Saturday, May 24, 2008


Every few months my lower back gets twisted some way and when I move certain ways, sends pulses of deep, stabbing pain through my body for a few days.
I am not sure of the primal cause of this malady but it recurs two or three times each year when I move "wrong".
I set it off one time when I twisted my sitting position on the couch.
I did it another time when I leaned over a piece of furniture to adjust the blinds.
Silly stuff.

You would think that I would provoke the injury when I was lifting weights or some such.
But, no.
Just simple moves, and BANG!
I can barely stand, or sit, or bend, or move without powerful blasts of pain shooting through me.
It takes anywhere from two days to two weeks for the problem to fix itself.
And it always does.

One time I did it while visiting my sister.
It happened the evening before I was supposed to leave.
Imagine trying to carry your luggage through the nice big Portland airport, stow your carry-on case in the overhead bin of the plane, then jackknife into your tiny little seat on the airplane, then get up out of your tiny little seat, retrieve your luggage from the overhead bin and carry it through DFW to your next flight and do it all again.
That was not a fun trip.
It took over a week to recover from that episode.

This week was the time to endure this affliction again.
I am not sure what set off the problem.
It started Monday and has stayed with me in varying degrees all week.
Interestingly, I have been able to walk and do my weight workouts all week - except one exercise.

So, this morning, I was wondering if my back problem was going to allow me to run.
In times past, I have been able to run with the problem and it actually seemed to ease the pain.
Other times, I have had to cancel the session.
What would happen today?

I did my usual preparation with occasional twinges of pain if I moved too fast or bent or straightened too abruptly. (moving slowly seems to ease some of the discomfort.)
I drove to the usual spot and gently got out of the car.
It was 6:03 AM and the weather was mostly clear - about 66 degrees - perfect for a nice run.
I took a few tentative steps.
Every step sent a micro burst of pain out from my lower back.
I kept going, wondering if the movement would ease the problem or make it worse.
The farther I went, the worse the pains became.
I had barely gone 200 yards when I stopped.
Today's session would have to be canceled.
With great disappointment, I walked back to the car.
This is the first time I have had to cancel a run because of an injury since I resumed running last year.

Plan B was to walk some distance if I could not run, but I was in such discomfort walking back to my car that Plan B was also rejected.

I walked Friday morning (a new time facilitated by my retired status) and was right on the edge of debilitating pain the whole way (two miles).

Very disappointing....

Hopefully, I will be able to run next week.

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