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.

 

Frozen Face Frost

I watched a man running today in my neighborhood.

Wishing that was me, I made my way out to the great outdoors 2 hours later.

Bogged down with several layers and a scarf in front of my mouth, I headed out.  After 1 mile, I headed back into the warmth of my home.

Who am I kidding…I’m 56 and out of shape.  Breathing those cold temps in can negatively affect my heart.  Heading to the gym tomorrow.

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Tonight’s full moon…

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As I cook our New Years Eve dinner.  This year for the first time ever, we chose to stay home.  It’s all good.  I think it’s a good sign for the road ahead.

Happy New Year and thanks for following my blog.  #PeaceOut!

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.

Scenic Road In A Forest

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

woman walking towards unknown places

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.

 

Time to Get Ready!

So its time to spruce up the house.  Spent last weekend and this weekend painting, I used to do this each spring but didn’t have time last few years, so this year, was major.  My hands are sore and swollen.  That will be gone by morning.  I used running strategy to keep pushing through it.

photo (5)As I’m coming out of Lowe’s with what else, more paint, Friday night, I saw that my long lost friend from high school sent me a message on Facebook.  Wow!  I tried to find her before but with no luck.  She and I were inseparable back then.

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Mary in background laughing and me with hair combed forward. High school band trip to Mardi Gras parades where we took first place. Little high school from JC, MO.

Here’s a picture Mary sent me this weekend – at her high school graduation party – I’m in yellow shirt.  Fun times.  I quit smoking 22 years ago.  Picture taken 1979.

1974522_10203258675615825_1739595919_n (1)Those were such great times!

My freshman year as a drummer in the Helias High Marching Band.

My freshman year as a drummer in the Helias High Marching Band.

Mary also sent this one of me snoozing - band wore me out.  6:30- practice every morning.  I loved it though.

Mary also sent this one of me snoozing – band wore me out. 6:30- practice every morning. I loved it though.

Playing the drums for our high school stage band.

Playing the drums for our high school stage band.

So, I started the morning out repairing my poor Chinese dragons that sit on our front porch.  They were broken last year and as before, I put them back together usually with super glue, spray paint bright red and then return them to their posts.

Wounded Chinese dragon getting a quick fix.

Wounded Chinese dragon getting a quick fix.

This year the breakage was more extensive, so I used a combination of spackeling and wire.  Will sand and paint – they will look like new…from a distance.  photo (3)

It takes us about a month to get ready for spring and summer.   We go through a process of assessing how things weathered the winter.  Then clean up, repair and then get the flowers and plants out.  Always feels good to be getting close to spring.

So I started back to the gym coupled with some running.  The last visit was tough.  I did jumping jacks and then added weights to the exercise among other things.   Doing okay and figure I will really kick it into gear this week.  Just as we get our house in order, I have to get my self ready for a big running year.  Glad I kicked that smoking habit long ago.  Wouldn’t be able to do too much running otherwise.

What is your training regimen and do you train year round or seasonal?

 

 

Off and Running!

Became reacquainted with my gym.  So glad to be working out again. Many of my LIFE Runner teammates continue running in the extreme cold of winter.  It hurts my sinuses and running indoors is not a favorite of mine, so I always end up taking those months off.  Even though I’m starting out indoors, I will be outside again very soon. The gym is 2 miles from my house so my plan is to run there and do my weight training then run home.

So I’m off and running!

To aid in my training, I’m cutting out my favorite vice – wine.  Tough, but I don’t think it is doing my blood sugar and hydration level, any favors.

(As I was looking through Google photos for reuse, came upon this jewel.  Go  tho the website noted as photo credit and see some other beauties. )

Powering up is always a good thing.  It helps me to focus and I also feel better too.

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There are some big races coming up too.  Click on the images below to get more info on them.

The LIFE Runners A-Cross America Relay – starts at the Brooklyn Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge on March 5 and finishes April 13 with both Arms of the Relay meeting in Sioux Falls, SD.  It comes through Central, MO April 1 – 4.  map Then there’s some 5K’s and maybe a half in May. Picture12 The biggest race for me is September 20 – The Air Force Marathon.  I can’t believe I’m signed up for the full, but I did.   So will begin official training for it in May but am starting out now to work towards the other races that are this spring.

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Below is one of my last training runs before my 2012 marathon.  I did one more a week later for 20 miles – 2 weeks before race.

What are your running plans this year?  How much training do you usually do for your races?

19 Mile Run 2012

19 Mile Run 2012