Getting Back Into Running

I finished the Philadelphia Marathon feeling pretty high on life and running. It made me really excited for 2013 and I was excited to start shifting my focus from marathons to ultra-marathons. I had my eyes set on running the Dirty German 50k in May and had plans of epic base building until training would start. And then I became injured. And I’m still not sure what happened.

A few days before Christmas I started having some pain in the my lower back from my sciatic nerve. It wasn’t too bad, but definitely limited what I was able to do. I decided to take the week of Christmas off. And somehow it just got worse and worse. I spent most of Christmas in excruciating pain from my left side of my lower back all the way into my calf. I went to the chiropractor but it did not provide any relief. Getting up and down my parent’s stairs was a real pain the ass (literally and figuratively).

But after a week of no activity it started to feel better. So I jumped back into running and cycling. And then it came back, worse than before. I could barely walk. So I took a few days off. Felt better. Jumped back in. Flared up again and I could barely walk.

Goodbye base building. Goodbye ultramarathon. It’s been hard to come to terms that I probably shouldn’t run a 50k in 5 months. As much as I want to, and as much as it MIGHT have been possible, it probably wasn’t a good idea. I was pretty bummed at first. I had planned on focusing on running in the spring and cycling in the fall. But then I realized it’s been a while since I’ve been able to do whatever I want without a training schedule. And I’m trying to get excited about strengthening my back and hips to help prevent this kind of injury because it really sucks.

So I took about a 3 weeks completely off from doing anything. It sucked at first, but then I started to LOVE the laziness. Haha. A few weeks ago I decided to start working out again but take it super slow as to not aggravate my back. I’ve been strength training, riding my bike on the trainer, and running a little bit, but always on the treadmill. I want to keep things steady and level for the time being. And finally I have started yoga. And I am in love.


I’ve done yoga off and on for the past 5 years and while I have liked it, I haven’t loved in. A studio near me, Amrita Yoga, offers 30 days unlimited for $40 for new students. I kept meaning to sign up but would put it off. But I finally signed up and it’s been awesome. The studio is so freaking nice and offers so many different classes. And to make it even better, on Saturday mornings they offer a back care yoga class…exactly what I need.

So right now I am doing a whole lot of a yoga, a good amount of riding my bike, and a little bit of running. It was hard at first, mentally, but now I am enjoying this shift in training.

But, just this past week I received notification that I was selected to run Broad Street through their new lottery system.

So now it’s time to jump back into running. I’m pretty pumped because I love 10 mile races. I am planning on keeping up with yoga, at least twice a week, and if my back starts to bother me at all I plan on immediately stopping all activity for a bit. But gah, getting back into running has been tough. I’ve been huffing and puffing my way through 3 mile runs.

Anyway, hopefully this year will include a lot less running and no back injuries.


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6 Responses to Getting Back Into Running

  1. Good luck with getting back into the groove with running. I wish I could love yoga. It’s okay, but like you were before, I’m just not that into it. It’d probably help if I joined a yoga studio though. Maybe someday …

  2. Rob says:

    I am jealous that you get to ride your bike in snow…that looks amazing!

    On a side note, I am glad your back is doing better and you can get back into training!!

  3. Stephanie says:

    Hey! So, I’m also a runner who suffers from sciatic pain. My sister is a massage therapist and when it flares up, she applies some pretty intense pressure to the spot in my back where it originates (think rolling the spot around on a tennis ball on the floor but more intense!) and it significantly eases up the pain. It might be worth a try?

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