Sunday, October 20, 2013

Trying Not To Panic

Yesterday started amazing and finished very un-amazing and awful. I had a 2 hour ride and a 1 hour run scheduled. The weather was perfection, but cold. Check out the full moon sneaking down behind Longs Peak.

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I swallowed down a Lara Bar (thanks Lara for sending this box of delicious goodness – my favorites are the nut rolls – I love nuts. And the chocolate chip cookie dough. I was sort of dissapointed in the Pumpkin Pie, however – sort of dry, IMHO):

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That white thing is an awesome Lululemon headband, which my daughter has already stolen.

I put on 5 million layers and my new shoe covers (best purchase I’ve made in a long time, maybe EVER)  because it was about 28 degrees, which on the bike feels like –28 degrees.

Here I am channeling my inner Maria Kang, but with more clothes on and without children because they were asleep and ornery and not as cute as her kids:

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The ride was uneventful, yet one of those gorgeous, crisp fall days that that simply make you happy to be alive and to be moving. I spent a lot of time thinking about Ironman Florida, knowing that in exactly two weeks I would also be on my bike and would be in the middle of one of the most fantastic and challenging days of my life.

I got home, hopped off the bike and changed for my run. I felt great. My plan was to run like I would right off the bike in Florida (which would probably mean all hunched over and crawling). I headed out and then…it happened.

I got about 50 feet from my house when there was a shooting and excruciating pain in my lower back. It stopped me dead in my tracks. I literally could not move. I stood there wondering what to do, not sure I could walk. My knight in shining armor (Ken in the Ford Edge) just happened to be driving home. He rolled down the window to ask if I was okay. NO! I am not f&cking okay! He tried to get me into the car, but my body wouldn’t bend that way. He helped me hobble the few steps home.

I put a bag of frozen peas on my back and downed some Ibuprofen. Ken got a hot bath going for me. I let myself have a quick and acute crying fit full of snot flying – the true UGLY cry. The big fear running through my head: what if I can’t do my race in 2 weeks?

I sat in the tub dumbfounded. What the hell had just happened? I hadn’t had back pain in months. I felt awesome coming off the bike. Just the day before I had been marveling at how unscathed I had come through my rigorous training. I have never had anything like this happen before. I am a back-seizes-up virgin.

I called Coach Sharpie, having crying fit #2. Her confidence that I would still show up on the beach in Panama City on November 2nd ready to kick ass made me feel better. She told me to stay in the moment, to take care of myself, to see my PT on Tuesday and to calm down. So, that’s what I did. I ate frozen pizza, drank some wine, watched House Hunters and slept for 12 hours. And, of course skipped today’s 50 mile ride. Sad smileTo be honest, I’m not stressed about missing workouts at this point. I just want to be able to actually move on Nov. 2.

Today the back is a bit looser and I can actually go up the stairs and walk. 13 days and counting to overcome this thing and go from barely being able to walk to 140.6 miles. How’s that for drama queen?

Send me all of your best and most sincere back healing vibes. I know you guys get it.  It’s going to be okay, right?

SUAR

89 comments:

  1. Oh no! Sending you my most positive thoughts! (And here I was in a snit because I was running a PR on a 10K race today when I hit the "dreaded train" and we all had to wait. No more complaining for me!)

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  2. Pinched sciatic nerve? I've done that--it's excruciating, but it heals if you take it easy a few days and stretch, stretch, stretch.

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    1. OK!! What stretches did you do? Cat/cow really hurts right now.

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    2. sit on your butt, legs straight and touch your toes. Or bend one of your legs and touch your toes - take turns bending each leg and touching your toes. This will stretch and ease the pain in your lower back. Also, sit in a chair, legs in front and bend over to touch the floor with your palms flat on the floor. Repeat this while moving your feet further and further apart until you're straddling the chair and your palms are flat on the floor. It sounds like your lower back muscles are weak, I know this because I have the same issues sometimes and I'm a runner and a body pumper! I don't know how they can be weak but they are. Go to the gym and find a machine called the Roman Chair and start doing 3 sets of 15 reps on it. It's a machine that you can do back extensions on and it works!! It will strengthen your back and you will have less pain during your training. Good lcuk. Also, look for a CD called "Back Yoga" by some Chinese guy. That was very helpful for me as well.

