Warning: Some material may not be suitable for those who are obsessed with triathlons, Ironmans or Kona.
I can honestly say that I have never felt more stress, emotions and sadness in my life than I have in the last 4 weeks. Perhaps there were some times in Graduate school where I felt more stress, but as of September 7th I have experienced ever emotion possible. I haven't been too open about my time off from running since Sept 7th nor have I discussed the extent of my injury. From being diagnosed from piriformis syndrome to iliopsoas syndrome I have been in extreme pain for the past 4 weeks. Ok, so 4 weeks isn't that long for an injury to play its course but with my flight to Kona leaving on Saturday October 6th (5 days!!!) I have been extremely pressed for time. After MANY doctor appoitments, shots, MRI's and X-rays, medications, massages, PT appoitments, Stretching sessions and great advice from friends I can finally be proud of my decision to go to Kona. So, I'm a little worried that I haven't been able to run in the last 4 weeks and I am still in a bit of pain but I am getting better everyday. Aqua jogging has been great for keeping up my fitness for running and I am swimming and cycling extremely strong! Maybe I needed the rest to my body and although I didn't appreciate the 5 1/2 week running taper, I think I did my body a good thing by resting as much as possible and taking things slow with swimming and cycling. I did not plan for the extra expenses for all the medical stuff, but I feel very fortunante that I am able to participate in kona. So I may not have my ideal race but I am still able to live out my dream of racing in kona. If I would have written on my blog last week, I was 99% certain I would be passing up Kona and hoping for a slot at a 70.3 kona qualifier race in 2008. Although I wasn't always positive with my decision to pass up Kona, I was trying to get myself better as quick as possible without being stubborn to push through the pain to keep up my training fitness. I want to have a pain-free race in Kona (well-it is the Ironman so semi-pain free) but I know the run is going to be a challenge. Not too worried about my endurance but it will take a lot for me to get through this run with pain. My ultimate goal is to finish the race and although I wouldn't want to walk 26.2 miles, I understand that there is always a chance that I could hurt during the bike and not be able to run at all. I will be in no rush to finish the race and I really want to enjoy my experience. I have had great support from friends and family and I know I haven't been the best friend to a lot of people lately. I've had so much on my mind and this was a very tough decision. Although everything happens for a reason, this injury happened to unexpectedly that I didn't know how to accept the fact that I might not be able to race in Kona. Some people suggested that I pass on Kona and just heal for the 70.3 World Championships (Which I qualified for in May at 70.3 IMFL). But all this summer I considered myself an Ironman athlete. I was simply going to participate in Clearwater in hopes of being able to complete two World Championships in one year, with my A-race being Kona and to race the event in hawaii. After weeks of crying and being sad and trying to come to terms with not being able to experience Kona, I decided that although it felt like the end of the world for me, I was just so upset that I wasn't able to experience the Ironman World Championship. I forgot about all my racining time goals, all the time and money I put into this one event and I forgot about all the pressure I had put on myself to drop a tremendous amount of time. Now that I am waking up each morning a little less sore and finishing the day with minimal pain in my right upper leg, I feel incredibly lucky that I am able to participate in Kona. For finishing this race will be the ultimate dream for me and perhaps one day I will be able to compete in Kona. This time, however, I am blessed to be among the best and enjoy this experience to the fullest.