Olivia's Marathon Misadventures

Monday, April 10, 2006


Laura Dern
Kurt Cobain
Yo-Yo Ma
Liza Minelli (lord help us all)
Johnny Rotten
Isabella Rossellini
Renee Russo
Chloe Sevigny
Sarah Michelle Gellar

We all have scoliosis. Um, I can't help but notice that none of the above are marathon runners. Oh well! Only 1% of Americans have run a marathon. If you cross reference that with the number of Americans who have scoliosis, the number has to be small.

Anyway, I blame a little bit of my pain during my Saturday long run on the fact that I have two titanium rods in my back and 4 lumbar vertebrae fused together (with bone chips from my hip, thank you very little!). Oh, and some small remaining curvature.

But whatevs. I had that surgery fourteen years ago. I've skiied and stage dove and crowd surfed (and fell on my nose - and broke it - and almost lost my front teeth since I landed face first) and a number of things since then. But I never forget that I have those fused bones and rods. I know it when I "stretch" (as in I reach for my toes, but never quite make it past my knees), I know it when I go through a metal detector at the airport (9/11 made this condition much less funny), I know it when my back pops and sounds like cracking knuckles. But whatevs.

At mile 11 this Saturday, I couldn't really feel the toes on my right foot and it was because of my scoliosis. There must have been some irritation and inflamation in my back. Most of my leg felt tingle-y, as if half-asleep. Frankly, it does from time to time, and did a little bit on Friday afternoon. Sometimes, office chairs have that affect on me. Additionally, my leg still feels strange today. What I am driving at is this: I am off kilter and that has contributed to my ITBS.

The run Saturday was AWESOME until mile 17. Ok, at mile 11, I had to be stretched and I felt kinda yucky, but by mile 17 I was in excrutiating pain. By mile 18 I had fallen down (twice) trying to walk. I'll recap all of the misadventures, but not right now. My knees hurt and I want to go home and ice them.

ps: my rods are much lower - in the lumbar area...


  • Rods? In you back?
    WOW...you go!

    Also..Kurt Cobain? I had no idea. I did seem them once, in Toronto (speaking of crowd surfing). Just wanted to mention that...makes me sound cool.
    Also...I like the Foos way better.

    By Blogger Pamalamadingdong, at 11:14 PM  

  • You are a hero. You are not only the only one of us regular non-semi-professional trainees who is sticking with the full marathon regimen, but you have done it with FRICKING RODS IN YOUR BACK and never said a word to anyone until now. O, you could just quit at 17 miles and you would still be the bestest coolest chica ever. YOU ROCK!!!!!

    By Anonymous Tara, at 9:27 AM  

  • 17 miles is a loooong way to go. Sorry about the pain, but whoo-hoo on the miles!! Way to hang TOUGH.

    By Blogger jeanne, at 3:07 PM  

  • You are too cute. Even the Mighty fall down on the Grassland Run :-)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:36 AM  

  • Sorry for the trouble you've had! I had the same surgery, uhhh, wow, like 20 years ago now. I've never had any trouble that I've attributed to my surgery. Sometimes my lower back hurts, but hey, so does everyone's. Last year, I completed my first Olympic Triathlon! I've been trying to volunteer at a hospital to talk to teens facing the same choice of surgery. I think we both could be positive examples. Living with scoliosis often turns out to be more painful than the side effects of surgery. I've never had any regrets. Good health to you!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:29 PM  

  • You're right, not all of us are marathon runners! I haven't considered surgery yet for my scoliosis, some of us have different degrees of it, but we all have pain right?! I find that getting a massage every day with my personal massage chair really keeps me loose and energetic to continue to try to live a normal life!

    By Anonymous Sonja, at 8:36 PM  

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