Lower Back Pain – The Fix

Over this past year, I’ve struggled with lower back pain.  I noticed when I get out of the car or stand up from sitting position, that I have to give my lower back time to adjust before standing straight up.   Then I begin walking in a way to stabilize/isolate the lumbar region which is similar to a “duck walk” waddling back and forth for a few steps.  What is happening to me and why???

Lower back pain.  I’m sure it’s in part, one of the outcomes from our move back in August.  About a year ago, I remember moving a heavy computer desk.  It was part of the de-cluttering phase to get our home ready to sell.  The desk was closer to the door initially which made the room look smaller.  Therefore, I took out the table on the other side of the desk and moved it back closer to corner of the room which made room look larger.

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As I lifted up on the desk, something happened in my back.  I felt the sharp pain and then tingling. Never had that before.  For the days, weeks and months following, my back was a major issue.

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To get through the move with all the lifting and bending, I purchased a back brace.

It helped some but was terribly annoying because each time I straightened up, had to readjust my pants and such.

It’s now become such an issue that I am forced to take action.  I looked online and found that it’s probably a bulging disc or discs.  I’m seeing my doc this week and will talk to him about it but also going to correct some things myself.

 

Use lumbar supportive cushion in desk chair, sofa and car seat.  

I’m sitting in my desk chair now with a pillow behind my lower back and feet planted square of the ground.  This is helping immensely.  When I get up out of the chair, I turn it to the side, brace the arms of the chair and life up to standing position.  There’s no pain.

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Do exercises that force the lower back to arch in correct position.

I found this graphic below which is a great outline of the exercises that help reduce lower back pain.

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Work on posture with stomach tucked especially while walking/running.

Also, I notice my back hurts while lying in bed.  Check out the helpful images below of how to position pillows to help with such.

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This is my plan.  I let myself get so out of shape over last 2 or 3 years, that things like this are popping up now.

Hoping to get back to better health soon and with it, a stronger back for better support.

 

Feed Your Spirit

Feed Your Spirit

There’s something about the peace of the morning and the cool air that is nourishing.  The added benefit of a foggy morning gives way to some of the most beautiful sights, like the sun coming up over the trees.  I saw this on my way back from my 3 miles today.IMG_2271

I am still struggling to get back to a regular schedule but today I really felt stronger and went the full 3 miles.  I probably could have gone further but 3 miles was my goal today.  The inside of my left knee had a ping in it but those kind of things are expected.  Saturday, will be my first long run/walk.

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The road ahead is always an unknown but just like the guy in the TV ad says,  “A body in motion, stays in motion.”  To train for a long distance race, it takes discipline, consistency, commitment, perseverance, strength, courage, heart and soul.  It causes you to draw upon your inner strength and push yourself a little further than you’ve gone before.  Never increasing miles though beyond 10% a week to prevent injury.

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The training also forces you to enjoy the outdoors.

My plan for today…

  • Attend Mass
  • Cook for the week.
  • Fix salads/Eggs (empty jars are ready to fill)

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  • Homemade Veggie/Pepperoni Pizza with corn crust
  • Chicken and beef Tacos
  • Hamburgers and Potatoes/Corn on Cobb
  • Refill bird feeders and corn holders outside
  • Some laundry
  • Prep for the week ahead
  • Drink plenty of water – maybe some wine too 🙂

 

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Enjoy your Sunday!

Pain…Hello Old Friend

How soon you forget all of the pings and pain that you pushed through early on in training.  After only a half mile, the muscles in my lower legs ached.  Almost a welcomed feeling.  Your first thought is to stop, but then you remember.  In the past it took to get to mile 3 sometimes before that pain went away.

That was my cue to push through it.

Today with the wind chill well below 0 Fahrenheit, I gathered up my gumption and headed to the Y.  Not being a member and not wanting to spend precious time filling out forms, I bargained with the clerk to let me do the treadmill today and I’ll come back with forms filled out tomorrow.

He agreed.

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Because I am starting from 3+ years of doing nothing, I walked 2 miles at a pace of 3.4 miles per hour.  Could have gone another mile but not going to push it for today.

It felt pretty good and I just kept telling myself, “Be patient it will all come back in time.”

I don’t plan to spend all of my time at the Y, but on days like this, I’ll now have some where to go that is close to home.

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I love winter.

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Will be back out there soon enough.  For now, the treadmill is my friend.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.

How to Rock 2018

How to Rock 2018

I just came back from a three year exercise/diet  hiatus.  I won’t bore you with the details as to why, but I’m older and heavier which makes it harder to get back into an exercise routine.  I started running because I wanted to run a half marathon before I turned 50.  Since then I’ve finished six half’s and one full marathon.  My last race was in the fall of 2013.

So this is going to be my comeback.

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I’ve signed on to Noom to help with a diet to lose the weight and get an exercise plan.  Also pulling up some good recipes and plans from past.

Maybe a little too ambitious but I’m signing up for the Shape Half Marathon in New York’s Central Park on April 14.    #WomenRunTheWorld #BigMotivation

So here’s my plan:

Stay Hydrated…

  • 64 ounces of water each day.

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Diet:

  • 1200 calorie diet – low sugar, salt and fat from all food groups.
  • Enlisted help of Noom.
  • Follow 6 small meals each day.
  • Cook everything on  weekend and prepare lunches for the week.

