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!

Do You Have What It Takes to Run A Half or Full Marathon

I was talking with a friend of mine recently and he asked, “What does it take to run a [half] marathon?  This is what I told him.

1. It takes the vision to see yourself doing it and the courage to to follow through.  You have to believe you can do it.  Get a mental image of what that would look like and hold on tight to that picture in your mind.  More than 90% of the battle is mental.  A constant struggle begins to fend off negative thoughts reinforcing that you can not do this.  Then there are all the excuses you can handily use to not get out the door for that training run.

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2. It takes great discipline and focus – getting up and out the door at-least 5 mornings a week even if you don’t feel like it or have other pressing needs.  I ran some of those training runs while nursing a migraine.  Mostly because I knew I had to get it in.  Running even when traveling whether it’s raining, snowing or even a heat wave.  Last summer, our area had a torturous heat wave for a record number of days –  27 consecutive days over 90 degrees and 10 consecutive days over 100 degrees.  I didn’t skip any of those runs.  I just ran them at the crack of dawn (5:30 and 6:00 am).  Even still the temp was usually already in the 80’s and the humidity was so thick you could slice it with a knife.

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Then even after shower, not being able to cool off  before blow drying my hair (which actually makes me warmer) creating frizz that no curling iron can fix and usually sets me up for a bad hair day.

3. It means giving up the perfect looking feet/toes.  Many long-distance runners talk about losing toe nails.  Ever since my first half marathon in 2010 I have had at least 2 or more toe nails bruised from the constant banging in the shoe.  I have had so many brands of shoes, sizes, etc., and nothing changes this outcome for me.  Black polish is the only thing that covers the bruises.  For men it’s a minor inconvenience for women it’s major.

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It also means that when evening comes, falling asleep usually before 9 from exhaustion.

4. It means learning to push through pain.  There are so many aches and pains along the way.  You begin recognizing them as typical for that point in the run.  Also, in all my training and races  (1,800+ miles since 2010), I have yet to be side-lined by any running related ache/pain for  more than one week.

Mile 26 of St. Louis Rock and Roll Marathon

Mile 26 of St. Louis Rock and Roll Marathon

At least 12 weeks of training is needed. There’s no shortcuts.

5. It means ending each week with a long-run that builds each time  to  (a half marathon) 11 mile run or  (full marathon) 20 mile run, 2 weeks before the event.

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Mile 19 of 20 mile long run.

6. It means running miles you never thought you could with an oxygen deprived brain that causes for slower responses.  I once almost stepped on a (half dead) poisonous snake because of such.

Mile 20 of St. Louis Rock and Roll Marathon

Mile 20 of St. Louis Rock and Roll Marathon

When I trained for the St. Louis Rock and Roll Marathon last year, by the time I finished the race, I had put in over 500 miles in training and gone through 2 pairs of tennis shoes.  I was not the same person when I crossed the finish line as I was when I started my training 6 months earlier.  That training caused me to push limits that I once thought were not possible.

It takes support from family and friends because of the time commitment especially when you get into the high mileage  long runs. I have had awesome support from all my family.  Jim especially has always supported me in everything I’ve done.

It takes good Research.  Yes, you need to research a plan and all that is needed to insure adequate nutrition, hydration, training and gear.  The right shoes, clothes, etc.

The bottom line though…it takes the will to cross the finish line and make it count for a higher purpose.

Join LIFE Runners and make that dream happen over and over again!

Live the dream…

 

Long Run = Hard Work

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Yesterday I ran my longest stretch in 5 months…10 miles.  Even though I’ve run further in the past, it was still hard.

It’s suppose to be.

For me,  there are 3 stages to each of my long runs…

Stage 1. Why is this so hard?  Should have trained more.
Stage 2. I could run like this for miles. 
Stage 3. Why does this hurt so much? Am I almost there ? 

It was a cool 53 degrees when I started out.

Nice!

Not so nice for Dolores though who was riding her bike ahead of me. My fingers warmed up after 3 miles and easily broke a sweat around that same time.   In all those miles, I only saw a lone frog and that was closer to the end.  No bugs/animals were stirring.

I had a banana and plenty of water during the run and an apple afterwards.

It’s always a great feeling to know you just finished a long run.

What’s your long run like?

 

I Run with a Pack

This is (some of) my local running group.  Proud of them.  Great friends and team mates.  
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We had our monthly training run (3 miles) today.  It was a warm one but the park offered some nice shade.  
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We pray the LIFE Runners creed before we start.

Then we also pray as we run.

