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This is Not a Fitness Blog: You Win Some, You Lose Some - if you can't be witty, then at least be bombastic [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
kyle cassidy

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This is Not a Fitness Blog: You Win Some, You Lose Some [Jun. 25th, 2015|07:03 am]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

I've run the Oddyssey Half Marathon twice before. (2013 race recap here. The next year I finished 40 minutes faster in one hour fifty-seven minutes.) It's a great race, if your understanding of "great" means "it has lots of hills and it's in the middle of the summer where you will bake like a pie". But it is fun and pretty and people often wear costumes doing it. This year I decided a while back that I wasn't going to kill myself running it because it's in the middle of the freaking summer and that's awful. Lately trillian_stars has been watching this TV show called "Outlander" where everybody wears knitted things and makes outlandish decisions and the "hero" is a dude in a kilt named Jamie Frasier. I told Trillian that if she came out and watched the race, I'd shave my beard, dress up as Jamie Frasier and run the whole thing in a kilt and long sleeved shirt. (You may think this erases any benefit you might get from running the race "slow" and you would be right.) Oddyssey isn't Oddyseey unless you're suffering -- which is why it's in the middle of the summer. The only goals I had really were to finish respectably under two hours and I wanted to sprint up the giant hill at the end. It had totally wrecked me the first two times and I wanted to have enough steam left to charge up the hill yodeling a battle-cry.

To make things more ridiculous I signed Trillian and myself up for a 5k race the day before.

Things were going well until two days before the race when I injured myself in a completely inheroic way. I was loading the dishwasher when I felt this searing pain across my tramp-stamp area, like my spine had become disconnected from my pelvis. Like, serious, incredible, stabbing pain. I couldn't stand up. All I could do was lay on the floor for a while feeling very old and doomed. I was seriously worried that I'd completely screwed my race. I managed to get up after a while and found that it only hurt when I bent. Left, right, forward, backward, searing pain. But standing up and laying down, I was mostly fine. I couldn't sit in a chair, but I could lay in bed.

I went to bed early and nothing had changed by Saturday morning. I decided to try and run the 5k slowly to see if it would be possible to still do the half marathon. I was mostly fine walking, so who knows.

Saturday's race was hot and miserable but they'd turned all the fire hydrants on, so every half mile or so, there was glorious rain. Trillian ran it with me in the event that I collapsed and died she could point and laugh.




Hot, wet, slow 5k



I did the 5k in 35 minutes mostly pain freeish. That's about 11 minutes slower than my normal 5k and like 15 minutes slower than my best. I figured I coud do Oddyssey. Or, at the very least, I'd just stop at one of the aid stations and the medics would have something to do.




My favorite costume. You may clickenzee to embiggen!



It was brutally hot and the start was moved from 7:00 to 7:30 because some technical problems kept a few hundred runners from getting to the start on time. Every minute the sun got higher, it got worse. Finally the race started. I ran slow, then I ran slower and around mile 10 I pretty much gave up and ran even slower. If I ran bolt upright I was ok, but anytime my form started to collapse and I leaned forward or slumped, the dagger shot up my back. I finished in two hours and five minutes, which is six minutes slower than I'd hoped to do, but still 30 minutes faster than my first half marathon.




Jamie Frasier is Finished! Clickenzee to Embiggen!



I got home by 10 am. Took a glorious hot bath and I've been standing up ever since.

Back hasn't gotten better. I have a doctors appointment (July 10th). My insurance company's healthcare plan is to cleverly schedule appointments so far in the future that their patients are dead or healed by they time it comes around and nothing needs to be done.

How's your week been?

(Also, if you're one of the millions of people dealing with chronic pain, I'd love to hear your story.)




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Comments:
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[User Picture]From: howlokitty
2015-06-25 04:55 pm (UTC)
I had chronic foot pain from about the age of 23 until about a week ago. You see, a couple of years ago, there was this cool runner guy who said that he'd gotten special shoes that really helped alleviate some of the issues that he was dealing with when he started running. So, I went to a special running store and had them check out my feet, and the running shoes I bought I managed to get my foot pain down to about 60%. A couple of weeks ago, I realized that I had worn holes in those shoes because of my jogging routine, so I went in and had to buy a totally different pair of shoes (because my old shoes were no longer carried). These new shoes have brought my chronic foot pain down to about a 5%, and I no longer hobble everywhere like an old lady. Apparently I was just pulling all of the muscles in my feet every time I walked or jogged.

Hope you feel better soon; I just signed up for my first fun-run/5k. My partner's dad told me I should just sign up if I really wanted to do one and not worry so much about the continuous training, so I took his advice. It's a blacklight run, and, from what I can see, pretty low-key.
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[User Picture]From: elusis
2015-06-25 05:11 pm (UTC)
Talk to a chiropractor. Don't let them do anything without seeing x-rays to make sure it isn't a slipped disc, but if it's a muscle spasm (which I have gotten from doing such esoteric and dangerous things such as leaning back to rinse my hair in the shower, reaching to turn off the hot water in the sink, and walking to my car), a good chiropractor - particularly one who does Active Release Technique - can give you rapid and effective help.
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[User Picture]From: moon_chylde
2015-06-25 05:54 pm (UTC)
It's hilarious that your first worry was that you couldn't run your race, not that you may have serious long term damage to your back.

Anyway... I injured my knee when I was in high school (was running from a very angry wasp and ran smack into the sharp corner of the door. Sports, namely field hockey (I was on the team and not about to quit), further aggravated it. It's now a pain I live with daily and it limits a lot of what I can do. (stairs are a no-no, not to mention nice miles long walks with my dogs, etc.)

