rest days

Beach Escape

I’m not sure what the weather is like in your neck of the woods, and maybe you’ve seen the news, but Portland has been basically on fire for the last week! And this coming week is going to stay in the mid-90’s! Talk about a hot summer!

Well last week Portland broke some records with a heat wave. At one point they were predicting 109 degrees and I’m not actually sure if it ever got quite that hot, but it was at least 105 at our house for three days straight. Friday arrived and we were so thankful that our friends invited us to spend the weekend at the beach with them!!! We were supposed to go a few weeks ago, but something came up and they had to reschedule. Which turned out to be a blessing in disguise because the weekend we rescheduled it to was hot as hell and at the beach it was perfect–70 degrees and lovely. Michael and I both got off work a little early on Friday and packed up the car, then picked up Logan and we headed to the coast! We were expecting a mass exodus from the city to cooler temperatures and were fully prepared for the usual 90 minute drive to take 3 hours. We were kind of leaving during rush hour traffic on a Friday. But, we somehow lucked out. The worst traffic was trying to get through downtown and once we passed the zoo, it was smooth sailing. Logan took a little cat nap in the car (like for an hour) ooooops! But that ended up working out in our favor! We got to Manzanita to our friend’s house, they made a great dinner (grilled chicken and steak and baby potatoes) and we ate outside on their deck, a block from the ocean. It was getting late (it ended up taking 2 hours to drive there, so NOT three!!!) and we just relaxed a bit, then Logan went to bed (way past his bedtime) which meant he actually slept in on Saturday! WOWZA. Double lucky for us! We got to sleep in on Saturday until 7:30am. We got up, had breakfast, packed up some beach stuff and walked a block down to the beach. Logan had a blast! And so did Bella! She loves the beach. Those two pictures above were taken by our friend Christi (who is a professional photographer and who has done our newborn and 1 year old photo shoots). How funny are those poses Logan is doing? Haha! So Logan had a blast playing in the sand, watching Stu build sandcastles, and filling his bucket with sand. Then it was getting kinda past nap time so we headed back to the house to clean up and Logan took a nap. We did manage to get a few family photos for the weekend, which was nice. 🙂 I’m usually the one taking the pictures! Usually I would work out on Saturdays, and if we were on vacation somewhere I’d figure out a way to get in a workout. Either I’d go for a run or we’d go for a family hike–something. But this time I decided to take it easy. I’ve been feeling like I needed a break lately. My body has been hurting in weird ways and I’ve been feeling burned out. I haven’t been doing anything super extra-strenuous, but I’ve just been feeling like my muscles aren’t recovering like they should. So I took an extra rest day and the only “exercise” I got was hauling crap to and from the beach. 😉 It was kinda nice!!! The rest of the day was very relaxing. Instead of our usual go-go-go, we just chilled. Stu and Christ stayed at the beach for awhile and we hung out at the house while Logan took a nap. Michael made us lunch and we sat on the deck in the sunshine, listening to music and the ocean waves in the distance. i read my book a little bit, I took a nap. It was divine. A few hours later they came back and we hung out for a bit and then I took Bella to the beach, just us girls, for a little while. It was nice to hang out and just run around on the beach with my dog. The morning had been overcast but kind of warm, and then the afternoon brought sunshine and the clouds burned off. It was actually fairly warm for the beach. We grilled outside again for dinner. Michael and Stu went to the store and picked up dinner. We did some local Bratwursts and grilled up zucchini and had leftover potatoes from the night before. It was really delicious! Then we stayed up for a few hours playing cards and finally it was time for bed (for Michael and me) because we knew Logan would be up early Sunday!

A Break

Whomp whomp. New injury alert! Lucky me.

So remember when I said I’d been having foot pain? The doctor determined that I had somehow bruised the bones in my feet. She recommended I get some good inserts that have arch support. I usually walk around in old running shoes that I’ve retired from running in. They have a lot of support and cushion (I get new running shoes 2x a year–they recommend you replace your running shoes every 500 miles, which I don’t usually run before switching but 2x a year seems to work well for me).

I ordered a pair of fairly expensive inserts for my shoes per the doctor. I gave them a try for almost a week and hated them. Next, I decided to give a Dr. Scholl’s cheaper option a try and it worked so much better for me. I got the ones that are specifically for athletic shoes. They feel so comfortable and give me much better support and were so much better than the first thing I tried.

