Well, it wouldn't be a taper without something going wrong, now would it? And of course, it always has be injury related.
Over the past few months, I've had some low back issues on my long runs. It tends to tighten up after I've run about 10-15km, and I have to stop and bend over to stretch it out every 30 minutes or so to loosen it up, and then it's usually a little tight and sore for a few days after. However, on all my long runs, I was able to work through it and it didn't stop any of my training.
So last Sunday, I ran about 14 km and although my legs still felt heavy, my back was fine. Sunday afternoon, I did a bunch of yard work. Monday and Tuesday, I felt fine but I was busy so I didn't plan to run again until Wednesday.
Wednesday morning I woke with a really stiff lower back. The more I moved around, the tighter it got. Even walking was painful and by bedtime, I couldn't even lay on my back, it was so sore. It felt ok as soon as I got up on Thursday morning, but again, as soon as I started walking around, it locked up and hurt a lot. I could see my hips were out and I couldn't even stand up straight - my whole body was listing to one side.
I managed to get a chiro appt after work Thursday and Melanie did some ART and a low back adjustment, and said my SI joint was definitely wonky and inflamed. She taped it up to see if that would help hold my back in place so it didn't slip out again but that evening it was still hurting. Melanie said to keep the tape on for 3 days if I could, and not to run until Sunday. If it hurt to run, I was to stop.
I've had this before and it usually takes a few days to get back to normal. However, Friday was no better and I was still in a fair amount of pain. I went to work in the morning, but called a sub and came home for the afternoon so I could do the hip stretches and ice it some more.
Today is Saturday. My back was no better this morning so I've been trying to rest as much as I can so as not to aggravate it any further. It seems to feel a lot better if I lay on my back with my knees bent. I've been stretching and trying to stay off my feet and this evening it seems to be marginally better but definitely not good enough to be able to run.
None of my usual tricks seem to be working and even the stretching seems to annoy it a little. I know it's my SI Joint but I can't help but think my spondylolisthesis is also playing into it somewhat. Anyway, I am trying to stay optimistic. Tomorrow, I'm going to see if riding the trainer might loosen it up a bit and see if that helps. I'm afraid of doing anything that will make it worse and affect my race next weekend. So who knows, this may be a two week taper of doing absolutely nothing.
My fear is that I'll still have some residual pain next Sunday before I even start the race. I already know it's going to hurt mid way in the race and I know how to deal with that, but starting in pain, is another kettle of fish altogether.
So - keep your fingers crossed that it suddenly releases in the next couple of days and that I can get out and do an easy 5k some time this week without any pain.
Erik says if worse comes to worse, we may just have to find another marathon in the area some time before the end of June. R&R Seattle and the Edge to Edge Marathon on Vancouver Island are both possibilities if necessary.
But really, I'm not going to go there yet - I'm really just hoping that in a few more days, I'll be fine again. In the mean time, no more lifting or yard work or house work.