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  3. Sending vibes.Sending vibes.Sending vibes.Sending vibes.Sending vibes.Sending vibes.Sending vibes.Sending vibes.Sending vibes.Sending vibes.Sending vibes.Sending vibes.Sending vibes.Sending vibes.Sending vibes.Sending vibes.Sending vibes.Sending vibes.Sending vibes. I'm sending vibes! :)

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  4. You're SUAR! About 1/3 of the time, your blog posts are THE REASON I do my long runs! You will be in Panama City kicking that IronMan's ass. Good luck, thinking of you!

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  5. Ugh.. I really, really hope you are okay! You've trained to hard to not be able to do this. I so hope your back gets better asap!! I've had back issues so I always do a lot of yoga before I start running. It helps to loosen up my back and legs. Let us know how your doing.. sending positive thoughts your way!

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  6. Love you sarcastic sense of humor! Absolutely love the Kang pose - Heidi's looking at you like you are crazy!! Sending so many good healing and calming vibes your way. Coach Sharpie is right -You've got this!!

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  7. I wish you well! No fair that this happened. Then again it wouldn't be taper without some sort of mysterious ache or pain that magically clears up in time for race day. I hope yours clears up ASAP!

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  8. two words: Melt Method. seriously, hydrate your connective tissue, it'll help. p.s. it's not foam rolling.

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  9. Check out Athletes Book of Home Remedies...its full of stuff that you probably already know and do much of. Just doing the sequence as a warmup and stretching routine made great strides for my lower back. Also foam rolling the spot and the surrounding parts of the kinetic chain might spring it loose.
    You will rock IM FLorida, its more than half mental!

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  10. Not to add to the panic but in the midst of training for my first full I fractured a vertebrae in my back. I was just running along, felt a pop and a burn and then couldn't walk. They said it was a stress fracture of my Th10, which I didn't even know was possible. I'm praying this is not as serious for you, but get seen right away. Sending good thoughts your way! XO!

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  11. Beth, I am sorry! It sucks right now but you are going to feel better in a day or two and in roughly two weeks are going to rock Ironman Florida! Don't lose faith! Sending positive thoughts your way!

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  12. I really hope you feel better really soon. Just have as much rest as you can -I've done all you training already. Come on!!! I just told my husband how much I enjoy your stories so I'm eager to hear from your IM Florida experience!!! I'm sending you tons of back healing vibes!!! :)

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  13. SENDING HEALING VIBES!! I had this happen to me once during training for my first 70.3 race. I FREAKED! I had about three weeks to go. I made remarkable progress in a few days. I alternated ice/heat and got a massage when I could move around better (about day 2.5 to 3). In my case, I just happened to turn funny and BAM!

    The thing is, you have all of the base miles in. You could probably sit on your ass for 13 days not lose that much fitness. I agree with Sharpie. You will make it to IMFL. You will be strong. Take her advice and do the right other stuff and you'll be pain free. If something was broken you would not have been feeling better the next day. You'd probably be feeling worse. That said, I would have CRIED my eyes out too!

    P.S. Love your Maria channeling. She would be proud.

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  14. Beth, about a year ago I googled "why do I crap when I run" and found your blog. That was back when I started couch 2 5k..... Today I finished my very first 13.1. Oh yeah! My time sucked but I probably walked too much the last few miles. You'll be better soon. I cannot wait to see how IMFL goes. I'm a triathlete too. Did 3 sprint tris this past summer. I've lost 40 lbs this year. Today was so much fun that I think one day I'll do a 70.3
    Love your blog and your down to earth humor!! Get better soon!

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    1. Congrats to you on your first 13.1. You must be on such a high. I love how you found my blog. Hope you didn't crap yourself today.

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    2. Haha they had porta potties every mile or two. I made sure and checked prior to registering! And yes, a high indeed! Gonna sign up for another one!

