Saturday, February 12, 2011

Now, Back to Our Show

So, it looks like I took a little break there. Heh. The problem with breaks is not so much the break as it is the starting up again. As you can imagine, not only did I take a break from blogging, but I pretty much took a break from the whole run, swim, bike thing too.

And, funnily enough, I started feeling way more aches and pains while NOT exercising. Weird huh?

First I developed this thing called achilles enthesitis, the main symptom of which was my achilles feeling like it was rubber band about to snap at any moment. The podiatrist told me to stay off my feet for six weeks, use a heel lift (or even to wear heels, if I owned any which I do not), and especially to STOP walking up and down the D.C. Metro escalator, which had pretty much become my only form of daily exercise since I moved in April of 2010. I might not be running, biking or swimming, but at least I was walking up those damn escalators twice a day!

But no. Turns out that was hurting more than helping.

Nothing for it but to fully embrace couch potato-hood, which in the dead of a D.C. winter, wasn't all that hard to do.

But I started feeling the old stirrings. I actually missed moving. Who knew?

The only thing I was really allowed to do was swim, so I mustered up all my courage (because, when you last left your heroine, she pretty much had grown to hate and detest swimming).

But the new, improved Not Born to Run has a new philosophy: No, not "Just Do It." More like, "Just Do What You Can."

I like it!

Thus mentally prepared for all contingencies, I got in the lovely 50-meter D.C. public Wilson pool (1 short mile from home), and did whatever I could. 100 m kick, 100 m pull, some flippers, a few meandering freestyles, and badda bing, 600 meters later, I'm good!

And? I actually WAS good!

I had only one New Year's resolution this year, and that was: To pay attention to my body.

And that meant paying attention to something that I had hoped if I ignored would eventually go away: Back pain.

Some of you who know me know I have had serious back issues before. In fact, I had been advised to have surgery at one point, but declined, deciding instead to try alternative therapies, including strengthening and running. So back problems scare me. And since my move in April 2010, mine had been hurting more and more, to the point that getting out of bed in the morning had become actually painful. I had trouble standing up straight. It pretty much hurt all the time.

(I don't know why I'm writing in the past tense here. Wishful thinking? Cuz things are the same.)

Anywho, to make a long story short, a few weeks ago I went to an orthopedic surgeon (not on my in$urance!), got an MRI (not covered til you meet your $1,800 deductible!) and then had an epiphany after receiving a marketing email from Sports and Spinal Physical Therapy, about this tri-chick who had suffered from back pain for years, and how Sports and Spinal cured her.

You don't have to tell me twice. I made an appointment and two weeks ago started seeing the lovely and incredibly toned Sonja.

Who, like so many other authority figures in my life, took one look at me and said, "You have so much potential!"


The good news is that she is very optimistic about my condition (whatever it is), and thinks she can turn things around. Apparently my spine has a lot of problems, one of which is it's about as flexible as (in her words) a "two-by-four."

She gave me some very specific exercises to do for my back and for a related ITB issue (the fun never stops). Plus swimming 2x week and spinning 1x week.

The first week I dove right in: swim, spin, swim, spin, swim...and? Get bronchitis!!

Oh wait. That wasn't part of the plan?

And that's where we are. In bed, feeling my chest rattle, looking up "pneumonia" on Web MD. (You know, just in case.)

But, I feel like I'm back, mentally at least.

And every time I go swimming, or sit through a spin class, I find myself composing a blog post.

Old habits die hard, eh?

So, in closing: I never thought I'd say it, but

I miss you, running. I'm sorry I let you down, biking. Let's try again, shall we, swimming?

But no threesomes for a while, ok?


Diane said...


Lesser is More said...

Great to hear from you Jeanne! SSPT is a great place. I'm sure you might have looked into it already, but I think DC Tri has a partnership with them. Don't know what that gets you, but figured I'd point that out. I definitely think that tightness in the whole posterior chain (piriformis, glutes, hamstrings, ITB, etc) can really do a wonder on the back. Hopefully it is just a matter of loosening and strengthening that stuff up. One thing is for sure - don't ever let a "Dr" tell you that exercise is bad for you. I'd run far away from anyone who told me that. Best of luck on the road to recovery!

Nora said...

Yay! (For the being back, not the aches and pains and illness!)

Rebecca said...

Welcome Back!! Love the "just do what you can" motto. Hope you feel better soon!

LBTEPA said...

yay for "just do what you can!" - but boo for bronchitis!

John The Mechanic said...

Glad to see you back. I know it's hard to get started with anything after an extended break, be it writing or running. Think long term, things work themselves out with both the running and the writing.

Kelly said...

She speaks! :)

iJuls said...

Welcome back, Jeanne. It's so nice to see you doing your thing again.

peter said...

I dunno Jeanne. I am of the school of thought that says, You can't go home again. Anywho, how's your new digs? Have you put a table under that northern window so you can sit at it, have your coffee and look up at the National Cathedral spire?

XCrunner99 said...

I know what it feels like to be injured!! Within the last year i pulled my hamstring and had knee surgery along with other constant ailments! I feel for ya man. Check out my blog at

Pamela said...

YES!!!! Swim Bike Run Tri. It really is the fountain of youth.

Hope your back stops being so intractably straight soon.

Zen thought of the day - "be the willow"

RunninginCT said...

Like the blog!

RG said...

I came upon your blog from another blog....and funny thing is I can TOTALLY relate to EXACTLY how you feel! I took a 3 week break there for a while (aches, lazy, etc) and starting up again is torture! Keep up the good work!! :)

David said...

Well let's hear more about how you're really still moving in all directions, even if at your own pace. You know we like your writing more than your running, swimming and biking.

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gottatryit said...

Glad you are back! Sorry for the injuries (and for the hefty price-tag that goes along with them). Check out my blog:

gottatryit said...

Glad you are back. And that you actually missed running. It's amazing how being thrown from our routines can make us realize what we like and don't like in our everyday life. Hope to read more from your blog soon. Good luck with the swimming, biking and running. Check out my running blog:

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