I wish I was blogging about the 18 mile run that was planned for sat or the 5 1/2 hr bike + 35 min run planned for today. However, I didn't feel like myself on Fri and because of it I turned into one smart, yet freaked out athlete. After my workout on Thurs (easy run + bike) I spent the morning at the Palm Gardens Long-term care facility. My first experience with long-term care dietetics. For my medical therapy dietetic course we are required to volunteer time with a dietitian. I have the best RD to observe and I learned so much in just the first day! Later in the day I was on the computer (as usual) but by dinner time, I was feeling really sore in my back. I felt like I couldn't get comfortable when I sat at the computer and I knew my old shoes were not helping when I walked with campy. Katrine, Laura and I planned to run on the treadmill for 2-3 easy miles before swimming at 6am. I was really looking forward to swimming because our set was over 4500 and I couldn't wait to do a long swim. Because my rt. leg was feeling weird and my back was still achy, I decided to just walk on an incline, slowly, on the treadmill. After 20 min. of walking, the pain didn't subside so I stopped walking and headed to the pool. I figured a non-weight bearing exercise would be easier on my body and more relaxing but it ended up making my soreness much worse. After 6 x 200's of a 12 x 200 main set, I decided that a 2500 swim was enough. It took me all 6 x 200's to decide to get out. I kept saying to myself that I was getting better but I am not one to swim in pain or discomfort. My back just didn't feel right. I called Karel as soon as I left the Y and holding back tears I told him that something was wrong. Not sure what, but my leg was weak (nothing new with that) and my lower back and upper back (all on the rt. side) was super tight. After a whole season of training smart, listening to my body and doing everything right with my training, I began to think that my season was over. I tried not to jump to conclusions but after so many great races and great, great workouts, I just didn't know how this could happen without any warning signs. As I mentioned before, I never train through discomfort (or pain) and I always listen to my body. For the past 2 months, I have only felt good. It was a tough decision, but I took sat off. Yes-a whole weekend day off. I think the last sat I didn't exercise was the sat after both of my Ironman's. There is something religious about exercising on the weekends and Sat and Sun are my fav days of the week. The worst part was that I purposely finished all of my HW so that I could relax after my long weekend of training. Great, nothing to do but stress about a possible injury. I iced myself on fri night and sat and after doing a bit of research about leg pain, a lot of the articles (from MD's, not triathlon forums) pointed to lower back pain. Whenever I feel an ache or pain I try not to look at the one body part where I am hurting. I try to think about what has changed with my workouts to bring on the ache or where else the pain could be coming from. Perhaps, all of my leg pain has been coming from back inflammation!!??!! I've dealt with back inflammation (serious inflammation, tendinitis, bursitis..you name it) all my life. Most of it came from HS and college swimming and many many many butterfly sets (I swam 200 fly, 200 IM and 100 breast). I've lived with back pain and sitting at a computer all day with poor posture probably doesn't help. Oh yea, I also love wearing flip flops which have no support to help my back. Rather than feeling sorry for myself, I made the most out of my day off and spent the morning at the beach with none other than my best friend, who loves me no matter what...CAMPY! Karel loves me too but he had a group ride that morning. Surprisingly, I ran into Karel at the beach parking lot where Jeff, Curtis and Karel were waiting for the group ride. It was great to see them and a total surprise! Campy and I had a great time at the beach. Lots of pics which I just couldn't wait to post. As for the rest of the day, my IT Band was tight all day so I iced some more, wore shoes all day (even inside) did proper IT band stretches, and used The Stick for a little tough love. Also, I love my new shoes that I bought on Fri. Mizuno Creation. Super support and I feel a lot of ankle support with those shoes. I didn't want to make any promises for a bike on sun so karel said he would ride with me and turn around any time if I hurt. I really wanted to do something this morning since I woke up with minimal tightness in my IT Band and after a 58 mile ride, I'm really glad that I rode. I had a smoothie after the ride, iced and stretched. I now know to take much better care of my back and I will be using the ice after every workout. We will see how things go this week. Still nervous about training. It is funny how your perspective for an IM changes when you might be injured. A week ago I felt like I had forever until IMKY but after a slight breakdown and a few tears yesterday afternoon, I came to the realization that I ONLY have 55 days left until IMKY. I'm thankful that this injury happened because it taught me to pay much more attention to my back, in addition to my hips. I've been doing lots of hip exercises and strengthening moves but once again, I neglect to pay attention to my back. So...onto happy things... How about some Campy pics at Jacksonville beach on the 4th of July!!!