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  15. Hope your back is feeling better! Maybe it is one of those weird taper pains. Hang in there - only two more weeks!

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  16. The hay is in the barn so don't sweat the missed ride. Just REST and do what you need to get well. You'll toe that line.

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  17. Sending lots and lots of healing vibes your way!! Take it easy!

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  18. Rest and lots of ice (ie hourly), avoid any painful activities. As a PT and without the benefits of an exam it sounds more like muscle spasm couple with a lumbosacral misalignment that may have happened due to the quick transition from flexed posture for 2 hours to upright and out the door. Meanwhile if cat/cow is painful perhaps some knees to chest and pelvic clocks on your back or gentle press up when laying prone. An SI strain can give you pain that will stop you in your tracks, so can spasm in the lumbar muscles. Key is to break the cycle ie pain leads to spasm leads to nerve irritation lead to pain and so on. Good luck. Glad you are seeing your PT so soon. Sending you healing vibes.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I do think it has something to do with the SI - most of my pain is the right of my sacrum.

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  19. Ugh, so sorry to hear it -- that kind of thing always sucks. (The same thing happened to me the night before a 10K once.) Hope your PT can help & that you're feeling better soon!!

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  20. I have been so inspired by your training for this up coming Ironman. I talk about you in my running group as if I know you. I am praying that your back is one of those freakish things that will disappear as quickly as it came. Try to be patient and listen to what the physio and your coach tell you. You have accomplished and grown so much both physically and mentally during these past several months, you can hear it in your writing. Sending positive thoughts and prayers from Canada

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  21. You've got this. If anybody can do this I know YOU can! I'm sending all the healing vibes I have your way!

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  22. I'm so so so sorry! I hope that you will be all better and ready to rock on race day. Best of luck to you!

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  23. For the first time in my life I got back spasms over the summer- one was so severe it pulled my hip out, others pulled my rib out of alignment. I went to a DO and he reset my ribs and hip, if you have never heard of an Avazzia machine I suggest getting one (you have to have an rx), they are amazing. My boyfriend has one and I used his- it helps a ton. Good vibes!

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  24. HEALTHY BACK VIBES!!!!! OHMMMMMM...:-)

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  25. I'm learning more and more that REST above all else is the key to PRs and staying injury free. Honestly, if you didn't move a muscle until Nov 2nd, as long as you feel ok on race day, you will be fine. I promise. You won't lose conditioning and from this point on, the only thing training will do is make your pain worse and making a DNF (or even a DNS) a reality. Please rest! You're awesome!!!

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  26. Its going to be okay! Your hard work WILL be rewarded. Sending you plenty of good thoughts.

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  27. Oh, man...I just hate it when our bodies don't cooperate with all the amazing plans that we have for them. Rest up and rest assured that you've put in the time and training, and once you get your back under control, you'll be ready to kick some serious butt on Nov. 2nd. Sending lots of speedy recovery vibes your way!!

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  28. Sending healing vibes from NH! Maybe a chiropractic adjustment would help? Maybe something got pulled out of line.

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  29. My back healing vibes are in high gear, here. I will siphon off any extra and send them your way.
    Don't panic! Let it heal. Most likely a muscle thing. Unless you do nothing but eat cake for the next two weeks, your fitness is as good as it's going to get, and will lose nothing during your taper. If you aren't already, you will be soon. Your coach has a plan. Trust it. Trust yourself. You will be fine. Relax. I confidently expect a taper madness blog in a few days, as you start bouncing off the walls. Your kids will hate you.
    I've got it in my calendar and will be watching, IM video gods permitting.

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  30. Sorry you are hurt :( Chiro Larry Freider in SoBo is amazing, and his waiting room is covered with pictures of who's who in triathlon. If he's good enough for Chrissie, he's good enough for you.

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  31. You've got this, Beth. At this point, skipping workouts won't hurt you - and you've gotten over the back pain before. Just bank that rest and you'll be ready to kick butt in the IM!

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  32. Sending you healing thoughts! Like everybody else said, you've put in the miles, you're ready. Do whatever you need to do to heal and you'll rock it on race day!

