It's been a while since I've written so rather than try to get caught up on race reports, I thought I'd write a general update and go from there.
I left off with my training leading into Puerto Rico. All things considered, my training went well but the race did not. My swim was alright and my bike was okay but I got a little dehydrated and faded a bit on the second half. Coming off the bike I had a lot of pain in my left hip, which was unexpected since I never had that in training. But that was the side of my sciatic pain so it makes sense. I struggled a lot on the run and just couldn't get moving. Overall, I really enjoyed the race and might go back again, but it wasn't a good day.
After that, training went alright. I was able to get in more outdoor miles but running remained a challenge. I lost a lot of strength in my left hamstring and especially my calf and outdoor running put a lot of strain on my calf and it was sore everyday. My next race was Challenge Knoxville, which went about as well as PR. The swim was alright but it rained through the entire ride just like it did the last time I did this race so that wasn't much fun. The run was a disaster and I just couldn't get moving. More issues with my injury, and in the end it was my slowest half ironman ever.
Since then, I've struggled with training. The loss of hamstring strength led to a minor strain which went away quickly, but it also brought back the return of my old knee injury. So right now I'm swimming and cycling and haven't run much in the past few weeks. We're less than 12 weeks out from IMWI and my run fitness, whatever I had, is slipping away. I'm still holding out some hope that I'll be able to race, but right now it's not looking promising.
I bought the insurance so if training doesn't improve in the next couple of weeks, I'll probably drop out and spend the rest of the summer cycling and put triathlon on hold for a while and see if maybe I can rebuild over the winter.
So it's been a seriously frustrating season so far. I'm about 10 months out from my back injury and still struggling to put it behind me. In retrospect, trying to race Puerto Rico and Knoxville was a mistake. I'm not sure if those races set me back at all, but they didn't go well so they weren't much fun and weren't good for confidence.
So that's where I'm at right now - frustrated and unsure of the future of my season (and the rest of my tri career since this back injury is making returning to running very difficult). I'm not giving up yet though. I'm still trying to turn things around and trying some new things with my training since I'm not able to do my typical training plan.