Showing posts with label back pain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label back pain. Show all posts

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Interrupting a run to do a good deed

Am I a hero? You decide.
Today's run (street): 4.1 miles
Yesterday's run (street): 2.7 miles
Thursday (elliptical): 30 minutes

My daughter graduated from high school on Wednesday and we followed the ceremony with a late night visit to a diner. I stayed up way past my bedtime, but I'd planned for that and worked from home on Thursday. Although I had more flexibility without the commute, my work day was starting early and I opted for an elliptical session. That saved me time on a morning where every minute counted.

Friday morning was equally tight, but I got my act together enough to go out for a short run. I consider three miles to be my minimum distance, but I had less than 30 minutes to run. I came up 10% short of target, but it was better than forgoing a workout. My workday schedule was jammed, starting with a 9:00 AM video meeting, so I was glad that I took the opportunity to get outside before things got crazy.

This morning provided me the first opportunity to pause since last weekend. I got out around 7:45 AM when the temperature was in the mid-60s. It felt very hot under direct sun, probably due to the high humidity. I kept to the neighborhood and added a few extra roads to my usual route and looked for shade wherever I could find it.

I was rounding the corner of a long street when I heard someone shouting, "Excuse me, excuse me, sir?" I looked back and saw a man standing in his driveway next to an SUV. I stopped and asked him what he needed. He said he had to return a power washer by 9:00 AM and asked if I could give him a hand loading it into his vehicle. I was glad to help.

Right before we lifted the machine, the man asked me if I had any back issues. I thought about the herniated disc I'd struggled with a year ago, but I figured that I could handle it. On a count of three, we lifted it up and my lower back didn't seem to notice. I realized later that his house was the exact place where my ego got the best of me trying to outrun another neighbor and igniting last year's disc problem.

My neighbor was very appreciative and said he'd be happy to return the favor, so I asked him if I could borrow his power washer. I didn't really ask him that. I told him it my pleasure to help a neighbor. With that, I was back on the road, feeling good about my good deed and grateful that I didn't re-injure my back.

This week's workouts have not been individually impressive, but I am pleased that I'm managing to get them done. And if that means solving problems everywhere I run, so be it.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A different kind of labor pain

Happy Labor Day. I'm ambivalent about this holiday because it represents the end of summer vacation for my kids and the end of my vacation week. On the plus side, we are edging closer to fall (my favorite season) when temperatures and humidity both drop. Running in cool fall weather, with the leaves underfoot and the ubiquitous scent of maple from the trees, is about as good as it gets.

I won't be running today. I considered it earlier in the day, before I experienced a sudden tsunami of pain in my lower back while placing some glasses in the dishwasher. This pain came on alarmingly fast and it felt serious. I have not suffered lower back pain in decades and that problem was solved when I replaced my sleep sofa with a real bed.

These really work
My first reaction was to lie on my back while my daughter quickly brought over two ice packs and a towel to place under my lower spine. After ten minutes I was able to perform a couple of hamstring stretches that loosened me up enough to stand.  I walked to the kitchen and took two Aleve. After an hour the pain had dissipated enough to assure me that this was not going to be a major problem.

Suspect #4
I don't know if was the 25% more running miles that I covered this week, backyard soccer played two days earlier or yesterday's obstacle course, but my back had clearly had enough. I've also been using a Brookstone Fitness Stick that is probably putting strain on little used muscles in my lower back.

So no workout today, although I may do some core stretching later if my recovery continues. I think I'll celebrate the rest of Labor Day by avoiding any further labor!

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