Kate WhitcombFebruary 15, 2009

a onblur=”try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}” href=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_PPMeqZXka1Y/SZjsnvM6yaI/AAAAAAAAAhs/d4-H6cGggSE/s1600-h/IMG_0535.JPG”img style=”margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; float: left; cursor: pointer; width: 150px; height: 200px;” src=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_PPMeqZXka1Y/SZjsnvM6yaI/AAAAAAAAAhs/d4-H6cGggSE/s200/IMG_0535.JPG” alt=”” id=”BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5303248728658463138″ border=”0″ //aI have a large bulge in my lower back (L4) and an appointment to see a back surgeon on Wednesday…br /br /Chiropractor, Physical Therapists, Acupuncture and massage therapy – I have made my rounds and done everything that has been suggested since injuring my back in November.br /br /November 11th – I took the day off and participated in a Hot Yoga class. My back was tender that night, which was expected after not doing Yoga for a while. The next morning I did some L3 intervals and my back was still sore. I coached a youth training practice and did some jumping drills with the kids before doing my own strength session – my back was stiff and felt like I slept on it funny the next morning.br /br /Skip ahead a few weeks – I was still foam rolling, stretching and icing my tender back after workouts. Our first race in West was an 8k, mostly double pole race. My back was sore and stiff like everyone else’s after the effort so I did not think much of it. The following day was a 10k freestyle. I made sure to warm up well and my back seemed to loosen up a bit throughout the race.br /br /Unsure if the pain was from racing or something more – I got in the van and headed up to British Columbia (a 16-hour drive) in pursuit of the next races. It is often hard to know when enough is enough… I had had enough.br /br /I woke up in Canada hardly able to get out of bed (my back was in spasm) and I knew something was seriously wrong. I was given a few days off (and lots of muscle relaxants) before being put on a plane home.br /br /I rested, I visited every specialist I knew in town, I stayed away from anything that hurt and I continued my training. I iced, I heated, I stretched, I rested and I saw little progress.br /br /“These things take time,” they all said. I continued my training and rehab, keeping my spirits high as the season passed me by.br /br /Alaska in January: Cold, postponed, cancelled and freezing, ouch, ouch, out of shape. My shoulders started to get shooting pains at night and became numb. The one race I did was a disappointment but I was confident I just needed to get in more starts and things would come back together.br /br /As my teammates headed off to the World Cups, I headed home; more determined than ever. I saw March as having great potential and I was still undeterred. The travel home set me back and my arms got worse at night (staying numb until late afternoon some days).br /br /Home again, home again, I ate the rest of my muscle relaxants – kept spirits high and saw more doctors. X-rays showed no structural damage so I kept on training as much as possible and icing nearly as many hours.br /br /A month later (present time): My arms continue to be numb about 8-hours/day. The pain in my shoulders is enough to ensure I sleep terribly (if at all) at night. I cannot run or classic because of the back pain and the numb arms eliminate swimming and skating with poles…br /br /After being optimistic for 3 months, I bight the bullet and make a thousand-dollar MRI appointment… I have a large bulge in my lower back (L4) and an appointment to see a back surgeon on Wednesday (just to talk options).br /br /I wish I had been smart enough to get an MRI back in November but hindsight is 20-20, right?br /br /I have not trained in the past two weeks outside of taking friend’s dogs for walks – I am still hopeful (believe it our not) and look forward to getting back into the game. I am not sure it is going to happen this season but I should know more on Wednesday.br /br /a onblur=”try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}” href=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_PPMeqZXka1Y/SZjsa3QUzyI/AAAAAAAAAhc/Q5QgkDZLwjU/s1600-h/IMG_0537.JPG”img style=”margin: 0px auto 10px; display: block; text-align: center; cursor: pointer; width: 400px; height: 219px;” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_PPMeqZXka1Y/SZjsa3QUzyI/AAAAAAAAAhc/Q5QgkDZLwjU/s400/IMG_0537.JPG” alt=”” id=”BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5303248507481935650″ border=”0″ //abr /I hope everyone had a happy Valentine’s Day. This is part of the card I made for my 5th graders. The Special Olympics were held in Idaho this past week with Nordic and snowboard events taking place in Sun Valley. It was very inspiring! br /br /Be well, more to come…div class=”blogger-post-footer”img width=’1′ height=’1′ src=’https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/4299718529371785873-2476781541764828948?l=in-the-arena-kate.blogspot.com’ alt=” //div

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Kate Whitcomb