JMERLAU   68,115
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We SPARKED Kansas......includes lots of pictures

Friday, April 22, 2011

About 9 months ago, the decision was made for some of my team mates to meet in Kansas in person and run some races! WHAT A GREAT IDEA!! So the following SparkFriends were there:
April 15th(my birthday) we met in Lawrence Kansas for a weekend of fellowship and running! Friday was spent just talking and getting to know each other in PERSON, which was SO cool! Hugs, hand shakes, laughs, you name it, it was FUN! Friday night LuckyDogFarm starts telling us a story, then know, that house looks like that one, ONLY DIFFERENT. WE laughed about hat one statement for HOURS that weekend. FUNNY stuff to say the least.

Saturday morning we volunteered at Packet Pickup for the Kansas Marathon and lemme tell ya, we spread the spark far and wide!! We wore spark people t-shirts and that was a great idea. We had people asking us what spark people was all about, so we told them. Sally the race director was telling people that we had come from all over the states to meet for the first time, she told about weight loss, She was spreading the spark and she’s not even on Spark! This was simply a great time for all of us sharing and caring, about team mates AND others! We took lots of pictures of this event, here are just a few:

Saturday evening they were SO COOL to have a birthday party for me. LuckyDogFarm had made a cake, and YES I ATE IT! The team mates got me the coolest card filled with the nicest words, not to mention a very cool visor that I will wear in my next race! My sister and most of her family had joined us by this time so I had lots of great nieces and a great nephew running around also, that was loads of fun to watch all of them! The team just took my family is as part of the group and everybody had a great time.

This is some of my GREAT nieces and nephews

There was even a moment when ABSOLUTZER0 was asked to walk into another room at the hotel and the lady says “the stripper is here” WOOT….great fun!

We are off to bed fairly early on Saturday night to so we would be WELL RESTED for our various races on Sunday morning. The 6 of us ran very well in the 5K, 10K and Half Marathon and hung around for awards since Larry WON his age division in the 10K! YOU ROCK!! BTWCoach ran her PR for the Half, LuckyDogFarm ran her first 10K, AbsolutZero ran the half and killed it! Dwight did the 5K in his SparkPeople t-shirt and I ran my first half.

After the race there was lots of talk about Spark with people from the health care clinic that the race benefited. We talked about helping get a spark team going, we talked about online support and examples for them to follow. Bottom line, WE SPARKED LAWRENCE KANSAS!!! We celebrated with lunch at Chili’s after ward, then parted ways with lots of hugs all the way around!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANSASROSE67 5/2/2011 5:10PM

    Glad you enjoyed your time in Kansas...we ARE the middle of the U.S.A. so maybe more groups will borrow your idea of meeting in the middle!

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APRILBLESS 5/2/2011 4:34PM

    So very excellent! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SIMPLE_TAILOR 5/2/2011 1:33PM

    I'm going to have to try to make next year.

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KANSASCHICA 4/27/2011 2:11PM

    Yaay Sounds like you had a great time!! Wish I could have been there, but did a 5k in Ottawa, Ks that Saturday! Hope you can make it back again next year, and I for sure will be there!!! I'm working on doing a 10k in September!! Congrats to you all!!!

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MINNA72 4/27/2011 7:07AM

    Sounds like you guys had a fantastic time!
Way to spread the SPARK!

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PURPLE180 4/26/2011 10:10PM

    AMAZING! Way to Spread the Spark. I love the unity that SparkPeople brings. WooHoo.

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ABSOLUTZER0 4/26/2011 9:17PM

    What an awesome trip, awesome race, awesome team, and awesome time! Woohoo! Yes, Lawrence has been sparked! There is more sparking to be done, too. I e-mailed the doctor and dietitian we met, so I will be keeping in touch with them for sure.

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CHIFANG130 4/26/2011 12:29PM

    Such a fun and encouraging blog to read! Thanks for sharing your awesome experience. Keep on sparking!!!! You all look fantastic!

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    Yay for KANSAS!! :-D Loved looking at the pics - Hope to join you all next year!

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KINSBAILE 4/25/2011 9:04AM

    That sounds like a GREAT time! Rock on!

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CARLA0716 4/23/2011 9:53PM

    I'm so glad you all had fun! And congratulations to all of you for finishing and doing well in your respective races! emoticon emoticon emoticon

And Happy Belated Birthday to you Jerome! emoticon

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FLBEACHBUM14 4/22/2011 9:54PM

    I am glad I got to meet ALL of you in person! The next time we meet, we are going to need more of those SparkCards, LOTS of them! Your blog was great, Jerome - I had forgotten about ABSOLUTEZERO's visit to the Bachelorette party in the other meeting room! All great fun!

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BTWCOACH 4/22/2011 8:23PM

    Nice blog, Jerome. Couldn't have described it better myself!

Nancy - I'm thinking Jerome turned the cake around so you couldn't tell it said 42... hahahaha!

Sheila - you crack me up!!!! I'm so happy I got to meet you in person! And DwightyBob too!!!

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LUCKYDOGFARM 4/22/2011 8:07PM

    We did Spark lawrence, for sure!
DwightyBob is all ready to do a 10k now that i did one, or something like that, only different.
I am still Sparkified!
And Jerome is just like a SparkFriend, Only Different!