At about 10 minutes into my regular run (4 days per week), I say, “For all those on my prayer list”  and then I begin my prayers.

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I run as a prayer.

As a LIFE Runner, I offer up my running as a prayer.

The power of prayer and sacrifice is immeasurable.

As car accident victim, Katie Lentz said, “Pray out loud.”  Read her incredible story that was dubbed the Missouri Miracle, here.

1157584_228917023923603_585416988_nTomorrow I’ll do my long run of 9 miles (training for Crazy Horse Half Marathon).  

Thankful for the ability to run.  

Running mile 26 of the St. Louis Rock and Roll Marathon Oct 2012.

Running mile 26 of the St. Louis Rock and Roll Marathon Oct 2012.

This is our full team (Oct 2012) from all parts of  the country…The National LIFE Runners (1,500 members strong as of today).

Gathering at Cathedral before Mass and Pre-Race Banquet

Gathering at Cathedral before Mass and Pre-Race Banquet

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Morning of the St. Louis Rock and Roll Marathon

Nellie Grey 5K, Washington, DC

As I said, I run with a pack…they are the best!  Watch this video of the Mid-MO portion (my local chapter) of the LIFE Runners Across the Country Relay

Be inspired and then join us!

http://www.liferunners.org.

The LIFE Runner Creed

We believe in the dignity of all human life from conception to natural death.   We run as a Prayer, that children in the womb may be protected, so that they may be born and welcomed into the Christian community by baptism.  We run to build Endurance, for the race is long and we must keep our eyes fixed on You Lord.  We run for Awareness, that the eyes of all people may be transformed and see every human life as a reflection of Your glory Lord.  We run for Charity, to provide Truth for mothers and fathers tempted to abort their child…and healing support for post-abortive women, men and families.  We run to End abortion, for Christ has destroyed the power of death, and therefore the power of abortion. Guard us all, born and unborn, with Your PEACE, Lord.   For in You, life is victorious. We pray and run in Your name, Jesus Christ our Lord.   Amen.

Consistency…Run No Matter What

It’s all about running over and over again.  Consistency, it is the game changer.  To have the discipline to push through other stuff and get out there to run.  That makes all the difference.

Where do you rate on the scale.  For me I do okay but could do better.

photoOkay, that surprised gal in the green behind Sister Doris, is me.  I went to a gathering in Leawood, KS Sunday evening because several of my Vitae donors might be there too.  The next morning, I put on my tennis shoes before my host was up and headed out the door of the home I was a guest in at 6 am.  They are used to me doing that when I stay.  That’s consistency.  No matter where I am I have to run.  Sometimes I’m better at it when away than when at home.  I love taking advantage of the gym’s at the hotels I stay at when traveling.  If I have more than a few miles to go though, I head outside.

What is your plan for traveling while training for long distance race???

Ready or not…here I come… 🙂 Such fun!

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Your Run Is Calling…

1013179_395458247241991_2145278481_nWe had our group run Saturday… I love getting together with the local LIFE Runners. We gathered at the MO State Capital which also has the monument to the Ten Commandments on the grounds.  The monument was donated by the Fraternal Order of the Eagles the same year of my birth.  How cool is that?

My LIFE Runner teammates were all going strong and my performance – not so great.

I haven’t been running like I should and it showed – got a little distracted – didn’t make running a priority the last couple of months.  I kept telling myself I could pick up where I left off.

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Well, it doesn’t work that way.

My last really strong 5K was the end of April – it was rainy and cool (great for running).  That’s me below (third from the right), yeah the strong looking gal who took first in her age division.  She went on vacation and is now being called back to service.  🙂 …Waiting on her for next run.

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Central MO PHC 5K, April 2013

Today, I ran and walked 4 miles.  I was going to go to the gym but felt I needed to tackle the road and get used to the temp.

For the next couple of weeks, will be muscling through getting back to better conditioning.

In October I’m running in the Crazy Horse Half Marathon in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

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Between now and then, running with my LIFE Runners for some 5K’s in August and September so there’s no vacation from running if you want to be on top of your game…but then again, I wouldn’t want to miss any runs with my team.  They are the best!

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Official training starts July 21st (12 week program – Hal Higdon Intermediate Half Marathon Plan).   So I have to be running a minimum of 3 miles easy by then.  I would love to finish this half at 2.5 hours which is 11:27 pace.  Another reason to hit it.

Hal Higdon

I looked back and on July 4, 2012 I ran 5 miles.  I was also reading the book, Born To Run back then too.5117MxRQidL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_

Great read if you haven’t picked it up yet.

Have you ever had a bad running day and if so what did you do to bounce back?