Thursday, April 01, 2010

5K Week 3 do over

My back had been hurting for over a week since I pulled something when I bent over to pick up a laundry basket (I’ve long suspected laundry was detrimental to my health – now I have proof).  Normally I’d just let the darn thing heal on its own but I couldn’t do that this time, thanks to the dadgum 5K. I wasn’t able to keep up my “Couch to 5K” training schedule because of the pain and with only six weeks to go I couldn’t afford to miss another week.  So to the doctor’s office I went.

He pushed and poked and prodded – all ouch-inducing.  When he pressed on my lower back over my spine I thought I’d go through the roof.  I’ve always been a little tender there but now, holy cow, it felt like he put a knife in my back.  He ordered a series of back x-rays. 

When he read the films he announced, “Looks like nothing’s broken, but you do have quite a bit of arthritis in your lower back.” 

Excuse me?  That kind of pronouncement should be prefaced with, “Now, this doesn’t mean you’re over the hill,” or, “This is super-common with all youngish women.”  But no – Mr. Doctor just lowers the boom and tells me I have arthritis.  Lovely.

So the good news is nothing was broken and all I had to do was some stretches and take ibuprofen and a muscle relaxer and not run for a week. Normally a prescription like, “Do not run” would thrill me to my core but because of the 5K I was very concerned.  I was on Week 3 of my 9 week plan and I didn’t have a week to spare.  But I did stay away from the Y, diligently did the stretches and took only half of the muscle relaxer pill each night (taking a whole one made me incredibly loopy – yes, more than normal). A friend told me about another set of stretches that helped tremendously, and after a week I was feeling strong enough to head back to the Y.

I went back to Week 3 on the plan since I’d missed a whole week of training:

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:


  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)



  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)



  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)



  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes) 

  • Monday was tough; I only made it through one set of, “Run three minutes, walk three minutes.” I did ride the bike for a while on the hill setting. Hokey pete, that was tough. Wednesday’s workout was much better; I made it through both sets of the run three/walk three and felt good.

    There are only five weeks left before race day.  I’ll be one week shy of completing the Couch to 5K plan but I think I’ll be okay.  I may not run the whole thing, but I think I’ll finish.  And, I'm happy to report, that's no April Fool's joke!