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PUDLECRAZY 4/22/2011 7:24PM


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HSMOM2FOUR 4/22/2011 7:03PM

    That's so awesome!!! Way to go on spreadin' the spark!!!

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KOEHNA 4/22/2011 6:30PM

    Sounded like a blast and what a great was to spend your birthday. emoticon

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TODDJAMES 4/22/2011 6:17PM

    Nice blog! Sounds like you had fun!

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NANHBH 4/22/2011 5:42PM

    So much fun! Sure wish I had been there. Great photos. Hey, what's with the "24" on the birthday cake?

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IOWEIT2ME 4/22/2011 5:40PM

    I am so sorry I was not able to make what turned out to be a FANTASTIC time! I'm glad you all had fun!!! I intend to be able to make the next MAKING IT HAPPEN family get-together!

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My FIRST HALF's long

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April 17th, 2011
Lawrence Kansas
Kansas Half Marathon
My FIRST ever!!

One of my team mates suggested we ‘get together’ as a team to celebrate and run a race together! This suggestion was made in the fall of 2010. Sounded like a GREAT idea so we picked a place that was central for easy access for all of us. There will be an entirely separate blog about that get together and how much fun that was though. I started training at the end of 2010 for this half marathon.

I knew I wasn’t 100% and I hadn’t been for several weeks. My piriformis muscle flared up and was very angry at me, not to mention the sciatica I’ve been dealing with for quite a while. I went into the race with no expectations, well, I expected to do as well as I could do. I had rocktape ( running from the bottom of both feet to the middle of my back helping hold me together! It felt great though.

Fast forward…...April 16th – my nerves were running through every emotion known to man. I had feeling of PRIDE, fear, victory for my journey, sadness because my family wasn’t with me, JOY for the team mates that were with me, sadness for the team mates who didn’t make the journey. Literally, every emotion possible. I finally crawled in bed about 9:45, about 45 minutes later than I wanted, but that’s OK. I didn’t expect to sleep much anyway so 45 minutes wasn’t going to matter!! I cranked the AC down so it would be cold in the room as well. I slept like a rock only waking up one time AND I fell right back sleep. I was very thankful for that. 5AM the alarm goes off. WOO HOO…RACE DAY!! I lay back down on the bed for about 30 seconds after I shut the alarm off, but realized I needed to get up and start getting ready. Nice hot shower to get the muscles warmed, dressed and started getting the legs moving. I decided I needed to walk outside to see how chilly it really was and quickly decided that I WOULD be wearing my insulated sleeves! It was a beautiful day, but quite chilly none the less. I started stretching out and warming up the legs fairly early so the piriformis would be as happy as possible. My brother in law, Lee, came into my room at 6:15 and did some elbow to the piriformis stretches that helped as well. 6:30am, the team met in the lobby and we were off to the race site.

There were already lots of cars at the site and people everywhere! We arrived 45 minutes before the start. This allowed time for a quick walk to get the legs warmed. A quick phone call to my wife, and visit to the port-a-pots! One of the reasons I’ve fallen in love with running is that there is not an age, size, or any other factor that comes into play. I very much enjoy watching people as they get ready for the run. Some folks questioned me about the tape on my legs, which I happily answer, “it’s holding me together.” I visited with several of the pacer’s for the race to finalize where I thought I should run. I had a pretty good idea, but asked around anyway. I decided I’d run with the 2 hour group. I thought I could hang with them fairly well. About 7:15 I moved toward the starting line and started getting my iphone ready with my tunes, as well as getting my walk meter up and running. Then an interruption…WHAT?!…A phone call! Like an idiot, I answer it. It was my nephew who was there at the race trying to find me. I told him I couldn’t talk and had to get my phone ready for the race. I hung up on him and attempted to get everything going again. HE CALLED BACK, LOL, I ignored that call in a frantic race to get my phone ready. I was trying something new with walk meter this race. I had set the application to post to my Facebook automatically at every mile. This was the perfect way for my family to follow me since they weren’t there physically. Very much in spirit though!! If you look at my heart rate monitor, you’ll see how fast my heart was pounding at the beginning of the race! It was definitely pounding away rather hard. 3…2….1…..GO….and we’re off….I, Jerome Merlau am officially running my FIRST half marathon!!

Mile 1-3 are filled with hills, YUCK! My piriformis doesn’t like to run hills!! This portion of the course took us around the Haskell Indian Nations University campus then off into a neighborhood. HILLS! That’s ok though, I just ran my race about 20 yards behind the 2 hour pacers and was doing just fine. I was determined to take in the sights and sounds of the course as well, there were people in their driveways clapping as we ran past, which was cool. I even saw one guy in his house slippers and house coat, taking pictures. I yelled at him, ‘Hey, you look comfy.’ I ran past Dwight (a team mate’s husband) and nearly goosed him for fun, but decided against it for fear he’d hall off and deck me! LOL. Miles 1-3 were at a 9:22, 9:14 and 9:06 pace respectively.

