Monday, January 20, 2014

Unlikely Goals

The last several months have had me deep in thought. I've been pondering many different aspects of life, but there's one thing that keeps poking at me, no matter how hard I try to ignore it. Sometimes it's difficult for me to share future hopes for physical-related goals because deep down I often think that I am incapable of achieving whatever ridiculousness it is that gets stuck in my head. I am not an athlete and I never have been, so to attempt some of the more challenging goals seems often a bit far-fetched. However, last year I wrote about my desire to complete my first century ride and I did finish, so I think actually writing about the goal helped me visualize getting to the end point. In particular, knowing that I had stated I would finish it before the end of summer made me set goals along the way. Here I am again, not really feeling capable, but knowing that there is a goal I want to achieve before summers' end this year.
*Image here
In summary, I want to complete a half Ironman triathlon. That would be a total of 70.3 miles, divided up as a 56 mile bike ride, a 13.1 mile run, and a 1.2 mile swim. I have no question that individually, assuming that I had properly trained, I could do any of these things but combined into one? Well, I am more than concerned about completing such an endeavor. For starters, running outside tears me up. If I run more than about 3 miles outdoors, my knees are shot, my back cripples me (both of these are due to previous injuries that have ongoing ramifications), and I am not sure that it would be the wisest decision to put my body through this sort of test, particularly knowing that I would likely be unable to function for several days or more. So, I had an idea. I didn't do my first century as an organized ride, so why would I feel compelled to sign up for an official half Ironman? My thought was to swim at a local pool for the 1.2 miles, ride my bike the 56 miles, and run on a treadmill for the 13.1 miles to complete my own version. Sort of an "E.V.L. unofficial half ironman" type of deal. It feels a bit like cheating I must admit, but at the same time, I'm not looking to compete with other people and this is really only for myself, so why not try it in a way that won't completely destroy my body? Plus, I wouldn't have to worry about having someone throw me off the course if it takes longer than the allotted time.

In order to take on this challenge, however, I need to seek some medical attention for my back. I have put off (for many years) visiting a doctor for assistance, but in order to reach my goals, I know that I need to be at my best. When I found myself nearly crippled at the end of 2013, I realized that just resting a bit isn't doing what it used to do for me. I have to get help. I was in a kickboxing class over the last couple of weeks and I found myself unable to do even a single push-up without searing pain that brought me to tears. I don't want to continue to live with this sort of agony if there is a means to remedy (even partially) the problems. I have no reason not to visit a doctor (well, I do, but nothing that will physically harm me to keep me from going), and as much as I am fighting it, I know deep down that the only chance I have to not only complete an endeavor like the one I'm thinking about, but even to maintain my current workout schedule, is to find some type of assistance.

I have no idea what sort of journey I am in for at this moment. I could find out that there is nothing to be done and I will simply have to deal with the pain associated with the injuries. But, if there is a possibility of having even a small portion of the pain gone, I think I owe it to myself to at least give it a shot. I have big dreams and goals for 2014, and I would like an opportunity to even come close to accomplishing a piece of them.

8 comments:

  1. I am suffering from chronic low back pain at what I consider a too young age - 51. Yoga is helping -- at least while I'm in class on a regular basis, and doing some yoga at home. Possibly you could set your sights on a shorter triathlon so you're not disappointed. I think you're on the right track though, seeking a doctor's advice first. I feel your pain.

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    1. Lower back pain is no fun at all, Annie! I'm glad that yoga is helpful to help relieve some of it for you.

      I had an injury at a very young age (a big bully decided that he didn't like that I'd beat him at a game and injured me in the heat of the moment) and at the time, I was told to just keep exercising regularly and in time it would go away. As I got a bit older, I learned that there was actually damage done. Since that time, I've also been informed that much of my mother's side of the family has a hereditary, degenerative disk problem, so I think I just need to figure out if something can be done, or if I just need to learn to deal with the pain. I've considered acupuncture and yoga, but I think before I start anything, I should know exactly what is going on. It's really great to know that yoga helps others with back issues though... so thank you. :O)

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  2. Get checked before you start over doing things. You don't want to cause any further damage to a problem area. We'll be root'n for ya!

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    1. Thanks! I'm hoping there's something to be done to help...but there's only one way to find out. :O)

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  3. It's a good idea to see a doctor and identify the problem. I think its terrific to aim for a tri. I'm sure that you can do more than you think. I started running 6 years ago and got to the point where I was training for my first half marathon when I fell and broke both ankles. Really bad luck. It took me about two years to get the soft tissue strengthened before I could run a half marathon but I did it! I'm still running half marathons. Good luck!!

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    1. Oh my! I can't imagine breaking both ankles!! You poor thing. Glad to hear that you were able to build back up and get to that half marathon.

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  4. It was tough for a while but I learned to be persistent. I also shifted how I approached my recovery and found that I needed a bunch of different things, e.g. yoga, strength training, stretching, massage, physio and most of all to be patient with myself. Sorry, for going on and on but don't give up on getting well and your goal. All things are possible. I hope that you find healing on your journey.

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    1. You're definitely not going on... I appreciate any information you'd like to offer. Glad to know that you were able to find recovery - even if it took a bit of work. :O)

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