Back issues and bad news.
My first thought this morning was 'shit, it's the week before the Quin' As waves of panic threatened to overwhelm me, I forced myself to say the words...
"One lap at a time"
This is the only way I can deal with the event and I am determined to not get in a flap about it.
The stats are as follows...
Swim - 65 laps (12 miles)
Bike - 49 laps (568 miles)
Run - 120 laps (132 miles)
I really can't imagine covering those distances, but I have 6 days to do it and a great support team ready to go.
My training was going well up to the point where work started to get really busy and then has gone downhill somewhat. Once again, the balance of training, running a business and looking after my family has been a struggle. But there is no time to whine about it now, what's done is done and now I have to look towards next week with a positive mind. And at least I'm not carrying any serious injuries, due to over-training!
I have had a bit of bad news regarding my cycling. I have always had back pain on my long bikes, right from when I started triathlon in 2005, any ride over 25 miles is painful. The pain is in my lower back and I do not get it at any other time other than when I am riding. I do, however, suffer from mid-back problems (posture issues from desk job) on a daily basis. The 'bike pain' in the lower back gets really bad and I have tried every thing to get rid of it. I thought that getting a new bike and fit would be the answer, but I am gutted to say that it has made no difference whatsoever.
After riding 60 miles recently and almost ending up in tears over the pain, I went to the Chiropractic to see if he could shed some light on what was causing it. I won't bore you with too many details, but he basically said that my spine curvature is a slightly unusual shape and where most people's last 5 vertebrae would be used when in the typical road biking position, my back uses only 3, which creates a far greater stretch on them and the pain is coming from the ligaments. He asked me to pull my finger backwards to the point where it hurt and hold it there. He then said, that's basically what's happening to my back.
This explains why no painkiller has ever worked (I have taken A LOT!) and why no adjustment to the bikes has made even the slightest difference to the pain level. So what can be done? Well, according to the Chiropractic, nothing! He said that working on my mid-back could make 10-20% difference to the pain level, but that the only answer is to stop riding road bikes. Not quite the answer I was looking for and as you can imagine, I was pretty pissed off. He also went on to say that if I continued to ride long distances, I would almost certainly cause permanent damage to my disks and cause degeneration to my vertebrae.
So where does that leave me? Well, initially I did think about changing from the Quin to the Run to Maximum option or even just pulling out completely! But after thinking about doing the Quin for so long, I just couldn't imagine not doing it... or trying to at least! So after talking it through with people close to me and taking the weekend to mull over things, I have decided to go for it!
I just have to take it one lap at a time, right?!