Mile 4 we transitioned onto the new running path in town and headed north for about a mile. This was a nice peaceful very flat surface to run on. We then zigzagged through a neighborhood sort of heading north to 8th street. There were more people out watching, clapping, ringing bells etc. That was a lot of fun. At this point I tried some gu for the first time. I’d stopped at all water stations for a sip. Taking the water helped my lips which typically get very chapped when I run. Mile 4 – 6 were 9:00, 9:00 and 8:38 respectively.

Mile 7 we turned south on Massachusetts! It was VERY cool to get to run down this popular street in town. I pulled one ear phone out so I could hear the people clapping and cheering as we ran down the street. I was watching for my team mate Nicholas as he was ahead of me and I knew we would be passing each other soon. I waved at him and yelled, ‘Nicholas, LEAVE NOTHING, YOU’VE GOT THIS!’ The sound just echoed off of the buildings and I got emotional. Remembering how 15 months ago I would never have done this, remembering my family and friends who had helped me here to this race, to this street!! At the turn around, about mile 7.5 or so was my sister and her family to cheer me on. That was awesome to hear somebody yelling my name and clapping just for me! What a moment of pride I experienced!! From this point forward, I knew what to expect from a course/road condition at least. I was feeling fairly good at this point still, not much pain to speak of, heart rate steady, just enjoying the run taking it all in. Miles 7 -9 were 8:55, 9:00 and 9:00 minute miles respectively. Not bad I thought.
This is me making the turn!

Mile 10 brought us past the starting area again and headed back into the hills of the neighborhood. Still feeling fairly good, I still had the 2 hour pace group in my sights around this point. Then I hit the hills on the back side of the campus, WOW!! Who knew that your hip flexors could hurt so much, LOL! Mile 11 is when I feel apart. I was going up a hill when my legs just stopped running all on their own and I found myself walking for a little bit. I walked as quickly as possible to the top of the hill I was climbing. I knew I could run again when I hit the top and I was right. I hit it again and was able to pick it up again, passing those who had passed me while I was walking. I was doing well, and then just before mile 13, I found my legs walking again. This worked out perfectly though. I looked up and there was another team mate, Molly. We stopped, hugged, encouraged each other and off we went. I was able to pick up the pace from there to the end, but wow, did it hurt!! Miles 10-13.1 were 9:07, 9:25, 10:02, 9:14 and 8:41 per mile. We finished on the track with people cheering on both sides of the track, which was an amazing feeling! My friend and team mate Nicholas ran in the last few steps with me and I greatly appreciated that!

When I finished that race I was (and still am) on cloud nine! I am a half marathoner who will run many more, what an amazing feeling to be able to say that!! There were hugs from team mates and my sister’s family, high fives, congratulations all the way around. I finished 22nd out of 35 in the 40-44 age group and ran an official time of 2:02:29 with a 9:21 min/mile pace.
My VERY FIRST Half Marathon Medal!

Spark People team mates who also ran in Lawrence


Statistics from my Garmin

Sorry it was so long, but I felt I needed to include the details.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIREXTOR 5/2/2011 7:31PM

    You're a BEAST! in a good way of course! CONGRATULATIONS! I'm still working up the nerve for my first one. Awesome finish!

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APRILBLESS 5/2/2011 4:32PM

    Jerome - G.I. Jerome - You are so awesome! And so inspiring... Congratulations on your first HM! I know exactly how you feel. It's a wonderment crossing the finish line. Except you did it with hills... that's crazy!!! So I think you one-upped me with my HM in flat FL...(lol) Brava.

Mad props to you for making it happen and crossing the finish line. I was reading your blog and all I was thinking, was "man, I wish I could've been there'... but you gave me a little glimpse, so thank you.

You have a strong mind and you share it with so many people. You are an inspiration. So I'm very happy the Kansas HM went so well for you and the MIH team. Wonderful that you made it all happen... emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Keep on rockin!

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KINSBAILE 4/25/2011 9:07AM

    You give me inspiration to keep going, thanks for posting this! I wish I knew more about ROCK TAPE.

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MINNA72 4/22/2011 3:22PM

    Congratulations, Jerome! What a fantastic accomplishment! Hope this race is the first among many, many half marathons/marathons for you!


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NAPITOVSFAME 4/21/2011 3:19PM

    Great job. YOu are motivating me to get moving.

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ABSOLUTZER0 4/21/2011 1:29PM

    YOU DID IT! You left NOTHING! I was there with you bro and glad I could experience you first half with you. Up next...first marathon! We are going to ROCK IT!!!

Having everyone there added to how special the race was for me. Although in the zone, when I heard you, I let out a smile and pushed a little harder.

Running in with you meant more than words can say. Rest, recover, and get ready to do it all again in a couple of weeks! I will be doing the same....but only different! LOL!

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DMGABBETT 4/21/2011 1:05PM

    J-man, you ROCKED the Half! I am proud for you buddy!

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HEALTHYASHLEY 4/21/2011 7:36AM

    I am so happy for you Jerome! What an amazing accomplishment. Way to go!

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SPDEWINA 4/21/2011 4:34AM

    Great job jerome! You never cease to inspire me..Keep it up :-)

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TRYN2MUCH 4/21/2011 1:47AM

    Congratulations for completing your first half-marathon!! Loved your play-by-play of the day. Your right the emotions you experience leading up to the race, during the race and after the race run the gamut. It's hard to put into words the feelings. Currently, you are still in the "runner's high", so take advantage and get some great training in.

