My back is 95% now. I am back into regular training mode. I did a tempo run last Thursday to test it out a bit and things felt fine. I'm able to ride in the aero bars without feeling any ill effects, and I ran 2 hours Sunday morning no problem. The only reason I don't say that it's 100% is because sometimes while sitting, my back will feel fatigued or a bit achy. Nothing too serious, but none the less, it's there. That, plus I still am nervous about it since the incident is still quite recent.
I received many e-mails from people concerned for me, offering help and sharing advice. Thank you! Thank you Gus and Laura for bringing by sushi Saturday night also. Lisa doesn't like sushi, so I don't eat it that often, but I could eat it every night. Gus brought over a ton of it and we had it with some wine and some laughs.
I still need to learn that taking everything to extremes is not always good. I was icing my back about a week ago after a ride. I laid flat on my back on the floor with a soft ice pack placed between the floor and my lower back. I did not wrap the ice pack in a towel, since a towel is usually too thick and negates the beneficial effects of icing tissue. In hindsight, a t-shirt between the pack and my skin would have been the way to go. I iced for 20 minutes (it's important to ice for a minimum of 15 minutes but no more than 20 at one time) then went to take a shower. The skin on my low back felt really irritated in the shower, so I checked it out in the mirror to notice I had quite a nasty burn!
Anyway, it's great to be back at it!
I hit my gym yesterday to use the treadmill, since I didn't bring the right outdoor clothing. My gym has two floors. Most of the treadmills are on the second level, but there are two tucked away in a stretching area on the first level. I always choose the same treadmill - one that's in a corner against the wall and right next to a stretching rack that rarely gets used. I hopped on the treadmill and began to warm-up, when this portly, bearded 50 something year old guy comes into the stretching area. He's wearing tube socks pulled up, very small grey gym shorts, a white t-shirt that's too tight and exposes a patch of skin on his belly, a cell phone attached to the shorts, and thick glasses. I knew that this guy was going to use the stretching rack right next to the treadmill that I was running on. Sure enough, he hops over the back of my treadmill and approaches the rack. Then, he takes his left leg and kicks it up onto the rack, performing what appears to be some form of a hamstring stretch, bouncing and bobbing his head towards his knee. The thing is, his short grey shorts aren't very concealing, and neither are the tighty whitey underwear he's wearing. It was a train wreck, with his goods hanging out all over the place. You couldn't help but notice since the stretch rack and treadmill are very close and both face a mirrored wall. Trying not to hurl, I decide to do some intervals since I get bored running at one speed on the treadmill. I decide to do three X one mile repeats, controlled since it's only February. I bump the treadmill speed up to 10.5 mph and settle into a nice pace, listening to my ipod, and trying to avoid the road kill on stretch rack. Well, this guy finishes his stretch and goes to hop over the back of my treadmill. Next, and I can't make this stuff up, he does something that I still don't understand. He steps on the back of the treadmill while the belt is moving quite fast! The guys foot hits the belt and instantly, he's shot off the back like a baseball launched from a pitching machine. He goes down hard and bounces across the room, glasses and cell phone flying off of him. I am laughing uncontrollably as I hop off the treadmill to see if he's ok. He's fine, although a bit disoriented and embarrassed, and I still can't control my laughter. I'm looking right at the poor bastard and shaking, trying not to laugh. In fact, for the rest of the day, and still even today, I laugh out loud whenever I envision the episode.
With the back injury hopefully behind me, I'm even more excited about this coming season and the year ahead. Next week, I think I'm even going to begin swimming!
I've been catching up on some movies while riding the CT. I watched the Illusionist. Decent movie. Nothing spectacular, but great actors.