One of the things I have always prided myself on is knowing when I have to give up and admit defeat as much as it sucks to do.
Well, that moment has come. Most of you know that I have been training for the last few months for the Rock n Roll New Orleans Marathon. Training was going great until I began notice a slight pain that started in my lower back and began to radiate down my left leg. It wasn't completely unbearable but it certainly made me change the way in which I ran, which for any runner is a big no-no. Once you alter the way in which you run it's a recipe for disaster.
I did everything I could to alleviate the pain, soaked in epsom salt baths, stretched more but it just kept nagging at me. It finally got to the point where I couldn't run more than 3 miles without being reduced to tears. I finally made a doctors appointment and he immediately wanted to have xrays done (he is a runner too so he understands how frustrating it is). He said that it seemed like a form of sciatica and prescribed me pain medication as well as inflammation medication.
I got the results from the xrays back on Friday and it was confirmed. I have degeneration of a vertebrae which is consistent with a diagnosis of sciatica. Based on this information I made the decision to drop out of the marathon, it is 3 weeks away and I knew that if I pushed myself to do it I would risk hurting myself more. Right now I am going to focus on low impact exercises (stationary bike, elliptical, etc), shorter distance easy runs (3-4 miles), and yoga. If that doesn't do the trick I will move onto physical therapy. While I would have loved to complete my 2nd marathon this year my goal now is running the Pixie Dust Challenge at Disneyland in May. Shifting my focus to May will give me plenty of time to alleviate the pain and rehab my back.
It is hard to admit when things don't go exactly how you planned but at the end of the day my health is more important than any race.
I'll be back and I'll be stronger than I was before.