July 10, 2013

Decision Made (or, Oops, I Did It Again)

I haven't blogged in almost a month....not because I don't have anything to write about (on the contrary, too much is going on) but because I've been too overwhelmed and busy to find a block of time to sit and write.  A lot of what's going on deserves its blog post (and I will write about everything soon, I promise) but in a nutshell: the kids are off from school, so I'm parenting full-time; my mom just got diagnosed with ovarian cancer and is going through chemo; and my husband is getting ready for brain surgery, DBS, which will hopefully help his Young-Onset Parkinson's Disease. On top of all this, I am trying to rehab my leg, which is not yet healed.  I will write separate posts at some point about each of these topics (and I have an MRI this weekend, so hopefully more news to report on that front) but I wanted to pop in to talk about a big decision I made this week.

I wrote in my last post that I was on the fence about signing up for the Ironman 70.3 California Oceanside (half-Ironman) for 2014. The registration was about to open, and as I was resting from both running and biking in hopes of healing my leg, I didn't want to sign up.  And I didn't.  Except...except that two days ago an email got sent around to Tri Club San Diego members that the race was 80% full. It was this email that made me realize that I really wanted to do the race. I know I wrote about maybe doing one later next year, maybe in Arizona, but I really want to do this one. It's local, it's Ironman-branded (which I know is not a big deal, but my other half-Ironman was not Ironman-branded and while I loved it, I feel like I missed out on some good gear. Yes, you can go ahead and judge my vanity. I love gear.), and it looks tough but fun.  I spectated it a few years ago and really want to try it myself. Yes, I can wait until 2015, but that seems so far away. And it is.

So, after emailing and tweeting back and forth with friends, and discussing it with my husband, I signed up.

I'm registered.

Here's where I stand, and why I am hopeful enough to take the gamble that I will be able to toe the line at the race:

  • Swim:  I am still swimming, and swimming long. In fact, I'm training for an Ironman-distance ocean swim (2.4 miles) at the end of September, the Tiki Swim.  Doing 1.2 miles is my usual "short" swim now. And after fighting the huge 6-foot waves at SuperFrog, doing the bay swim should be much easier.  The water is supposed to be freezing, which is the only thing that worries me, but I'll HTFU and get it done. I'm not worried about being ready for the swim.
  • Bike: I stopped biking at the beginning of April due to time constraints, and then took a few months off in an effort to rest my leg. I didn't get to do the century ride that I was signed up for (and yes, at some point in my life I have unfinished business with my bike and 100 miles).  With the approval of my physical therapist, my chiropractor AND my doctor, I got back on the bike a few weeks ago, with the promise to stop if there was any pain.  It had been nearly 3 months since my last ride, and I was nervous, although excited to ride my new bike.  I've done two rides so far, both short.  A 10 mile flat ride to start, followed a week later by another 10 mile ride, this time hilly. Both rides kicked my out-of-shape tush, but there was no leg pain, and I look forward to resuming training again to be able to ride the 56 hilly mile course at the half-Ironman.
  • Run: Here's the issue.  Anyone who knows me, or has read my blog, knows that while I enjoy triathlon, and swimming and biking, I am really a runner.  I took off almost 7 weeks from running (only running in the pool, per doctor approval) in an effort to heal my leg. It didn't help.  It's not just a muscle issue, it's a nerve issue, and hopefully the MRI will reveal why. However (and again with my doctors' approval) I've been running again lately.  I've gotten clearance to run up to 3 miles. I've yet to run more than 2 so far. Most of my runs are 1 mile, maybe 1.5, with some "long" runs of 2 miles.  BUT----it's not as painful as it was. Yes, there is discomfort, but no sharp pain. I am hoping that I am slowly healing; I am diligently doing my PT exercises almost every night, designed to stretch and strengthen.  The race is 8 1/2 months away, and I'm hopeful that by January I will be able to start training for the half marathon in earnest, using a slow, run/walk method.
That's my status so far. I can swim and bike now, and hope to be able to run/walk the half marathon, with training starting by January. I have promised my husband, my mother and myself that if I'm still in a lot of pain by the time the race rolls around, I won't do it. And I won't. I really want to do the race, but not at the cost of huge pain again. But I think the gamble is worth it...I have a long time to train, and am doing all the right things in order to heal.

In the meantime, I've had to DNS (did not show) two races so far this summer: the Jump! Aquathlon, (which they are letting me roll over to next year) and the San Diego Century Ride (which I can't roll over and had to eat the registration fee).  I am 99% sure I am not going to do the America's Finest City Half Marathon next month, which pains me, not only because I wanted to finish the Triple Crown Challenge for the first time, but because it would have been my 20th half marathon. But, I know, there are always other races to do. Half marathon #20 will happen at some point.

I added another 5k to the schedule, the Aloha Run, which I will do with my son. Today I also registered for the Mission Bay Triathlon, a sprint. I've done it twice before (in fact, it was my first-ever triathlon) and while I wasn't planning on a triathlon this year, I haven't done one since SuperFrog and don't want my NEXT one to be the Ironman Oceanside 70.3 I'd like something in the middle to reacquaint myself with triathlon and transitions.  I'm excited about having some things on my race calendar.  All this will help me deal more effectively with my stress levels....it's good to pound the pavement, pedal the bike, and paddle the water to relieve my stress.

Here's hoping I can arrive to the start line healthy! As it gets closer, I'm sure I'll be freaking about about the actual execution of this monster race distance (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run is huge) but for right now, I'm just focused on setting my training base and getting healthy.

5 comments:

  1. I hope they figure out whatever is wrong with your leg! :o( And I got chills reading brain surgery. ack! I was terrified that the next sentence would reveal a diagnosis like mine. So glad it didnt. And I'm so sorry to hear about your mom.:o(

    Speaking of races, I have to plug Esprit de She. Formerly SheRox. Its a Girls on the Run supporting race now! Mid October. :o)

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  2. My goodness you have a lot on your plate! Sending good vibes to you and your family. Good luck with your training!

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  3. Man, you triathlon behemoths impress the hell out of me. I MIGHT be able to eventually add the biking portion but the swim? Fugheddaboudit. Good luck, Shug, you're amazing.

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  4. I think you have plenty of time to heal, and then resume training. It also seems like you're being very smart about the healing process, and listening to the doctors orders. I'm happy that you registered for it! It'll all come together for you!

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