These past two weeks have been an absolute blur. Between an eruption of work that had to get done, doctor appointments, training, and taking care of Axel, I’m surprised I have enough left in me to write this post. It actually feels good to sit down, write, and give my blog some attention.
Work has consumed me the past several days with papers to be graded, an exam to prep, and emails that seem to pile up faster than I can respond. To get it all done, I had to set the alarm clock a little earlier than usual, and cut short or altogether skip a few of my workouts, but at least my mind was more at ease. Work has to be a priority before training when my students are relying on me for prompt feedback, I am working against deadlines, and emails filling up my inbox. At least I was able to push through and get all of my work done until the next round begins on Monday.
As a result, I came out of this week mentally exhausted. I handle physical fatigue a lot better than mental fatigue, so it’s been a rough go for me the past several days. On top of that, Axel has three top teeth coming in, so he’s been extra fussy and needy of late. Thankfully I was still able to break away here and there for some time outside. Most of my runs have been on the lighter side, as I am tapering for the Eugene Half Marathon, so it’s been a nice escape to get away for 30-45 minutes here and there. Nature calms the mind and soul.
If you’ve been reading this blog for some time you know that I have been seeing a physical therapist from time to time for some pelvis and lower back pain that are still lingering from pregnancy and childbirth. While my pelvis pain has pretty much disappeared, my back pain has gotten noticeably worse. It doesn’t hurt to run or bike, but swimming of all things really aggravates it. Any time I am laying on my stomach or back in a straight position, and then go to get up, I have a sharp/stabbing sensation that surges through by lower back, spine and glute region. It should come as no surprise that constantly having to pick up, set down, or carry a 20-pound baby doesn’t help either. I finally made an appointment with my primary care physician last week and found out I have a locked pelvis and inflammation in my fifth lumbar vertebra. The pelvis issue is causing one leg to sit slightly higher, creating a chain of events that create pain throughout my back, butt, and thighs.
I have now started seeing Dr. Terry Doi at NWX Chiropractic. I was a little hesitant about chiropractic work (I’m not a fan of popping and shifting body parts) but she instantly put my mind at ease and focused on deep tissue trigger point therapy (amazing), electric stimulation, and drop table. I felt some improvement after we were finished and am hoping that the benefits increase as I continue treatment. I will be seeing her 2-3 times a week until there is significant and consistent improvement. It’s tough because one of the major culprits of the pain is picking up and holding Axel throughout the day. I really don’t have a choice, but it constantly feels as though I am taking two steps forward and one step back when trying to manage the pain. At least he’s worth it.
Training has been hit or miss, but that’s okay. After my three-week build and half Ironman simulation, I was able to enjoy a recovery week last week and took full advantage of the down time. Don’t ever underestimate the power of good recovery. The weather around Bend has been erratic with a mixed bag of everything from thunderstorms and hail, to snow, wind, rain, and sunshine (sometimes all in the same day). If you go outside, you never know what you will get. Recovery weeks are easier when you don’t want to get nailed by marble sized hail.
I was able to get in a few easy rides, actually making it a point to go easy – which I struggle with. Because I train with power I can easily gauge my effort level at all times and not go overboard. When coach says “Finish your ride with an IF (intensity factor) of < 0.66, and stay away from hills” he means it! I do love the way he emphasizes the easy days. He knows me so well (my tendency to go too hard – that is). I’m learning to take active recovery days just as seriously as I do the high intensity, big workout days.
The Bend Marathon and Half was this past weekend. I had contemplated running it, as I ran the inaugural half last year when I was pregnant, but ultimately decided to wait a week and run the Eugene Half Marathon instead. There was something more tempting about running a flat course at sea level. Plus, the Eugene half finishes at the holy grail of running – with a lap around the track at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus. I plan on making my Olympic debut by sprinting as fast as I can to the finish. #Dreaming
I finally got a chance to meet and ride with Kayla, a friend I met through blogging and social media. We’ve been following each other for years and finally found an opportunity to connect. Kayla was in town with her family for the Bend Marathon, and brought her bike with her so we could go on a ride. She is also training for Ironman Coeur d’Alene (both the half and full like me) so I’m excited that I will get to see her again at future races. By the way – she kicked butt and finished in 1:30 at the Bend Half. Give me some of your running talent, please!!!
Justin and I are heading over Eugene today for tomorrow’s race! It will be our first out-of-town, overnight hotel experience with Axel. I’m really excited to see how he does with traveling. The weather is supposed to be 80 degrees and sunny tomorrow, although it will likely be 50 degrees while I am running, which is about perfect. My mindset going into this race will be – race smart. This will be my first half marathon postpartum, and although I would love to chase after a PR, I also want to finish feeling good and in control. Pace, pace, pace…
Anyone else racing this weekend?
Have you ever been to a chiropractor? Did it help? I’d love to hear about your experience.