Tag Archives: pain

Couch to 5k – Week 2


Pain vs. Fatigue

Last year, when I started running, I learned to push through a lot. I found that running, for me, was 80% mental. There are many times when I’d think, I can’t do this. I’m tired. I have to stop.”

I’ve had to work through a lot mentally to keep going. I’ve had to change my thoughts. I’ve learned to persevere. I’ve kept going with side aches/stiches, when the shoulder strap of my bra broke, when I had diarrhea {sorry!} during the first mile of my second ever trial of running five miles, with a toenail almost ripped off {taped up}, when it rained, with a cold… These are all things that I would have used as an excuse before.

The big difference this time around with running was that I decided not to use these things as excuses. I decided to push through them. They’re more mental than physical. They’re minor. And after my run was complete, I thought about how I normally would not have even gone for a walk if I thought it might rain. And now I love running in the rain!

But there is a difference between fatigue and pain.

I am no doctor, but I am here to tell you that if you are experiencing real pain, not just fatigue, you need to STOP. This is what my husband had to do this week.

Couch to 5k – Week 2

With Week 1 behind us, I reminded Rob that I wanted him to go ahead of me if he felt the need because I wanted him to get the most out of this experience – no holding back. Besides, I told him, when I ran behind him, that meant I could look at his cute butt.  😉

Day 1 – Tuesday

  • 5 minute warm-up
  • Run 60 seconds
  • Walk 90 seconds
  • Run 90 seconds
  • Walk 90 seconds
  • Repeat run-walk sequence 4 more X
  • 5 minute cool-down

I followed him around the neighborhood, but the route he took was a little rough. I knew we would end up going uphill for a good portion of the run-walk. When I go uphill, I tend to slow down, if only to conserve my energy. I’m such a wuss when I’m on the treadmill because I don’t usually do inclines; but when I do, I can change them if they are “too hard”. {So much for excuses, right?}

But at one point during this session’s running intervals, I saw that Rob didn’t start running on the prompt. He just kept walking. And he did that for the remaining intervals. Then at one point, he turned down the road to go home, even though we had more time left than road.

I knew something was wrong.

Even from a distance, I could tell that he wasn’t just fatigued. I turned down another road so that I could finish the workout. Then I headed home for the cool down.


I found him at home lying down. It was his knee. He had tweaked something. He knew he couldn’t continue. And I’m so glad he didn’t. Just walking home was painful for him. He was angry. He didn’t want to be set back. But I knew he had to rest. The most frustrating part for him?

He’s never had knee issues before.

I did the rest of the week on my own. Rob said he now knew how I felt when I had back pain and then was recovering from surgery. When you see other people running, you just get jealous. “They are just showing off! he said.

Day 2 – Thursday

  • (Same as Day 1)

After my first interval of running, I thought, “I feel great! That wasn’t too bad.” Then I realized, the next interval would be longer. And maybe I wasn’t pushing that hard because Rob wasn’t ahead of me. He really did seem to push me! Each interval felt a little different. Some were easier, some were very difficult. It was a little strange. I couldn’t get into a groove. But does that even matter? I finished it.


*For the record, I mapped the route I took online and it measured approximately 2.55 miles. I followed the same route on Day 3, so that I could see how inconsistent the GPS really is.

Day 3 – Saturday

  • (Same as Day 1 & 2)

What a freaking beautiful day! I didn’t get out there until about 9:30, but it was 61 degrees! July and 61 degrees? I’m not complaining. Again, each interval felt different, but I got back feeling pretty wiped. So for me, that was a success. Actually, I started thinking about how good my back has felt… that I really haven’t noticed it. In fact, lately, I’ve been grateful for all of the things I can do now that I couldn’t when I was having back pain and while I was recovering from back surgery. Those little things matter!


I followed the same route as Day 2. And although, my measurement when I map it out on MapMyRun.com is 2.55 miles. The distance calculated with the GPS of this App was consistent for the two days. On Monday, even though we followed a different route, the App indicates that I completed more mileage. If the App is truly consistent, then the proof is in the pudding that I pushed myself harder when Rob was ahead of me!

Rob is resting his knee, but I know he is very frustrated. It was getting better throughout the week. However, the recovery has come to a stand still. He’ll be resting it further this week and most likely making an appointment with the doctor if he doesn’t see any change.

How do you avoid an injury?

Have you ever been injured while working out?

What do you do for cardio to keep moving and your heart rate up while injured?



Post-Op Roller Coaster


Wednesday marked three weeks since my back surgery. Somehow it’s only been three weeks and it’s already been three weeks at the same time. I’m not doing as good of a job as I thought I would being positive. I’m impatient.

I went back to work last week Tuesday. I meant to go in only a couple of hours, but ended up there for six. I even got on the treadmill that night. Don’t worry, I hadn’t planned on pushing it. I walked just one mile.

And it took me 25 minutes.

That’s right, I was pushing myself to walk 2.5 miles per hour. Rough. But I told myself that I’d continue to do it everyday since walking is supposed to make my back stronger.

But I didn’t. I think that that pace and time may have even been too  much to start. I followed up the rest of the week working five to six hours each days. The sad part? I work at a desk all day, but by the time I got home, I was exhausted.

Physically exhausted. Every night.

The week was rougher than I expected. When I was at home, I felt like I should have been  outdoing so much more… that I felt okay, just a little sore. But then, when I’d leave the house, it just seemed to be too much. I have to remind myself that I feel much better than I did even one week ago. That this is progress. That I should be grateful.

Also, I think I tried to stop my meds too soon. I didn’t want to become dependent on them. I didn’t want to run out and worried that they might not give me another refill. What kind of thinking is that?! By the time I run out, I’d be feeling better than I am now, right? My husband and friends reminded me that I have them for a reason. So I stopped fretting about that. And in the last few days, I’ve tapered off a little bit each day naturally. Now I’m just taking them at night. Silly worry.

I think the hardest part, though, right now is that I look fine to everyone else, so I feel like I should be fine all the time. I can walk normally now – YAY! So I feel like I should be able to move and do just about anything. But instead, I still have a hard time focusing at work and I’ve gone in late a couple of days due to lack of sleep. The pain I have is not nearly as bad, but it is a different kind of pain.

My biggest problem right now may be my mental state.

It’s frustrating that while I can walk, shower, sit, stand and lie down on both my back and side now, that there are still so many things that I can’t do. I attempted the treadmill again tonight  and put the speed on 2.0. It took  me 30 minutes to walk a whole mile. And it was still difficult – over one week later.

Instead, I need to be grateful.

I need to remember that this is just the beginning. I’m going to start charting my walking so that I can see my progress. I think that will help. I need to focus on what I can do. Maybe I should note those things, too. I need to take things slowly and realize that this is a process. While progress is slow, it’s still progress. I’m just anxious and impatient! And the fact that spring is taking so long to come around these parts doesn’t help all that much either.

Phil, you were oh-so-wrong!

So I found a couple of quotes to help get me through this roller coaster of emotions and physical capabilities. Here are a few of my favorites.


And I think my favorite:

“Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.”



What kinds of opportunities have you experienced during challenges or times of healing?

To Your Health~