Thursday, July 31, 2008

The next step

After the first surgery, I was back running in 2 months. I raced California 70.3 5 months later and ran the Boston marathon 6 months later. I did not, however make it to the start of Ironman. Injuries as a result of continued spinal issues prevented me from getting to all 3 of the races I registered for. I was also not able to take my spot on team USA for the long course world championships in Holland. I have had enough of disappointment. I have had enough of forcing a situation that was not getting me where I needed to be. So I made the decision to to have the next step - a spinal fusion.

So 6 weeks ago I had a spinal fusion. I had 2 titanium screws, a titanium rod and some other device placed in my back. I traveled across the country to find like minded doctors and therapists to do the procedure. I needed to have doctors I could trust, that understand what it takes to do an Ironman, that believed in me to get back to Ironman and would encourage me to get back to doing what I love and to finish what I started.

I knew it would take a year to recover. I knew that getting ready to race would take another 6 months. I knew the road back would be all about uncertainty. I imagined there would be pain. Other than that I really didn't know what to expect. I just trusted that my passion and experience would get me to the start line.

The pain is better. The range of motion is better. My endurance is coming around. I can swim almost 2000 meters. I can walk 7 miles a day. I know that is the baby steps that are necessary to get back to swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles and running 26.2.

There are days that I have such a hard time seeing the whole path. How will I bridge up to Ironman from here? When I REALLY think about it, there are many examples to demonstrate that I DO have what it takes. I have bridged up in a ride that I thought I couldn't. I have finished a long brick when I was out of energy and in pain. I have seen my energy come back when I thought it was over. I heard it said the other day" the storm will pass it is only a matter of how long it will stay".

So how I am in the storm.

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