Unfortunately, I missed Ironman Chattanooga. I was hoping that maybe things would improve suddenly and I would be able to race, but I had some pretty extreme sciatic pain radiating down my leg for about two weeks which included numbness and weakness in my leg. I couldn't lift my left heel off the ground and was walking with a limp. I figured even if I could get through the race, I wouldn't be able to perform my best and would probably make things worse so I cancelled the hotel and skipped the race.
That left me wondering what to do. I was hoping to qualify for Kona and felt like my fitness was there. My last two attempts to get back to the big island didn't go well and now attempt number three came and went and I wasn't even on the starting line. Should I sign up for another Ironman? Should I just give up on Kona and focus on halfs? I had a couple of good half ironmans this year and really enjoy that distance. My year of olympics was fun too. Maybe I should focus on those.
Then I saw a Facebook post stating that Ironman Wisconsin had less than 100 slots left. Hmmmm..... I've done Wisconsin a few times so I felt tempted to pick a different race, something new...but IMWI is the easiest one for me to do in terms of logistics. I get to sleep in my own bed the night before the race. I can train on the course all year. It's easy for my family to come watch. Etc.
I talked it over with Courtney and then limped over to my computer and registered (yes, I paid for the refund insurance). We decided one last shot at Kona was in order, and that IMWI made the most sense. Then we'll pick a couple of 70.3s to travel to so we still get to see some new places.
I wanted an early season race, and a little bit of research led me to the San Juan 70.3 in Puerto Rico. I haven't registered yet, but I did book the hotel.
If I'm going to be on that starting line on March 15, 2015, I need to get healed. I had an MRI which showed a bulged disc at L5-S1. I started PT last week and he thinks I have two things going on - the bulged disc (which the doc says is mildly hitting the sciatic nerve) and piriformis syndrome (he thinks my piriformis has tightened up and is pinching my sciatic nerve causing the majority of my problems).
I'll write more about my PT in my next post. Right now, I'm about 5 weeks out from my initial injury and I've made a lot of progress. I still have a long ways to go, but I'm no longer limping, I'm able to ride and I can now lift my left heel off the ground 10 times. I still have numbness all the way down my left hamstring, calf and into my toes, but my strength is returning.