I woke up yesterday with a pinched nerve.
I know it is a pinched nerve from a slightly bulged disc because last year when I moved here, I had the same thing, except I had never had it before so it took me a solid month of pain in my neck and shooting down my right arm and acupuncture to finally get to a doctor.
He chalked it up to stress and told me I needed to relax...and I thought to myself "Welcome to California."
I had been feeling my shoulder getting stiff after hill training and chalked it up to having slept funny, but by the middle of the night Thursday when I would roll over and felt shooting pains if I was in the "wrong" position, I knew it was back.
Ah the pleasures of getting old.
I wanted to go for a run, but opted to be smarter, working from home, getting some acupuncture from the good folks at Acutonix who were ever so kind as to fit me in right away, and taking a steady stream of muscle relaxers and ibuprofin. I was advised to pretend like I was in a neck brace, to not turn from the neck but the torso to give the disc a rest.
Last night I got myself situated on my back which seems to be the recommended way to sleep with a pinched nerve, and hoped for all the resting to do its thing.
I woke up feeling better / in less pain, but still twinge-y. I had read that some exercise is good for this sort of thing because it gets blood to the affected area, but too much jostling can be bad because it can make the already enflamed disc even more angry. I decided to go for a very slow run, giving myself permission before I even started to bail if my neck at all felt pressure from the run.
It was probably my least fun run since I started this whole thing again. My neck in particular didn't hurt, but all of me felt stiff and off in a way. My inner monologue was incredibly whiny, and went something like:
this is terrible. i feel gross. i don't have time for this neck thing right now. will i be able to attempt 8 miles tomorrow? my legs feel heavy. my shins feel tight. ugh - get away seagulls! don't look at the watch yet. no really don't loo--- oh man you looked! still 25 more minutes. meh. my shins feel tight still. why aren't i loosening up? is this going to irritate my neck more? i'm thirsty. why didn't i drink more water yesterday?
At the end of the run, I sprinted the last little bit to the light, stopped and crossed the street. An old gent waiting on the other side nodded and said "Good job." And it was.
Day 56: 3.5 miles
season mileage to date: 107.1 miles