Sunday, July 22, 2012

Oh, My Aching Back!

Last week was the beginning of The Plan: wake up around 6 every weekday morning to work out.  Alternate running with strength training.  Great idea!

I started Wednesday with a nice run with Jack the dog.  We did 2.5 miles and had a great time; I noticed all of the little changes to the neighborhood after being away for three weeks, he peed on anything that stood at least mostly still.

Then Thursday I woke up and did my first circuit workout in, oh, ten months.  (See where I'm going with this?)  I did...

  • push-ups (15, on my knees)
  • wall squats (one minute)
  • plank (one minute)
  • triceps dips (12, because I am weak)
  • oblique crunches (40, because my abs are awesome)
  • one-leg deadlifts (15 each side, with no weights)
  • bridges (20)
I did just two rounds of this before The Bambino woke up.  We had breakfast, went to Round 3 of Vacation Bible School for the summer, and then I started to notice a problem: my back was sore.  

I am not a wimp.  I do not take drugs for mere trifles.  So I stretched it out.  Stretching cures everything muscle-related, right?

By evening I could only walk bent forward, a cross between Igor from Young Frankenstein and an elderly crab.  I couldn't really carry Alfie either, and she doesn't weigh much. Friday morning when I awoke and tried unsuccessfully to get out of bed, I knew I was in trouble. My right hip was exactly three inches higher than my left.  I don't think that's supposed to happen.  I was hobbling all day, and it wasn't pretty. By Saturday morning I could walk mostly normally unless I sat for too long, so I tried a run- no go.  It felt like little knives stabbing me in the lower back.  

This morning I tried again, since I could walk really normally and roll out of bed without wincing.  It was really painful at first, but I added in a lot of walking and it eventually got better.  Followed up with stretching, I now feel almost whole.  

This long weekend of discomfort has taught me a few things.  
  • Being pregnant and having a baby might make you mentally stronger, but physically you do have to go easy on yourself.  I had done no strength work but yoga for almost a year, so jumping right into it was not smart.  I will continue my plan, but I will work up to the more challenging exercises.
  • One-leg deadlifts have to be done with proper form, and at the moment I apparently do not have it.  I'm pretty sure these were the culprits.  In the past I've done them well, but in the past my back, core, and hamstrings were stronger to begin with and they still weren't easy.
  • At 31, I feel like I am falling apart.  My knee hurt for most of vacation (due to long drives, I think), and now my back.  Yeesh.
  • When I can't run, I get anxious.  Will I be able to run tomorrow?  Should I see a doctor?  Should I just run anyway even though it hurts like Hades? If I run injured, am I going to hurt myself more?  I know the answers to these questions, but I don't like most of them.

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