Okay, okay. So, in retrospect, the misery I experienced on yesterday's run was about 75% self-induced. Pick the hottest day of the year so far, head out on extremely tired legs, on a very hilly route, and don't take a drop of water. I've done stuff like that before, of course. I'll never forget, in the summer of 2009, a 13 mile run that I did on Highway 37. It was hot. I was overtrained. And I ran out of water. Shudder. That was nothing, though, compared to yesterday's adventure. I should know better--I'm already dealing with a lot of pain. No reason to make it even worse on myself. I tried to wash away my sorrows by taking an ice bath. Hopefully that helped my legs.
I saw Dr. Russell today. Turns out, Dr. Kaeser had called him this morning (I had relayed to Dr. Kaeser the results of the MRI which were, basically, normal) to discuss my case. I think Dr. Kaeser had been trying to wait until Dr. Houze got back, but he couldn't help himself. He had discussed with Dr. Russell the treatments he had done on my back (as I have a couple of pinched nerves there that radiate around my back). I expressed to Dr. Russell that, though I had a couple of good runs on Sunday and Tuesday, Thursday was much worse. He asked me about Tuesday's run, if there was anything different. I explained that I did a tempo and that I did, during the last half mile, have a marked increase in pain. And then I remembered something: when that happened during the tempo, I remember holding my breath temporarily to see if that would help. I'm not sure why--but sometimes my body tells me to do things with this pain. Some kind of innate response. Anyway, holding my breath helped. It's exceedingly difficult to run while holding one's breath, though, so this is not a strategy I can use. Just as I was remembering that, he said he guessed that the increased depth and frequency of respiration probably caused it. Why? Because, as so many of them have told me, the diaphragm is at the crux of this whole issue. I've also noticed, in the past, that the pain gets much worse if I try to charge up a hill. Of course, when I do so, I breathe faster and more deeply.
So, FOR NOW, I need to moderate my effort. That is really irritating to me because I want to work some speed work into my training. I also was hoping to race a 15K in a few weeks. I guess the latter is still possible, but I'm just not there yet. Next, I had another ride on the TENS unit (happy to report I set a new record level--made it to 30 and the max stimulation is 40) and got to meet a new tool--Thumper. That's really its name. Its job is to thump the daylights out of your back. So, that's what Dr. Russell did to me with it. It hurt, but it felt like he was really getting some key areas.
Before I left, he told me that I should schedule an appointment with the massage therapist who works there so that she could work on my rectus muscles. I asked him, pointing to the ridge in my abdomen "Is this normal? This thing here...does everyone have this?" Dr. Russell is so nice. He sort of sheepishly said "Well, no, not usually, no." You know he was thinking "Are you INSANE? No, it is not normal to have your muscles feel like knotted ropes!" I mean I sort of knew they weren't normal, but when I'm stressed about something it helps me to ask questions to which I already know the answer. I am pretty sure that habit drives my husband crazy. Anyway--Mary, the massage therapist, is on vacation until next week. So--more waiting. But I'm excited to have an appointment with her, as I really think I can benefit.
Trail run tomorrow with Wes and Tim. I am happy to report that I'm the owner of a new pair of New Balance Minimus trail shoes. I picked them up at Indiana Running Company on the way home (impulse buy). I can't wait to try them out tomorrow. 19 miles Sunday, then just one more run until I get more injections. I can't wait...bring on that needle!