Congrats again and welcome to the half-marathon club. Who knows you may venture into the marathon club, too.

emoticon emoticon

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LUCKYDOGFARM 4/20/2011 10:24PM

    Loved reading all about that Jerome. i had so many emotions going on during my run. especially at the end. and it was only a 10k, so i can just imagine what will happen if and when i do a HM!!

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    CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I absolutely loved reading the play-by-play...thrilling and inspirational!! Thank you for sharing the story. You should be extremely proud of yourself for your amazing accomplishments and what an inspiration you are to all of your fellow Sparkers!!

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CBAILEYC 4/20/2011 1:22PM

    Please don't ever apologize for telling your story - your WHOLE story is worth as many words as it takes!

Well done, and happy congrats on completing your first of many half marathons!

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LOLZTHATSWIM 4/20/2011 12:36PM

    Awesome job! That is amazing! I actually just ran my first half marathon last weekend too. It feels so good just to cross the finish line.

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BAILEYS7OF9 4/20/2011 12:16PM

    Great job!!! Loved the read! Glad the tape worked for you!

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MCSNYDER1 4/20/2011 11:59AM

    Congratulations, Jerome! Now that the first one is behind you, the rest will seem easy.....then it's on to the 26.1!!!!

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IFDEEVARUNS2 4/20/2011 11:19AM

    What an accomplishment, and what a great time! emoticon

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ROCKCHALKSPARK 4/20/2011 11:08AM

    Wow...*FLASHBACKS*! haha...I saw your friend in the blue Sparkpeople shirt! I mentioned him in my blog (really just that I saw someone in a SP shirt and got really excited. :D). I've got pics on mine if you want to look at those!
So glad you had a great first half marathon. I know I couldn't have done it in a better city (I call Lawrence my mothership. I left my heart there when I had to move).
emoticon emoticon

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    Congrats to you - it is an awesome feeling isn't it. I am sure with that kind of time you will be sub 2 before you know it....JEALOUS.

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SUSIEWHITE1109 4/20/2011 10:17AM

    Hey there! Great report and great race!! Congratulations to you!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PASHHR 4/20/2011 10:01AM

    Congrats on your 1st half. Great race report.

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ELISEL 4/20/2011 9:00AM

    Congrats!! Great race report.

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HEALTHY4ME 4/20/2011 8:30AM

    Congrats!!!! what a super accomplishment!!! you should be proud for sure!

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LLBEAN75 4/20/2011 8:22AM

    GREAT JOB! That's a fantastic time and you should be super proud of yourself!

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2BEEANEWME 4/20/2011 7:26AM

    AWESOME Job for you first time! Congrats!

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RJ-CYCLES 4/20/2011 7:17AM

    Jerome, a hearty congratulations - very cool indeed! Must have been awesome to run with the friends we know here!

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ACTIVE_AT_60 4/20/2011 6:25AM

    Jerome, congratulations to you (and the other sparkers) on your race. Well done. Now enjoy the feeling and recover.

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TEDDYBABE 4/20/2011 6:23AM

    Congratulations, you are a Half Marathoner! Well deserved!

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BILLALEX70 4/20/2011 5:28AM

    Way to go Jerome!

Its funny how the hills can, literally, be a pain in the @ss! I've dealt with the same issue from running in Pittsburgh, so I can relate.

Enjoy your high and keep moving forward!

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NANHBH 4/19/2011 11:02PM


I'm so proud of you! Same weekend last year? I'm putting it on my calendar now!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IMSMILEY88 4/19/2011 10:39PM

You need a WooHoo!

Congratulations! And, I am so glad you told the 'long' story. Loved it! My sister-in-law lives in Lawrence so I recognized some of the places you mentioned. It sounds like a wonderful race! And, your time is impressive!!

emoticon You are, and always will be, a half marathoner!

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MEGA_MILES 4/19/2011 10:29PM

    Great report Jerome. Congratulations on another milestone.!!

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BTWCOACH 4/19/2011 10:28PM



One more hug for you.... emoticon

Congrats, Jerome! You ran a great race!!!!
AND you got a PR!!!!

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LKEITHO 4/19/2011 10:17PM

    Great job! Congratulations on your first half marathon!

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WENDYWITKOSKI 4/19/2011 10:15PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ELYMWX 4/19/2011 10:06PM

    Congratulations all of you!

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    Congratulations!! Well planned, well played, WELL DONE!

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PURPLE180 4/19/2011 8:22PM

    emoticon. I think that it is wonderful that you all came together. Great JOB.

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EDGEOFSANITY 4/19/2011 8:15PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

So excited for you! That's an incredible first half!

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MICKYC47 4/19/2011 8:15PM

  Congratulations!!! You are now considered an elite athlete!! Way to go!

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MABTE52 4/19/2011 8:04PM

    Sounds like a good time!

