Thursday, December 19, 2013

"Kona Project Update - What a pain -- in the back!"

I figured pursuing a Kona Slot for 2014 would consist of soreness, fatigue, and frustration from time-to-time, but last week I got hit with some unexpected back spasms that made me seriously doubt my pursuit.  I got up early last Tuesday (a week and a half ago) to get in my morning swim.  All went well, except for the fact that I'm slow.  I came home to help get Matty ready for daycare, but was looking forward to spending the day at home with Luke because he had a fever and couldn't go to daycare.  After Laura and Matty left the house, I was so happy to lay down for 30 minutes before Luke awoke.  A 30 minute nap is hard to come by with two little kids and training.  However, when I woke-up, my back was tight and sore.  I knew something wasn't right, but hoped that it would loosen up.  I managed a short trip to the grocery store with Luke to get a few things.  I found myself bending over the handle of the shopping cart in pain during most of our trip, and it was all I could do to make it back home with my groceries and Luke.  I sought refuge on the couch with my legs up, but there was none to be found, and by mid-afternoon I was crawling around the house on all fours because it was too painful to stand.  It was terrible!

I informed Chad I wouldn't be completing the day's scheduled run workout and that things weren't looking good for the next day's workouts either.  Even worse, I had to miss the Ballou Skies "Corks and Pucks" gala that a bunch of my family was going to attend.  Chad and I came up with a game plan to take it easy and see how the back responded.  Over the next two days, between seeing my family doctor, getting some x-rays, and talking with family, I was worried my Kona Project was a bad idea.  I questioned whether I had it in me to do the training day-after-day while working and fulfilling my parenting responsibilities.  I also questioned whether my body could endure it all.  After all, Luke's terrible twos have me in wrestling matches some mornings trying to get him dressed for school, and Matty's not sleeping through the night because he can barely breathe from the congestion of one cold after another.  In fact, it seems like every time we get in the car, I'm explaining to Luke that we're going to a doctor's appointment for one of us.  The pot was boiling over and some final straw broke my back.

After reflecting on these feelings for a few days, I came to some calming realizations.  First, this is the hardest it will get.  I wasn't thinking about the training workouts.  Those will surely get harder, but this time of the year is hard because it's sooooo busy.  I began to see that glass half-full.  Matty won't always be sick, and when he starts sleeping through the night, I'll get to too.  Luke won't be two forever and he will start to learn that just because he wants something and says, "please," doesn't mean he'll get it.  And, throwing a tantrum won't help.  The weather will get warmer.  The days will get longer, and I won't be training in the dark all the time.  Christmas vacation will be coming and all the shopping will be done.  And, this back pain will go away.  Insert a major deep breath here.  Next, I also realized that I'm not going to qualify for Kona in one day.  There will be ups and downs in my training and how my body feels.  I just need to stay the course.  It is a process.  It is a project.

I'm happy to report that my back is feeling better.  I got a good report from an Orthopedic Doctor and I'm back to training.  I am getting an MRI tonight, but the doctor isn't anticipating finding any major problems.  I think he called it, "normal degeneration that I would expect to see in someone your age."  "Keep doing what you're doing," he said.

Sounds good to me Doc!