some back problems for the last month or so. I'm all in favor of chiropractic care, but over the years I've mostly only needed an adjustment every few months & I'm good to go. My chiropractor, Michael Larsen, is WONDERFUL!! More recently he's not only been giving good manipulations (aka adjustments or popping) on my back, but he's shown me several stretches & exercises I can be doing on my own to help keep my back muscles active, healthy & strong. He takes his time to completely explain things and then also checks up to see if I'm actually doing them. We had been focusing on my right shoulder that was locking up and not moving as it should when I run. It worked perfectly for my recent races, I had no shoulder problems at all. However that set off my rhomboid (mid back) muscles and those haven't been doing so well.
Long story short, when I woke up yesterday I could not move. If I did I was moaning and groaning. The pain took my breath away even doing simple things like rolling over in bed. I've had my share of lower and upper back/shoulder problems, but never mid back. Almost any movement set off short, deep painful jabs that caused my body to tense up and unable to move. Fun stuff! I had a class to teach at 6 a.m. and for the first time ever had to call and cancel. Technically I could move, but it was so hard & painful.
I took some good drugs to help with the pain and rested some more. Eventually I did have to get up & moving the best I could. Drugs were kicking in a little, but I was still a mess and everything I did just made it hurt more. Here is where I considered the fact that I may not run that day & my streak would end. I could maybe get away with a slooooooow walk, but I was not having much hope. I have NEVER had this kind of intense back pain before.
Once I got all the kids to school I headed to see my chiropractor. He worked on me for about 45 minutes and made a lot of progress. I felt better, but was still in a lot of pain. This was brought on by an accumulation of many of things ie: my running, some heavy lifting I did the day before (it's big trash pick up and I hauled a lot of stuff out to the curb all by myself), my older age (ok, I'm not "that old", but I'm not exactly 20 any more either), teaching PT and my on going back issue to begin with. I have a severe strain to my rhomboid muscles. Good news, with some TLC
With my marathon in 9 days I do have to re-evaluate things. Once the gun goes off I may feel fine & do better than I expected. Right now though, my goal to go get it and PR is shifting to the back of my mind. Great if it happens, but no sense getting upset if I have this mindset and it all falls apart WHILE racing. Then we're looking at disaster. I still have time to avoid that.
All of this lead to my light bulb moment:
I was reading a great post from Too Tall Fritz and somethings she posted hit that switch for me. Like:
With all my recent running struggles and set backs I really, really, REALLY needed to hear these things!! And I should take back the part where I said SET BACKS because hello, I PR'd a few weeks ago and it just wasn't enough. Am I stupid or what?!?!? (don't answer that!) And boo hoo, I missed a PR by 3 seconds so my attitude toward the race was a waste. You probably all want to slap some perspective in to me. Luckily the above quotes did it for you!!
All this happening shortly before my marathon gives me time to step back, take a deep breath & work to keep that light bulb turned on. I need to keep a proper perspective and do my personal best. I need to be proud of who I am, shine and choose to do my personal best!
Have you ever struggled with back problems?
Have any light bulb moments that you want to share?