On Monday it actually snowed here in the middle of May, so I was forced to take my training back indoors. It was one of those days and I wasn’t feeling supremely energetic as I lugged myself up to the second floor track to warm up. I sat down on the floor to stretch my legs and as I reached for my foot I felt a loud pop in my lower back adding an exclamation point to my already grumpy disposition. I’ve never completely understood the expression, “threw my back out” but I suppose that whatever happened at that moment would no doubt qualify. Had I the foreknowledge that a body part was about to be hurled anywhere I’d have chucked my leaky bladder without a moment’s hesitation. As it was, I hadn’t anticipated the throw, and it was my back that suffered the brunt of my brutal pitch. I shifted about to make sure that I hadn’t sustained some fatal spinal cord injury and that I could still wiggle my toes. After a meager assessment, I determined I would in fact survive but that injuries sustained were worthy of reducing my running effort to a solitary mile. I was uncomfortable but not entirely incapacitated, and I completely ignored the clock. I slunk off to the pool and finished my race day training submerged in the consoling water.
I went home and proceeded to be reminded of the incident throughout the day and I began to wonder if this would resolve by race day, now less than two weeks away. I struggled to maintain an erect posture and my mood digressed into into that of sullen, forlorn incompetence. This was supposed to be my long run attempt, and I am positive I ate far too many brownies last week to have allowed me to successfully achieve anything appropriate for a long run, even if I hadn’t launched my back straight across the gym. My children even took pity on me and agreed to be quiet while I attempted to find respite in a horizontal nap. My five year old daughter was particularly compassionate and tried to give me a massage, which consisted of using my back as a springboard for her tiny hands as she pounced enthusiastically from one achey spot to the next. She ended her treatment with some gentle kisses on my forearm, so it still managed to make me feel somewhat better.
My running cohort and sister, Kristiann, intuitively sensed my sulky attitude when she phoned me that evening. Also, I had sent her a text. She tried to cheer me up with her tale of how she ran 8 miles the other day, and how half marathons are no longer sufficient challenge for her so she will be signing up for a full marathon this summer. I could tell that we were bonding. I complained about my persistent leakage issues and she casually suggested I switch to some larger and thicker, more absorbent protection. At that point, I realized her diabetes was not nearly as well controlled as previously thought, and irrational absurdity had taken over. That, or she has decided it would be helpful to plant an audible tracking device on me while I run, so that everyone can hear the telltale crinkling of the pad shifting about with every step and know definitively in advance of my approach. The enormous crowds on race day would be of no concern as we would be inseparable, with my whereabouts so easily detected. Obviously, she has not familiarized herself with the vast array of products available to guard against a faulty feminine faucet. I however, have perused the aisle.
I remain resolute in my decision to not plunge myself further into embarrassment than I have already achieved of my own accord, and any other products will remain on the shelf. My humiliation, my terms.
Our phone conversation did have the miraculous effect of fixing my ailing back. When I got off the phone, I shifted from my prostrate position on my bed to replace the phone in its stand. As I did, I felt a second less audible pop in my back, successfully alleviating 80% of my misery. So, one day lost and I still have through the weekend to hammer out some mileage. My back is no longer a huge concern, and I’ve had enough of this attitude. Time to hoist my chin off the floor and wiggle my way back on track! Today is a new day and it’s about time I had myself a canyon!