Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A World of Difference

My mood has taken a really terrific turn for the better since my last post, thanks to all of you (and a little internet research, but more on that in a minute)!  I really, really appreciate every comment, in particular those of you who are also out there training and competing in spite of the ol’ L5/S1.  And even more in particular, thank you to RockStarTri (who lives up to that moniker all. the. time.) for these lovely inspirational words:  focus on what you can do, not what you think you can't and you will amaze yourself.  Sure, it’s a little wordy for a mantra, but those words have been playing over and over in my head for the last few days.  Rather than sitting around feeling sorry for myself, right now I am full-up with HOPE.  Some of that good feeling also comes from gaining a slighter better understanding of my problems.  I’m not a doctor, but I play one on the internet, and here is a website that made me feel a million times better.

Right now, I’m following this approach to full recovery:

  • Rehab the sciatica pain by reducing volume on running and biking, but cranking it up to eleven on swimming.
  • Core work, core work, core work!  I felt like I was doing plenty, but I guess “plenty” was a little subjective.  Now it’s ten minutes in the morning, ten minutes at night every single day.  I found some sciatica-specific exercises that I’ve worked into my routine.
  • Round-the-clock regular doses of ibuprofen.  This one doesn’t come easily for me, because I am generally quite pill-phobic.  I don’t mean I’m afraid of pills, but more that I hate to take any kind of medicine because I think I should tough things out without meds.  But according to my research, you can’t defeat inflammation through sheer force of will.  Bummer.
  • Gradually add in some running and biking, as long as it doesn’t hurt.
  • Really focus on my running form.  There’s obviously some ch-ch-ch-changes to be made since I can’t stop injuring myself.
  • Don’t worry about the timeframe.  I’ve got three + months until the WTH? and even if I’m not in prime shape, I’ll be in decent shape.  Especially in the pool!

Some other options I am still considering, but haven’t implemented yet:

  • Chiropractic care.  I’m not sold on this idea, but several members of my family absolutely swear by it.
  • Going minimalist with the shoes.  I have plenty of photographic evidence that I’m not always using my Newtons properly, so maybe it’s time to take it to the next (lower) level.
  • Bikram yoga.  Just for you, Laura!!

19 comments:

Julie said...

My injury was COMPLETELY different from yours, but I have to tell you that trying a chiropractor might not be a bad idea.

I had never been to one and kind of poo pood the idea at first.

I finally went to a sports injury clinic/chiropractor and between she and the massage therapists, they REALLY figured out my problem and got me running again (after more than a year out of commission). I say it's worth a try!!!

Christi said...

You are on the right track with all your thoughts. I am glad that you are doing better emotionally. And RockStarTri is right. Focus on what you can do!

Jonathan Rohr said...

Recovering from an injury can be long and tough, but it really makes you appreciate how lucky you are when everything is working properly. Just stay on top of it and you'll be back to normal in no time!!

Rose said...

I had an amazing chiropractor in high school. Amazing. It totally made my life more bearable to go to him.

And I loooooooooove Bikram yoga. Which reminds me that I should go more often.

Small Town Runner said...

Sounds like you have some great advice going! You seem to ahve a lot of determinations, so that will be a big help too :)

I have used/overused ibuprophen in the past. But it works. I am sure your doc has some good advice there, in regards to rotating which meds you use to take it easier on your organs.

Wishing you the very best!!!

RockStarTri said...

You got this! A chiro may help but be careful with too many ibuprofen.

Char said...

Sounds like you've gone through the first phase of injury recovery - acceptance. And your well into your second phase - building a plan. Hope it all goes well.

Heather said...

Great plan. I tend to be anti-chiro, but last marathon training cycle gave in and went once a month. It really did help manage my back pain and keep it from tweaking out (which happened before the Madison Marathon last year and I ended up DNF'ing) . . . so it may be worth a try. Just try to ignore their withcraftery. :)

DRog said...

totally on the right track with both your thought process and also your actions. nice turnaround

CautiouslyAudacious said...

Sounds like you have a plan in place. It always feels good to take action. The hardest part about an injury is staying still and the fact that others don't always understand why it can be so depressing. Stay positive!

ajh said...

I would try the chiro. With my first running injury it was the chiro who made all the difference. This time it was a combo of different people including the PT for sure. But chiros can be amazing! Glad you are feeling more optimistic.

ratherthecouch said...

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You just made my day!!!!!! Glad to hear you're feeling better about things mentally. Hopefully the physical is following right behind.

(And you deserve every last one of those exclamation marks!)

Megan said...

that saying is oh, SO TRUE! I love it! Thanks for sharing.

Aimee said...

Sounds like you have a great plan in place!!

Chris K said...

Great plan P. I love core work 3X per week and love Bikrams, but I am the worst person on the planet at it.

Alma said...

I'm sorry P. Sounds like you are trying to keep moving it forward, which is good. I swear by chiropractic care but you have to have the right chiropractor. Lots of variability in skill levels. Also, YOGA makes running possible for me. I'm a pill-phobic person too and my chiro got me into taking curcumin tablets. They are a natural (it's turmeric) alternative to ibuprofen and other NSAIDs. You can take them every day safely. I've been doing them for a couple months and they seem to help w/ inflammation.

Jim ... 50after40 said...

I like Rock's advice too ... something we can all use. Sounds like you're on the right track.

Johann said...

Staying positive is probably the key when going through an injury phase. Your plan here sounds very good and will keep you going. Taking some meds at certain times is the wise thing to do. All the best with this, you’ll be back to 100% soon. Remember to make any shoe transitions very slow and moderate.

Teamarcia said...

Looks like a good solid plan!
I was a total chiro skeptic but in desperation (injured with Boston looming) went. It was the best thing I ever did--pure magic I tell you!