all of the official results for this past weekend's duathlon world championships are finally up, and all i can say is 'wow'. in the men's elite race, american olympic triathlete jarrod shoemaker crossed the line in a time of 1.49.02, and in the men's age group race, american matthew sheeks finished with a time of 1.43.30. ONE-FOURTY-THREE-THIRTY! it absolutely blows my mind that someone out there is capable of running 10k, riding 40k, and then running another 5k in a time of 1.43.30.

if i had of raced this past weekend (which i had planned on doing by qualifying at last year's canadian championships, but i missed that race because i was traveling at the time), i would have had to of finished in a time of 1.48.15 or better. ppffffttt... no problem. i would have owned that podium. hahaha... yeah right. i've got some hard work ahead of me.

all that aside, many canadians churned out some pretty incredible times, too. the top canadian age group athletes were two guys that i regularly compete against. david frake - who narrowly missed a podium finish - ended his day with a time of 1.48.45, followed closely by bruce bird with a time of 1.53.09. check out larry bradley's blog as he's posted all of the results for most of the canadians that were there competing.

cograts to the canadian athletes. you all posted incredible times and i find your hard work inspiring. i'll see you at the races.

2009 duathlon worlds

today the 2009 duathlon world championships are being held in concord, north carolina, and i'm anxiously awaiting for the results to be posted online. i hope all of the canadian athletes have great races and the team brings home fistfuls of medals. i can't wait to read the race reports, hear the stories, and see how canada compares to some the world's best.

good luck, athletes. have fun out there and enjoy your races.

one step forward, two steps back

just when i think things are going well and my leg is getting better, i go and do something seemingly harmless that sets me back. last night being the warm, balmy autumn evening that it was, i decided to walk to a nearby grocery store for my mid-week grocery top up. without thinking i loaded up on a few heavy things like a carton of orange juice and a carton of soy milk, along with everything else. about 5 minutes into my 20-minute walk home, two grocery bags weighing me down, my ankle started to hurt, the first telltale sign of my bone fracture. going to sleep with it feeling slightly irritated, i woke up in the middle of the night with my right leg throbbing and i decided to skip my morning workout because of it.

it turns out that i still have a long way to go. over the past couple of weeks i've been going to the gym, riding, doing strengthening exercises and stretches, all in an attempt to heal and help prevent this from happening again, and there's been absolutely no pain until last night. my MRI couldn't possibly come sooner.

tonight i have a pretty serious bike workout that i've been looking forward to for awhile because i want to see if i can get through it without any irritation or pain. hopefully all will be fine and i'll keep moving forward with my riding, but if there is pain, i'll have to scale back on my training even further. i'm feeling defeated and discouraged. ugh.


just found out that my MRI has been booked for october 14th. aaaaarghh... that seems so far away. i hope to be well on my way to recovery by then but i'm still interested to see exactly what the MRI will discover.

one thing that i keep forgetting to post is the news that the official website for the 2010 duathlon world championships was launched on september 3rd, marking the one-year countdown to the event. at this point the course hasn't been finalized, but it's a site worth checking out if you're heading there to compete.

best of luck to all athletes competing in the lakeside II HSBC triathlon/duathlon weekend tomorrow and sunday. i'll be there on sunday morning, although i won't be racing.

the seasons are changing

last week on one of my morning rides to work, i saw my first leaf of the season fall from tree to ground. as i watched it gently land on the rec path that i was riding on, i looked at the tree that it had just been released from and noticed that, along with all of the other trees sharing that bit of grass, the leaves had started to turn from their rich, summer green to deep, rusty oranges, yellows and browns. in addition to the leaves changing colours, the air is cooler in the mornings, the sun rises lower, sits closer to the horizon in the evenings; the days are shorter, the winds have changed directions. fall is on the way.

as i patiently wait to get my MRI to acutely assess and diagnose my fractured tibia, my seasons have officially changed, too. i've finally accepted the fact that my racing year is over. early this year, when i had originally put my 2009 duathlon plan together, i had hoped to still be training for two more races at this time. racing from april to october split my year nicely in two: 6 months focusing on base training and building, 6 months focusing on speed work and racing. however, with one bad pair of running shoes my racing season has been cut short by two months, and the upcoming running portion my off season training has been set back dramatically to allow for injury recovery. before the severity of my injury came to light, i was hoping that i could have a few easy weeks of downtime in race season and still be able to get some end-of-year competitions under my belt. but now that i've been told by my sports chiro that i likely won't be running outside until december, i've humbly accepted that there's nothing i can do but be patient. a stress fracture can be a recurring injury if not treated correctly, so with my ambitious goals over the next few years in the sport of duathlon in focus, i'll take all the time necessary to ensure i heal properly. i got through my big races in 2009 before being sidelined, and my big race next year, the world championships, is at the end of next year's race season. that means that i need to ensure that i'm fit enough and strong enough to get through an entire season of racing before competing in my 'A' race.

so as summer changes to autumn, autumn to winter, i'm turning the intensity down and cranking up the duration of my workouts. for running, all i can do for the next three months is continue to run in the pool, but my cycling workouts won't be affected. i'm hoping to make some pretty huge strides this off season and want to come back in 2010 better, fitter, faster and stronger than ever. because of the downtime necessary to heal, it's likely that my running times won't come down to the point that i want them to be until about this time next year. which is fine. i'm perfectly ok with that. my focus for next year will be to remain injury free and i'll be taking a much more holistic approach to training from here on. all of my injuries this past year seemed to be caused by too much running and riding in a straight line. it's time to re-assess my game plan.

