1-99 SparkPoints 1

General Update - What's Up With Me!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hello SparkFriends,

I know that I've been MIA lately, but I am just determined to provide an update on what's been going on with me...and take a look through a bunch of Spark Pages today to see what's been happening with all of you. I hope that you all have been doing well. For me, there has been some good news and some not-such-great-news. So let me get right to it.

The Good News:

1. I have continued to remain on my nutrition program (although I did have a couple of days around the 4th of July where I did overeat somewhat...though not disastrously so). In my last 4 weigh-ins at Weight Watchers, this is my record:

June 23 - down 2.2 lbs
June 30 - down 1.8 lbs
July 10 - down 1.2 lbs (changed meetings this week so a 10 day result)
July 17 - down .8

So my total is 58.8 lbs down from November 12, 2009. I still have about 25 - 30 lbs to go, and those will likely be some hard pounds to get off...but at least I feel like a human being again, and not just an nondescript blob, simply existing in limbo from my own life.

2. I ran the Peachtree Road Race, as planned, on July 4th. I did not run the entire thing as I'd originally hoped...but I finished, and that was the main goal, especially since I HAVE run 10K on the treadmill a few times now (in my 68 degree basement - not in the 95 degree Atlanta streets). In the end, I ended up doing this:

Miles 1 thru 3 - ran the whole way
Mile 4 (AKA "Cardiac Hill") - ran the beginning of this mile (to about the 3.3 mile point), but in the end walked most of this mile, which is pretty much all uphill and is regarded by all to be the toughest mile of the course. Mostly walked, but jogged a bit here and there - especially through the cold water showers (I went through every single cold water shower on the course, even if I had to cross Peachtree Road through the crowd to do so - they felt GREAT!)
Mile 5 - ran part of this mile, but walked most of it as there are more uphills (are there any DOWNHILLS on this frakkin' course????? emoticon )
Mile 6 - ran almost all of this mile, I think (although to be honest, this mile is kind of a blur).
Mile 6.2 - The Big Finish (as close to a 'sprint' as I could muster for about the last half mile of the race, really)

So anyway, I finished, and got my second coveted Peachtree Roadrace Finisher's Shirt. Odd that the years on them are so far apart - 1996 (the summer after I moved to Atlanta from Anchorage) and 2010. But I got 2010, and that makes me happy.

The Bad News started in the hours after the race, however.

Except for the heat, I actually felt okay during the race. My Achilles were fine, and even though I was running in the morning, I didn't feel queasy or anything. My lower back began to stiffen up a little toward the end of the race, but not any moreso than during my everyday running, and I stretched as well as I was able after the race, considering the crowds in Piedmont Park, the fact that there is NOTHING to lean against to stretch (it's a completely open field), and the fact that I was actually MOST interested in getting re-hydrated and standing on line for the port-a-potty, both of which were rather urgent objectives.

They were passing out free fruit to the runners, and I sat down on the grass to eat a peach and a banana and drink my water bottle...but the longer I hung around the park, the more I could feel my back tightening. And there was really nowhere to sit, in terms of a bench with a back on it or anything. Only the grass. So I decided that I'd just get out of there and walk to MARTA.

Well, the walk to MARTA, which I think must have been about 1.5 miles or so, was by FAR one of the most painful walks I have ever done. My back was getting tighter and tighter...and I actually had to stop about 3 times and sit on people's front steps with my head down - trying to stretch out my back. But nothing really helped. It felt good to get on the bus at the 10th Avenue MARTA station because of the air conditioning, but by that time, the fact that the bus seat (and later, the train seat) had a back on it didn't even matter - I was WELL past the point of getting help from a chair with some back support. Once I finally got to my Jeep at the Sandy Springs MARTA station, my driver's seat made it a little better...but not much. By the time I got home, I was in serious pain and had to take muscle relaxant pills for the horrible spasms I was having in my back. It was terrible. I took a hot shower and spent the rest of the 4th of July in bed, zoned out on pain pills. I wasn't even awake for anything like fireworks and such. And I can't even remember what all I ate when I woke up here and there...but I know that it wasn't healthy! emoticon

Of course, after the race I had actually planned to take a couple of days off from exercise, as I'd been pretty hard-core for about 3 months before the race, really pushing.

But then the back popping started. I first noticed it on the morning of the 5th, when I took the dogs out for their morning walk. With every step I took, my back was popping - like bone against bone. It didn't really hurt, but it just felt and sounded gross. And I figured that bone against bone COULDN'T be a good thing. The rest of the day was like that...and Tuesday as I decided at that point to take the rest of the week off from exercise and see if that helped.

It didn't.

So Tuesday of this past week, I went to the doctor.

Bottom line - she said that my bones are okay (great news) but that the muscles are so tight still that that is what is causing the popping & cracking. So now I have back & core exercises to do a few times a day (can't really afford physical therapy - still no job) and I can walk for exercise, but no running for another week or so. Bleh!

