Benched

In November of 2009, I seriously injured my back. The thing is, I have no idea how I did it. One minute I was sitting on the couch holding my just-over-three-months-old baby boy. The next, I was trying to stand up with him in my arms but couldn’t quite get to a fully upright position because my back was locked/frozen/jammed in place. It hurt. A lot.

Since then the pain has come and gone. For the first year and a half it, I was pretty miserable quite often. I had a hard time sitting for any extended period of time, whether that meant on the floor with Harrison or in a car traveling somewhere or just to eat supper. It was most frustrating because I never knew when it might lock up and hurt again. I’d go for a week or two with no major problems, then have another episode. In that time I went to countless chiropractor appointments, massage therapists, physical therapy, an orthopedic doctor, and even had x-rays and an MRI done. No one could tell me what was wrong. “You’re young. You’re fit.” they would say. That gets old pretty fast when your supposedly young and fit body continues to fail you. Then, even though I wasn’t sure how it would go, I got pregnant for the second time.

Flash forward to about halfway through my pregnancy with Raegan. My back was so out of whack on a trip to see family in SoDak for the Fourth of July that I was beginning to wonder how I would make it to my due date in late October. I wasn’t even that big yet, but I didn’t know how much more my back could take.

Then, later that week, Harrison and I happened to crash a play date at a park here in town. A friend who was there, who had had her second baby earlier that year, asked how I was feeling. I mentioned the back thing and she said that I should see this chiropractor in Grand Island; he had helped her at the end of her pregnancy. I got the number from her but didn’t think much of it, especially since he wasn’t even in town and I was already seeing a chiropractor here. When my back locked again a few days later as HD and I were playing at the Children’s Museum, I was so glad to have that number and yet another avenue of help to try. Fed up and almost in tears, I called and made my first appointment.

By the time I was 7 months pregnant, I was feeling better than I had since before the initial incident…not something you hear most women say about their third trimester of a pregnancy! But somehow we found the right course of treatment and got me to stop popping/overextending my back. With time and consistency, it has just worked. Thank goodness! I still get sore some days and am still pretty careful about how I sit or stand or play with the kids, but for the most part, I do OK.

Re-enter into my life, stage left, running. Running is something I loved to do Before Children; it made me feel strong and accomplished. Although I haven’t done it in close to four years, I decided to give it a go again this summer when a friend asked me to be part of a relay team for the BFE road race here at the end of August. I started training and even though I was super sore, I was also excited about getting back into the groove of running.

Then, for no apparent reason, my back started to ache. As did my left hip. A lot. Being the stubborn and competitive girl that I am, I kept to my training schedule last week and over the weekend; while I completed my runs in decent times, they did not feel good. It was like I couldn’t knock the rust off, even after a couple miles.

So today found me back at my doctor’s office, having everything checked out and talking about my options. There is nothing new wrong, exactly, but something that I’m doing is aggravating my sacrum (a.k.a. my trouble spot) and the muscles around which, causing the constant pain and aching. Clearly the only new something that I’m doing is running. While the good doctor is all for me getting back into it eventually/slowly, now is apparently not that time. He doesn’t want me doing anything more than a mile if/when I run, which just doesn’t cut it for a road race relay team. Call me benched and bummed.

I hated backing out on my group, but I had to because I’ve worked so hard to get back to a place physically where I even feel like running, much less can actually do it. I don’t want to lose all of that progress by pushing too hard, too fast. So no BFE for me. Not this year anyway. Slow and steady will have to win this race!

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