This season was going really well. My training was great. My FTP was at an all time high, I was running well and my swimming was as strong as ever. I had two great 70.3s finishing 3rd and 1st in my age group. I came out of the water in 3rd in one of them, which is my best ever swim. I was also running about 10 minutes faster in 70.3s than I have in the past. I felt like I was on track for a good day in Chattanooga and hopefully another Kona slot.
Then came an old injury....my back. I hurt my back two days before AG Nationals. I strained some muscles in the middle of my back, and I managed to get it loosened up enough to race fairly well at Nationals so while it wasn't my best weekend of racing, it wasn't horrible either. I even snuck in there for a Team USA qualifying slot in the sprint race so I get to be a part of Team USA again next year.
After Nationals, my back healed and I thought all was good. Just a minor setback...it happens. Two days before Worlds, it went again. This time during a warm up workout and this time it was my lower back. I survived Worlds, but my back issues made the trip very difficult. Flying with a bike with back pain isn't fun.
Worlds was worse than Nationals, and my back cost me about 2 weeks of training. One of those weeks was supposed to be an easy week so that wasn't a problem, but it cost me a build week as I let it heal.
After that I managed a week and a half of really solid workouts and felt like I might be on track again. Then, earlier this week, my lower back pain returned. I made an appointment with a chiro who took the situation from bad to worse and left me with sciatic pain so bad I couldn't even stand up and walk around. That was a couple of days ago. The next day, Courtney convinced me to go to urgent care where they gave me a muscle relaxant. That helped with the pain, but the problem still persists. It's now Sunday, day 4 of sciatica. I have pain radiating down my left hamstring and calf into my foot. I have numbness and tingling and my calf has locked up. I can now stand and walk around, but I'm walking with a limp.
Ironman Chattanooga is a week away. I can barely walk and haven't done a workout in 4 days. I'm not sure this thing is going to go away in time for the race, and even if it does what damage might I do if I race? So as of right now, I'm not sure I'm going to be heading down to TN.
To make matters even worse, my dad changed up his chemo schedule to try and come down to watch the race. He was on a 3-week schedule, but moved a treatment ahead to give himself time to recover to make the trip. That treatment didn't go well, and he's in the hospital and can no longer make the trip.
So here I am trying to decide what to do. Do I go down and try to race? Do I skip it? If I do skip it, do I sign up for Cozumel? Do I sign up for an Ironman next year? Do I give up on the iron distance and focus on 70.3s? I had a lot of fun with those this year. Unfortunately, The Austin and Miami 70.3s are sold out or I would consider adding one of those to my 2014 schedule.
I haven't made a decision yet, and I haven't given up on Chattanooga yet....but I have given up on the hopes of getting a Kona slot. I don't see that happening. My back has cost me too much training over the past 6 weeks or so.
I'll post a Worlds race report soon. It was a pretty cool event.