Sunday, September 30, 2012

Week 5 10k training: Do NOT as I do

How many times have I sacrificed myself so that others may continue to run injury-free, having learned what NOT to do from me?

Week 5 10k training re-cap:
  • Running: NONE.
  • Yoga: Nope.
  • Weights: Nada.
  • Bike: Not this either.
  • Swim: Not allowed.
In fact, I was barely walking for the first several days this week. It was a complete ZERO week but funny thing, I'm not upset about it. It sucked but since it was temporary, it was easy to take into stride as just an off week. It was almost humorous because it was so simple and stupid.

So here I am telling you how to avoid an unexpected temporary set-BACK, MIND YOUR FACETS! 

Facet Joint: small stabilizing joints located between and behind adjacent vertebrae. Each facet joint is positioned at each level to provide the needed limits to motion, especially to rotation and to prevent forward slipping (spondylolisthesis) of that vertebra over the one below. A protective reflex arrangement arises when the facets are inflamed which causes the nearby muscles that parallel the spine to go into spasm. Inflamed facet joints cause crooking and out-of posture of the back, along with powerful muscle spasm.

After my fantastic 9+ mile run last Saturday, my hubs, son, and I went to the Y to swim only to find that swim lessons had taken over the entire pool. Instead of leaving right away, we decided to sit in the hot tub for a few minutes. Heat isn't what I would apply post-long run under normal circumstances but I thought a few minutes wouldn't hurt.

Well, after returning home, I sat lengthwise on our couch with my laptop to write my blog post (i.e., brag) about my great long run. Once finished, I tried to get up. Tried to get up. Could not. I was stuck, bent over. Ack! Eventually, I made it to an upright position. My back was in excrutiating pain the rest of the weekend and after sitting, I had to walk around like a neanderthal knuckle-dragger for a while before I could get fully upright.

Thankfully, I see Seattle' best chiropractor and physical therapist, who had me in much better shape by Wednesday but put me on restriction until the inflammation subsides: No activity that would cause spinal compression and no activity that would require me to be in a bent over position.

So here's the deal, I created the perfect storm of events:
  1. Fatigue the core and lower back muscles during long run.
  2. Sit in hot tub to make muscles extremely relaxed and "gushy."
  3. Sit in an unsupported position with a reverse lumbar curve in spine.

Recipe for disaster.

My facets did not have the juice to limit motion and everything in my low back got overextended, or slipped, or whatever. So please, friends, do NOT sit with your back all hunched over, especially after you have physically exhausted yourself. You just might set your back, back a week. The cure: adjustments, ice, topical anti-inflammatory creme, AND, no sitting for more than 10 minutes. I've been kneeling and standing at work (not bad, actually) and it has helped immensely.

I'm going to try for some easy runs this week and will continue to limit my sitting while watching my lower back posture (not a bad thing, anyway). I hope you are laughing at how silly this all is, as I am. Who but me could come up with something so ridiculous, being forced to take a week off because of sitting with poor posture while blogging?


  1. I think you have the worst luck, Alma! This sucks! Hope you're back at it soon!

  2. Ouch. That sounds miserable :(.

  3. oh no!!! I used to sit in the Hot Tub after all my long runs last felt wonderful! Note to self it might not be the best option.

  4. Oh shoot! I once threw my back out unloading the dishwasher, if that makes you feel any better. Sometimes things just don't make sense. Hope you feel better soon!

  5. I can see myself doing that. Who knew? Thanks for the info and feel better.

  6. i would’ve never thought that could happen! glad you have the perfect care to make your better though. hope this week is better!

  7. Ha I was exhausted from a run and a silly Jillian Michaels video, hunched over my laptop reading this, but thanks to your post I fixed my posture ;)

    Sarah and I just signed up for the Snohomish 10k!!

  8. Oh no. I can't believe your bad luck. Hope you're back to full running power soon. (I am watching my posture as I'm typing this...)

  9. I had no idea that the hot tub and blogging could do that to you! I ran a marathon on Sunday, an hour later was in the car for 6 hours and turned on the seat heat, because it felt good. My posture was all over the place. I think I was lucky not to get injured! Hope you will be back running very soon!!