Last week I wrote about how well my training is going for my first 70.3 triathlon, SuperFrog, which is in less than 3 months. This week, however, I've been sidelined, as I've hurt my back.
To this day, I'm not sure what happened. Last Thursday morning I woke up and had a slight twinge in my lower left back (more at my left side). I had my usual 3-mile run scheduled, and told my husband I felt a little sore and if it gets worse I'll either walk or turn back. As it turned out, my back didn't bother me at all, and I had a great 3 mile run with the dog. I came home, showered, blew dry my hair, got dressed, and was still pain-free.
Soon, though, my back started hurting really badly. Spasming. It hurt to sit down, and it hurt to stand back up. I couldn't rest much, because we had things on the docket I just couldn't ignore (a speech therapy evaluation for my daughter, plus her 6-year checkup at the pediatrician). Driving hurt, and I wasn't able to lift anything heavy all day. That night, it got worse. I went to bed early, as usual, and woke up at 11:30 pm to go to the bathroom. The pain was so intense I literally could not stand up from the toilet without screaming in agony. My husband had to help me up (a real embarrassing moment in our marriage, to be sure) and I cried myself to sleep. I have rarely felt pain like that.
The next day, Friday, I called my doctor and was able to see him that day. He ruled out anything major, like a kidney stone, and told me to rest and alternate ice/heat. He also prescribed me two painkillers and a muscle relaxer.
On Sunday, I had my first-ever DNS (did not show) at an aquathlon I had signed up to do. I was really bummed, as not only was I out the money I had paid, but more than that I had really wanted the training for my 70.3. It was to be a 1 mile ocean swim and a 10k on the beach, all of which would have been great preparation for the big race. However, I knew I wouldn't even be able to put on my wetsuit, let alone swim and run, so I DNS.
Over the weekend, I was still in pain, though little by little the pain ebbed. The doctor had advised me not to do any exercise until I was pain-free, and I let five days go by without a workout. For me, that is a lot. I have kept a written log of my workouts since July 2010 (exactly 2 years now) and there have been only THREE instances that I let 3 days in a row go by without working out. I've never gone four days, let alone five.
On Tuesday I saw a chiropracter. She advised that I should move a little, that movement may heal, as long as it wasn't anything long or major. She advised against biking, as I would be leaning over, but she suggested I try swimming and light jogging. Yesterday I did my first workout in 5 days, a 3 mile slow jog. I didn't feel any more pain during or after the run, so I'm glad I went (I was prepared to turn around and walk home at the first twinge of pain). Today I did a short swim---20 laps, or 1000 yards--instead of my usual 40-50 laps. It felt great, although at lap 18 I started to feel a small twinge in my back, so I'm glad I stopped when I did instead of pushing it.
I'm worried that only do I still have pain (although I am now rating it a 2/10 on the pain scale) but my big race is quickly approaching. I need to train, and I can't do the kind of training I need to do while hurt. Sure, I can swim a little, run a little, maybe ride the recumbent bike at the gym...but I need to swim long, bike long, and run long. And right now I can't.
Please send me some healing vibes, quickly!
9 hours ago