Let me explain.
So back in early 2013, I was having short periods of stabbing pains shooting down my leg, primarily when not moving for long periods, such as 8 hour car trips to visit family. As a nurse/avid jogger, I realized it was probably sciatic nerve pain, but the transient nature of the pain led me to write it off as soon as it passed each time.
And then it got worse. And worse. Limping, paling, worse, lasting hours at a time. I'm stubborn, but when moving becomes a chore and I have trouble even holding my son, I take notice. I started with the nurse practitioner available where I work, going on tramadol(non-narcotic pain medication) and Flexeril(muscle relaxer) and taking some time off from running. I'm the type of jogger-or was the type of jogger-who stressed out missing a single day of my jogging routine, let alone weeks! But I knew something was wrong, so I sacrificed.
It didn't get better.
That lead to an x-ray, MRI, and a diagnosis of a protruding disc in my back. Now, a protruding disc is really on the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to severity of back problems, but it was causing enough pain to keep me from running, going to the gym, or being very active in general.
Skipping ahead a few months, after physical therapy and eliminating all meds helping with the pain, I was in much better shape, experiencing only moderate back/leg pain only once a week or less. However, after a couple months of little to no running, my psyche was shot. I couldn't get back into it. I'm still having that trouble. I was running 7-8 minute miles for up to 7 mile jogs. Now I was running 9-10 minute miles over 1-2 miles. I know that may not sound horrible, but ask any dedicated runner, and you'll probably get a semi-shocked response like, "Oh, that's horrible!"
Anyway, I've decided to take control of this and get back into my prior habits with diet and exercise. It's been a slow process, but I've decided to get into a few races to push myself to continually improve my running, my health, and honestly, my happiness. Now, I'm a happy person anyway, but when I'm running regularly, I just feel better - more natural energy, better productivity in basically all aspects of my life, and I used to do 90% of my plotting in my head when running. Something about the endorphins gets my creative juices flowing.
So, why in the hell would you care about this? You probably don't. However, I believe this will keep me more accountable for keeping up with my fitness goals, and heck, maybe I'll eventually inspire someone to take steps to a healthier lifestyle. Maybe not. We'll see.
So, step one is getting out of my comfort zone, namely an 8K race this Saturday. I have only run 5 miles once or twice in the past 7-8 months, the last time being two weeks ago. It wasn't exactly pleasant. However, just knowing I wanted to do the race, and my stubborn nature which prevents me from letting myself walk during a race, I knew that I would be able to push myself past the 2-3 mile runs that I was doing once a week, if that. After chumping out on my run this past weekend(mostly because I was at the tail end of recovering from a sinus infection), I went ahead and signed up for the race, something that will ensure I will participate. To further cement my participation, I signed my three year old up for the pre-8K fun run. Seeing his excitement when he crosses that finish line will be all the motivation I need to make it to my own finish line, even if not in the amount of time I'd like.
But I'll get there. And I'll be writing about my progress(or lack thereof) each Wednesday. Up until the Warrior Dash in May, I'll also be talking about my progress with my St. Jude fundraiser. Of my $300 goal, I'm up to $275, or 91% of my goal.
Now, if you've read this far, and are still awake, be sure to check out my previous blog post in which I explain how you win signed copies of my books, free Kindle downloads of my books, and getting your name in Book 3 of Korin's Journal by donating to St. Jude:
If you would like to make a donation, simply go to www.warrior.stjude.org/brianbeam
I'll be posting next week how things went with the race(or more likely gushing about my son's involvement in it.)