So the worst has happened, my back decided to flare up and cause me a lot of pain. After two weeks with minimal improvement, I finally got into a Physical Therapist to get professional help.
I immediately told him that I am registered and plan to run the NYC marathon on November 5th but also understand realistically that if I have to back out, my health is more important and I don't want to end up disabled or in chronic pain.
He gave me stretches to do daily, along with a recommendation for a lumbar pillow. We scheduled weekly visits through September and he said when I come back each time, we'll assess and add some strength training as the pain level goes down.
The hope is that my back will recover and while I will be running slower, and with less training leading up to it, I will still be able to do the marathon as planned. He said two months of marathon training is still doable and I want to believe him. I have been working too hard for a minor setback to derail me.