History sure has a way of repeating itself. Four weeks out from IMAC 70.3 and I’m filing a claim for reimbursement. This has been a really hard decision because I’m trying to convince myself that things are ok and I can keep going. But in reality, they aren’t. And they haven’t been for a while now.
Since my back injection in May, I’ve had a pretty consistent climb in discomfort. The source definitely seems to be coming from the bike. The longer I’m on the bike and/or the harder I push on the bike. What’s frustrating is that my coach and I have kept my rides to a minimum, doing only what is absolutely necessary to get me ready. And by minimum, I mean, like two rides a week. So it’s not like I’ve been going crazy on the bike. But ever since we switched gears from marathon training to tri training, with the biggest difference being bike efforts, the back hasn’t been happy.
It all came to a head after Tri AC a few weeks ago. In addition to being in discomfort, my body “shifted” which is what happened when things were really bad last year. It’s pretty hard to ignore a physical sign that something isn’t right but I tried to reason it away. Then after my 50 mile ride last week, I shifted again. The writing on the wall was getting clearer.
my beautiful, sexy shift
So the process of questioning everything began. It went something like this: “Am I chickening out? Am I just scared that I’m not going to have a good day and I’m using my back as an excuse? But I can’t make this shift up, I can’t make it happen. I don’t want to be sidelined but I want to do this race so badly. I fought hard to get back here. Nothing is worth me not being able to run. Is the pain bad enough? Am I overreacting? I can get through this, I’ll be ok. But the shift…”
My brain was literally firing all over the place for days. I talked to my coach, to Andy, my parents…and one thing was very clear; I don’t want to be out for an extended period of time like I was in 2016. The thought of being down and out is way worse than the thought of not doing IMAC. The thought of not being able to run brings me to tears. The thought of another surgery, pain meds, pain…I can’t go back there. If staying off the bike for a while and sitting out in 4 weeks keeps me swimming and running, that’s what I need to do. So there we have it. Decision made. I reached out to the race to see if I could switch to a relay team and have someone do the bike leg for me but since the race is sold out, I couldn’t switch. I wanted to be a part of this race in any way I could but now it seems I’ll be cheering from the side just like I did last year.
I’m not going to lie; I’m pretty devastated. I feel like my spirit is broken. There have been a lot of tears out of frustration and sadness. But I’ve been down this road before and I know I can come back. My coach reminded me to see that my journey isn’t ending because IMAC isn't happening, I’m just skipping it for another destination. Hopefully this new destination is even better. :-)
I see my pain doctor tomorrow and we’ll go from there. But I’ll leave you with this…so many people complain about working out, training, the hard work it takes, etc. Keep in mind that this is a path you chose and you are so lucky to be physically able to do it. Do it with gratitude.