Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rough Week. Tough Month.

Yesterday was the annual Hunt Family Reunion in Ramsey, Illinois. I made the trip solo this year because Liz was helping throw a baby shower for some friends back home. The reunion is at Ramsey Lake and I almost threw my bike on the car so I could take a ride around the campground like old times. I decided to stick with the plan and let myself rest and recover so I wouldn't risk a flare-up in my chest pain.

I felt great all day yesterday and my chest was almost back to 100%. I was beginning to look forward to this morning's Long Run and getting back into training. But as the day went on, I started to notice my lower back hurting. You wouldn't know it by my recent troubles, but I'm generally a pain-and-injury-free runner. I've had almost no serious physical problems as a result of running.

Then this Spring, my lower back started giving me trouble. It was really bothering me about two weeks before the Olathe Marathon in April. I got through the marathon fine but it tightened up even more afterward. I took it easy after that becaue I had the Minneapolis Marathon in early June. My back bothered me off and on between Olathe and Minneapolis and I only ran twice in the two weeks before Minneapolis.

I had avoided the doctor for fear of being told not to run Minneapolis and I was able to stretch better and relieve some of the pain after the marathon so I mostly forgot about it. I've been trying to stretch my back and hamstrings more often and it seems to be helping. In June and July, my back wasn't a problem.

This week, I hadn't run since Wednesday. Like an idiot, when I stopped running, I stopped stretching. So I also hadn't stretched since Wednesday. I'm hoping that's the only reason my back is bothering me again. I'm hoping that I'm dealing with a muscle imbalance... my back and hamstrings are tight and my abs are weak in comparison so everything in my lower back is pulling too tight. I'm hoping that a return to stretching and some additional exercises to strenghten my core will iron things out.

But, sticking with my new habit of following my own advice, I plan to call my doctor tomorrow to make sure there isn't something more serious going on. Tight muscles can be easy to manage. A problem with a disc or a stress fracture would be a much bigger problem. I don't want to do any permanent damage just because I'm too stubborn to see a doctor.

So today's Long Run was a disaster. My back was super tight for the first half-mile and my stride was reduced to short, little steps. I was hoping things would loosen up after about a mile and after two miles, I was actually feeling a little better. But this was the first run where the pain lessened but never went away.

The plan was 13 Miles today. (To Route 66 Park, 3 Laps, and Home.) Instead, I got to the park, ran one lap, and decided I was going to do more harm than good if I kept going. I turned for home and slipped into a relaxed jog. To make sure I spent plenty of time walking and letting things relax after the run, I stopped to walk the last mile home.

Today's planned 13 Miles turned into a very uncomfortable 8 Miles. So I finished a month of training in intense heat with a week of chest and back pain with two skipped workouts and one workout cut short. Things can only get better from here, right?

Goal For The Day: Rest and Recover.
Distance: 0.00 Miles.

Goal For The Day: Long Run
Distance: 8.00 Miles.
Time: 1:01:00. 7:37 Avg. (7:26, 7:24, 7:15, 7:20, 7:24, 7:49, 7:57, 8:20).
Route: To Route 66 Park/1 Lap/Home
Conditions: 77 degrees/humid at the start. 8:00AM.

Notes: My chest feels fine now but my back is all messed up. Last week's 12 Miler was so encouraging. It makes this week's Long Run even more frustrating. I'll call the doc tomorrow to schedule an appointment. Tomorrow's another day of rest. Hopefully, I'll be ready to go by Tuesday. Hopefully, August will be a better month. (Sorry about the lack of post yesterday, Cindy.)

Daily Miles: 8.00 Miles.
Blog Totals:
  Run - 156.84 Miles.
  Bike  67.68 Miles.
  Swim - 4,450+ meters.

1 comment:

  1. That's okay. I got to talk to you all day instead.