Getting the back on track…

I’ve come to two realizations. First, desk work can be hard…on your back. Second, being off my feet while working does not make my trail running any more consistent. Bummer.

Neither of those were expected, but I guess it makes sense. I have spent the last 1.5 years in a job that required me to be on my feet for 9-16 hours at a time. Sure, I’d sit down to eat or work on a computer for a bit, but mostly I was on my feet. And it didn’t bother me.

Sunset behind Dinosaur & Dakota Ridge
…Dinosaur and Dakota Ridge, just because…

Now that I’m working {mostly} from home and spending a incredible amount of time sitting in my computer chair pounding out gibberish on my keyboard I’m realizing that on-your-feet-work might be the way to go! My back has been hating me, especially when running. Actually, only when running…downhill.

Of course I didn’t figure this out until I had spent about 10 minutes running uphill…a hill that my car happened to be parked at the bottom of. Fantastic.

After a few days of “meh” workouts that consisted of almost no running I decided to head for the trails. On the way home from a work meeting I stopped by Green Mountain for a run. My car acted as a dressing room as I quickly swapped out my “business casual” for capris and a few layers on top I was ready to go.

William Frederick Hayden Park

We have mountain biked at Green Mountain but I don’t believe I’ve ever gone running here…first time for everything. Knowing the trails a bit from biking helped – you see so much trail so much faster on a bike! My goal was to run for about 30 minutes. I’m still broken up with the Garmin so I was going on time.

Trail running at Green MountainTrail running at Green Mountain
…a little sun makes such a huge difference in Denver, much warmer…

I started out on a trail that I knew would loop me back and ended up finishing it faster than I expected – or more accurately it was shorter than I’d remembered – so I headed up a beastly hill. The more I ran the longer the hill got. I kid you not. Bend after bend it kept going up. I gave up on the running and power walked then veered off on the first single track trail I came to.

Trail running at Green Mountain

Everything about this run was going good until I headed down that never ending hill. With each running step downhill my lower back radiated angry muscle pain. What?! When I walked, ran uphill, on flat ground or on a teeny, tiny decline there was minor discomfort but not pain. Running down anything close to a legit hill was painful. As in I was swearing under my breath painful. Not cool.

Trail running at Green Mountain
…the downhill, and yes, it curves about so its longer than this…

This run went down last week Monday. Since then I’ve paid a little extra attention to my back and while my running has been mostly non existent – hello, its freaking cold outside and I’m not motivated enough for the treadmill – I think its safe to say things are getting better. I’ve adjusted the monitor mount so I’m forced to sit straighter, I try to sit up straight or at least back rather than hunching over my keyboard and my back has become friends with the foam roller.

Here’s to hoping I’ve been doing this right and that my test runs – including the trail run at Bear Creek Lake Park last Thursday – have not been lying to me. The plan is to hang out on the single track for about 45 minutes this week. I’ll let you know how that goes!


Getting the back on track… — 12 Comments

  1. Dude, my back got so bad after I started working 55 hours a week at a desk (or driving). I’ve started getting a massage every month to help loosen me up. My upper back is a wreck. I have special stretches I get to do in the doorway. :)
    Annie recently posted..30My Profile

    • My desk can be made higher…and Chris mentioned this. Of course it takes a bit of work to raise it up but if I can get it up high enough…maybe worth a shot! Besides, I’d feel hardcore!

    • Yeah…you’re probably right about the chair! I have a pretty basic one. As an experiment I stole Chris’s and found that just having arms on the chair helps a ton! I can actually sit into the chair and rest my elbows on the arms of the chair rather than hunch over my desk.

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