Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Buckled Wheels

Have I told you lately how much I love running? In the 1980s I ran with a group in Lane Cove National Park. When we talked about runners who were injured, we'd refer to their wheels — as in "Hippie Steve's wheels have fallen off." We'd say the same thing if a runner failed to finish a race — "Jenny's wheels must have fallen off." Yes, we were indestructible heartless bastards!

Well, since Saturday afternoon my wheels have been off and on like those of a Formula One car. When on, they've been buckled. I've done two short runs — both Cliffy shuffles that had me feeling like Walt Kowalski chasing the neighbours from his front lawn. I did something to my back. I'm pretty sure it's a pinched sciatic nerve.

Today, standing up and walking is less painful, so I'll try another easy run this evening. This minor drama makes me think about how much I'd miss running if I were unable to do it. I'd miss it a lot. I first had this realisation after my second marathon in 1981 — a knee injury made me a spectator for five months. Since that time, I've always trained conservatively, hoping that keeping something in reserve will extend my time as a runner. I'd like to run until I'm old enough to say to the Walt Kowalskis of my neighbourhood "Hey young fella — back in my day we used to chase kangaroos to exhaustion around the grass track at Stromlo!"

29 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

wannabecoach said:

Time for lawn bowls methinks. Perhaps you could one of those gizmos that allows you to pick up the bowls without bending your back. You may have to bend a little after you put down a gutter-ball.

6:35 pm  
Blogger R2B said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:15 pm  
Blogger Bruce said...

Hope that back comes right soon.

7:38 pm  
Blogger Dave said...

Go and get your back cracked by an osteo, always works wonders for me, but I can crack my lower back just by stretching :)

I dont think a zimmer frame will be a good look at 6 ft!

9:20 pm  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

maybe try the Chiro like I am doing now...share the thoughts about missing running and the thrill of racing...

9:35 pm  
Blogger Superflake said...

Hope you are ok for Six Foot Ewen. Might be an enforced taper starting now.

10:24 pm  
Anonymous Julie said...

Ouch. Sciatic stuff is nasty. Try to nip that one in the bud.

10:46 pm  
Blogger Thomas said...

It's when you're sick or injured that you start appreciating being healthy again - believe me, I know! Get better soon.

10:56 pm  
Blogger rinus said...

Ewen, thanks for respons on my blog and i hope your back go's oké.
Rinus.
www.rinusrunning.punt.nl

1:19 am  
Blogger Jason said...

Hope you get those wheels stightened out soon.

7:49 am  
Blogger IHateToast said...

oh ewen. get it cracked.
i won't be able to run again if you don't.

8:08 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best get it checked out by a good sports doc Ewen, and get proper treatment. Sciatic nerve problems can be a real pain and can hang around far too long. Get some treatment asap.

Kathy

10:18 am  
Blogger strewth said...

Ouch - sore backs are nasty. Take care of yourself, don't run too soon. Treat that poor back with respect. I'm missing your company.

3:28 pm  
Anonymous Em said...

Don't it always seem to go, you don't know what you've got 'til its gone.

*sigh* annoying how sometimes it takes being on the sidelines to realise how much we love what we do. hope your back sorts itself soon.

8:06 pm  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

Bad news about the pinched sciatic nerve Ewen! They do sound nasty.

Hope you will be up and running soon.

"Hippy Steve"

pictured here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYUOnj7pEwE

could use a friend to dance with!

10:25 pm  
Blogger speedygeoff said...

I'm missing you so much too Ewen, come home, all is forgiven.

I met a friend of yours and Bruce's in Geelong, now if only I could remember his name I would have mentioned it. "You know Ewen?" I asked incredulously. It is certainly a unique experience having someone ask me if I know Ewen when I have just mentioned I am from Canberra. Must be someone whose blog you comment on. They hadn't heard of me at all, such is fame these days, kicks you when you're down.

11:00 pm  
Blogger speedygeoff said...

Down in Geelong, anyway.

11:01 pm  
Blogger jen said...

Hope your back and everything is feeling better for the weekend. I have a feeling you'll be running strong for years to come. :)

10:27 am  
Blogger Runner Susan said...

Ewen, I hope your back feels better soon and your wheels start rolling again.

12:21 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

The buggered back is slowly improving - to the degree that a slow 17k was run this morning with minimal discomfort. I have some stretches and core exercises to do.

Fingers and a few other things are crossed. My career as a lawn bowler has been put on hold.

Speedygeoff, that might have been Garry Wormsley (sp?) who ran for Bruce's club Girraween. I met him when I raced on their grass track a few years ago.

1:26 pm  
Blogger speedygeoff said...

Garry Womsley, he mentioned 6 foot track, would that be right?

2:56 pm  
OpenID canute1 said...

I am very sorry to hear about your back. I hope it is better soon

12:17 am  
Blogger Chad in the AZ Desert said...

I know, back pain is no fun at all. I hope you are feeling better soon.

7:40 am  
Blogger Lulu said...

Poor Ewen; I hope you'll soon be back to chasing people around the track, up and down hills and around the lake.

We'll be down next weekend for the Western Creek Half. Hope to see you there??

11:23 am  
Blogger Sling Runner said...

Hope you recover soon...Injury is never fun. The drop in fitness is very rapid and not being able to run is always mentally tough.

2:55 pm  
Blogger Eagle said...

Hell so many comments!! What can I add - get better and maybe take up chess and an alternative.

2:06 pm  
Blogger bill carter said...

Hi Ewen

I'm so sorry to hear that the back has gotten you. Like you, I enjoy running so much and to not be able to do it is a terrible thing. Hang in there and I do know that runners tend to recover so much quicker than non runners that you will be back before you know it. At the least, take it easy on your self and none of those super fast 3000s you have been doing.

BTW, thank you so much for all your kind comments on my site. I really don't have half the knowledge of running that you do and always appreciate the advice and insight. I do have an insatiable desire to get better and am more than willing to pay the price to get better. Although I do realize that I am getting closer and closer to the ceiling of my abilities and I am ok with that.

Thanks again, Ewen.

11:58 pm  
Blogger martine said...

good luck with your back Ewen.
nice blog!
greetz martine
www.runtodream.nl

9:30 pm  
Blogger Dusty said...

the chiro helps me with my si, but a physical therapist taught me how to adjust it myself if slightly out with a stretch (and measuring it too - but that takes too much space to describe in this comment field. Hope you are feeling 100% soon!

Walt Kowalski - don't know who he is - but Walter Kowalsky is the guy that hired me for my job in 2000. haha.

4:14 am  

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