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BARTINPC 4/19/2011 7:59PM

  What's up with the Garmin getting the high heart rate for the first part of the race or am I missing something? I have a Garmin 405, and I thought people's hearts would explode at that early rate it shows. :)


Comment edited on: 4/19/2011 8:00:09 PM

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CHELLEJOBEAN 4/19/2011 7:58PM

    So proud of you! I am very excited that your next half will be here at home so the girls and I can put our cheer posters to use in person and not by email!
emoticon emoticon

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KKINNEA 4/19/2011 7:55PM

    Great job, you were mighty speedy for your first half. Sounds like you had a great time!

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36 hours away.....

Thursday, April 14, 2011

So here I am.......36 hours to my first half marathon!!

These are just a few words to describe how I feel right now.

16 months ago, I could not have done this, correction, 16 months ago, I would not have even considered this!! I have ran 5K's, 10K's extreme obstacle course races, I have trained many hours, I have tried to do the right thing day in and day out! I am not 100% however, my piriformis muscle and sciatic nerve are very angry at me for all the training, OH WELL, I'm DOING THIS....I'm GOING to finish my first HALF MARATHON!!
I WILL run as well as possible
I WILL make my family proud
I WILL make my friends proud
I WILL make my teams proud
I WILL make myself proud

I've had a massage today, I've been to the chiropractor for adjustment and Rock Tape, my bags are packed, I'm ready

I think I can....I think I can....I think I can......

(YEP.....that was a pep talk to MYSELF)

and a pic of the goes ALL THE WAY up my leg!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    You will do awesome. Love the tape.

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MARELNAT 4/17/2011 12:52PM

    Wishing you the very best on your very first half marathon! That rock tape is absolutely emoticon and so are you!!

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NANHBH 4/16/2011 4:41PM


Bring home the gold -- in your age category! You CAN do it!

I laughed when I saw the rock tape on your body. I thought you had your body tatooed! What a hoot!

Now, go win one for the Team tomorrow! Can't wait to see photos and read everyone's blog experience.

Give my love to everyone there!

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PELESJEWEL 4/15/2011 8:47PM

    Holy Smokes!! The determination is inspiring! All the best this weekend, enjoy your fist 1/2 Marathon!

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2BEEANEWME 4/15/2011 8:06PM

    Have a great time. Rock tape? I'm going to have to google that. Have fun!! emoticonI'll be cheering for you.

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MCSNYDER1 4/15/2011 7:30PM

    YOU are a winner!!!

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TODDJAMES 4/15/2011 7:15PM

    Dude...I am CONFIDENT in this fact...There is NOT a RUNNER IN this Sunday...that will feel MORE from the VICTORY than YOU WILL! True...your piriformis muscle and sciatic nerve may prevent you from pulling the time you once had hoped for...but MAYBE NOT! are a competitor and a DON'T RESIGN YOURSELF TO ANYTHING...YET! And regardless of the time...that is JUST A NUMBER...ON A WATCH...that YOU will REMEMBER...BUT NO ONE ELSE WILL! But the feeling...the feeling of 15 months of dedication...of improved health...determination...NO ONE CAN TAKE THAT AWAY FROM YOU!

And that is why...I want to be THE FIRST to say...CONGRATS ON YOUR VICTORY! YOU ARE AMAZING!!! emoticon emoticon

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CBAILEYC 4/15/2011 1:17PM

    I concur with TeddyBabe! You've got a lot of us tagging along with you emoticon

Have a great, fun time. I hope you enjoy the whole experience!

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KKINNEA 4/15/2011 11:10AM

    You are going to rcok it and have a great time! Love the tape. Looking forward to the details!

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OLDERDANDRT 4/15/2011 9:15AM

    You're just like the little engine that COULD !!!!! emoticon

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GKEPIC 4/15/2011 7:02AM

    I know you WILL!!! emoticon

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BILLALEX70 4/15/2011 4:47AM

    Change that garbage from...I think I can to...I KNOW I CAN!!

Now go kick ASPHALT! Enjoy your race!

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GREENMOUSE 4/14/2011 11:20PM

    Your journey continues to be awe-inspiring. I guess that's what they mean about "BEING a spark" !! Good luck to you.

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FREEDOMSTAR 4/14/2011 10:51PM

    Bring home the bling emoticon




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IMSMILEY88 4/14/2011 10:03PM

    I hope you have a wonderful first HALF! I really enjoyed mine. And, you've done the training, now enjoy! (And, I agree...what is Rock Tape???)

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WENDYWITKOSKI 4/14/2011 9:30PM

    I'm excited for you! And look forward to hearing all about it.
Have fun!

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CHELLEJOBEAN 4/14/2011 9:29PM

    No longer "I think I can"... Now it is "We know you can!" Emily, Sydney, and I are all very confident in your ability to do this thing! Can't wait to get a phone call when you cross the finish line!

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    This race is YOUR race.. you own it!

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TEDDYBABE 4/14/2011 9:19PM

    You are going to do great! We are all living through you. You carry our spirit. So many of us look at you and are in awe! You go run and have a blast! Head high!!!!

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MICKYC47 4/14/2011 9:19PM

  You will do a fantastic job. Just go in with fun in mind. Enjoy yourself!

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MEGA_MILES 4/14/2011 9:17PM

    Jerome. Why do you question yourself. You've done the work. You know what your capable of. Just do it!