So seriously, take care of yourself and give your back the rest it needs before it get to where you can't do anything. Injuries, whether sports related or bug related or whatever, will bite you in the butt as you get older.
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[User Picture]From: redmorlock
2015-06-25 06:57 pm (UTC)
Pay attention to everyone who is telling you to see a medical person soon and not to do anything strenuous until then. It's very embarrassing to learn that you made a physical problem worse by ignoring it.
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[User Picture]From: tripleransom
2015-06-25 07:00 pm (UTC)
Second the advice to go to immediate care ASAP. Make them give you some muscle relaxants, if nothing else. There is no reason you should have to live with pain for two weeks and maybe screw up something else by compensating. Bad backs are no fun!
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[User Picture]From: davesmusictank
2015-06-25 07:14 pm (UTC)
I love that Duff beer T shirt !
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From: tvillingar
2015-06-25 08:28 pm (UTC)
cleverly schedule appointments so far in the future that their patients are dead or healed by they time it comes around and nothing needs to be done

I've come to the same conclusion. Meanwhile, take care of yourself.
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[User Picture]From: lonebear
2015-06-25 09:37 pm (UTC)
first: Good job! And get better.
Secondly:
HA! I support a run in the dog days of August here in the MD Swamplands called Riley's Rumble. Hilly, in the heat and humidity of August, in MD.
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[User Picture]From: lawbabeak
2015-06-26 01:36 am (UTC)
Chronic pain sucks. My husband, who is at least a decade younger than you are, is occasionally flattened because his back goes out like yours does. It might make you feel like an old man, but it's not an old man Thing.

Get your doctor to prescribe physical therapy, in addition to all the wonderfully fun drugs. Also, if the doctor is going to prescribe you some form of opiate, get them also to prescribe you a healthy amount of 800mg Ibuprofen, too. It gives you something to step down to, because you do not want to be on opiates any longer than you absolutely have to be. Not only are opiates horrible for your digestive track (tract?) and terribly addictive, they can change how your body/brain >experiences< pain.

I had a pinched nerve in my lower back for over a month this past winter. Yes, I am dumb for not doing something about it sooner. In desperation one night, I slapped on one of those medicated hot patches, because I needed relief from the muscle spasm. Which did get relieved, but the spasm was protecting the nerve and once it was gone, well, I stood up in the morning and just about sat right back down again. I saw the doctor the next day. She prescribed some opiate (lortab maybe?), a muscle relaxer, 800mg Ibuprofen, and six sessions of physical therapy.

The drugs were nice and got me through the next few days. The PT is what has kept me healthy. The therapist was great - not too many exercises all at once, and not eight gazillion repeats of each thing. She gave tips about how to do some of the exercises while just walking around or sitting at my desk. Eventually, those stretchy exercise bands were involved, but she sent me home with two.

The chronic pain I've had off and on for years because of fibromyalgia is different from the times I have injured my back. And the nerve damage caused by other things generally results in my >not< being able to feel things rather than feeling pain.

The time I had a traumatically-pinched nerve in my back, with sciatica-like pain shooting down one leg, I think I mostly dealt with it by not moving and/or being completely stoned on Percocet. Fortunately, that only lasted a few days.

This most recent pinched nerve landed me in bed for a day, and I might have done partial days at work for another two days during that week. I could sit, though, and stand and lie down. Anything in between was awful. I found, though, if I was mindful about how I moved and sat and what seemed to exacerbate things, I did better. PT really, really, really helped. Good posture and seats at the correct height also helped.

The psychology of pain is something peculiar to the individual. I find my friends who regularly maintain a high level of fitness really suffer if they can't exercise - or exercise like they're accustomed to - for a protracted length of time. I am much more accustomed to being lumpish, so my frustration comes from being distracted by pain or unable to focus sharply because of drugs taken for pain. Ultimately, and this may sound awful, everyone I know who lives with chronic pain without becoming an opiate addict just learns, sooner or later, to "just deal with it." Eventually, you will find the space in which you can function. Hopefully, what you have going on right now is a temporary thing that can be remedied with rest and PT, and prevented in the future by continuing to do the PT exercises.

I'll also add, as someone who has represented a shit ton of opiate addicts, the addicts still have pain. The one client who experienced real relief once reaching the Bureau of Prisons was the one who lucked out and got a facility that had a good physical therapy program. Before he went to prison, he used a scooter or walker or cane(s) and took morphine (prescribed an awful lot in these parts) and a bunch of other heavy drugs. He called me once from prison. Of course, they wouldn't give him the drugs with street value. But they did give him physical therapy, and he had plenty of time on his hands to do it as much as possible. He was walking fine, without assistance. He could stand up straight. He was really happy. Well, except for me telling him he had lost his appeal and could continue to do prison PT for four more years...
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[User Picture]From: coffeeem
2015-06-26 02:59 am (UTC)
Oh, I love that photo of Trillian. So full of joy and summer!
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[User Picture]From: manaolana
2015-06-26 01:35 pm (UTC)
I ran up a heartbreaker hill once during a race. Tore my labrum in my right hip. Had surgery over two years ago. Still recovering. As my yoga instructor says, be kind to yourself and diversify. Balance your activities so your muscle strength stays balanced. CrossFit and yoga for me. Sometimes the pain in our lower back tells us there is a problem in our legs. Hopefully your pain clears up soon. I found a chiropractor (trigger point) and a massage often help.

Almost forgot, huge Outlander fan. I have read all the books. Have not been able to see the show yet. Love the kilt.

Edited at 2015-06-26 01:37 pm (UTC)
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