    PS -- Heidi is much cuter than Maria Kang's kids.

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  33. Oh no!! So sorry that your back is acting up!! I think that the hot bath, wine and frozen pizza all sound like good help. I hope that taking today off helped and that you wake up completely ready to go tomorrow!!! Hang in there!!!

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  34. Sending happy, healthy back vibes. I can emphasize to what you are going through. I just recently found your blog and don't know your whole history. I herniated a disc about 5 years ago. I couldn't run for several years, but over the last year I have run several half marathons. A few weeks before my last one I developed one I developed leg pain and freaked out that it was causing a problem again. I was at PT in 3 days. Luckily it was most likely a piriformis issue and I improved with 1 session and some home stretching. I hope yours is just was easily past.

    On another I am really enjoying your posts. My sister and I run out long runs together and I have a tendency to fart. She gives me crap about it, so today I explained that it was perfectly normal thanks to you.

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  35. Sending positive back healing vibes your way! Stay calm and rest. You've got this. You have worked so hard. Your training will get you through IMF. BELIEVE!!!

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  36. Beth - I have not trained for an IM but i have run 10+ marathons and countless halfs. This EXACT thing happened to me...totally out of the blue...in great shape, leaned over to tie my running shoes and whaaaam! Hell broke loose in my back. "Seizing"up is a great way to describe it. I freaked (FREAKED) out because i was mid-marathon training cycle trying to BQ.Not kidding when I say I could hardly walk. I did the foam roller and went to PT. My PT actually suggested a chiropractor. I have never been to one and don't really like the idea of getting "cracked up" all the time. But I have to tell you this saved my life. I truly believe without going to the chiropractor i would still be down for the count. My chiro works with a lot of runners (got a recommendation from PT). I went from not being able to walk to doing an on pace long run 2 weeks later, pain free. Chiropractor thinks I actually had a rib injury (no clue how) and that it built over time mostly effecting lower back (how does that happen??). I had NO pain in lower or upper back prior to that awful seize up. You may want to talk to your PT about it and just get a recommendation for a sports chiro. Normally you don't want to change anything this close...but you have to be pain free for FL IM. You are truly an inspiration. I read your blog often. BE STRONG WE ARE ALL CHEERING FOR YOU!!

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  37. Positive thoughts! Sending healing vibes your way. You will rock this race! We're all pulling for you.

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  38. You WILL be ok, just work through it and listen to your body. I'm just getting my first ever running injury and I wish I'd listened to mine and rested it properly. Good Luck, you're an inspiration x

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  39. Sending healing vibes. Maybe re-read Chrissie's book for inspiration and calming while you wait. Hope you can see PT today instead! Hang in there, rest, be smart.

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  40. I use Young Living oils, there are others out there, just prefer this brand, purity, etc etc. I would recommend a deep relief or aroma siez, they are blends, if you can't find anything like these in your local health food store, just try peppermint ( dilute with sesame oil or olive oil as it is a "hot " oil) the young living brand is only sold thru distributors, so you may find someone in your area that has it and can help. This stuff is all natural, and works amazing!! Also go to the site Oil testimonials.com, there you will find other suggestions that may help. Speedy relief, and alot of patience to you!!!!

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  41. I'm sending healing vibes from Japan, really high tech ones with a robot. You'll be better in time, and ready to kick IMFL's arse!

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  42. I started seeing a chiropractor after suffering since March with a sore hip and neck. I did the PT thang, but didn't work out. This chiro guy is amazing. He even does a form of acupuncture that helps loosen the muscles. Might want to give that a try. YES - it will okay and ready on November 2. If Sharpie says so, then it will happen. Hang in there.

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  43. Damn it! I bet you will come around though. In Bikram (as you know, if I remember right) they always say ALL BACKBENDING IS HEALING. Hope you are back in the saddle again in no time, Beth!

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  44. SOB...I feel for you. I had this same thing happen to me (well not in the middle of IM training :)) last winter. I had ran earlier that morning and simply walked into my salon to get it opened up before my first client arrived. Took one step and boom, down I went. F*$#ing worst. pain. ever. My legs were literally paralyzed. Long story but I was back running in 4 days, thanks to my wonderful chiro. I wish you the quickest recovery ever!!!

