Wednesday, May 8, 2019

I Used to Run. I Used to Exercise.

Last year was a reset for me with running - I didn't train for a half marathon, I didn't run long distances, and I didn't do a whole lot of races.  I needed to find the enjoyment in running that I had when I first began to run, back in 2009.  So I went back to what worked for me then, which included working out at BCS Fitness, and by the end of the year my running mojo had returned.

Things were falling into place. 

I was doing a little bit of sprint speedwork, laughing while running because it was just silly and fun.

I lucked into finding my favorite running shoes on clearance and was able to stock up with several pairs before they went out of production again.

I registered for several 5Ks, hoping that I'd hit my goal of running one of those races without stopping.

I noticed that I was going to hit my 99th race in May, which was pretty exciting to this former couch potato.

I treated myself to my first pair of Lululemon capris as a reward for all the effort I'd put into running and working out at BCS Fitness, which caused my size to change and my old capris to be too loose to run in.  The first time I wore them was the day I realized I couldn't even walk without extreme pain; they have been folded up on a shelf ever since.

I began to get excited about signing up for the Houston half marathon, which was nothing short of a miracle; I haven't been excited about a half marathon in a lot of years.

And then, it all fell apart.  I've gone from running three days a week, and working out three days a week, to doing nothing.  For the first couple of weeks I was in so much pain and kind of shell-shocked about what was happening that I didn't miss it.  Well, I missed seeing my friends at the gym, and my running friends, but I was hurting too much to miss the exercise.

But now the reality of what I'm facing is sinking in.  It has been five weeks since I've gone for a run or worked out.  My herniated disc is very angry, as the PA put it, and I need to treat it delicately so I can progress forward with healing.  It would be very easy for me to do something that would cause a setback, or make it worse, or permanently damage my body.  I do not foresee me running until fall, maybe.  It depends on how the healing goes.  I'm looking forward to walking for exercise, but I'm not up to doing that yet because this still hurts a lot and I have to listen to my body's cues...right now it's not wanting to do much.

I'm going to start physical therapy soon, with a new PT.  Along with learning some stretches and exercises to help with my nerve pain, I'm also planning on grilling the PT regarding what exactly I should and should not be doing to keep the healing process going in the right direction.

I put my membership at BCS Fitness on hold until June; I'll reassess then to see if I'm up to working out.  No matter when I go back, I will have to do a lot of modified movements, plus there are some things I just cannot do anymore without damaging my back.  I'm glad I enjoyed jumping rope two days before the disc completely herniated as that is off the table for good, unfortunately.  Can you fathom never doing something again?  It's an odd feeling to have a mandatory retirement from something like jumping rope.  And I'm sure there are other things I will never do again in order to keep my angry herniated disc less angry.

I'm just hoping one of those things is not running.  I'm not ready to say goodbye to that just yet.  I'll put it on hiatus, sure...but I really want to be able to run again someday.
Very good advice from Pearls Before Swine.

21 comments:

  1. I know its easier said than done but try not to lose hope that you can eventually get back to running.I will be very interested to hear what your PT has to say about your recovery, and what you can and can't do going forward, and what kind of time frame these things should be in.
    I am reminded to be grateful for what I can still do. I will be keeping you in my thoughts.

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  2. Hang in there. Don't let the mental side of physical issues get you down. We are all here holding your hand.

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    1. Good to know you are standing with me while I’m going through this, Sarah.

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  3. I hope the PT will give you good advice in what you should and shouldn't do. There are a lot of things I've given up doing, mostly because of my back. But I still exercise 6 days a week. Once your herniated disc calms down, I'm sure there will be plenty of exercise you can do!

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    1. I sure hope I can do some form of exercise that I enjoy...that has been the key to my sticking with exercise because if I don’t like it, I’ll find a reason to quit.

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  4. I'm sorry you're in so much pain, Shelley. Pain can really mess with our heads, too. I hope you remember to remind yourself that you're doing the absolute BEST thing for yourself right now and try to not wonder too much about the future. Sending a big ((hug)) from PA.

