Posts Tagged ‘back pain’

After suffering a minor setback the day after my 18 mile run 2 weeks ago, I am back on track! Thanks to a wonderful neuromuscular massage therapist, stretching exercises and being diligent about icing my back a couple of times a day, I feel great! This is my hardest training week, leading up to a 20 mile run on Saturday. This morning I felt exceptionally good, and even set the treadmill at a faster pace for my last quarter mile. Not that I’m thinking of sprinting that last .2 miles at the NJ Marathon, but nice to know I can do it after a shorter run. It’s all about CONFIDENCE!  

Reaching plateaus, experiencing setbacks and enjoying the rebounds are what our Push to Walk clients face every day. Whether it’s in their personal relationships, performing the daily tasks of personal care, or in their roles as students or professionals, people with spinal cord injuries  encounter challenges of many sorts on a daily basis. As I relate my minor setback to their challenges, I am reminded once again how fortunate I am to be healthy and running. I am running for people with spinal cord injuries; for those who are not running now. Perhaps they were runners or athletes or fitness nuts. Maybe they hated running or any other kind of exercise. But what they would give now to take one step, to walk a few feet, to run 10 yards. I can only imagine. I do not know how that feels. And so I run, day after day, mile after mile, for all the people who inspire me to do what I can.

In the process, I hope to raise awareness of spinal cord injuries, to raise funds to help more people through our exercise program at Push to Walk and to do something for the “greater good.” I hope you’ll help me by supporting Team Push to Walk at the NJ Marathon on May 1st. Check our website to see how you can help! Click on the Marathon banner and check out our fund raising efforts. Or come that day and cheer us on. It would be great to have friendly faces supporting us on the course!


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After a week of taking it really easy, stretching, icing and only a little bit of running (very little), I felt ready to tackle 8 miles on Saturday. But since I wasn’t overly confident, I ran inside, on the treadmill. I actually felt pretty good, and was pleased at my pace. My back had kind of a “heavy” feeling in the beginning – I guess it was tight, and seemed to get better as I ran. I made sure I stretched more than usual (I hate stretching, which is probably what got me in trouble to begin with!) and iced afterward. I have to say I was really good with stretching and icing all weekend. Now I just have to keep up the good habits!

This coming week is probably the hardest in the whole 20 weeks of training. Lots of running, 2 days of cross-training, and culminating in a 20 mile run on Saturday. It will mean getting up earlier than usual to fit in the day’s program, then stretching and, of course, ice packs!!! I hope my mind is ready for this! After slacking off last week, which I know was important to make sure I didn’t aggravate my back even further, I need to really buckle down and be serious this week. Wish me luck!

I have to admit that I was so wrapped up in how I was feeling, concentrating on any twinges of pain or nagging doubts, that I couldn’t really concentrate on who I might be dedicating my run to. I guess I was running for myself, and that’s not all bad, but now I feel like I really should have been thinking about a Push to Walk client. Maybe then I wouldn’t have been so self-absorbed. Oh well, too late for that now, but I will keep that in mind next time (Monday morning) when I step on the treadmill. Will probably be better if I do dedicate my run, and think of something or someone other than the pain I might or might not be in.

Guess it goes to show that not every workout goes as you want it, just like every day doesn’t either. You have to learn to “go with the flow,” adjust, adapt, take what’s thrown at you. Who knows this better than people whose lives have been completely disrupted by a life changing event like a spinal cord injury? And even when you think you have something figured out, a monkey wrench is thrown in the mix, and you have to adapt all over again.  These are the thoughts I will keep in mind the next time something doesn’t go as planned. It’s probably a trivial, minor inconvenience that I can deal with. Reminds me of that saying, “don’t sweat the small stuff.”

So I’ll tackle this upcoming week with a renewed sense of purpose, and the commitment to my goal of completing the NJ Marathon in just 4 weeks! Wish me well!


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For the past 3 months plus now, I have been running and training for the NJ Marathon on May 1st. I’ve been feeling healthy and fit. I’m eating better (most of the time) and sleeping better. Even though I would say I would run and train “as long as my body held up,” I never really thought it wouldn’t. Whoa! Then came the morning after my 18 mile run, which was the day after the Push to Walk Poker Tournament. I woke up in a LOT of pain, my back hurting and every movement made me wince. OUCH! I guess I over-did it……….

For several days, now, I have been stretching, icing and putting Aspercreme on my back. Each day, I feel better and better, but I’m taking it really easy. No exercise at all on Sunday and Monday. A short 30 minute walk at low speed on the treadmill on Tuesday, and a 30 minute, not very strenuous ride on the exercise bike this morning (Wednesday). Feeling OK, but fearful that it will start hurting again.  This pain scared me like no other pain has in the past. It was interrupting my training! I was hurting! I wasn’t even thinking clearly. My mind was so focused on the pain that I couldn’t think of other things. Not good for working. I need to train; I need to run this marathon…………think of the whole Team Push to Walk and all the people involved. It’s not just me anymore.

I want to walk/run tomorrow on the treadmill and see how I feel. I am promising myself to take it easy and not run thru the pain. I will see how I feel and plan accordiningly.

What a wake up call this was! It brought back horrible memories of back and neck pain. I hadn’t felt pain in so long, I had forgotten how debilitating it can be. But then it made me think of so many people I know who live with pain on a daily basis. I was fortunate and found a solution that worked for me in Dr. John Sarno’s work. Margaret, Darren’s neuromuscular massage therapist, recommended his books to Darren, who then suggested them to me: Healing Back Pain and The Mind/Body Prescription.  I have found that his techniques really work for me. Not that I think the pain I have now is related to stress (although it could be compounding it), but the idea that I have found something that works for me. So many other people have not found a solution, and especially for people with spinal cord injuries, they may never be relieved of their pain. So I count myself lucky, once again, that my pain is temporary and I can get back to running very soon. I worry about so many others whose lives are consumed by pain, preventing them from doing so many things they want to do. It brings me back to reality, and reminds me of how lucky I am to be healthy and well.  

Hopefully I’ll be blogging very soon about my next run! Cynthia

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