Not too long ago I posted my pre-race thoughts on a 5k I was signed up to do. I did everything I usually do before a race: packet pick-up and stretches and all that good stuff. I was geared to get up and go run this 5k.
Instead I woke up to a twinge down my right leg and a head full of blah. I didn’t want to run and I wasn’t sure if I should.
Having struggled with sciatica and back issues for 10 years now, I’m very weary of back pain, even small twinges because those can grow into a bigger problem. I’m always waiting and watching to see how my back will respond to activities because I never know when it will pull or tweak it thus leaving me sprawled out on the floor unable to walk.
And believe me, that’s happened. I had to cancel a get together with a bunch of moms and their kids to do crafts at my house when my son was small because I bent funny and my back went out. I spent the day on the floor because it was easier just to lay there motionless than to get up into a more comfortable position. Thank goodness I had help at the time to take care of Jake while I suffered on the floor. It was excruciatingly painful and something I never never want to deal with again.
So, the moment I have a twinge or feel a pull, I step back and take it easy. At this point in life I’ve learned it’s not worth the extra pain and discomfort to push myself through what could be a small issue that means nothing. It’s just better to lose out on whatever I have planned and play it safe.
The morning of my Yorba Linda Red Shirt 5k came and I felt that damn a pull down my right leg. It was small and not painful, just annoying and uncomfortable. But I knew what that meant. It meant I had to choose. I could either run through the discomfort and cross my fingers it wouldn’t lead to something worse OOORRRR I could just skip it all together and risk nothing but a broken record. In the end I chose to skip the race.
It wasn’t easy. I like things to be neat and tidy. Missing a race after running 4 races in a row made my OCD flair. That little gap kinda drives me bats. But I knew I had to take care of myself. So I sucked it up and didn’t run.
Since then I’ve kept up with my Saturday long runs (between 5-6 miles) and my weekly smaller runs (between 4-5 miles). My pace is improving consistently and my back is ok so far. I still have twinges and I take it easy on the days I feel it more than others. Next race is a 10k at the end of June so I have to stay focused!