After an inauspicious return to racing (1st race in many years) a few weeks ago, I was waylaid by severe lower back pain. Pain of the sort that made walking difficult. 3 weeks of a revised stretching program, no biking (except on the stationary bike), a week's vacation (including fabulous margaritas on the RiverWalk in San Antonio), and some new core strengthening exercises, I finally went on a ride today. Well, it was my commute to work of about 12 miles. Kept the HR fairly low -- 144 average -- and felt fine. Took the time to stretch when I arrived, and no pain yet.
Maybe, just maybe, I'll try to hit the training crit again before the end of August.