Sorry I've been so quiet lately. (Bet you don't hear that often from me). I've been laid up a bit recently. My kid woke up the other day with some bad dreams and called for me. So, in a hurry, I flung my right leg out and over the edge of the bed to jump up and go running into his room. There was this pop in my butt/hip region, and a bit of pain shot up my lower back and down my leg. I dropped back into bed and laid there for another hour or so until it subsided.
This didn't come without warning. I've had a stiff lower back since Rockburn, but was putting off doing more core strength work until after cross season, and a bit of a rest up through the New Year. Smart choice there, asshole...
That was Wednesday. I tried stretching it and going for a bike ride - sometimes that loosens things up - but that didn't work too well. So I tried ice and heat packs and lots of vitamin I, along with laying most of the day on my back in the livingroom, and hitting the sack for a good 11 hours each night. That didn't help. Standing hurt, sitting hurt, lying down hurt, but it hurt considerably less than the other positions.
So yesterday I went to NightTime Pediatric, and got a diagnosis. It looks like that pop I heard was a muscle tearing, specifically one that ties my spine to my hip. According to the Physician's Assistant, it goes under a bunch of bones and is hard to massage out, and the pain pattern is consistent with that, rather than a busted vertebra or messed up sciatic nerve.
Yay! I think... she said it will take quite a while to heal, but there's not a lot to be done except lots of heat and ice, and taking some relaxants and anti-inflammatory drugs. No fun drugs, FWIW.
One big shot of Tolderol (sp?) in the ass later, and a bit of Flexeril and Naprosen, and I was on my way.
It's a little better today but I don't want to jinx things by sitting here typing away.
Suffice to say, that was a final kick in the ass, in a year that brought me many kicks in the ass. There is nothing magical about the transition between December 30th and January 1st, except insofar as it gives us a crutch, a reminder that we can begin again anew. We can do that every day, really, but it's easier to approach the year if we have some clear milestones, including a clear starting point. Mine is today, or maybe tomorrow. In addition to knocking out a hundred miles at Baker's Dozen, finishing 50th Percentile in my cross races and hitting a svelte 215, and 274 riding days, I'm going to add: do some core strength work on every single riding day.
I'm going to add this as a goal because core strength is one thing most of us don't do enough of, and because I've had back problems every couple years of my adult life, normally during periods when I don't do core work.
No, the generalized and universally applicable fact that we cyclists need core strength work isn't my real motivator here. My real motivator is that I'm tired of needlessly busting my ass.
Happy New Year, all. If you have the guts to make yourself publicly accountable, drop your annual goals in comments below. I'm sure your fellow readers would be happy to help hold you accountable for reaching them.