Friday, April 29, 2011

No breaking the 'Piggy' bank for Sunday's half marathon

Poster given as part of my packet.
"...Miles run in practice are like dollars saved in the bank. You can withdraw them when necessary." - Marathoner and author Hal Higdon on Facebook, 3/28/11


It was touch and go for a while, but I'm ready to race the Flying Pig Half Marathon this Sunday, my second half marathon. In fact, I picked up my packet in downtown Cincinnati this evening.

Some recent bouts with back and neck pain have left me unable to properly reinforce - or even rebuild - my capacity for half marathon(ish) distances since I finished my first half in October.

A recent trip to the chiropractor to address said problems left me questioning not only my fitness for the race, but my fitness in general. (A second trip to the doc later confirmed that I was being paranoid. "You mean my head won't fall off anytime soon?")

Since Jan. 1, I have only run 44 miles. Hardly a proper requisite for heading into a half marathon in two days.
A backpack was also part of the packet.

My longest run since my 13.1, half-marathon run in October was Monday ... as in four days ago! It was two hours and 13 minutes' worth of pavement-pounding to reach 10 miles.

I've managed a few six- to seven-mile runs over the months, but I felt that if I could just squeeze-out a 10-miler before race day, I could do the race.

And I did.

I'm a little concerned about not having trained better, but one thing that I've learned above all else in endurance sports is that so much of the challenge is mental ... and I feel more than prepared in that regard.

So, I'm going in with a positive attitude, hoping that the 44 miles I'll be withdrawing from the bank will pay off in a decent (for me) finish line time.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Seeing proof that your body's turned against you

"Can I see?" I asked the doctor behind the half-wall who was looking at the computer, my X-Rays displayed on the screen.

"Sure," he replied, then pointing to the black and white images of my skeleton said: "Most people's necks curve forward and yours is curving slightly backward," or something like that. The exact details didn't matter at that point. You just know you've officially received word that you're messed up.

"Really?" I said, drawing out the word to reveal my fascination.

He went on to point out some other things of interest, some vertebrae tilting and out of alignment (You know? Small stuff.), and said the other doctor would be meeting with me to go in to more depth.

How I ended up in the X-Ray room of a chiropractor's office on a Monday morning was not how I foresaw the beginning of my week, but a recent, unrelenting stiff neck was my cause to be there.

When I get a stiff neck, I usually medicate with Advil, take it easy and in a few days it's gone. When this began to occur, it was a few days before a mayoral debate I was planning for our newspaper, and I just assumed the pain was from stress. Several days later, the pain was still there, traveling outward and getting worse.

I don't know what, in particular, led me to the chiropractor after years of not seeking their consult for back pain that has ailed me for years, but there I was. I'd heard good things about these folks and was just open for a new opportunity for relief.

"Yes, your right hip is higher than your left hip, and your right shoulder is higher than your left," the attending doctor told me before the X-Rays were taken. He tested my range of flexibility and some other basic functions, sent me for the X-Rays, hooked me up to these electrodes on my neck and lower back for 10 minutes and then had me cap-off my morning's activities with a massage.

I'm feeling better, but I'm still sore. I go back in a couple days for a consult and a treatment plan.

I'm registered for the Flying Pig Half Marathon on May 1, and I could probably run it, but it's hard to think about running hard when you've seen the vertebrae in your spine misaligned and wonder how far away you might be from some sort of physical tragedy. (I know I'm probably being somewhat paranoid.) I could walk the 13.1 miles of the race, but I'd be dying to run the whole time.

Here's to hoping these guys have some kind of answer about my spine being out of whack so that the season ahead - to which I'm so looking forward - doesn't become the same.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...