Wednesday, January 2, 2008

oh the pain

Just when I was feeling all smug about how strong my legs are getting, the lack of knee pain, the ease at which I'm able to kick out an easy 8-10 miler... cue dramatic music.... dun-dun-duuunhh... you probably know what's coming but you'd be wrong if you guessed knee trouble again. Nope, this morning as I kneeled on the floor and shoved the kitty litter box back into its spot after its morning scoop, my back suddenly (very suddenly) spasmed in pain and I was unable to move.

That's right. Frozen on my hands and knees in front of the litter box. It was absurdly painful. If I lifted an arm - back spasm. If I tried to sit up or lay down - back spasm. I had a hard time processing this and called out in pain every time I tried to shift myself into a new position, hoping to find a way to get up. At first my puzzled cat sniffed at my face to see if this was some kind of new game but as I continued to grimace and cry out, she quickly distanced herself, eyes wide in fear.

I was desperate. I tried deep breathing, I tried that yoga exercise where you focus on a part of the body to relax it. Nothing but waiting there about 10 minutes worked. Even then I just barely managed to get to my feet, bent over in spasms of pain, reach up (that hurt too) to the medicine cabinet and quickly swallow three advil. In the same bent over position, I shuffled into the living/kitchen area, leaned on a counter stool, and pushed it around like a walker. Somehow I felt like all I needed was a second cup of coffee and this would go away. I couldn't even reach up to pour myself one.

I've had several painful accidents in my life and nothing hurt as much as this - not even falling from a 10 foot ledge, landing face-first into a fallen tree trunk and breaking my nose. Even now, medicated and with a heating pad strapped to my back, subtle shifts of weight in my chair will cause a spasm of pain in my back.

I suppose this serves me right for taking my back for granted and neglecting my core training. For ignoring my recent birthday, which announced that I had reached my "sell by" date and that I have nothing but deterioration to look forward to if I don't start paying more attention to myself.

I had hoped my first post of the new year would be more cheerful than this! I had planned to write about how well I stuck to my training plan despite the cold weather up in Chicago. How well my cold weather gear worked out. How my new years resolution would be to get more core training in...

I've never had a back injury before but judging from MOB's experiences, I should expect to rest for a few days before I try running again. I'll use the time to locate my old Pilates workout DVDs...

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