Go grab that brass ring you've been chasing. It is yours!!!!!!!

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    You can do it!!!!!

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DISP715 4/14/2011 8:59PM

    Good luck! But......what the hell is rock tape and why is it all over your bod?????

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80 Extra pounds?!?!?!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

SO.....yesterday I was working in the yard repairing a broken fence post that the wind broke! This is the second time to replace the same post, but that's a different story!

I had to dig a hole at was atleast 24inches around and 28 inches deep to get all of the OLD concrete out, GREAT functional fitness to say the least!

The REAL eye opener for me came when I carried an 80 lb. bag of concrete from my car to where the hole was in the back of the house. This may be been 50yards. Friends, I'm here to tell you that I seriously struggled with that bag!! 80lbs, JEROME....HOW did you carry that on your body for so long?!?!? THAT is what I kept asking myself. Its been right around a year now that I have an extra 80 lbs on my frame and I'm saying right now, I'll NEVER DO THAT AGAIN!!

If you need a reminder of what it was like before you lost the weight, go carry around something that weighs what you lost!! Sure the proportion is all wrong, but the weight is all the same!!

I am super sore this morning, my hands and arms obviously need to be worked out MORE! LOL

I just wanted to share this short story that made an impression on ME....that was a great reminder on ME!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITBYFIFTY7 5/4/2011 4:37AM

    Great ideas! emoticon

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DIVINEBY09 4/20/2011 9:00AM

  You're truly an inspiration!! Stay on track - keep it off - and enjoy your 'new' life!!!!! So proud!

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MARELNAT 4/17/2011 12:58PM

    The beautiful thing about that big sack of concrete is that you could put it down anytime you wanted! On the other hand, you had to fight really hard to drop the extra 80 that you carried around with you before your weight loss. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DEREKCSIMMONS 4/12/2011 3:14PM

    yes indeed. and 4 pounds of punishment on the knees for every pound of weight. Or something like that.

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OLDERDANDRT 4/12/2011 10:26AM


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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 4/11/2011 5:36PM

    I had that issue with a 50 lb bag of birdseed once. And it was less than ONE THIRD of what I've lost.

Pretty soon I'll cross back over the threshold of having lost more than I actually weigh. (In real lbs I've already crossed it - is catching up.)

I'd have to go find an average adult male to sling over my shoulder in order to do what you suggest. LOL

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GRACEFULIFE 4/11/2011 5:01PM

    Deadlift + squat + sufficient protein + sufficinet calories = strength!

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NANHBH 4/11/2011 1:39PM

    Yep, that's one good way to put your weight loss into perspective!

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AARONSGIRL420 4/11/2011 11:17AM

    I know what you mean! I went walking with my kids and my 6 year old gave up mid-walk. I had to carry her 44 pound self a mile. It was not easy, but it did click...Was this how I felt when I was 50 pounds bigger?

Thank you for posting. :)

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BILLALEX70 4/10/2011 4:21PM

    Right on brother!

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MELLYBEANS0919 4/10/2011 3:15PM


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TEACHDIANN78 4/10/2011 3:14PM

    That is amazing. What a great idea...I need to find something to carry about because it would be a great reminder of how far we have come! Congrats on your weight loss and your eye opener!

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RIVERLEAF1772 4/10/2011 2:58PM

    Love when they do this on the biggest loser. Congrats on the 80 lbs loss!

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MINNA72 4/10/2011 2:10PM

    I've only lost 19 pounds and the thought of carrying that around once more gives me hives... can't even imagine 80 pounds!

Good reminder!

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ELYMWX 4/10/2011 1:38PM

    I shudder to think of carrying an extra 120...

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BDENSMORE1 4/10/2011 1:36PM


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SWEETNEENI 4/10/2011 1:12PM


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DEE797 4/10/2011 12:42PM

    Terrific blog.

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NANNER2121 4/10/2011 12:09PM

    I hear you, it is a real eye opener when you have to physically carry something that you used to carry on your body every day. I think the same thing as I lug groceries from my van to the house.

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SPARKLE1908 4/10/2011 11:29AM

    Great blog!!! That is a wonderful reminder of how far you have come!

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KJMPEACHES 4/10/2011 10:00AM

    Great blog!!! Awesome realization! Really makes you stop and think! Amazing huh? emoticon

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ELIZABETH525 4/10/2011 9:54AM

    I have seen magazine articles, people who lost 200-300 pounds standing next to washers, dryers, fridges. It is so crazy!!! It really makes you wonder how you ever did it before doesn't it? Keep up the good work!!!

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GKEPIC 4/10/2011 9:50AM

    Amazing isn't it? Congrats on all your successes!!

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    That 80 lbs hits home. LOL

GREAT job beast!

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CBAILEYC 4/10/2011 9:38AM

    I love lessons or eye-openers like this!
"NEVER DO THAT AGAIN!" Amen brother!

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TEDDYBABE 4/10/2011 9:13AM

    Oh I hear ya! I did that! I still have 15 to lose, and I carried a 15 lb bag around, and thought geeze, running would get really easier if I didn't have to run with this! Thanks for sharing. great perspective.

