I gained some notoriety years ago when I ran a full marathon without realizing that the pain radiating from my hip was a fracture. I had a lot of other issues that day, starting with an OD of Motrin that led to mild kidney failure. So the confusion with pain was perhaps understandable, if not quite comprehendable to people who have a low tolerance for physical discomfort.
I mention this because despite saying privately and publicly that I'll never be that foolish as to run while obviously injured, I've gone and done it again.
Friday night an on-again, off-again tightening in my lower back turned into full-fledged muscle spasms that stretching and a hot shower helped reduce but not eliminate. I had a fitful night of sleep and by 3 a.m. was pulling up medical web sites and self-diagnosing a muscle strain. I kept up the icing and ibuprofen and realized it hurt less to move than sit or stand still. So I met my running group as planned at 6:30 a.m. Saturday and enjoyed chatting for miles as we went 'round the lake and following it up with breakfast. Then I did several hours' worth of shopping.
By 5 p.m., back home, I couldn't get comfortable no matter what I did. I barely slept (again) and had a lot of trouble even getting out of bed several hours later. I actually cried.
Fast forward to now, where I'm home and feeling happy again, thanks to Big Pharma. Whoever invented those Lidocaine patches and Robaxin - I love you. I have a bulging disc and sections of muscle inflamed to the size of golfballs. Low-impact exercise only for the time being.
Here's where I would offer words of wisdom from experience, but I think we all know what my words are worth now.