July 12, 2012


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!



  1. Have you thought about a sports medicine doctor? I was in excruciating back pain for two weeks (hard to walk, stand, sit, sleep)...finally sucked it up and went to the doctor. He did one weird push of my knee while I was on my back and I was FINE. Totally fine. 2 weeks of pain for nothing.

    1. That's an idea I hadn't considered! I'm much better today, but if I'm not improved more next week I may ask my doc for a referral. Thanks, and I'm glad you're pain-free now!

  2. Hugs to you! Hope you feel 100% very soon!

  3. Sending good vibes your way!!! Hoping you are feeling better. Sorry you missed your race but you will be ok...you still have time to train. Take care of yourself!

  4. Let it rest! Let it rest! Forcing in a workout because you're going crazy won't help it any. You are FIT. You could do the race tomorrow if you weren't sidelined. Don't worry about taking a week or two off, you will be plenty trained by race day!


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