Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Frustration Central

I woke up this morning, jumped out of bed to take my thyroid medicine, jumped back into bed, and realized my lower back was stiff.  I probably should have realized at this point that this might not bode well for my treadmill workout - increasing incline at a steady pace and then 6x60 second superfast intervals.  But I was optimistic.  Emotionally I am at the point where I just want to tear it up and train hard. 

Unfortunately, it seems that my back has other plans.  I stretched my back and hamstrings out really well before I went to the gym.  Even though my back was feeling a little stiff again by the time I got to the Y, I still was optimistic.

Within 2 minutes of the warm up I was already having pain in my shin, but I kept warming up.  I thought "maybe I have shin splints and it's not really my back."  It hurt the entire time.  I stopped for a few moments and stretched out my back and hamstrings again.

Then I started the 2 minutes incline level 2 at a 10:56 minute mile pace. I was able to handle the level 2 incline, but the 2 minutes at level 3 started to cause me major pain in both legs, and the 2 minutes at level 4 absolutely killed me with shooting pain through my left quad, sciatica, and of course the pain down my right shin getting worse and worse almost every second. I finished off the 2 minutes of it at level 4 and then laid down and stretched out my back and hamstrings again.

I tried incline 5 for about 2 seconds and it was too much pain, so then I tried level 3 thinking maybe that would be okay. Nope. So I dropped to no incline and just ran at an even 10:56 mile pace for 4 minutes from that point on. By the end of thatI was still in pretty acute pain, so I stopped and stretched my back and hamstrings again.

I figured, I'll try the recovery but walking instead of a 12:30 pace to see if that will help.  I ended up walking for 10 minutes at a 15 minute mile pace and my legs were not having it, so I stopped and went home. I think that I did the right thing because my left leg was having shooting pains as I walked regularly and even sitting my back muscles are not thrilled and I'm having major pain in my shin at the moment - I'm pretty certain it is nerve pain. There's a throbbing/shooting type sensation that I've never had with shin splints.

I made a 4:30 pm appointment with the chiropractor for today, and I have an email to Coach to see if she wants me to make adjustments to tomorrow's 1/2 hour bike and 1/2 hour treadmill hard run workout. 

Why can't my mind and body be on the same page?  It is uber frustrating.  I wanted this to be a great Team in Training season and it's like all these things are in the way.  I want them to clear out.  I have less than 3 weeks left until St. Anthony's and I've been looking forward to this race since December.  I am truly fearful that I'm going to end up having to walk the 6.2 miles at the end, and I REALLY don't want to do that.  5/1's for the whole thing, fine.  But I don't want to walk the whole thing, especially since my running has improved so much since this time last year.  So, I'm going to will my back to fix itself (she says while having sciatica shoot down her left leg and her lower back hurts...).
I had such high hopes for this season and it seems like everything I try for is turning to dust, except for finishing the 1/2 Marathon. But I'm not going to give up. I do not quit, and I'm not going to give up.  I am a doer and this sport called triathlon is something I flat out love doing.  Not to mention that doing it helps me keep all those silly health things under control.  Not to mention the mental health and stress reliver it is too.

As I said to Ladybug this morning when she was crying and begging me not to go to the gym so I could stay and help her put her socks on, this is something I do because it helps me be a better Mommy and I want to be the best Mommy I can be.  I know the evening and Saturday workouts have been hard on the kids and Mr. Darcy, and after St. Anthony's the evening workouts will stop and the Saturday workouts will at least be shorter because I won't have to travel so far to do them.  But I also know that I need this crazy swim, bike, run life... not just for sanity's sake but for the love of it all too.  I may never win a race or get hardware other than a finisher's medal, but I compete with myself and I better myself every day with every training and with every race.

Sure, I feel guilty at times because I'm not home 100% of the time with the girls.  And it doesn't help that my MIL said last night that once St. Anthony's is over it will be good because then I won't do any more races that take me away from everyone so much and that I'd just workout to keep in shape.  I had to tell her that I was going to keep training and doing triathlons and 1/2 marathons and that I most likely was going to have to travel some for races.  Or that in the past my own Dad has told me that I'm being selfish in doing this and taking time away from my family, and that I belong at home taking care of my children and my husband.  While I agree that I need to be home more in the evenings with the girls at this age, I disagree that I shouldn't train for these events.  It makes me feel good - physically, mentally, and emotionally.  And that only makes me a better wife and mother.

I get that my obsession with triathlon maybe took me away too much with the 70.3 and the Team in Training commitment.  But I also get that I would have been worse off for not doing it.  Now I'm just learning balance.  Balance between work and life.  Balance between triathlon and family.  I'm figuring it out, not giving it up.

I guess that's why I'm so frustrated with my back.  It's keeping me from doing what I love, and it's messing with the balance situation I thought I figured out.  I don't want to be back on the couch.  I want to be out on the road either biking or running; or out in the water swimming like mad.

But like I said... I refuse to give up!


  1. There will always be something or someone to rain on your parade and help put some of that mommy guilt back into the equation. I think we give ourselves enough mommy guilt, we don't need other people to infuse it into our mind. Ignore it because no one else is living your life close enough to truly know what is right for your family. As long as you and Mr. Darcy have it worked out and the girls are happy, that is what matters most. Whatever you are doing, be present in that moment. If you are spending time with your girls and Mr. Darcy, be completely present with them. If you're training, be present in your training and make every minute count. You get the picture. In the end, your girls won't remember as much about the quantity of time you spent with them, but the quality of that time. You are a strong and capable woman and you want to pass that on to your girls by living the example. In the end, be happy with your life and make no apologies for enjoying time for you!

  2. I get irk'd when I am told I am being selfish by training. What people dont understand is that training and racing makes me happy, and if I am happy, then the others in my life will receive my happiness. We do what we do because we enjoy it. Is it a weekend warrior hobby, no. But personally I think our dedication to the sport helps makes us a better person all around. THats my two cents.