My mood has taken a really terrific turn for the better since my last post, thanks to all of you (and a little internet research, but more on that in a minute)! I really, really appreciate every comment, in particular those of you who are also out there training and competing in spite of the ol’ L5/S1. And even more in particular, thank you to RockStarTri (who lives up to that moniker all. the. time.) for these lovely inspirational words: focus on what you can do, not what you think you can’t and you will amaze yourself. Sure, it’s a little wordy for a mantra, but those words have been playing over and over in my head for the last few days. Rather than sitting around feeling sorry for myself, right now I am full-up with HOPE. Some of that good feeling also comes from gaining a slighter better understanding of my problems. I’m not a doctor, but I play one on the internet, and here is a website that made me feel a million times better.
Right now, I’m following this approach to full recovery:
- Rehab the sciatica pain by reducing volume on running and biking, but cranking it up to eleven on swimming.
- Core work, core work, core work! I felt like I was doing plenty, but I guess “plenty” was a little subjective. Now it’s ten minutes in the morning, ten minutes at night every single day. I found some sciatica-specific exercises that I’ve worked into my routine.
- Round-the-clock regular doses of ibuprofen. This one doesn’t come easily for me, because I am generally quite pill-phobic. I don’t mean I’m afraid of pills, but more that I hate to take any kind of medicine because I think I should tough things out without meds. But according to my research, you can’t defeat inflammation through sheer force of will. Bummer.
- Gradually add in some running and biking, as long as it doesn’t hurt.
- Really focus on my running form. There’s obviously some ch-ch-ch-changes to be made since I can’t stop injuring myself.
- Don’t worry about the timeframe. I’ve got three + months until the WTH? and even if I’m not in prime shape, I’ll be in decent shape. Especially in the pool!
Some other options I am still considering, but haven’t implemented yet:
- Chiropractic care. I’m not sold on this idea, but several members of my family absolutely swear by it.
- Going minimalist with the shoes. I have plenty of photographic evidence that I’m not always using my Newtons properly, so maybe it’s time to take it to the next (lower) level.
- Bikram yoga. Just for you, Laura!!