After our rainy tribute to Pi, I went to my physical therapist with my tail between my legs. My lower back just wouldn’t let go. He declared me “all tied up in knots” and forbade me from doing anything (no swim, no bike, no run, no picking up kids, no taking out the trash) for two weeks. I reluctantly followed all but one of those rules (obviously, peanuts need to be carried around), and went to the PT twice a week. At the PT he would hook me up to the muscle stimulator, apply serious heat and then use an ultra sound machine to calm it all down. I’m not sure WHY it worked, but by then end of my two weeks, things were back to normal! On Thursday I was cleared to run again, and under strict orders to be serious about my clam shells.
Which was great news because by the end of the 2nd week I was DESPERATE to run. It was way too stressful a time to be sitting around in mild, chronic pain. I work in school districts and March-May is a very stressful time in my world. Everything that got pushed back is finally happening, things that got started early are wrapping up, people are preparing for the big professional development days and policy roll outs that come in May and June; it’s just chaos in the Spring. And when chaos hits I have two strategies: sleep or exercise. Before I was an exerciser, I just went to bed and let the naps and long nights untangle my brain. But then I had kids and there was no more long nights… and then I got a real job and there were no more naps. So for a while my brain just got more and more tangled and I got more and more grumpy and out of sorts. And then I started running and I realized: running untangles my brain, too!
Over time, I’ve come to depend on running as a way to move out of crazy and obsessed and into practical and proactive. So when my PT said I could run, I was psyched! On Saturday morning I tied on my shoes and headed out the door! My body spent most of the first mile telling me all about how this was not something we did anymore and asking if we could go back and watch TV. Mile two I started to warm up and get some kinks out and by mile three I was in the mental zone where my brain is sorting thing out, I am having new ideas about work and life, and my hands are finally warm enough to come out from inside the sleeves of my hoodie. Ahhhh!
Of course, my legs were very tired and I had to take some Advil for my lower back, but I was pleased that I did not suck as badly as I had worried I would suck. Done and done. And then my husband decided that he would give me bandwidth to run again on Sunday (today). It was quite a production involving taking the kids on an adventure where they would pass me running twice and cheer me on (in Percy the Bike-train)… I have to admit, I was not prepared to run again so soon. But I did. The first mile of this run involved my body in full revolt. Mile 2 I settled into a slow pitiful trot (except when my kids passed me, then I was Speedy Gonzalez) and the SECOND I turned over the third mile I strolled to a walk.
6 miles in two days and now I’m more than a little sore. But it’s OK, because its Spring. Stressful, flower-filled, chaotic, sun-shiney, busybusybusy Spring. And now, I’m ready for it.