and i'd like to thank everyone out there that has offered me support after hearing of my season-ending injury. many have offered me advice and guidance, many sharing their own stories of dealing with their injuries and how, ultimately, sitting out with an injury helped them to grow as an athlete. some truly inspiring words of support came from a comment on one of my blog entries. magali tisseyre, a professional female triathlete from quebec, wrote, "ALL OF US get injured once in a while, it is part of being an athlete, part of our evolution, part of getting stronger! I think that the athletes that make it are not those that stay injury free, they are those that stay positive and consistent through adversity! In my opinion, you can evercome this for sure and will come back stronger mentaly and physicaly."

although my off season is starting almost two months earlier than i had planned, i'm more excited than ever for my 2010 racing year. i'll learn from this injury, heal, and bounce back from it stronger and faster than ever.

best of luck to all athletes

as i'm getting geared up for my saturday morning ride (my first real ride in almost a month), i just wanted to say good luck to all of the multisport athletes competing this weekend. today is the HSBC wasaga beach tri/du, and tomorrow is the muskoka 70.3 in huntsville. it's a busy weekend for the sport but, sadly, i'll continue to sit on the sidelines with my fractured tibia. especially hard for me is the fact that i've been looking forward to the wasaga beach race all year. it's my favourite race on the race calendar and i was excited to return there for my third consecutive year.

have fun out there, everyone. enjoy your race.

MRI, then gameplan

next up in my ongoing fight to heal my bad leg is an MRI. this should provide all of the missing details in terms of just how severe of a stress fracture i have. after that is a conversation with my doctor and sports chiro to figure out a game plan for moving forward. i keep reading horror stories online about people with similar tibia stress fractures that have been advised by their doctors to stay off their feet for times varying from 4 weeks to an entire year. AN ENTIRE YEAR? you've got to be kidding me! i couldn't imagine not running for a whole year. i'm not going to stress about it until i've had all of the necessary conversations, but i'm glad to know ahead of time that i could be in for a longer than expected bout of recovery time. yikes. the thought is definitely terrifying.

in the meantime i'm still going to the gym and riding as much as i can to keep my fitness up. i'm also water running as much as i can. i was at the cottage this past weekend and got a 70-minute aqua jog workout in on saturday afternoon. i'm sure i looked ridiculous out there in my wetsuit, running along underwater with my head bobbing above the surface. "that guy's walking! look at him! he's just walkin' along!" was the commentary from a boat full of geriatrics that slowly made their way past.

one thing i've realized is that i'm hesitant to ride like i normally do, fearful that pushing the pedals too hard too soon may compromise my recovery. i brought my bike up the the cottage because i wanted to get out on the roads for a 60k ride, but i had to psyche myself up to even want to ride. i ended up not riding because i don't want to do anything to stress my lower leg any more than it should be. i still ride to work as much as possible but that's usually fairly light spinning and there's no pain during or afterwards. i'm sure a 60k ride on my tri bike won't do any harm, but, at this point, i think the key is to be as patient as possible and come up with a game plan before anything else. in the meantime i'll continue to force myself into staying off my feet as much as possible. which is tougher than i ever imagined. who doesn't want to sit around on the couch, put their feet up and relax? not me.

bad news

stress fracture in my right tibia. looks like my 2009 racing season is over. i'm meeting with my doctor and chiropractor this week and next to come up with a recovery plan. i've got some downtime ahead of me but i'm happy to finally have a diagnosis so that i can start moving forward in the right direction.

more waiting

i had my bone scan today, followed by an x-ray. luckily i live close to the hospital so i was able to go there first thing in the morning, get some sort of calcium-like injection that helps the bone scan see bone fractures more clearly, go home for two hours while the liquid injection made its way through my body, then return to the hospital for the scan. supposedly my doctor won't have the results until at least thursday so i hope that i'll have an official diagnosis by the end of the week. as time goes on this whole ordeal becomes increasingly frustrating for me. i haven't had this much downtime in almost two years, the last time being when i had to have surgery on my leg in the fall of '07. that put me out for the entire winter and i was still limping in february, three months after the operation. i'm doing what i can to keep my fitness up; i'm running in the pool when time permits and am still riding to work as much as possible, but i haven't gone for a "real" ride in two weeks. riding doesn't seem to aggravate the injury but i'm not pushing it, and when i'm at the gym i'm only doing very light strengthening exercises. that's what it's about these days: keeping things very light until i know for sure what's going on with my leg. i haven't gotten my heart rate up, nor have i worked up a sweat in a couple of weeks.

some good news is that i went for a very easy, light 20-minute run yesterday afternoon to see how it felt. for sure things were way, waaaay better than they have been in a few weeks, but still definitely not 100% and i was hurting afterwards. other good news is that the strengthening exercises seem to be paying off because the pain no longer seems to be muscle related.

aaaarrrghhh... this is so frustrating. i want to be out there training. i want to go for a real ride. i want to get back into it. i was planning on racing in cobourg this past weekend but had to withdraw because of the injury. as hard as that decision was, it was probably a very wise one, even though judging by the times i likely would have walked away with a victory. two more races are left on my race calendar for 2009 and i'd like to be at both of them.