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  45. Sending positive vibes your way - your back is going to be fine and you're going to rock the IM. Try using a heating pad, taking a few rest days, stretching once it starts to feel better and hopefully you'll feel as good as new.

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  46. Oh man, this must be freaking wicked at this stage of your training. Thankfully you do have a good amount of time to see a good PT (and maybe a chiro as a few have suggested) and get back on track. Sending quick healing vibes your way!!! :-)

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  47. Foam roller/tennis ball? Chiro appt? Massage? I would do all of the above. Best to you.

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  48. Chiro! Chiro! Chiro! (I'm a recent convert after I had a similar seize up during the final weeks of Boston training--this guy fixed me right up). Good luck!

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  49. Sending healing vibes your way!!!!

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  50. sending healing vibes your way Beth!!!!

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  51. I'm usually not a fan of meds to fix a problem, but 13 days out with back spasms - muscle relaxers may be your friend for a day or two. Obviously see what the PT says, but... I'm 13 days out from my first marathon and my neck seized up 4 days ago. Two doses of muscle relaxers and lots of time just lying on my foam roller and I was able to do my last pre taper long run. Now planning to wrap myself in bubble wrap until race day. Healthy vibes coming your way!

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  52. Now that is a cliff hanger. Stay tuned to see if SUAR will be able to make it to the start line. lol. Sending healing vibes your way. I hope for the best for you.

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  53. Sending nothing the most positive vibes from the east. I'm confident you'll be fine. Your body just decided to quicken your taper. Good Luck.

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  54. I have had SI joint dysfunction for a few decades now (and I'm 38 weeee!). What works for me is to lay on my back and bring one knee into my chest, sort of hugging it in, then hold on to it with the opposite hand (e.g., right knee in left hand) and pull to the opposite side (e.g., right knee all the way over to the left side). this can sometimes help realign your back. Make sure to do this on both sides. I usually lay on a heating pad for a few minutes to get the muscles warmed up first, but a hot shower could also feel nice.

    also anytime you lay on your side it can help realign your SI joints and tailbone.

    hang in there honey! when this happens to my back it usually lasts for about 2 to 3 days and then I'm a little sore for another day or two and then good as new within 5 or 6 days. So I think you'll be in great shape for the tri!

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  55. Mentally channeling healing vibes your way!!!!! It sounds like you've gotten lots of advice here from seasoned athletes, so I hope something works. It also sounds like you've got good instincts - realizing at this point that a rest is better than another workout component, etc. Echoing your trainer's suggestions so far. Keep us posted!!! Been following your training so far and I am so impressed!!

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  56. I am sending you healing and physical healthy vibes...ummm, ummm, ummm (my chanting tone). Look out Florida, she's coming to kick butt in the Ironman challenge. Will it be televised?

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    1. Doubt it, but you can stalk me at Ironman Live tracking bib #1054

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  57. I think this is the first time first time I have ever commented, even though I have been a reader for over a year! Positve thoughts your way!!! I am rooting for you!

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  58. You're a warrior, woman! Get over it!
    Unless, of course, your PT has some better advice, then, you know, follow him or her, m'okay? Seriously, sending you some good vibes, you've worked hard for this (and you really are a warrior).

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  59. I send you healing vibes and virtual chocolate. Because, chocolate can cure anything, right??

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  60. Ask your medical doctor about Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine). It is a powerful muscle relaxant drug that may give you rapid relief. The downside is that it will make you very tired and drowsy. I have extensive experience with therapeutic PT and chiropractic. Based on your description of your symptoms and my past experience, I would definitely choose a good chiropractor over a good physical therapist.

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  61. Sending healing vibes all the way from Florida where it is warm, very warm, and you will be all better and down here to enjoy it in just a few weeks. Feel better!

