I was struggling with sleep and intense, chronic pain for about two weeks. I thought it was my kidneys because it didn’t hurt at the back. However, after a visit to urgent care, the doctor informed me the pain was not located by the kidneys, which are higher on the back, and that the pain was probably radiating from the small of my back due to pinched nerves. So, I was prescribed muscle relaxers and took it easy for a week.
And then memory hit. Back in 2008, I injured my tailbone and lower back due to falling while roller skating. But the pain was initially in my stomach and not my back. That would show up weeks later. Anyway, my chiropractor told me the stomach pain, and later my back pain was not just due to pinched nerves, but to my eating high concentrations of sugar. I took his advice, stopped eating sugars, and started putting more effort into stretching. Within a month, my pain was gone, and I was sleeping better.
Well, I started putting raw honey into my smoothies and realized that was when the pain in my back started up again. So, I’ve also stopped using honey. It’s made a difference.
So that you know, it’s all John Scalzi’s fault.
Don’t let him convince you otherwise.
I went for a quick run today.
I hope to gradually improve to where I am running 3 miles in 40 minutes. But I’m not focusing on improving. I’m focusing on stretching, simple upper body work, and then running three times a week. I’ll let the improvement work itself out.
Oh, the simple upper body work is alternating between push-ups and planking. Three sets for both. I’m currently at 25 push-ups per set and 40 seconds for planking. Around 2016/2017, I managed 75 push-ups per set and 2 minutes per plank. I was also down to 209 pounds and running close to a 9:00-minute mile. I’m not seeing that anytime soon. And I don’t want to become discouraged, so I’m not looking to improve my stats. I’m just looking to put in the effort to work out.
I was out tonight hunting down Loki, who decided not to come back when called. Through the trees and brush, I noticed something new. A dead Birch tree was blown over and hung on our power lines. We hadn’t lost power. It didn’t even flicker. We’ve had wind for the last few days, so who knows how long it was hanging there. However, while in my office, I saw a flash of light from the corner of my eye. I decided to notify Minnesota Power about the situation. Less than 20 minutes later, a lineman showed up to cut the tree off the line. I talked to him and let him into the backyard, where he discovered that one of the lines had pulled away from the pole. So, now I have two linemen ready to cut our power and climb up the pole to reattach the line.
I chose a route that started with an incline – a 60-foot climb. My overall pace remained consistent. Not bad for a second run in as many days.
Something has changed. In December 2019, I came down with something. I don’t know what it was, but it made the left half of my face numb, including the left half of my tongue. It started with a feeling of having water behind my eardrum. I went to urgent care, but the doctor didn’t see anything. Later, I talked to my primary doctor, but he couldn’t tell me what was happening. Around this time, I started feeling exhausted after running, to the point it would knock me out for three days. Then, in February of 2020, I was sick, sleeping for 31 hours straight. I didn’t even wake up to go to the bathroom. Until this last week, I have not been able to exercise regularly without feeling wiped out.
Now, I am feeling like my old self. I can push myself. My heart rate is not going through the roof. I was only managing 15-minute miles, and my heart rate was shooting up over 162 bpm. Today, I was managing a 13:30-minute mile average, and my heart rate only topped 161 for a few moments. So, yeah, something has changed.
Okay, that was a surprise. I managed the first mile in 12.39 minutes! It’s been one hell of a long time since I’ve managed a mile that fast.