The foot issue seemed to get better, unfortunately my back was out of whack. I have no idea why or what happened. It’s not like I did something weird in the gym and felt an instant “oh shit, that hurt” injury. It just kind of happened. It’s entirely possible that having weird foot pain for a month and a half lead me to walk in a weird way and that threw things off. I’ve never really had back pain before, just the usually “I lifted heavy in the gym and I’m tight and sore” so I didn’t really know what to do.

I saw my doc, again, and she said it was inflammation in my sacrum. In the photo below where it’s red, that’s exactly where it hurts on my body. It’s the muscle, though, not the bones/joint. In the beginning it felt like a giant lump.

SI_joint_intro01
Thankfully it’s not effecting my hips or legs. Just my very low back/glutes. It’s odd–I have no idea why it’s inflammed and cranky but it freakin’ hurts. She recommended ibuprofen, icing it and physical therapy. She said I could do whatever I wanted in the gym, as long as it didn’t hurt. I’d told her that certain poses in yoga hurt really bad (downward dog specifically) but everything else seemed ok.

I took it easy. I stopped weight lifting for about a week. I stuck with swimming and the elliptical. Then I added some weight lifting back in–mostly upper body stuff like bicep curls, shoulder presses, etc. Nothing lower body. Seemed ok. Then I added running back in and that was okay.

The next week I was feeling a little better. It was still there but I could move around without pain–it mostly just annoying and uncomfortable. I added back more weight lifting and flared it up again. It was bad. I can’t pinpoint which activity aggravated it because I took it pretty easy and was trying to be gentle with my body.

Either way, it’s time to rest. I have a physical therapy appointment coming up and I decided to give chiro a try. I’ve never been a huge advocate for it. I tried it a few times years ago after a car accident and always left feeling worse than when I went in. In terms of healing an injury I lean more towards massage, maybe acupuncture, yoga and physical therapy exercises. But I was feeling desperate and wanted to try it again. Maybe the experience would be better this time around. After watching Michael suffer in excruciating back pain for years, I was freaking out and wanted stay on top of this before it became chronic.

  • I decided to take a week off from the gym and let my body rest and heal.
  • I’ve been taking ibuprofen like crazy (was previously taking prescription strength, which helped my back a lot but I had a bad reaction to the meds so back to OTC).
  • I’ve been icing my back throughout the day and then at night I’m alternating heat and ice.
  • I’ve been doing yoga stretches that feel good on my back (cat/cow, child’s pose, and a spinal twist that I don’t know the name of). I’ve been avoiding downward dog.

cow-cat-pose-410x290

  • I went to the chiropractor.

I think resting and icing is going to be my best bet and I’m crossing my fingers it’s a short lived injury.

Chiro

I went to the guy that Michael goes to and has recommended to me before all this. He did an exam to test my spine and see what was going on. He determined it was the SI joint and L4, which are apparently connected and it’s common when one is inflamed the other is.

spine

Next he had me spend some time on a massaging table. They hooked up my back to the TENS device and I laid down on a heating pad then they turned the massage table on that rolled up and down my spine. It felt magnificent! I want one of these things at home. 🙂 I think I was on the table for about 20-25 minutes. Then he put me on this chair face down that moved up and down, bending my body in a slow, methodical way as he massaged the area. Finally, he adjusted me. It was a little scary and creepy at first but I felt a little better as soon as it was done.

I have to say I didn’t really enjoy hearing my spine pop. It felt good way down below near the pain, but higher up the spine and the neck? Creepy! He said it would probably take 3-4 visits for me to get better but he was optimistic.

The next day I felt a lot better but not “cured”. The pain was a little different than it was previously. I’d slept really well and didn’t have back pain when I tossed and turned in bed like I had been experiencing for the last two weeks. That alone was improvement! I was still sore and tight though.

He said that I could do some exercising, he said swimming would be the best thing, elliptical second best. He suggested I skip yoga for a few weeks and give running a break for a few days (because of the impact). He said I could lift weights, basically if it doesn’t hurt it’s ok. I wanted to give my back a break the weights, though, so I was okay with not doing that. He said that just laying on the couch while I heal is not the best idea, so that was good!