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  62. I'm hoping so!!!! Because if it's ok for you, then it means it will be ok for me with my first marathon in 6 days. I strained my Achilles tendon 2 weeks ago, right as I was about to enter taper (of course), and I was just out for a run, as usual. I have been laying off of training runs, hitting the bike instead, doing exercises my PT laid out for me, stretching it like crazy, getting massages, icing it, and resting it as much as I can, but I leave in 3 days and I, too, am scared to death that I'm not going to be able to complete my first marathon. How on earth did this happen?!?! I was doing great in my training, and all of a sudden, BAM!!!! Out of nowhere, I'm in EXCRUCIATING pain, barely even able to walk!! I'm sending you the best prayers and thoughts even as I'm sending up prayers and thoughts for myself because I hope for both our sakes everything works out.

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  63. Shoot! Same thing just happened to me last Monday. You can read the horror here! Http://newtriaddict.blogspot.com
    You will be fine. Rest and ice for a few days. The work is done. Rest and rest assured IMFL will come together fine!

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  64. Sending healing vibes! I can't wait to track your progress on IM day. I suggest a big ol' bottle of wine to help relax those muscles. Feel better soon

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  65. Shoot! Same thing just happened to me last Monday. You can read the horror here! Http://newtriaddict.blogspot.com
    You will be fine. Rest and ice for a few days. The work is done. Rest and rest assured IMFL will come together fine!

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  66. Beth - I recently pulled a groin muscle while in the ocean. A huge wave hit me and I stayed standing in it - bad choice. I tried to run 2 full days later and the pain was unbearable. I tried to stretch it on a guard rail and literally screamed out loud. I googled groin pulls and saw it could take weeks or months to heal. A friend of mine hooked me up with a deep muscle healing oil and I was able to run again within 3 days! I'm not a big natural healer type but I hats taking pills too. I swear it was like a miracle in a bottle. I highly recommend it. I do hope you feel better soon. We are pulling for you in NY! You go girl - you got this. All my best.

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  67. http://theoatmeal.com/comics/running

    Thought this might make you feel better. It literally made me laugh out loud.

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  68. And here I was whining about how much my legs hurt after two 5 mile runs after being off injured for a month. You are so far advanced over me, but Biofreeze is one of my miracle products. LOVE it. My chiropracter is the one who prescribed it when I pulled my neck and shoulder.
    Good vibes coming your way!

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  69. omg!!! I am so so sorry!! Feel Better!!!! Feel Better Feel Better!!!! Your my hero!!!

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  70. Sending VERY strong happy get better vibes. Taking a couple of days rest and get a nice deep tissue massage may be helpful! You will do great in the race !

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  71. I will share "Good Back Vibes" with you if you share "Good Deltoid Vibes" with me. In the same exact boat. 11 flipping days until IMFL and I am a crazy mess. Thank God for amazing coaches who say "Calm the F#@% down you are going to rock it!"

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    1. YES!! Sending good vibes your way. Are you as nervous as I am?

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  72. I have no advice for you but sending you positive vibes! You've made it this far and I have no doubt you'll rock it Nov 2! You're an inspiration not just with your training but with the obstacles you've overcome to get this far. Be good to yourself and enjoy the taper! :-)

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  73. Crap! I had this very thing happen to me this year. Out of no where. Get on top of it. See the PT, the chiropractor, whomever. Mine was fixable, I let it go on too long though before dealing with it. My bad, I screwed my first marathon finish time by putting off and thinking it would just get better on its own. It will be ok, you will be ok. You inspire me and a lot of others.

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  74. Sounds like you're in good hands (literally, with the physical therapist) and YOU WILL MAKE IT & PERFORM YOUR BEST at IM Florida!

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  75. Oh, man! I totally get it! I hope you're feeling better super soon. I just had this happen for the first time ever, too. Just last weekend trying on fucking SKINNY JEANS of all things. Boy, did I feel like an idiot. Getting all "your people" to work on it is a smart avenue...chiro, PT, massage therapist, husband, etc. I'm 9 days out now and can walk normally. If I were in as good shape as you, I'd probably be feeling totally normal by now. Wishing you the BEST!!!!

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  76. Ugh I'm so sorry! Definitely sending good "vibes" your way :)

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