Today has been one of those days where I just can’t seem to settle down and do anything – nothing constructive, nothing productive and nothing relaxing. I am super restless and any attempt to distract myself, or relax, has failed miserably so far. Since writing is very therapeutic for me, here are some of my thoughts on physical health – useful for my mental health as this gives me an excuse to write and who knows, maybe useful for some of my (stubborn) runner friends out there as well?
If I could have today, I would have gone for a run, to address my “antsy-ness”. Running always helps me clear my mind and it is to me a form of meditation. But my back has been so painful for the last week and a half and it just seems to keep getting worse, so after a fast and hard 7-miler yesterday, I honestly don’t dare. I am also starting to think that my usual muscle inflammation is now also affecting a nerve, since I have this pain that moves from my lower back through my leg every 15-20 seconds. It runs down my glute, onwards through my hamstring, almost like a weak electrical pulse and just above the knee it diffuses and then starts over from the top. It is literally driving me nuts as none of my usual remedies seem to help and it is of course affecting my patience and ability to focus on “other stuff”.
I have had those back problems for close to 20 years now, so I know that I have to keep moving because nothing ever gets better for me from sitting still. Especially not in the “ergo hell”-type office environment that I am confined to over here. Office spaces are not a part of the “work life balance” or in any way considered a key component of work place health here, just sayin’… But I will stay off my soap box on that one and focus on something positive and within my control instead. 😉
My trainer has been bugging me (threatening, begging, pleading and trying to scare me into submission, would all be accurate descriptions of his numerous and very persistent attempts…) for the last two years, to give my core muscles some lovin’ but (unfortunately) to no avail. I am a Taurus after all and I think we can agree that is often synonymous with “stubborn to the point of stupid”. But with the upcoming Duathlon World Championships a mere year away, and me having slid into Team USA on a banana peel, I am starting to sway and realise that I may need to listen to an expert for a change (revelation #1). Now there’s a novel idea!! 🙂
Revelation #2: I am not getting any younger and I would hate to miss this opportunity because I up my running/riding game to the point that I start breaking things. That would be incredibly dumb, even for me.
So I am planning to take my first Body Pump class in 7-8 years this week, to start addressing this problem from the root: Core and strength training, combined with some good stretching of those hamstrings! By now they have actually shrunk to the point of affecting my stride negatively, so they need fixing for that reason but it wouldn’t be too much of a wild guess to assume that they are also pulling on the lower back muscle, adding insult to injury so to speak, to an area that has always been problematic for me. I’ll leave the formal diagnosis to the experts but I am making a commitment to myself for this week, to keep running (my mental health needs that bit too!) and add at least 1 strength session and 1 yoga class to my running routine. Should that not help, or if the pain worsens even a little, I will have to go see a Physical Therapist – no more sticking my head in the sand!
I need to get in shape. Complete shape, not just running and riding shape. And I am sick of being in physical pain too, so there’s both a carrot and a stick here!
I’ll keep you posted. On my progress in preparing for my first full-length marathon (intermediate goal) at the end of this year and the Worlds in August next year!