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  5. I agree-this stinks.I assume that you're not a candidate for surgery?

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  6. I'm so sorry you are going through this. I had to give up running a few years ago - not as big of a deal to me, but I agree that it is weird/depressing realizing there is something you simply can't do anymore. My back issues are different, and I am a candidate for a spinal fusion (with a cage - that sounds fun!), but at 45, I just can't face that major of a surgery and recovery. So I modify movements, do my Jane Fonda's (PT exercises) and get a cortisone shot that helps a little. Once this flair up calms down, you will surely be able to get back to some level of exercise - I am sure of it! You are determined enough to make it work! Hoping your back CALMS DOWN soon!! :)

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    1. Exactly Valerie - it’s different to have the choice to do something taken away. I’ve always been the one to decide if I wanted to do something...this is very strange. I’m sorry you are suffering with back pain; I wouldn’t be ready for that kind of surgery yet, either. Hang in there, my friend.

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  7. I was just thinking about you and wondering how you were holding up emotionally in all of this. I'm really sorry you're going through this, but I think it's great how committed you are to the healing process. I have several friends who are PTs and they do brilliant work (and they always say the most important part of successful treatment is having a patient who is on board to make improvements.) Would getting in the pool and doing water aerobics be helpful? I had a major back injury in my 20s (ugh) and the only physical activity that I could do for a while was water aerobics. Super low impact and easily modified and good for stretching as well. Anyway, we're all thinking and praying for you.

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    1. Hi Katie, thanks for thinking of me. I don’t have access to a pool so that’s not an option at the moment but just getting some movement in one sounds pretty good to me.

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  8. I was going to email you for an update today! Thanks for sharing this :( I am so frustrated for you, seeing your great year be put on temporary hold. You were kicking so much arse. It makes me so mad this has happened. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. I hope you have an awesome PT that can help you get back to what you love (running, not jumping rope)! It's so much a part of who you are now.

    I hope your running friends are still including you and visiting (I know they are, they're great). And nothing will replace running, but I hope you find something to do that makes you feel good, once your back lets you!

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  9. I'm so sorry. I hope that you can get back to running again. I ended up giving it up all together after trying to get running again, but it just aggravated things. Good think biking is my real love. PT should be good for you. It's hard to do just enough to keep things moving, but not so much it hurts. A fine balance while you heal, that's for sure. And it is all the more frustrating when activity is a big part of your life.

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  10. Hi sweety, don't think I forgot about you. I still read all your blogs but my life is so busy right now, especially at work in my new job (which I love).

    I'm so sorry to read about your herniated disc and hope you have a speedy recovery and get back to your beloved running.

    xoxo

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  11. There is still lots of hope for the future! I can’t imagine that everything you love will be off the table! You’ve got this and will figure it out and soon be doing the things you love....even if it isn’t jumping rope anymore!!!

    I though want to focus on the positive! You actually really miss the exercise...the running and the gym. Did you ever imagine so many years back that you would actually be someday sitting writing about how much it saddens you that you can’t exercise?

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  12. I can feel your sadness and pain through this post. I can also completely empathize with you. Although my health concern is different, I see running slipping away and it is so hard. I can't fathom never running again, but it is starting to look like that may be happening. Sending you love and compassion--I wish I lived closer so I could visit with you, bring you some Blue Baker...you know. Hang in there. <3

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  13. I'm so sorry that you're still dealing with this, I'm sure it must be so frustrating and disappointing. I hope the new PT is able to help you finally get some relief.

    I can fathom not being able to do something ever again because I've been there. I've probably shared this on my blog, but I had spinal fusion when I was just 16 years old. There's plenty of things that I physically can't do, and haven't been able to for 22 years, but over time I learned to live with it and moved forward (and honestly, while reading this I had to think pretty hard about the things I CAN'T do). And as hard as it is to believe right now while you're in the thick of it, you'll be able to move forward too. You've come so far since you started your blog - this is just another step in your journey.

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  14. I'm so sorry you're dealing with all of this, Shelley! I pray for a speedy recovery with zero pain. Feel better soon! ((Hugs))

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