A twisted lumbar facet joint and an iliolumber ligament strain is not actually as bad as it sounds, but it does mean several days’ inactivity and quite a lot of sharp breathing when sitting and standing. Apparently one of the spiky little bones in my lower back snagged behind my pelvic bone or something like that.
First I knew was when my back was hurting during a run, but I soldiered on for a couple of days, running, swimming and going to the gym. I instinctively knew that I shouldn’t be swinging a 16kg kettlebell on Wednesday night, but simple pride prevented me from dropping the weight. Anyhow, by Thursday’s Midday, I was really sore, and I hit the physio on the way home. I don’t mean I physically hit him, but when he manipulated my back until I felt a sharp ‘crack’ he did tell me that I wouldn’t like him for a while – meaning that I would get worse before I got better. He was right about the soreness, but not about the affection, I love Ray O’Neil (Larchfield Clinic) the man is an absolute genius and he never tells me off for getting myself injured!
I am still not sure when I hurt myself, but it wasn’t the running. It was more likely my mucking around in a boat on the Liffey last week, I might have tweaked it then and compounded the problem by ignoring my body and training through the initial soreness. Ray tells me my back is flexible and my core muscles quite strong, so I’ve just been unlucky. Anyhow the good news is that it’s a 5/7 day fix so I’m only losing about a week of running and I’m still fine for swimming, walking, and yoga. I went back to CrossFit tonight, but the coach had adapted a programme for me, to keep me strong without aggravating anything.
The ‘week off’ has given me time to concentrate on my diet, which has been ‘hit and miss’ since I piled on the weight this year. I prefer to think of ‘eating clean’ rather than dieting and while I’m confident about what foods are good to eat, my problem this year as been a change in routine and habits. If I don’t plan and organise my food in advance, I end up hungry and frustrated and ringing for a take-away. That has got to stop and while I’ve been having some good days and weeks since the start of our #Couch2Christmas, I simply haven’t had the discipline in place to get the best results.
I consulted my old weight-loss buddy Vera Baker and asked her to help me again and she’s agreed to give me a formal ‘weigh-in’ every 10 days so that I can check my progress and recreate that feeling of ‘accountability’ which I don’t seem to have when I’m standing alone on my scales at home. Vera runs a weight-loss coaching business called ‘Vera’s 5’ and she’s also my mountain hiking buddy, so it’s a perfect combination.
I want to fit through the eye of a needle
Vera and I recently climbed Seefin Mountain in County Wicklow and I made a pledge there at the passage tomb at the summit. Vera was able to slip through the narrow crack that marks the entrance to the tomb, while I could just about fit my arm in. I decided then and there that by the end of 2016, I would be slipping through that rocky ‘eye of the needle’ too. I suppose it’s my version of hanging a smaller dress at the end of the bed as motivation to drop a dress size!
My continuing 50th birthday celebrations were the first challenge to my ‘healthy, clean eating regime’. A couple of my mates took me out to see Matthew Bourne’s amazing gothic re-work of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre. We had an excellent pre-supper dinner at The Marker Hotel ordering boar for starter and Dover sole for mains. All three of us declined a pudding but the chef sent me out a wonderful chocolate mousse as a birthday treat. He also sent out three spoons, but my mates stuck to their diets and ordered coffee. I’m afraid I did not….and did I mention there was wine? It was a slippery slope and there was lots of eating out and excess for the remainder of a really super weekend.
My weigh-in with Vera loomed on Monday morning and I was tempted to cancel, reckoning that I’d probably piled on several more pounds with my inactivity and festive weekend. However when I braved the scales she revealed I had only gained a half a pound, while my body fat was down 1.5%. It goes to show that if you get the basics right, you can survive an occasional break out.
I was thrilled to get back to the gym, I have swimming and yoga tomorrow and I’ll be running again by the weekend. So despite the cracks and the craic, we’re still on-track for that Aware 10k on December 12th.
My #Couch2Christmas fellow conspirator, TV3 Midday presenter, Elaine Crowley will be back running with me next week, after an intensive bout of training for her STRICTLY AGAINST BREAST CANCER challenge in front of a thousand people this weekend. She’s dancing a Salsa and she’s going to be fabulous so please support her and make a donation to her My Charity page HERE.
We’ll let you know next week on Midday, how we’re both getting on.