WRD: A Sh*t-ton of Lemonade Available Now!

Hey everyone. Remember me? It’s been, what, 6 or 7 weeks since I last posted. And a lot happened. Some of you know and some of you don’t. So I’ll try to keep it short and sweet.

Chicago Marathon Training

Last I wrote, I had made it through 8 weeks of marathon training. It wasn’t perfect (the long runs had been real tough) but I felt like it was going well and wasn’t too stressed about the upcoming long runs. In fact, after I last posted, I had a trip to Helsinki and a Half Marathon there on the books and was really looking forward to that.

So What Happened?

I tweaked something in my back but thought it would sort itself out and it mostly did from the first onset (in week 8). But then it came back with a vengeance.

  • We never made it to Helsinki; I spent the evening prior to departure in Urgent Care instead of packing. Also? My travel insurance never included cancellations for medical or other emergency reasons. So, I threw about EUR 600 into the wind (and trust me, it did not boomerang back)
  • I wasn’t able to lay, sit, stand ,walk; nothing. So I was prescribed diazapam and tramadol to get through the pain, plus I was ordered to go to manual therapy to help me move a bit. I went to a few sessions, plus some severe dry needling and that helped a bit. But mostly it was the worst pain I ever experienced, at least for the first couple of weeks.
  • My birthday rolled around, not a lot of celebrating going on. Quite a few tears that day.
  • A very good friend of mine died, suddenly., a few days after my birthday. She lived near Seattle, so no possible way for me to get to any service for her. This really tipped my sadness level over.
  • Eventually I started moving again, mostly walking (walking, walking, walking) but my muscles were still so sore from the spasms I had at first onset, so sleeping and moving was still kind of rough. Also I stopped all painkillers as soon as possible as I don’t want to have that crap in my body. I finally went back to work after 3 weeks at home (also does nothing for my mood)
  • I had two MRI’s – and the outcome is I have a herniated disc at L1/L2 (which means mostly now my pain is nerve pain and it’s in my groin. SUPER fun. I’ve had one steroid/painkiller shot last week. So it’s early days to know if it helped or not.
  • I think I probably cried every day for 5 weeks straight. I knew I had to make a decision about Chicago.
  • And the decision is… I’ve deferred until next year.

What’s Next

After several appointments with several specialists it has been strongly suggested that I do not run for the next 3 months. That I do other exercise – anything but running or jumping; nothing that can have more compression impact on the spine. I’ve been moping around for a while (with a few activities thrown in here and there) and this past week I finally got some clear guidance from someone. I still feel really sad about Chicago, but we are of course still going since Ron is still running. I *am* going to do the Chicago 5K on Saturday, but not really “running”; more of a walk/jog. That’s my only exception.


how I wanted to react

Look, I know I have a lot to be grateful for. It’s not the end of the world, and it’s not the end of me either. My body is already working on healing itself and I have probably less than 20% pain these days (it’s mostly in my groin, as I mentioned). I can’t run Chicago this year but I have a guaranteed entry. for 2020. I can do lots of other things, so I’m finally going to do them. I still don’t feel great emotionally, but that’s a process in itself. Being active, RUNNING is how I cope, how I manage my feelings, how I get over “stuff”, even if temporarily. So I’ll be working on a shift in the coming days, weeks, months… either way it’s time to look forward rather than feel sorry for what I lost.

Deborah and Kim are the amazing hosts for the Weekly Run Down! Feel free to join in as well to wrap up your week in fitness!


Plan vs. Actual

Monday – 3.25KM walk, GLI gym 1 hr intake – no workout (appt w/different PT), 3.5KM biking
Tuesday – 3KM walk (office day) to and from train station
Wednesday – 3KM walk, W6R1 run, 6KM, GLI 1 hour, gym 55 min
Thursday – 2.22KM walk, gym
Friday – 2.75KM walk, W6R2 run , gym 55 min
Saturday – 2.5KM walk, parkrun in Alkmaar 5KM, 17/17 Dutch parkruns done!
Sunday 2KM walk, long run W6R3, 1.4KM w/u walk, 10KM run (!!!)

I wanted to re-join the weekly run down so I could also get back in touch with my blogger friends – those are the ones who inspire me and also help me to feel like I can get over this. I’m not going to report what I did this past week (it wasn’t much anyway haha!) but I’ve finally planned for next week.

Coming up Next Week

  • Monday – Aquapump (going to try it)
  • Tuesday – RPM (I can bike pretty easily with no pain, physio said to try it) – also have a PT appt
  • Wednesday – Pilates (back at it the last 2 weeks, but had to go back to super basics for now)
  • Thursday – gym (cardio) or another swim class
  • Friday – gym appointment with a trainer to get me restarted on strength
  • Saturday + Sunday – not sure yet, need to see what the weather is like etc. If still fairly decent I would like to try to get out for one more good long bike ride.

To end on a positive note

it’s not all bad, I also got a new kitten. Meet Charlie!

How’ve you been? How’s your training going? Have you ever had a herniated disc? Do you run/ exercise to keep your mind AND body in a good place? Isn’t Charlie the cutest kitty?

