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Workout Plan: Week of April 21, 2013 + Neck Injury

Posted Apr 22 2013 9:56am

How’d you like my disappearing act?

I last shared my weekly workout schedule the week of March 31 . At the time I was battling some upper back pain and taking it easy. I went on an easy 3-mile run on a gorgeous spring morning that Tuesday and as I sat at my desk later on, my neck blew up. The right side was incredibly swollen and it hurt and I freaked out. I made an appointment with a doctor for that same day because I needed to know what the hell was going on.

As it turns out, my neck is the cause of my back pain. It also was last year, which the doctor I went to totally missed. I remember her trying to figure out where on my back the pain was originating from, and she never even considered to check my neck. But that is exactly what it is.

All those right-side neck pains I get while running finally make sense. I used to dismiss them as just some random pain, but as it turns out I have stage 1 spinal degeneration. My diagnosis is a cervical strain and myofascial pain syndrome.

Stages of spinal degeneration
[ Source ]

What does that mean? Normally, your spine at your neck is slightly curved to support the weight of your head. My spine, however, is straight. Stage 1 is fixable, it’s when you get to stage 2 that you’ve got a permanent problem. I am in physical therapy three days a week and the pain has gotten much better.

After a two-week break from Refine, I went back last week. I’m taking it really easy. I can’t do any exercises with impact – it was that seemingly innocent 3-miler that caused my neck to blow up in the first place. I also keep the weights light and am very cognizant of my form because if my neck is straining at all, I feel it.

I also took off teaching for a week which meant canceling both my classes plus the three I was supposed to sub. Spinning is a terrible position for your neck as it turns out, so now that I am back at it I am trying to be careful and not strain. I’m trying to spend more time off the bike but it is very tough for me. I am not ready to take spin classes yet. I even had to miss the free Revolve RIP Ride that I hosted last week!

The best part of my rest was that I finally caught up on months worth of sleep. I had to take a muscle relaxer at night and I was able to sleep until normal human hours in the morning (ie, not 5 am). During the day I take a prescription strength anti-inflammatory.

dori larry sleep in bed far

The plus side of being injured and on drugs

This week at PT, I will ask when they think I might be able to run again. Now that the weather is starting to get nice I am itching to be outside. Also, with just over a month until my wedding, I’d REALLY like to get in quality workouts. I didn’t post for a couple of weeks because I was so down about not being about to exercise. I didn’t feel like myself. I enjoyed my couch time too much – I knew if I didn’t get back on my feet soon I was in danger of never getting back to it!

When I did get back to Refine, like I said I  took it easy – but my legs were so sore that I could barely walk for two days! Just from doing some squats and lunges with an 8kg kettlebell! I’m used to doing squats with 24kg and not being sore, so this was quite a shock. But not in a bad way, I’m happy that I can move again.

While I am doing much better than I was, I’m not near 100%. I’m still scared and concerned. I am getting another sports massage with my amazing massage therapist Danielle on Thursday because the knots (that’s the myofascial pain part of this) are out of control.

I sit with a lumbar support pillow at work now. I sleep with a special pillow that offers neck support and try to avoid sleeping on my right side (the bad side). I put a big magazine under my laptop so I am not looking quite as down at my computer (we use laptops at work – it’s on a riser but it’s not enough). I use a backpack when I have a lot to carry now.

Stress makes it worse, and I’ve been extremely stressed with work, wedding stuff and of course, not working out.

I also hope I can heal soon so I can start marathon training this summer.  I want to RUN! I’m signed up for a 10K in a couple weeks that runs directly in front of my apartment. I’ve been looking forward to it — and was planning to try and PR — but now running it at all doesn’t seem likely.

More importantly, I hope I can get back into top shape for my wedding. I’m overdue on my Refine Resolution Challenge recap – -partly because I took a photo of my new abs that the challenge gave me and now that they’re gone I feel sad and partly because I’ve been busy with wedding stuff and partly because I’ve been feeling lazy and unmotivated to do much of anything — because I am way too into my head about working out for my wedding.

At the same time, I feel silly for being so upset about this when Boston happened and people are suffering much worse than I am.

Enough rambling and whining. Here’s my workout plan for this week:

  • Sunday – Refine Method (1 hr)
  • Monday – Teach spin (55 min)
  • Tuesday - Rest
  • Wednesday – Refine Method (1 hr)
  • Thursday -  Refine Method (1 hr)
  • Friday – Rest
  • SaturdayTeach spin (50 min) and Refine Method (1 hr)

 Have you ever had a neck injury? How’d you get past it? How are your workouts going now that we are pretty far into 2013?

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