When I returned from Cedar Point I was angry. I took that aggression out on my bike. Just two days after my failed race I took that bike out for a quick 30 mile jaunt, mashing as hard as I could. It was a great ride, except I made a critical mistake. I rode that ride in an old pair of bike shorts. I developed some nasty saddle sores. In the three weeks since that race those sores have come and gone, but this weekend they came back with a vengeance. While doing a little grooming, um, I noticed my saddle sores had grown into full-blow blisters. I tried to pop them, ew, with no success. Yesterday I rode a designed trainer ride that may have been the most painful thing I've ever done. I even stopped at one point to drain one of the blisters. Ew! This morning when I woke up the blisters were HUGE and I was in pain. I called the doctor and got in this afternoon.
Now, if you guys know me personally, you would know that this was a risky move. You see, my doctor is a good friend of mine. I have run with him for years. We are on a first name basis. So for me to show him my hoo-ha was a big deal. Luckily, the appointment was done with sensitivity and discretion and I may be able to look him in the eyes again. :) And the decision? Well, he did nothing. I thought he would drain them but he didn't. He recommended padding them with a band aid while riding, which I did yesterday, getting a new fit on my bike, and getting new shorts and chamois cream. Awesome. (Yes, that was meant to be sarcastic.)
So were these blisters really caused by one ride in one bad pair of shorts?
Here's the second half of my story.
I eluded in my last post that there have been some major changes in my life. A little over a month ago, while hanging out with friends, I mentioned to them that I was interested in getting a part time job once ironman was over. Immediately the wife popped up saying I should work for her husband, a good friend of mine, as he would be hiring part time seasonal employees starting in October. Perfect! Except, I was worried about being seasonal as there was no guarantee that I would be hired on at the end of the holiday season and be able to continue with the part time work. In the mean time, though, this same friend had a full time position open. I thought about it for a few days and figured, I could make that work. Before I had even finished filling out the online application, HR had contacted me asking for an interview. And the ball was rolling. I had a phone interview on a Wednesday, a face-to-face interview that next Tuesday, two weeks later I had an offer, and I started three days after that, which was last Monday. Life went from zero to 60 in no time flat.
Last Tuesday I started to notice some pain in my back/tailbone area. It was the same kind of pain I had after I fell down the stairs this past February. As the week went on the pain stayed and maybe even got a little worse. I have no idea why I was having this pain. Was it the three photo booth events we had over the weekend? Was it because I wasn't used to sitting all day in a hard chair? Did I do something while doing my last long run?
Now it's a week later and the pain is still very much there. I feel it with every step I take. I have been taking ibuprofen around the clock. I have iced it. I have put a heating pad on it. I have moved all my runs to the elliptical machine. I have taken a little (although not much) time off. Today I attempted a long run. I got in about 14 miles before I had had enough. The pain was intense and I couldn't take it anymore. Frustrating! I had planned on a much longer run than 14. My legs and lungs felt fine, but I couldn't handle the pain in my back anymore.
Is it a pinched nerve (I've struggled with this since my fall down the stairs)? Is it a pulled muscle (I did set the photo booths up by myself over the weekend--not the smartest idea)? Is it something worse, like a stress fracture in my tailbone/pelvis?
So this brings me back around to my blistered saddle sores. Is the pain in my back, although I don't notice it when I ride, causing me to change my position on the bike? Whatever the hell is going on, I feel like I'm falling apart. I feel like my body is telling me that enough is enough. I need a break.