15 thoughts on “WRD: A Sh*t-ton of Lemonade Available Now!

  1. Oh jeez! I am so sorry to hear all of this. I have had to drop out of running due to injury a few times. It’s a horrible feeling and it’s hard to cope for sure. I found other activities to keep me busy but not the same. Are you able to swim? Pool running is a nice alternative. Hang in there you will come out the other side of this.

    1. Thanks Deborah. Yeah it really does suck. I’m going to try a few pool classes this month just to see what I like and when I can go. Seems there is only one aquajogging class, on Mondays and I remember from years back that this was a class of 80 year old ladies who basically came to chat… (to be fair, I’m also old now haha and maybe it’s different than 10 years ago).

  2. Well, that just sucks, Renee. I’m following another running blogger who has been struggling with a herniated disc for the past couple of months. It’s hard to not be able to do the one thing that brings you so much stress relief. I’ve struggled with that myself. Hopefully your disc will calm down and you’ll be able to run again. I’m anxious to hear about aquapump. I’ve done some pool running when I’ve been sidelined from running–while it’s not the same, listening to my running music while I do it seems to bring some of those same good feelings! Hang in there!

    1. Thanks Wendy. I know you have struggled as well. Nothing is really the same as running, but hopefully I can get some joy back in the next week or two with a good plan.

  3. Again…wishing I could simply hug you through the screen, but hoping all these virtual hugs will suffice for the time-being. I made a meme (a few years ago, ironically before my surgery) that said “screw the lemonade, I’m making pie.” (at least I thought it was funny LOL) I’m glad to see you have a plan in action, for this next week, and for the next several months are you rally back to the running you love so much. Excuse the cliche,’ but hang in there ;-) Thinking of you…

  4. Oh wow!! So much has happened. I can’t even imagine how miserable you must have been with that back pain. I’m glad you are recovering. I hope you will be 100% again soon! That’s really great that they let you defer your entry. This post has been a whirlwind of emotions – me feeling so sad about your back, cracking up over the lemonade graphic, and tying it up with that adorable kitten. Kittens are the best!

  5. Aw, your new kitty is so cute! I’m sorry for all you’ve been going through, but glad you know what’s going on and have a road to recovery — even if it’s a long one. I’ve heard yoga can be hard on your back too – especially any back bends – so be careful.

  6. It’s been such a difficult few weeks for you Renee :( I think that it’s great that you aren’t sugarcoating anything and letting yourself feel exactly what you feel. Having to defer Chicago couldn’t have been easy, but I am am glad that you will still be making the trip to make “lemonade out of lemons”. I’m crossing my fingers for you that Chicago 2020 goes super well!

  7. Oh man I am so sorry to hear about what happened to you. I had something similar a few years ago. I think it was a herniated disk too? I was giving my niece a bath and bent down wrong to lift her up. My back hurt so much and I couldn’t even bend down to tie my shoes. It was the worst. Over time with various chiropractor visits I got better. The best treatment was being in a machine with my feet and hands tied (?) and sort of being stretched out. Hard to explain but that was what helped the most.

    I am glad to see you will be coming anyway. Hopefully I will ge a chance to meet you. I am not running the 5k on Saturday but am thinking of spectating.

    Hugs to you!!! Oh, and Charlie is adorable.

  8. Renee, I’m glad you posted this, partly because I’ve missed your posts and partly because the sadly truth is that we all have our injuries and down times, and just like we need to hear someone’s experiences with a great race, we also need to hear how to cope when we can’t work out. And we need to see kitten pictures. I hope that your back heals quickly.

  9. Ugh it’s been one hell of a ride for you and I am just sorry for the way it’s all come down. I had to step away from running for a few months to deal with health issues a couple of years ago and I know how hard it can be. I am happy that you have a timeline and getting back to having a plan each week will help to make the time pass more quickly.

  10. I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend and your herniated disc :( That’s horrible news. I hope that you’re in a little bit less pain now and that the treatments are helping. Your new kitten is adorable!

  11. OMG Charlie is the cutest! I have such kitten (well, even cat!) envy. It’s not the right time for us right now, and it’s the first time in my life that I’ve been catless.

    I am so sorry for everything you’ve been going through. Pain is so debilitating. It’s very difficult not to feel sorry for yourself, and I’m sure the fact that you’re not running Chicago is salt in the wound. I know how much you love Chicago, though, so try to soak it all in and picture yourself there next year.

    For me, while running is a great stress buster (and I haven’t yet run this week), I also meditate, journal, do breath work, and use positive affirmations.Those things really make a huge difference in my life — and they’re available to you even if you can’t run! I think I may have to do a whole post on meditation soon, people have such a misconception of it.

    I’m so sorry about your friend. Big hugs all around. Feel better, Renee!

  12. Charlie is adorable and I hope that he makes you feel lots better!

    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. I know it must have been hard not to be able to attend her services.

    As for your injury and not being able to run for several months, I feel for you. It’s no fun being sidelined because running is what we do. Sending virtual hugs your way!

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