The funny thing is that when she said I need to do core exercises, I immediately thought of Tony Horton and asked her about Power 90/P90X...and she told me that I really needed to get on the ball with Tony. That running is great and that I can keep doing it, once I get past this...but that Tony needs to be my best buddy, because I need to get my core in better shape to prevent this sort of thing from happening again.

So there you go, P90X SparkFriends. I guess that if I want to KEEP RUNNING, I actually need to spend less time running and more time JUST PRESSING PLAY. emoticon

I still have never ordered my reward for 50 lbs lost (although now it's almost 60!) because I have been really trying to save money, given that I still have no job. But it might be time to order P90X - job or no job. Because now, my running is at stake as well...and I have worked so hard to get that back, I simply can't risk losing it again.

I guess that in my 20's and 30's, I could run almost exclusively, and that would be enough. But now, it seems that I need to do almost as much work in order to KEEP running as I do simply doing the running itself. Sucks getting old. It really does.

So anyway, that is what's been up with me. Sorry this has been so long...but I really felt like I owed you all a real update - especially all of you who were such a support during my time leading up to the Peachtree.

Still no job...and the job search/going to networking groups is taking a TON of my time these days....but I at least wanted you all to know that I'm still in the battle and am thinking of you all often.

So now I'm going to go read some SparkPages!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    So sorry to hear about your back. I have back issues as well and it can be very painful, so I understand. Me personally, I can't do some of Tony's core work, especially the Dreya Roll because of my back, so just be careful and do the best you can. When my back is not bothering me, I can do it, but if there is even a little pain, I won't push myself.
    3988 days ago
    I'm so glad to hear that you finished the race, but bummed about the pain afterwards. I guess that stuff about cross-training is valid, after all. Keep working at it, and I hope to hear that you're feeling better soon.

    Thanks for stopping by my page, I appreciate it! I've thought we should try to meet up, seeing as how we're both here in ATL. It's really nice to meet sparkfolk in person-I've only had the chance to do it one other time (she's a fellow actress here in ATL), but it was wonderful meeting her in person.

    There's a job out there for you somewhere, it's just a matter of finding it, or maybe it finding you! I know how tough it can be, as I'm in the middle of that right now, but there's gotta be something out there for both of us, I know it!

    Great job on the weight loss, keep it up!

    3989 days ago
    Awesome job on the race!

    Keep your Spark Lamps Trimmed & Burnin' Bright! ::-)

    3989 days ago
    Wow! You have had quite a time!

    It is good to hear from you again.

    Congratulations on your success with weight loss - and with the Peachtree Race.

    I hope that your exercises will have your back feeling better again soon.

    Also, I wish you well with your continued job search.

    Feel well!!

    3989 days ago
    That's great to hear about the race, but the post race sounds just miserable.

    Keep working at it, you are going to find that job before you know it.
    3989 days ago
  • DS9KIE
    cool your still lossing weight...yea alright...keep it up.

    wow that sounded like a uphill battle with running in the race.

    Boy after all that running/walking you did in the race, you still had to walk a mile and a half with a bad back, and it was hot as well... thats tuff

    Here is to your back feeling better.
    emoticon emoticon
    3990 days ago
    This year was my eight doing Peachtree. Last year my family practically had to carry me to the Marta, due to knee issues. I shouldn't really run, but I make an exception for Peachtree. I had knee surgery in November, and it now feels better, but it could return to what it was if I am not very careful. I hadn't run in over a year, and after Peachtree, I was Ok until the next day when everything but the knee was stiff and sore. After a week, all was well.

    Gotta do what the doc told ya. I do my physical therapy exercises religiously daily.

    Hope you'll be on the road soon. emoticon
    3990 days ago
    So sorry to hear that about your back but your on the right track now!! You do need to get that P90X you'll feel the difference in your running and every day life once you start to work those muscle and grow muscle tissue!! Yep! Strength is AWESOME!! It has helped my back a lot!! emoticon
    3990 days ago
    You've been THROUGH it! I think I'll get more core work in alongside you to prevent any back issues.

    Congratulations on finsihing the P'Tree...I thought about you as I played in the warm waters of the Gulf.....
    3990 days ago
    You are doing such a fantastic job at losing weight. Really impressive. You should be so proud and happy.

    Great job making it through the Peachtree Race. I'm sorry your back has been giving you trouble, but it sounds like it could have been so much worse. I think core training is important for everything, including running, so hit play as soon as you're up to it and continue on your great journey to health.

    I hope you find a job soon, stay strong, keep getting healthier and fitter and be happy. You have a lot going for you and the job situation too will work out.
    3990 days ago
    Glad to know you finished the Peachtree Race - I know that was an important goal for you! So sorry you ended with back issues, although it sounds like it may turn out to be one of those "silver lining" clouds. Strengthen that core and let us know how it impacts your running!
    3990 days ago
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