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Getting BACK to Real Life is a PAIN

After nine days of Tour of Utah activities, I didn't have time on Monday to rest or reflect. I was up at 4am for a flight to Seattle for my real job. I fell asleep before take-off and woke during the descent, but was still exhausted from all the cycling excitement. We were delayed, so I quickly changed into my dress and heels in the airport bathroom, grabbed a chai, and met my colleague flying in from California. We had three visits to make which required driving north of the city, back south, and then into the city. Somehow, we even had time for lunch. It was a good work trip, but a terrible trip for my health.

Two weeks prior, I was mountain biking and hurt my back. I didn't crash or do anything crazy, I was pedaling uphill and my back muscles spasmed. It was extremely painful at the time, but just like a sprained ankle, I tried to keep going in an effort to "walk it off". It continued to get worse, so I found the easiest way down and gingerly loaded everything into the truck and went home. Throughout the week, I took over-the-counter meds and spent a lot of time on my back at night working on Tour of Utah homework. That Friday, the afternoon before I drove to Logan to officially kick off the Tour, Nelson spent 90 minutes on my neck and back in an effort to get things working again. I definitely felt some relief and was in mild pain throughout the weekend and following week, but the Tour of Utah excitement kept me going. The ice, stretching, and meds also helped.

Then on Monday, I mentally had Tour letdown and physically put my body in the worst situation for recovery. I spent 2hrs on a plane followed by 8hrs in heels either driving a rental car or sitting in a conference room. It wasn't a surprise that some of the back pain flared, but it came back with a vengeance. I made it through the day, but it was a mental and physical battle. I got back to the airport Monday evening, changed into jeans and sneakers and laid on the disgusting floor until my flight left. 
Finally flying home! Waving hello to my parents who are hiking Mount Rainier this week.

After a troublesome sleep and continued pain, I checked in with the doctor on Tuesday and started stronger meds in order to break the pain cycle. I also had x-rays. It appears I have a small fracture that's likely been there for years, but my muscles are compensating. I haven't felt like cycling or even walking, but am determined to at least get in the pool tomorrow. For now, Terry's back is the healthier of the two and that's not saying much, but at least he's sympathetic.

In non-injury news, we attended the Play Well Play Safe Foundation fundraiser on Tuesday evening. The BMC Cycling Team stayed in Park City for a few days before heading to Colorado for the USA Pro Challenge and joined local Olympians to raise money for a good cause. It is also a great way to reflect and relax post Tour of Utah and we look forward to the event every year. We went home with a couple silent auction items, including skis and a signed Olympic bib. If they had a magic pill for back pain at the auction, we likely would have emptied our savings account.

Sochi Olympic Bib signed by Billy Demong, Taylor Fletcher, and Bryan Fletcher

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