December 13, 2006

I'm Back. Call The Doctor.

It was the Italian sub last night. And the potato chips. No, I take that back... it was the M&M McFlurry. That's what put me over the edge. Come to think of it, I was already dangling on the edge before my spoon even dipped into the sweet McWonder of the McFlurry. Yeah, it must've been the Italian sub.

As you probably know by now, I haven't exercised much in the past three or four weeks. Thanks to the sickness that doesn't want to let go, I've been feeling very run down and not overly excited to strain my immunity system with some over-exertion.

Throughout the past week I tried a couple of visits to the gym. On both visits I did about 20 minutes of incredibly light pedaling on the stationary bike at which point I felt so feverish that I decided to just do a little stretching and call it quits.

My immunity system and I have an understanding: it doesn't want to kill me, and I don't want to die.

It would be a lie to say that I've been eating healthily lately. A big fat juicy lie, with mayo, mustard, pickles, a big hefty dollop of cheese and a side of well-done steak fries. Oh, and ketchup for the fries.

Truth be told, the salad and soup I've been having for lunch is quickly negated by, say, the large pizza I have for dinner. And though I try to convince myself that I am healthy, there's a point where consuming a pound of grapes, a bag of Sun Chips, a Clif bar and a few handfuls of granola all within the few hours between lunch and dinner just ain't healthy anymore. Especially when there is no exercise involved.

Here's the kicker to all of this. I have, by the mere luck of the draw, been born with a very high metabolism. I don't really get fat. Yes, it's true. It would probably take more food than my stomach can handle for me to get fat. I know, I know... you don't like me now, do you?

Don't hate the player, hate the game.

I don't think it is possible for members of my immediate family to grow a beer gut. I used to joke about growing a stomach that would also act as a resting place for my drink but, alas, my stomach just isn't made to be any type of furniture - neither a table nor a washboard.

Don't get me wrong, though, it does get a bit squishy down there. In the same way I can't grow a good ole fashioned gut, the term "washboard stomach" will never be applied to me, unless of course you're talking about the rinse and jiggle cycle. I have abs - I must - it's just that I've never seen them.

So with all this eating I'm doing, my belly is getting increasingly more squishy. And my stomach is getting increasingly more full. And there comes a point where I just can't possibly squeeze in another piece of food, no matter how healthy I believe it to be. I literally fill up. Like a gas tank that will eventually just overflow, I can fit no more food in my over-expanded stomach.

Once I reach this point of saturation, I will lose my desire to eat for days on end. Logically I recognize that I must know, to stay alive. It's just that I don't want to eat. So when a sliver of hunger creeps from the confines of my brain, I snack on wee bits of salad, soup, fruit or other similarly healthy morsels.

But that is not enough during these moments of fullitude. I need exercise. I am compelled to exercise. I MUST exercise.

That point of complete and utter food saturation occurred last night at the Clippers basketball game, just as I was biting into the Italian sub. By the time I finished that and somehow crammed most of a McFlurry into my face, I had had enough food for one year. I'm done. Enough. I'm out.

So this morning I decided to make a change. I went for a run. Even if I just did a couple of miles, I told myself, at least it will make me feel better.

The moment I woke up, I eagerly threw on my shorts, strapped on my running shoes and headed out the door for a slow, easy jog. And guess what? It felt great. I was gloing slowly, but I was smiling. The air was crisp, the leaves a flurry of red and orange - it almost felt like autumn. I love running in autumn. Even though the closest thing to autumn in Los Angeles is winter. Still, its the thought of autumn that gets me going.

After I got about a half mile into the run, my lack of exercise over the past month started kicking in. And that Italian sub from last night started fighting back. Don't even get me started on the McFlurry.

I began huffing a little and puffing some more. But I still relished in the fact that I was out here running. Finally, I was exercising. I was burning off some of this damn food.

Then as I passed the mile mark and took a right turn onto the back side of this 3 mile loop, it all went to hell. In one step I got a piercing, brilliantly painful spasm in my back. I stopped immediately. I stretched the back a little, took a couple of breaths to relax. Then I started running again.

Three steps later and the spasm pierced even harder. SHIT, I yelled aloud, not realizing the amount of bejeesus I scared out of the little old lady and her mangy little dog.

This wasn't going to work, I thought in utter frustration. Damn. Damn. Damn.

I stopped on the sidewalk and stood still for awhile as I waited for the pain to dissipate. When the piercing subsided to a slight twinge, I began the long slow walk back home. After about one block of walking, the pain in my back reappeared with a vengence. Within seconds it shot down my leg, streaming a vine of agony through the hip, down the hamstring, into the IT and towards the knee.

Yeah, I thought, this sucks. Maybe I ate so much it threw out my back. Maybe that McFlurry is pushing too hard on my McSpine.

I stopped and rested again. When the grimace left my face, I had a long, slow hobble all the way back home.
And that was my run.

Now, I suppose, I need to call the chiropractor. Welcome to training season 2007.


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your post...made me laugh. I hope you figue out what the problem is so you can get back to a regular exercise regime.

Rachel said...

Take it slow! Hope you feel better soon.