This post was supposed to be about something completely different than what it actually is about. I had an MRI of my lower back on Thursday, and my follow up appointment is this coming Friday. Although I knew they probably wouldn’t give me my MRI results over the phone (HIPAA, whatever…) or have any earlier appointment this week, I had to try. So I called the orthopedic surgeon’s office to beg for the results or an earlier appointment.
As I expected, I got none of the above. So I was upset. Silly to be upset about something you already knew would happen, but it happens. I felt some twinges in my back and thought about how this has been going on for almost four months and I still have no answers. I’ve taken yet another week off…of everything. No running, no physical therapy, no acupuncture, no core work in my apartment.
To sound like nothing short of a brat, I can’t take it anymore. I miss running more than anything. It’s raining outside, and I love a good run in the rain. So I decided I had to try. In the back of my mind, the twinges in my back this morning meant that I’d make it two minutes and walk home while hanging my head. But that’s two minutes of trying, so I got dressed for a rain run and headed outside.
I walked for two minutes, then started up. Original plan was to run/walk, but I think the starting/stopping causes pain from the changing in footing. So in a completely terrible idea that I wouldn’t recommend, I decided to run until I thought my back was going to hurt. It gets tighter before the MASSIVE OMG MUST STOP NOW pain hits, so I figured I’d go until the tightness hit. Since changes in footing also seem to trigger pain, I just ran up and down along the East River.
Um. I ran for fifty minutes. FIFTY MINUTES. And that’s only because I made myself stop at fifty minutes. At first I was going to stop at twenty minutes, but to honest….I felt totally fine. So I kept going. Ten more minutes. Then ten more. Then a run to the bagel shop. Then around the block once I got to the bagel shop. Then I got a bagel. (There’s a reason I’m a nurse and not a writer…)
I got my bagel and walked home. And proceeded to tell everyone that I just ran for fifty minutes. I really have absolutely no idea how that happened. Or why. Or what I’ve done differently than what I’ve done for the past three months. My back feels 100% fine right now. No pain, no twinges, no “I’m going to lay on the couch until I can move again.”
Mainly, I’m confused. I haven’t done anything different. But I’m not arguing. I haven’t run this far in over three months. I’ve missed the feeling of my legs moving under me, and I even had a few minutes where I didn’t analyze every single step to determine if the pain was starting.
So I know you might be thinking, “Really, Susan? Fifty minutes? What a terrible idea.”
Trust me, I know. As I was running, I was thinking what a horrible idea it was. I know. I know. But I wanted to try. I’m not going to run a marathon tomorrow. I probably won’t even run tomorrow…but mainly because I’m working tomorrow. (Beside the point…) If someone told me they were coming back from injury and still felt pain in the morning, I would have told them not to run at all, let alone fifty minutes.
But honestly? I feel good. I stopped before any pain started. I have no pain now. I know my body, I know what true pain is versus the aches and pains of being a distance runner (and I have none of those either). I didn’t push through pain. I know I’m probably not 100% fixed. (Fixed from what? I have no idea.) But I’ll take it. It gives me a little bit of hope that one day (sooner rather than later…) I’ll be flying through the streets of Manhattan in my Brooks.