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RUNNINGPFUHL 4/10/2011 9:13AM

    Wow!! what a great idea!! Not fixing the fence post, but that this gave you a great realization! :D

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ERIN4771 4/10/2011 9:12AM

    it always causes me to pause when i lift something that equals the weight i have lost, and really do wonder how the h*ll i lived like that for so long....thanks for also reminding me to remember how far i have come as well!! glad you got your fence fixed and it sounds like you got a great workout in as well....oprah calls that multitasking it!!

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ANNE7X7 4/10/2011 9:11AM

    What an amazing Non-Scale Victory!!! That is SO cool!

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PUNZIE73 4/10/2011 9:11AM

    Very true. (Gonna try to find a 4 year old right now as a reminder!)

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HEALTHYASHLEY 4/10/2011 9:08AM

    I was thinking that yesterday when I was struggling with a big box in my car. How did I carry around the equivalent of 3 of them for so long!! Crazy.

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Piriformis Syndrome and Sciatica - HELP

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I KNOW there are a TON of very smart people out here in SPARKLAND(or FB) so I'm turning to you for HELP!!!

I've been fighting Sciatica for nearly a year now. I do massages and Chiropractic treatments and both help and I can keep that manageable with nightly stretching.

RECENTLY the Piriformis has decided to pinch even HARDER on the sciatic nerve, which is VERY painful as I'm sure some of you know. I stretch, I ice, I use icy hot, I moan and groan, but nothing REALLY seems to help. I can't seem to find a good position to sit in that makes it relax, I sit on racket balls in the car and at work, that doesn't seem to help much.

I'm 3.5 weeks away from my first Half Marathon, the timing of this SUCKS!

HELP.......WHO has dealt with this in the past and HOW did you 'fix' it?!?!!?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROSE21461 1/27/2014 8:54AM

    As it has been several years, I'm wondering how this worked out for you?

I have been dealing with this for the past year. I tried chiropractics, physical therapy, therapeutic massage, muscle relaxers, heat/ice, stretches, etc and nothing has been able to relieve my pain. I see a pain management doctor next week for a cortisone shot. Keeping my fingers crossed!

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183WANTS2B140 3/9/2012 7:36AM

Went to the doctor yesterday and was given the same diagnosis. She gave me a shot and prednisolone for the swelling and the exercises. Hope you get to feeling better. emoticon

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STRAPHARIA 4/19/2011 12:50AM

    I was dealing with sciatica for over a year as well. My whole leg butt all that hurt constantly and i couldnt stand very long. I did 6 weeks chiropractic care...including the tens unit and muscle stimulant but what truly cured me was proper body mechanics (never bend at the waist, always keep your back straight ect).I either avoid bending altogether or make sure i keep my back straight !doubles as exercise too...squats)Theres this exercise called mckensie (not spelled right)that is great after a long and tiring day, helps take pressure off your back, is basically just lying on ur stomach with hands flat on the floor arms extended,like ur about to do a pushup. feels great,and eases pain. I dont know if im healed completely but i am no longer in constant pain....And by the way CONGRATS on our weight loss, how inspiring and amazing..good luck to you! emoticon

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SUNSET24 4/8/2011 1:41AM

    Hoping you are feeling better by now, hugs

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GRACEFULIFE 4/6/2011 9:41PM

    Foam rolling is a good idea. I have the stick, though, and decided not to get the foam roller because I'm happy with the stick and the stick should be more durable. Most of the foam rollers crush down, and I also am not sure I could foam roll as many areas of the body as I can stick. Also, there's a limit to how much pressure the foam roller can apply, and I am a bigger pressure, deep tissue massage kind of guy. So I have one of the BEEFCAKE models of the stick and I can definitely get enough pressure with it!

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MOBEANZ 4/6/2011 10:08AM

    Oh man. I really had the same sciatic problem but it was when I was heavy. Working on my lower back muscles and core strength cured me but I know you're in shape so I can't think of anything. I hope it gets better!

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THOMS1 4/6/2011 10:06AM

    I ended up going to the doctor who after physicial therapy which just made it worse sent me to an ortho dr. who finally decided I have a bluging disc and gave me an injection in my back to help the swelling go down. It has helped some. At least I am able to go to bed at night and sleep on my back and sides without having to sleep sitting up. I was able to go back to the fitness center after five days but, I am only able to do about 15 min on the treadmill, stationary bike and the recumbent bike. I have to stary away from the eliptical. I can walk about three blocks before the pain kicks in as compared to not being able to walk around our short block. I may have to have back surgery in the future but I hope not. I'm still hoping the disk straightens out on its own. So in the time being I am being very careful with my exercise. Good luck with yours. emoticon

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PELESJEWEL 3/30/2011 10:40PM

    Are you using a foam roller? Check out - it's a cool site, good products, great prices. Get the BLACK AXIS. I swear by it and would not steer you wrong. The pictures of me rolling out my legs in my 1yr Sparkversary blog is what you need to do for the piriformis. It hurts like heck when you first roll - imagine glass shattering....I also have "The Stick" it's a hand held roller for the hamstrings. Get both, sounds like you need it.

Also - ditto on the shoes. You have to get properly fitted AND buy high performance synthetic socks, check out the SWITFTWICK brand to read more about why synthetic vs. cotton. "Cotton is Rotten" remember that one.