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Exercise:

  • Start off with 3 mile walks and some core strengthening exercises.
  • Build up to light jogs.
  • Increase strength training and intensity over time.
  • Warm up and cool down.
  • Stretching

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Psychology:

  • Create a video in my  mind of what it will be like to be fit again.
  • Get great music on tap to listen to during such.

There’s more to the plan but this is just to get me started.

 

Marathon Training is Always an Adventure

Yesterday was my long run (13 miles).  It was going to be an out (6.5 miles) and back run on a flat trail that has a lot of shade (which was important because at 6:30 am already it was 81 degrees with heavy humidity).   At my pace, it should have been a 2.75 hour run.  photo_1 (2)I had a full bottle of water, 1 Gu pack and 2 packs of salt.  I took the Gu pack at mile 5 and salt at mile 7.

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On mile 8 (1.5 miles after I turned around), I  noticed my car key was missing.  It had fallen out somewhere along the way.  I walked back to the turn around point (1.5 miles) looking along the edges of trail and then turned around and walked another 3.5 miles on other side of trail following the path I ran on – moving weeds with a stick along the way.   I called Jim who drove out to the parking lot with the spare key ready to wait there if I didn’t find it back.  Through out this time I talked to a lot of cyclists too who were more than willing to help look for it.  Many took down my cell phone number.  I also asked St. Anthony, patron saint of lost items to help.  Finally someone called me after 1.5 hours of looking and said they found it.  How awesome is that???  So I recovered my key after walking/looking for it –  5 of the 13 miles.  I let Jim know so he didn’t need to stay.

Now I faced a different problem…Because I walked those 5 miles (3 of which were due to doubling back – at a slower pace looking in weeds for my key), I increased the time I was on the trail  while the temperature continued to rise and now had another 3 miles to cover in the 90 degree heat with no more water – I ran out 2 or 3 miles back.  It was a stretch to get to the 13 and after running 8 of it was very hot and tired.

If this were along a city street I could stop at a gas station or call home and have someone bring me a bottle.  However, on the trail anyone that brings it to you has to walk or bike up to your location. It would have been too far for Jim to trek out 3 miles in that heat. There are a couple of places where the road intersects with the trail but I was so confused I didn’t know where those were from my location or how to tell someone to get to them.

My only recourse was to stop the cyclists who were the only people on the trail at this point and ask for water.  They reciprocated and filled my bottle as much as they could.  I drank it all.  I could tell already that I was getting over-heated.  Thank goodness I accepted Paige’s offer at mile 6 to give me some of her Gatorade.  She stopped by to check on me while riding her bike, as her parents were finishing their run.  I really don’t like to drink that when I run because it bothers my stomach.  However she added it to the water I had so it wasn’t as strong.  Probably helped keep my electrolytes in check.  That water was gone though maybe by mile 10 or 11.

Back at Trail Head

Back at Trail Head

When I reached my car, I pulled out the fresh bottle of water and fruit I packed that were still really cold.  I was a bit nauseous and had a pretty good headache.  I am so glad I used this Vitae thermos instead of the bottle I usually take.  That thermos kept it so cold  there was still ice in it.  So after finishing one I refilled it at the fountain and the ice chilled that water as well.  I drank 2 full bottles had an apple and banana too.  photo_2 (2)I removed my shoes and socks to help me cool down and sat there in the shade talking to people.  My feet/toes were pretty sore.  photo (5)

 

Everyone who showed up after being on the trail had heard of my missing key.  They all were asking if I found it and if I needed anything.

In the end, I did get a little over-heated and am staying inside today.

I learned afterwards that someone else who ran 8 miles on the trail yesterday required an ambulance due to dehydration.

If you ever think you are in trouble during a run, don’t  be afraid to ask for help.  It was someone else that found my key and water from the cyclists that helped me finish without incident. 

Below is the Map My Run stats.  I turned my app off 1 mile before finishing to save my phone battery which was about to die.  Click here to go to that link for info.

Map My Run

Map My Run

Here is a link to Google Map of how the day unfolded from start to finish.

map of long run

 

 

 

Training for the Marathon…Digging In

Today got up at usual time…

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Then did my thing with breakfast/news/prep for day, and ran out the door to do my 4 miles.   Mike Egan’s wife Donna, is having some serious health issues so offered the run up for her.  It was the best 4 mile run I had since October 2013.  Took pic afterwards…anne

Here’s Map My Run link of morning run…

http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/420819682run

Training for a marathon, especially early training takes a lot of heart because it’s so far from the goal – delayed gratification.  I take it a day at a time.

When it comes to a marathon, there is no game playing, no pretending – the clock never lies.  Even though clock makes me angry sometimes (when I think I finished sooner…), I think that is essentially one of the biggest things I like about about the marathon – there are no short cuts, no manipulation, no game playing…This is it – the real thing!  It’s you against the clock.  If you do a good job it pays off.  If you don’t…it doesn’t.

Wouldn’t it be great if all everythingthing worked that way.  Let’s live as if it did.

Here’s your daily dose of inspiration.  Click on link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bz8ip2ptJQ.

 

Running Out of Breath

photo (11)I went to the doctor this morning to get a couple of things checked.  I have struggled with my breathing/lung capacity with running and getting started this time has been harder.  Have tried breathing exercises too.  She gave me a new albuterol inhaler and told me to use a second  inhaler, a steroid, every day for a month to see if it helps. Bruce Lee once said that lung capacity was the key to a great  athlete. mkij I smoked for 16 years and quit 24 years ago.  I’m now 52.  Also, have had sibling with Asthma.  Hope this is something I can overcome.  Will blog about how it goes…