Tomorrow afternoon I leave for Hawaii- a one month escape to literally lose myself in the peacefulness of the Island...at least until Ironman arrives ;)
Only a few months ago I was making this trip with all the motivation and optimism for the racing season- intent on getting really fit and kicking things off at Honu.
Wow, what a rollercoaster I've experienced since then. It honestly seems like a very distant past. I have incredible memories from the 2 months I spent there- mostly nestled in my little studio apt plugging away workouts, cooking my meticulous meals, and incredibly grateful for getting the opportunity to pursue a career in the sport I adore.
Simultaneously, a part of me wishes to block out that part of my life because it pains me that all of that work and all the positive energy thrown into it turned so very sour...race after race ending with the thing I detest the most: a DNF.
After Louisville I was on a mission. There has been nothing, and I mean NOTHING taking priority over finding out what's going on and addressing it. It consumes 24hrs of my daily life. I've even had dreams about this whole ordeal in and out of racing/training context.
Rarely have I gone to bed without a decent sobbing session, and multiple times I'll break down in the car crying at the thought of not just what happened and all those I feel I let down, but thinking of my goals and wondering if I will every get my body 100%---- heck just figure out the correct diagnosis!
I don't say this to get others to feel sorry for me- not playing victim here. I'm saying this because it is what it is, it's the truth and it's okay to hurt for something you want more than anything in this world.
So what's the news so far? We took and MRI- I have spondylosithesis of my l5- it's basically a slipped disc- of a few mm. This could be causing spasm/really bad pain that I feel on the bike especially after a semi arched back from the swimming, or it could be totally independent. I also have found very tight fascia on the upper glute where it attaches to the illiac crest. Both of these discoveries were not made immediately post the MRI- there was only a vague idea.
It was only until yesterday that I visited with the most knowledgeable guy out of any doc/alternative medeicine/pt guy out there- and that's Chris Maund here in Encinitas who's part of the CHEK Institute. The good news Chris gave me is that it's not career ending...research has shown me Lance Armstrong has it, another successful pro triathlete I know also has it, Andre Agassi has it....I'm in good company.
I have DAILY rehab exercises/stretches to do in order to help correct some of this slippage and at the least keep it at bay- over the years it's almost a guarantee this leads to spinal compression/lumbar fusion (look at me being all medical :) hehe) which is a nightmare apparently. No thanks! I am now a dedicated stretch-er person. This is my entire focus now.
I got a new bike- a Slice, fits my geometry great. But I can't take it to Hawaii :( I hate not getting to play with my new toy but Chris said take the road bike only until I get back and see him and get my "body working normally again" so that's that. I'm at the point that if I'm told to eat horse shit, just point me to it.
My joint mobility has improved heaps in just a few weeks of working with Brian at Rehab United, and even acupuncture gave me some relief.
So now for this one month on the rock, I seek primarily to check out mentally from "real life" put in my gym work, ride a road bike and work on using muscles that apparently have been asleep for a long while, keep up my running and swimming (with some limiters- for anyone w/ this condition: no downhill running for a while, no fly stroke), and when Ironman arrives- give out all the positive energy that I've received in all the years I've raced there, to those tackling it this time around.