Saturday, November 30, 2013


Finally! It's been a frustrating fall but I'm finally getting over the injury hump. Quick summary... Sciatica set in Labor Day weekend. I struggled for a couple of months with finding what hurt, what helped and an insane travel schedule. November has been a month of discovery and recovery.
How did I get better? First step was learning what hurt - running the vacuum, riding a boogie board, working at a desk. Basically anything that caused me to flex my back upright or beyond. Second step was finding what helped or felt good - riding the road bike, TENS machine, sitting in an office chair with my feet on the wall (lower back stretch), sitting with my feet on the van dash. All of those let my lower back muscles relax and the disc to recover its normal position.
I've been able to add a run each week to my workout routine for four weeks. I'm confident in saying that I've returned to form. We've spent Thanksgiving in Gatlinburg with my siblings and parents. I've been on the trails for three days hiking and running for twenty-four miles and 3000'+ 4300' of elevation gain. My legs are definitely feeling the hill climbing as I sit and type. However, my back feels fantastic!
Time to get back on track for a spring half marathon, summer bike century and fall marathon! Giddy up!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Training update...

Well amigos, it's been a bummer of a Fall 2013 for me.  After my stairway fall in June, I was well on the road to recovery. July ended up being a great training month. August clicked along with no problems. The wheels came off the training Labor Day Weekend.

Prior to Labor Day Weekend, I did a couple of short bricks with easy bike and moderate tempo run. That seemed to cause some periformis and lower back fatigue. We then hit the highway for a long road trip and I did a lengthy tempo run on Saturday. Somewhere in there a disc slipped in my lower back between L4 and L5. Since that weekend, I've been fighting sciatica.

I took three weeks off with no training. I started adding short runs as I was traveling a lot and didn't have access to my bike. On vacation week of 10.14, I had another setback after playing on the boogie board with my kids. I was nearly crippled again with back pain and sciatica when I returned home.

I took another week of no activity. My work travels changed (driving instead of flying) and I was able to ride my bike. :) I found that being on my bike is very comfortable and allows my back to stretch the right direction without stretching the leg (key to defeating the inflammation).

I've now been cycling three to four days a week for two weeks. I had two days last week that were relatively pain free. I've learned how to get things to relax (gentle stretching, riding my bike, TENS unit) and the sciatica will ease.

I'm going to keep riding my bike until I'm pain free on a daily basis. Hoping to be on the running trails by December. If not, I'll just keep cycling until it happens.