Monthly Archives: June 2005

Back Spasms

 I’m still not out of town, so the e-mail is out of character, but I’m a little laid up and going stir crazy already.

For those of you that didn’t go to the Bayshore Marathon, or haven’t heard any of the details, it was a mixed event. Some had a good race and met their expectations (whatever they were), some didn’t have a good race and didn’t meet their expectations, and some weren’t able to do the race due to injuries. But I believe everyone had fun.

It’s hard to understand how someone can have a bad race and still have fun but, as I’ve often said, the fun is in the training and planning. When you consider how many hours were spent meeting with training partners or the Sunday run group and doing the training mileage, the race is just a small part. Congratulations to all who took that first step over the starting line. For those of us that didn’t, next time!!!

I promised not to pass on any of the stories that were told in Traverse City like Patti Bellgraph telling us about the time she helped a teacher with a class outing, tried to move a garbage can out of the way, tripped, and fell INTO the garbage can…or the discussion we had at the brew pub the afternoon of the race about how to avoid nipple rub (yes…it’s painful) with Vaseline, Nip Guards or Band Aids, so I won’t. It’s like Las Vegas…what happens there, stays there.

So, back to the title of the e-mail. Some of you know I’ve been having lots of trouble since last year’s Ironman Wisconsin race with minor injuries. I don’t know whether it’s physical or mental. This is the first time in four years I haven’t been on an Ironman training program.

The first year I had that bike accident over in Saugatuck seven weeks before the ironman race. The flake fracture and the hematoma on my left hip took me out of The Great Floridian in 2001. The second year I trained for Ironman Florida 2002 and, during the race, had my quads cramp turning that race into a survival walk. Then there’s the big bike wreck at Ironman Wisconsin in 2003 and the quad cramps and nausea at Ironman 2004.

Couple those seasons with a dislocated shoulder in the last year of the Superstars (ask Bill Bradley…he also participated) and an AC joint separation in the 2000 Iceman, and you may wonder, as I do, why I ever got involved in athletic competition. Maybe I’m a “herd animal” and the security of the herd outweighs the danger of the hungry Lion. Wait a minute…that’s a bad analogy. In that case, I’m the old and weak Gnu that gets separated from the herd and becomes the pride’s picnic lunch.

So maybe my body is telling me to get out while I still can. Since my racing weight at Ironman Wisconsin, I’ve gained 13 pounds (I’m trying to take it back off, but it’s not that easy), I’ve had a sore right ankle (inside…more like a high ankle sprain), I’ve had a sore left ankle (outside…more like bone pain), a sore left hip (arthritis…maybe made worse by the bike wreck of 2001…uh oh…that may be the key…I have bike wrecks resulting in injury in 2000, 2001 and 2003), and now I’m back to the sore right ankle…same spot.

This morning, according to the triathlon schedule I’m trying to follow, is a recovery swim day. Since I’m not training for anything special I got to Diane’s at around 6 and only swam 3 laps (around 1,800 yards). I’ve been having trouble with my normal spring allergies, as many of you know (sorry for the gross-out but I’ve become a snot machine), got into a sneezing jag while changing into my clothes, and sneezed myself into a back spasm. Now I have trouble getting out of a chair and even walking hurts.

So maybe I should quit. But I don’t want to miss the comeraderie.  Maybe if I tried not to get hurt, I wouldn’t!! I wish I had thought of that earlier. I could have avoided the pain. But, then again, what would I have written about??

Just (I May Need Help Getting Off The Toilet) Jack