Comment edited on: 3/30/2011 10:44:54 PM

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HEALTHDUDE 3/25/2011 3:58PM

    OL'PAL'O Mine,

Sorry to hear about your back. Lots of good advice below. Marie has some good advice on stretching - go easy.

Gracie picked up some good info on wiki - I suggest you go to a speciality shoe store (we have Dick Pond) and have them check your gait for your degree of Pronation and then buy the correct running shoe. Also, the IB works but you need to be careful not to injure yourself even more.

Good Luck

Comment edited on: 3/25/2011 4:03:39 PM

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CARLA0716 3/25/2011 9:22AM

    I'm agreeing with Laurie - pigeon pose is great. Though I do 'double pigeon' - I find it works better for me, goes deeper into the muscle. Though you do have to be careful about leaning too far forward and not overdoing it.

Among these images,
g7&aql=&oq=double+pig its the one where the model is sitting crossed-legged. And don't forget to alternate the legs. Hope it helps! It seems as if your back problems are akin to mine.

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GRACEFULIFE 3/24/2011 11:11PM

    Wiki says it tends to form in runners and cyclists because they only do fore-aft movements and no lateral movements, leaving the muscles unbalanced. So if you can get over the immediate pain, you may consider doing some trail running or sideways movement drills. It says the major unbalance is weak abductors vs. the strong adductors, so also you could do hip abduction on a pulley machine, dedicated selector machine, or with the "pilates" rubber bands you can put around the ankles.

It also says that overpronation can be a cause. You may want to consider whether to go to a more-supportive running shoe.

It says a major treatment is NSAIDs (ibuprofen), so pushing that into your system at regular intervals seems a prudent move. More treatments options at
rmis_syndrome#Treatment although I think most others were covered here.

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NANHBH 3/24/2011 9:23PM


I don't have any advice, but I will certainly pray for you! The timing is indeed bad!

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KOEHNA 3/23/2011 8:29PM

    I agree the tens unit or stim machine. The athletic trainer at work has one and it works wonders on my muscle. It can't hurt to try.

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MARIE625 3/23/2011 4:57PM

    I have an old back injury which causes sciatic problems occasionally. There are 5 things that work for me.

1. Alternate "angry cats" with "happy cats". Get on your hands and knees and arch your back upwards (angry cat) and hold for a minute, then sink your back downwards so your belly is hanging towards the floor (happy cat).

2. Walk the wall - lay on the floor on your back, with your feet up against a wall. Bend one leg to get it out of the way, put the other foot on the wall, straighten your leg & push on the wall. Hold for a minute, relax and slide your butt a few inches closer to the wall then straighten your leg & push again. Keep sliding closer & closer until that one leg is straight up in the air. Then do the other leg.

3. Lay on the floor on your back next to a chair, bed, coffee table, tall foot stool.... what ever is knee height for you. Bend your legs and put your calves & feet up on the chair, bed, stool..... Just lay there and relax with the chair taking the weight of your lower legs. Hang out there for 10 - 15 minutes. Watch TV or something, but don't do anything that involves your arms. You don't want to be moving your arms around because that movement puts stress on your back. The idea is to let your back muscles relax.

4. Hang yourself. :) No, not like that! Find a jungle gym or something that has a bar that you can either hold onto with your hands and let your body hang, or if you are coordinated enough, hang upside down with the bar behind your knees - you probably hung like that a zillion times as a kid. Be careful doing this one though - it really stretches you and can, for me at least, cause massive muscle spasms. For me, it's one of those things that either works fantastically, or kills me.

5. Impossible Wall Posture - Stand with your back to a wall. Stand so that your heels, butt, shoulders & head are touching the wall. Now, try to pull the small of your back backwards so it's touching the wall too. Once your entire body is against the wall, do a deep knee bend and slowly slide down the wall while keeping your body up against the wall. When you are down as far as you can go, slowly slide back up. I LOVE this one. It's easy to do, you can do it in public if necessary and it really does help.

Good luck! Sciatic problems are not fun!

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LUCKYDOGFARM 3/23/2011 3:50PM

    Jerome, i have struggled with this same thing for multiple years. i don't think it ever totally goes away, but it does disappear on occasion! and then pop back up when ever it wants. 2 things i do/have done: the piriformis stretch (same as the pigeon pose sent by Laurie5658) is great.

also, cortisone injections in the "si joint" done by an orthopaedic doctor and with the aid of a fluoroscope, as this is such a dangerous area to be doing stuff. my last injection lasted me a couple of years!

"butt" massages, ice packs, and a good old "tens unit" do wonders too.

want me to bring my wheel chair so Molly can push you to the finish line in Kansas? hopefully you will be healed up by then!

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SP_COACH_NANCY 3/23/2011 3:30PM

  I did about 2 years ago...Active Release Therapy and working on core, especially back strength, did wonders...I hope you feel better soon, my friend. It IS literally a PAIN in the butt!

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LAURIE5658 3/23/2011 3:26PM

    Have you tried the pigeon pose stretch? I had it once and that helped a ton.


The good news is I did indeed heal from this particular ailment and you will too.

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