So, to begin with, last Wednesday, which is the day before I left for Florida to visit my mom and stepdad, and to do St. Anthony's Triathlon, I went to the doctor. I went to the doctor to get a routine check-up, it has been a couple of years, and to have my left leg looked at. It has been irritating me on and off for months. Some times it hurts when running, some times not, variable when the pain occurs and how much, never intolerable. So, my doctor is an internal medicine doctor and she thinks shin splints, I am hoping the same thing. I get x-rays and it is a stress fracture. Oh shit. She tells me no more running, that I should not even be walking without an aircast and crutches, I should be icing, and taking ibu. I tell her about the tri in FL I have coming up and she is stern about telling me not to do it.
So, I walk out on an aircast and crutches, which I have to take off to drive my stick shift.
After emailing and talking to friends and family, I know I am not going to run St. Anthony's, my decision is to swim and bike and drop out before the run.
I get there (stupid airlines have doubled, to 175 bucks, the cost of one-way transport of a bike case, ugh) and spend time with my mom and stepdad, which was enjoyable.
The temperature in FL was almost too hot, 85-90 the whole time.
The day before we left for Saint Petersburg, my mom and stepdad live in Ocala, about 2 hours away, I put the bike together and went for a 50 minute ride. First time outside on tri bike, with the fresh tune-up and race wheels, and it felt great, even in the heat. No problem with the leg.
Next day drove to Saint Petersburg and got registration stuff, set the bike out, and ran into some people from MN. It is nice to run into people you know when you are far away. I knew they were going to be there, just not sure I would see them.
Mom, stepdad, and I stayed at the Hilton by the airport, in between Tampa and Saint Petersburg, and had fantastic rooms. I had a huge room with two big flat panels, dining room table, and a wonderful king bed all to myself. Too bad I went to bed by 10 and was up at 3:30AM. Not enough time to enjoy the room.
So for the race. The swim was cancelled for everyone but the pros. Initially there was a lot of grumbling, but people realized it was for the best. The water was very, very rough.
2000+ people got in line and waited to bike. I was 832, and by the time it was my turn to take off I was nice and cold from standing out in the wind for so long. Took about 10-15 miles to warm-up and then I got going at a good clip. In the end it did the 40k in 1:10:43 @ 21.1MPH. When I was done I walked out of the transition area and turned in my chip. I talked to the pro I know and he said that the swim was not fun and we were pretty lucky that we did not have to do it. Good to know.
I finished just in time to see the 3 people I know from MN finish, which was really nice. I also got to sit down with them after the race in the food tent and hangout. All and all it was a good trip.
Now, back to the bad stuff. I went to the ortho\sports medicine doctor the other day (Wed), and got the bad news, which is what I knew already, I had a bad stress fracture. Apparently the worst kind, which is when the fracture is at the front of the tibia. I am to walk with crutches and with the aircast. I am not to run, of course, and limit walking. I am to come back in 4 weeks (June 1) for more x-rays. I am getting CT scan on Friday (5/1) to make sure the x-rays don't miss anything. No biking for at least two weeks. Swimming, no flip-turns and pull buoy. I talked to my coach and I will also do some aqua jogging and go back to core and upper body work. I am registered for 4 duathlons in May, I thought I could change them to relays, but since I can't bike for at least 2 weeks I am going to have to bail on two of them. Maybe I can bike the one at the end of the month.
At first, and it still is, a little hard. I had myself all setup for a particular season and these races and now there is a set back. I have done a lot of training in the off season. I just have to keep telling myself that this is a short-term thing. I take the time now to heal and I come back better and stronger. Talking to my coach and friends has been helpful. I need to keep this in perspective, it is not the most important thing in the world. Also, when I start to heal I will get some PT and get a gait analysis and that will help correct some of the possible biomechanic issues with my run that may have contributed to the fracture. I have begun changing my goals for the year and realize the next 4-6 weeks are for swim focus.
It will all be good.
On the right is a picture of my new training partner, aircast and crutches, hopefully not for long.