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Summer 2014 Part 1

Yesterday’s News: I’m having a Baby

This isn’t really an official announcement or anything, since it has been commonly known for some time, but the due date for my first child is December 13, 2014. Julie and I had been trying for about a year before she got pregnant back in March. Anyway, my first child will be a girl, and we have named her Dylan Elizabeth Wells. Again, everyone already knows all this, but since I haven’t written anything since February, I hadn’t mentioned it here. Julie has another doctor’s appointment today, but from what we’ve heard, it is very likely that Dylan will be coming a week or two before her due date.

Running Last Season

I have kept up with my Health and Athletics page since February. I did, in fact, run my first Half Marathon (13.1 miles) back in April, with a time of 2:04:35. Before then, I ran 13.1 miles straight on our treadmill back in March. I will say that’s not something I recommend. The treadmill is incredibly boring. I frequently run 10Ks on the treadmill, and occasionally run 15Ks. However, I find anything longer than a 10K on the treadmill very boring. There also seems to be some sort of bug with my treadmill. Somewhere just about 7 miles, the treadmill seems to shut down on its own and has to be manually turned off and on to function again. It makes me wonder if there is some sort of array-out-of-bounds on the distance or calorie meters.
Anyway, my last race last season was a 10K in May. Around here, races are very rare after April, due to the extreme heat and humidity we have here. Unfortunately, I also learned in April that I have trouble running outside on the farm roads near my house. The last time that season I ran outside (other than a race), I learned that I cannot run if the farms are growing hay. Around mile 4, I had to stop running, I walked back home completely out of breath, and had to use my wife’s rescue inhaler. Honestly, I didn’t realize that I had an allergy to hay.

Running Season is Starting

I spent the summer sequestered to the treadmill. Despite this issue, I have not slacked off due to the heat. In fact, Since March, I have ran about 812 miles.

For me, running season is beginning October 18. I have a 10K at Navarre Beach (‘Run for the Reef’). It should be a simple run for me, but I am hoping to set a new personal record, since my last race last season was a 10K. I’m hoping to shave off a minute from last years time; however, I am considering this to be a ‘warm-up’ to the season. I am running the Pensacola Beach Glow Run 5K again this year on October 24. My most recent 5K times on the treadmill have been around 23:50. If I can run that speed on the 24th, that would be an 11 minute improvement in one year. That’s my goal.

I’m also registered for my 2nd and 3rd half marathons. My first half marathon of the season is November 9 (‘Pensacola Marathon’). The second half marathon of the season is in January (‘Pensacola Beach Run’). I actually did the Pensacola Beach Run last season, but I did the 10K last time.

There will be a couple differences between this season and last season. First of all, I will largely be running alone this year. Julie’s doctor’s put a stop to Julie’s running early in her second trimester due to some bleeding issue (which I ended up taking her to the ER about). I’ve ran a race without her before, as I ran last season’s half marathon alone. The second difference is I’m more fit now than I was last season. Actually, I haven’t really lost any additional weight since April. I have, however, continued to lose inches in my jeans. Before I started exercising, I was wearing a 36×32. In April, I was wearing a 34×32, but I am now wearing 33×32. This may, however, be due to varying exercises… which I will discuss… NOW!

Physical Therapy

I don’t talk about very much with people outside my family, so it may not have been well known; however, since I was about 16 or so, I would, at least on occasional, have lower back pain. The amount of pain I’ve been in has fluctuated. I think I was 20 the first time I got stuck in bed. However, around the time I started working, when I was 24-25, I would say that I’d always been in pain to some higher degree. This pain was actually a big reason why I started losing weight to begin with. My theory was that starting working a desk job caused me to gain all that weight and that my body simply couldn’t handle that extra weight structurally. This, and simply wanting to be more attractive for my wife, led me to start counting calories and exercising. I lost 60 lbs and could run a half marathon without stopping, but I only ever got a little relief from the pain overall.

The truth is, I don’t trust doctors. Even more than that, I don’t like to be touched. Far more than that, I do not like anyone to touch my back. Furthermore, I never wanted to take pain medication for my back. At some point, the pain got to the point where I decided it was time to do something about it. I think this largely had to do with Dylan. I wanted to try to get ‘better’ before she was born. After all, how can I carry a baby around if I can’t even carry myself around? Also, the pain had become unbearable, and was affecting my mood, which was affecting my relationship with Julie. So, I found a doctor who’s profile I found acceptable. I started out by telling him my recent weight lose and fitness and that I didn’t want to treat this with pain killers or chiropractic. I had blood work to test me for rheumatoid arthritis, which my grandmother had, and I had x-rays done. Everything turned out okay, so I was sent to physical therapy.

Although I was skeptical at first, physical therapy worked wonders for me. I learned a number of exercises which I have incorporated into my weekly exercise routine. Although my back pain hasn’t entirely gone, I would say that I am, for the most part, in control again. Also, I’ve toned up muscle areas that I wasn’t really doing much of before, like my shoulders, belly, and back. I am hoping this will also improve my running times as well.

At the same time, I am a bit down, because I’ve realized that should I ever get off track of my fitness, my extreme back pain will return, and this is something I will have to live with for the rest of my life. That’s some incentive…

Keep your fingers crossed, I hope to write more very soon.

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