This morning I began my second round of physical therapy this year. Or ever, for that matter. While I'm assuming my knee is all better, I haven't done enough running mileage to confirm that. And I won't be doing that high running mileage any time soon, since my back hurts. That's why it was back to PT.
I have the same therapist as last time. As I said to him after our greetings, all things considered I'd rather have a sore knee than a sore back. Hopefully with the electrical stimulation, heat, gazillion exercises and whatever more, I'll be fine soon. He agreed that swimming, cycling and walking were ok, as long as I kept it to reasonable levels and didn't aggravate the problem. He thinks we'll be able to fix this up before the tri. Yay! Of course, he didn't say we'd fix it in time to train for the tri.
We got an email from our coach that we're supposed to pick up the intensity, along with the volume of our training in all three sports. Otherwise we'll be pokey during the tri (I'm paraphrasing here). I think at this point even low intensity is outside my comfort zone, so I'll have to train smart and do the volume while keeping intensity low enough to not cause additional pain or injury. It's one thing being uncomfortable, another thing ending up prostrate for a month.
Last night's swim was supposed to be 2900 yards. Yikes! That's hecka further than I'll need to be swimming in the tri, but since it's only a 25 yard wide pool, it's much easier. Phil, Claudia and I picked a different lane than we normally use and were surprised when the water was over our heads. It made it an itty bit more challenging, primarily during our rests between sets. I ended up skipping 2 75-yard sets of high intensity swims because the high intensity hurt my back. I also changed from kicking (which is normally my favorite part) to swimming 200 yards because using the board hurt my neck. I ended the night with 2750 yards which is still a long swim, about 1 hour 20 minutes total. I think if I'd thrown in the additional sets I would have been kicked out the pool when they closed. As it was, I pushed myself to the edge to complete what I did.
Now I have to find the time to complete my PT exercises three times daily. In additional to the tri training and work. But the biggest challenge will be to tiptoe that fine line between exertion and pain, between stress and strain, between building and injury. I don't have any time to waste!