On July 8th of this year, I wrote my last blog post titled “Giving Myself a Little Grace”. I look back on that post and the information I had to make those decisions, and I kind of want to push me, Elaine Benes style and tell that girl to “GET OUT!!!!”.
If I had known that taking that time off and letting my body rest so much would end up in not really being able to run pain-free until this week, I’d have gotten my butt out of bed. Then again, I wouldn’t know what I know and I might have ended up in the same “no running” situation, but not running has been soooooo difficult for this lover of running. I always say that I am tired of learning lessons, I just want to run or train or do what I can do, but who knows better? Not me, that’s for sure. There was a big lesson in this injury, even if I didn’t want to hear or listen or do what I already know I needed to do but couldn’t find the mental energy to do it.
In July, I took my son to Wilmington for his orthodontist appointment, and I ran with a friend of mine. During the run, something in my upper hamstring, the old injury area from January 2019, started hurting enough where I stopped running and walked it in. I don’t do that often. The pain and discomfort I’ve pushed myself through has been pretty significant, but when you have something that’s telling you to stop, you stop.
Since then, I’ve taken time off. That seemed to actually make the symptoms worse. Was it a muscle, tendon, nerve problem? I sure didn’t know.
In September, I went to physical therapy. She said it was likely a nerve impingement from my lower back. My left side, the one that hurt, was weaker than my right side, and I was sort of crooked. After doing some of the prescribed exercises, that was clear. But I still couldn’t run. I walked. I biked. I sulked. Running hurt, especially after. I resented most other runners. I wanted to give up. For me, stress makes me feel like a deer in headlights, and with being in grad school, not being able to run, worrying about a lot of other things going on, and then that little thing called CORONAVIRUS that’s wrecking havoc on the world, I just haven’t handled this well. Granted, the last two years of my life have been so full of unknowns and changes and challenges, some good, some not so good, some expected and planned, some not. I, along with many others, have stress fatigue. I’m so sick of it all. But alas, I am not God and cannot take this thing away, so along with many others, have tried to keep my own ship afloat.
So I kept trying to fix myself. Physical therapy was quickly halted because in South Carolina, you have to have a doctor referral to continue past thirty days. Who know? I sure didn’t. And I’m stubborn enough to refuse to comply with that stupid rule. So I continued to do the strength, but I wasn’t making progress. Frustration grew. I knew I was having some issues initiating and/or following through with strength prescribed by coach, so I quit that too and hired a personal trainer.
One month, m and several good conversations with trainer later, I am stronger, I am able to run a little, and my symptoms have decreased significantly. That being said, I did go to the chiropractor on Monday and found that I’m still pretty jacked up. My spine is like a backwards “C”, and my pelvis is tilted forward, putting tons of pressure on the nerves that travel through said crooked pelvis, hence the pain, especially when sitting or sleeping.
I’m done with the trainer, who has done an amazing job and I am forever thankful for those damn push ups (maybe?), and am continuing chiropractic care and strength on my own. Will I follow through now? Absolutely! What makes it a million times better is that since my sister is a Peloton groupie, I get to be too. Who knew you could sign friends and family up for their own Peloton account and have access to amazing workouts of every type? I certainly didn’t, but found out last week, so game on!
This is the first time since July I’ve had any positive movement, so I’m extremely motivated to continue it. I know I can’t get all crazy with the running until I get things straightened out in the spine department, because the last thing I want to do is to make something else break because I’m running with an uneven body. Stronger than before, but definitely uneven. It’s not worth it.
As everything else in this dumpster fire of a year, I was expecting to run the Wilmington marathon in February, the day before my youngest son turns 15, but I will not. I won’t even run the half, because that’s a lot of training to do and as I said above, I do not want to hurt something else by getting all crazy with the running. Let’s do it smart!
As mentioned above, this year is a dumpster fire, but there’s been a lot of good. Remember that 2020 goal to walk/run 2020 miles in 2020? Yeah, that isn’t going to happen. But if I hadn’t taken that challenge, I may not have gone for a walk the day I decided I need to figure out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, and I may not have decided to go to grad school to be a counselor. Good Lord knows, that is a job with increasing demand. Unfortunate but fortunate for me given the decision.
I think we all need to learn something from the situation that is 2020. Not that there’s just a LOT of stupid people out there, not new silly slogans that drive me completely crazy, but helpful pieces of a puzzle, or finding out that you do need to give yourself a little grace, but do it in a healthy and balanced way. Maybe it’s that life is precious and that you may not want to pass on the holiday get together. Maybe it’s that you really like driving when there’s no traffic. Or don’t. Haha, not sure who doesn’t, but you just never know. Even when things are bleak, there’s always a light to find!
I think one more important thing to remember is to stay kind. Hold yourself to a higher standard. Listen to those who hold differing opinions. Have conversations. Be graceful. If you’re going to call someone a dumbass, do it behind their back for crying out loud!