It’s Not You, It’s Me. Or Maybe it Is You.

We need to talk.

I’ll come right out.  I think it’s time for a trial separation.  I really don’t know what our future is to be honest.  Things have changed in the past year.

You know, when we met a year ago, you were the best thing ever.  I couldn’t have expected my nights to be so wonderful.  I was sure you would always be the one.  

But frankly, this past month has been…  painful.  I’m not sure how much longer either of us can take of this.

I do realize this hasn’t been all fun and games for you.  I’m not an easy guy to put up with, and I have noticed times of you being depressed.  It seems the depression seems to last longer, and I have to think that’s because of me.  

Last night, the kids were surprised to see me taking my pillow into the guest bedroom.  So they have to sense there is trouble in paradise.  Not that they would be too interested probably, they have their own stuff going on.  

And, you should know…  I’ve tried another.  Maybe for you that’s the final straw.  Maybe in a weird way that’s the kind of break you need to recover, I know that sounds weird.  I will say, while maybe I could avoid some of the pain, it still just wasn’t the same.  

I don’t know what the future holds.  Sometimes I wonder if it’s time to make a change, though I’m not sure I can afford to do that at this point in time.  And there’s a lot of moving stuff around, I don’t know.  It’s probably too early to jump to those kinds of conclusions.  Maybe right now we just need some space, maybe that will help us see where the issues really lie.  We’ll figure it out.

I’m sorry if this all comes as a shock, though I’m thinking you have to have seen it coming.  But really, something has to be done.  There’s just too much pain, and something has to be done before it becomes even more.

– Me.


Now, before anyone gets too concerned – it’s my mattress I’m writing to.

A year ago we spent a fair amount of money for a new memory foam mattress.  It was heaven.  It was bliss.  Our old bed was like 14 years old, and guys my size are kinda hard on beds as it is.  And that may be the case here, maybe memory foam isn’t the right idea.

I’ve mentioned my lower back hurting from time to time, fortunately through the day it’s been pretty good.  I’ve wondered for awhile if it was because of the bed or if it hurting at night is a symptom of something else and the bed is just exacerbating it.  It’s never been a matter of long time pain or not being able to do anything, not even a matter of hurting when I’m lifting or anything like that.  At it’s worst it was a matter of if I turned just wrong it would be this shot of pain.  It definitely felt like it was muscular.  So, a couple weeks ago I ditched a couple of pairs of shoes I used to wear a lot, wondering if maybe older bad shoes were the culprits.  That is when it was at its worst, and in fact I would feel the pain all through the day.  That’s about when I discovered heat wraps and got a heating pad.  That made a huge difference.  Fortunately I’ve been able to do my last few long runs without any problems, so it’s not something that is totally interfering with my running.

What’s started me wondering how much it actually was the bed was that I noticed if I could hold the same position for a long period of time, I’d be fine.  I tend to sleep on my side, and I do kinda flop back and forth from one side to the other.  I started to notice that the flops were where I’d start to feel it.  I’d get into bed and lay on my left side for a long time and feel great.  With memory foam you kind of sink into the mattress, but the way the foam forms around you it’s supposed to be really supportive.  But when I’d roll over, I no longer fit into the divot I’ve created (or depression, as I called it above), and I don’t know if it’s just that the foam no longer adjusts around that change like it used to, so now I’m kinda lying uneven over the way the mattress was indented from how I was lying previously, and that’s when I’d start to feel the pain.  

That seemed to be confirmed when one night I was about to roll over, and really dreading doing so because I knew what was coming, so I got up, used the restroom, came back THEN lied down on the other side, and all was well.  It’s like getting up allowed the mattress enough time to readjust and it was ready for me when I got back.

So the good news is, it’s manageable.  The problem with it is now, it’s like just rolling over takes a tremendous amount of concentration and such, all this at a time I’m supposed to be sleeping.  So I’ve gotten to where I can get through the night without nearly as much pain, I hardly need the heating pad now, which is good, but all this drama that’s part of just rolling over means I’m not sleeping nearly as well through the night.

And I still don’t know if it’s really the bed being the cause, or if it’s the bed is just kind of exposing the problem by making it worse.  It’s possible that this is the area where all the running is taking its toll.  I know that when I started this at about 340 pounds I wondered if all that weight would be too much wear and tear to try doing a half marathon just yet.  I’ve had times in the past where my knees would be in excruciating pain which I was sure had to do with my weight, so in some ways I’ve just been waiting for something like that to flair up.  I feel like the attention to form has helped a lot, but honestly I’ve been amazed that I haven’t had any real joint issues or anything like that.  But maybe this back thing is as much about all that weight going kathunk kathunk kathunk for several miles at a time.  I really don’t know.  

So anyway, last night was an experiment of sorts.  I decided to see if the futon upstairs would be better for me.  It’s nowhere near as comfortable – it’s a mattress across a metal bar frame.  I think the jury is still out.  The good news, I haven’t had any of the lower back pain through the night or in getting up.  That’s really good.  I also didn’t sleep too great.  That’s not so good, especially coming this close to the race.  That could have been for a lot of reasons.  It’s too small really for a 6’5 guy like me, it’s horribly uncomfortable, it’s a different place than I’m used to, and maybe as  much as anything I’m sleeping alone.  It was just weird.  

I did a little 2 mile run this morning, just to see how that felt.  The jury is pretty much hung on that one.  About a half mile into it I was ready to shut it down because my back felt more stiff and it was feeling like it was on the edge of a full revolt.  But that seemed to get better and the rest of the run felt fine.

So…  the million dollar question I’m asking myself is, with the Bear Chase 2 days away, where do I sleep???  Maybe tonight I give the old bed another shot.  I don’t know, the bed was a big investment but I wonder if for a guy my size if memory foam was a mistake.  It’s not like we have a few hundred dollars to throw at a new mattress every year, you know?  

So… aside from all that….  in about 48 hours from this moment I’m expecting to be somewhere around mile 9 and done with the major hill climbs.  Just cruising now…



About Ron Walter

I'm just a guy who was so out of shape he couldn't run to get out of the rain. I'm taking my life back. It's not always perfect, not always successful. The victories though are greater than the defeats. I plan to keep it that way.
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