The Final Five

TheFinalFive

Yes, today’s title is a total rip off of Battlestar Galactica.

Yes, I know that it’s really 5 and a 1/2 weeks until IMFL.

So what is new in the last week and a half?  Nothing worth mentioning, unless you consider winning a race and be diagnosed with an avulsion fracture in your foot.

First the race.  I did the J-Hawk Latebird in Whitewater on Sunday.  It’s essentially the exact same race as the Earlybird race, just 5 (wow time goes fast) months later.  Watching the entry list and looking at past times at the race, I knew I had a decent shot at winning it.  Not knowing how I would feel with the taper from Madison, the full recovery week, and an ease back into it week – I didn’t have a goal time in my.  I was really looking at this race as being another opportunity to shake out some rust.  Long story short it went pretty good.  I was about 40 seconds fast  than in April, a little on the bike/transitions and a lot on the run.  The swim was a tad slower, but I swam EASY.  My bike power was pretty much the same as in April – I focused on keeping the PM in the 320 neighborhood and ended up with a 300 watt average.  The wind was punishing on the bike!  But it was fun.

Second (and perhaps more importantly) – on Friday I finally bit the bullet and visited a doctor about my foot.  I’ve had some nagging discomfort while running and on the first step of the day/after a long stretch of inactivity.  Usually after moving around for a bit the pain tapers off and all is good with a slight annoyance now and again.  I don’t recall exactly when I started noticing it, but it was definitely there at SORT (I remember being a little worried about the run coming in off the bike).  So I’d say it was present for at least a week or two before that.

At rest I had a general feeling of something being just slightly out of place in my foot, like it needed an adjustment, but I just could not manipulate it the way I needed.  While running there was more of a pinch on the foot strike.  No major pain or discomfort – just something.  Worst discomfort is when I have to take a right turn…

I did some research and figured it could be peroneal brevis tendinitis or some sort of bone bruise/fracture.  After talking with some folks a fracture seemed unlikely after I said “Well i did a HIM on Sunday, and then a 17 mile run on Tuesday – and the pain wasn’t that bad.”  So I went on with life treating it like tendinitis: icing it, NSAID, etc.  Got into phenomenal running shape, did a couple of races, blew up at IMWI.

Shortly before IMWI – the pain on the first step got a bit worse, but I chalked that up to being lazy with my ice routine in the week or two before.

Skipping some details – after doing a bit of a self inventory before I start the final weeks before IMFL, I decided that it would be a good idea to actually go in and get some pictures taken and see what was actually up – rather then just going on advice given while drinking a beer after a race.  Turns out the X-ray showed a nice, very visible, very evident break.  Not unlike figures 2 and 4 on this page.

Sooooooooo…. now what?  After talking with the doctor, my wife, Matt, a podiatrist I know – I’m still on for IMFL and will delay any rest and/or procedure to make things better until after IMFL.  Technically the plan is to continue running, and do the race as long as the pain does not increase significantly.  Take 6-8 weeks off of running after IMFL, possibly go back for another eval during that time, and ease back into running.  If I am still experiencing any discomfort after a break – do something to get it fixed.  During the final weeks before IMFL I may even try some water running a time or two.

I also met with a guy who makes orthotics last night and am getting a very “subtle” set made that are intended to unload the pressure from where I am feeling the discomfort – to potentially speed the healing process while training, lesson the discomfort.  I’m supposed to get them next week, so that will only leave about 4 and 1/2 weeks to get used to them – he seemed to think we could make it work, but was pretty clear that we would be rushing adaptation.  We’ll see I guess.

I’m sure some of you are like “Are you an idiot – what are you doing?”  My only response is – had I not decided to go to a doctor to get some advice on how to help treat/manage what I believed to be tendinitis – I would not know it is a fracture and would have kept on doing my thing ignorant as all get out.  At least now I am fully aware of the situation, and can make my decisions on how to interpret the signals from the feet fully informed.


How’s the training going anyways?  Good I guess.  Last week was pretty mild – only about 13 hours, I scrapped a couple biking hours because I was slow to get up on Saturday and my parents arrived for a visit earlier than I expected.

Last night I ran 1:45.  I would call it one of my most interesting runs ever.  It was kind of like eating to many chips and salsa.  It tastes really good at first.  Then after a while you feel like stopping, but you don’t because you think that maybe the good taste will come back.  Some time goes by, and then you really regret that you didn’t stop eating the salsa because it really hurts on the backside.

That was my run last night – felt great the first 60 minutes, had a couple rough stretches, but bounced back to good – than at about 1:35 it turned to just plain sucky.

I had been hoping for a 2 hour run, but it just wasn’t in the cards.  I’ve still got some really weird feelings in all three sports – kind of just a rust.  It’s like I know it’s in there, I just sort of forgot the combination to the lock to get the good feelings out along with it.  Will shoot for 2 hours for next week.

Feel decent today, and am just gonna keep moving forward with the plan.  I’ll get that combination figured out!  Tonight is 90 minutes with Coach Troy – 20,15,10,5 @ FTP.  Should be marvelous.  This AM, I did 2x(5×200 SCM @ 2:55, and held between 2:40 and 2:45).  Not a bad swim, but it felt like re-fried beans.

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