In the winter, I get lazy.
It's cold. And I'm wussy.
I used to be tough. I spent 8 winters of my life in Massachusetts, and boy, they don't mess around with winter up there. When the sun comes up at 9am in January and it's dark by 4:30, you know you're in a place where winter commands some respect.
But I've been gone from New England for 8 years now, and what can I say, I'm a soft southern girl. And so running at 6am in 20 degree weather? I'd rather be fat.
Also, I tweaked my hamstring somehow. It's been bugging me since October, but I figured once I finished my half marathon in November, and backed off a little bit, it would heal. The same thing happened last year--I injured my knee and it bothered me for a long time, but after a period of rest and easing back into running with some walking thrown in there, my knee was as good as new.
I haven't had the same luck. I picked things up again last week, but nothing serious. I did a fast 2 mile run at the Y, followed by an easy 400meters in the pool, a total 45 minute workout at best just to ease me back into things. My hamstring was fine until I cooled down, and it's been a beast ever since. I was okay this morning, so I took my dog for a quick 25 minute walk (and she's as fat as they come, so we weren't exactly sprinting) and the pain is back again. Dang it. I've broken down and called a doctor, and will be seeing him on Monday.
The thing is, winter is over. It's moving on, which means it's time to get moving myself. I'm putting together a team for a half Ironman this fall, a team where I do the swim leg of the race, a 1.2 mile endeavor. Also, my running partner, who had the audacity to MOVE (stupid job), is trying to put together a Ragnar Relay team. The Ragnar Relay is this crazy 200 mile overnight ultramarathon, where you and 11 of your closest running buddies run 3 legs each over a 24 hour period. Punch drunk, sleep deprived, and possibly dehydrated, people say it's great fun. If we can pull off a fun team (and really, it's all about peeing yourself laughing with friends in the van), it could be an awesome thrill.
But HOW am I supposed to do all these things with a bum hamstring?
And if I needed a reminder to stay in shape, it came in spades last month after weeks of not working out. Yup, kidney pain.
I saw Dr. Steinman last month for my check-up in the study, and he said that maybe after all of the double-blind stuff is done, he wants to go back and do a sub-study (that's what he called it, at least) to determine if muscle tone helps decrease pain. He wants to compare pain surveys with the back MRIs and see if muscle strength and thickness have any correlation with decreased pain.
I'd like to think I personally inspired this study. After all, I AM the one who told him that exercise helps with my pain. I wonder if he'll give me credit on the paper? I don't need to be first author or anything---I'd take 4th author, or even a footnote. With asterisks. And lots of happy face emoticons. I'm not greedy, or anything.
I'm planning on running on Monday before my doctor's appointment, mostly to make sure I'm still hurting so as not to embarrass myself or waste my doctor's time. I mean, how much would it suck to get to the office and have everything feel fine? You know how that happens. It's like your body decides, "Holy CRAP you're taking me to a doctor? No way, sister, I'm not letting that guy NEAR me!" and then pulls off some miracle healing so by the time you actually GET to the doctor, you look like a perfectly healthy idiot.
But if it's cold, I might just stay in bed and risk the embarrassment.