Today marks the one year anniversary of me starting this blog and never in my wildest dreams did I think that it would have the following that it does. I especially did not think that I would be read in so many places around the world or have been an inspiration to other people who are on the same journey as myself.
First Year Stats
Countries Where My Blog Have Read
I look forward to another year of updating, informing and educating all those that follow this blog. I also look forward to your input, advice, encouragement and inspiration in the year to come.
Only a few hours to go and 2013 will be behind us, so it is time to look forward to 2014. With the beginning of each new year, I am always optimistic that the new year will be better than the past year. This coming year is certainly no different. During the time between Christmas and the New Year, I take time to write new goals and create a plan to reach those goals. Without a plan, goals tend to be wishes that fade over time. It is very important to write your goals down and review on a regular basis. Below are my fitness goals and my race plan for 2014.
1. Be more consistent with my training. (I have a plan)
2. Get rid of that last 20lbs (meal plan is already written)
3. Give back to the sport of running and triathlon by volunteering at least 6 races/events
4. Set up training bank account and do auto deduction from business account
5. Network with my realtor colleagues to generate referral income to buy a dedicated tri-bike
I did not indicate goal times for each race as I will set a realistic goal based on my training and progress as I get close to each run. You will notice that the longest distance for the coming year is one 30K. The reasoning behind this is that I want to take it a little easier on my body so I figure I will do shorter distances than a few longer distances. It will give me a bunch more race t-shirts and medals!!!
I am so looking forward to heading back home to compete in the St.John’s triathlon. It looks like a great race and I hope to visit with so many friends while I am there. The Cornwall Triathlon was my first triathlon ever so I just may switch to the sprint distance so I can see my level of improvement but that is something I can change as I get closer to race day. If at all possible, I do hope that I can compete in an end of year IRONMAN 70.3 somewhere in North America, most likely Miami or Austin.
So, there it is but there is one other goal, that for the most part I will not have any control of and that is to make it through 2014 without any major injuries that will impede my training. Bring on 2014 and all the glory that will come with it.
Until next year….“Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” Carl Bard
Are you ready for 2014? Are you going to make it your best year ever? Write your goals and have a plan, it will take you a long way.
Last year when I first started my blog I had some pretty lofty goals and I did a video post of me thanking so many people. This year, I decided to cover the details of how I made out as well as to make sure I thank all those that helped me out throughout the year.
A Year of First
The new year start off this a bang and I did my first Disney Run. This race was an absolute hoot and I highly recommend that any runner should do at least one Disney Run. Running with 27,000 of my closest friends coupled with Disney characters allowed me to be a kid again.The pre and post race party were a highlight and goes to show you that Disney knows how to stage an event.
In March, I ran in the 30K Around the Bay Road Race for the very first time. It was the furthest distance that I had completed to date. Though I did not have the result I wanted, it was thrilling to just finish. Body permitting, I will be back in 2014 to better my time.
Photo by Sports Shooter
Along came June and the Rideau Lakes Bike Tour. This was my first ever long distance bike ride with a large group of people. This tour also resulted in my longest one day ride at 178K and my longest combined two day ride with a total of 358K. It was a fun experience with friends that I look forward to doing again sometime in the near future.
Shortly after the Rideau Lakes Bike Tour, I took part in my first kilt run. Each year, the town of Perth, ON puts on a run/race to set a record of the most people to run in a kilt. It was certainly a differenct experience running in a kilt. This was a fun race to be a part of and I have already signed to do it again this year.
Photo by Sports Shooter
Without a doubt, the biggest first for me was completing my first triathlon. I competed in the Cornwal Triathlon in August with a number of friends that had all completed at least one tri. This was going to be a learning experience for me more than anything else and boy did I learn. It was a thrilling experience I will not soon forget, the triathlon bug has bitten me very good.
Photo by Katherine Lapner
Again this September, I volunteered to help with IRONMAN 70.3 Muskoka. I find that you learn so much from helping out at events like this. This year came with an added bonus, for the first time I got to meet one of the greats in the sport of triathlon, Mirinda Carfrae. It was amzing to see her in action at Muskoka and then to watch her capture he second IRONMAN World Championship on TV just a month later. She is certainly one the great ambassadors of the sport.
It was one of those years of two steps forward and one step back it seemed but progress is still progress. The year started off with me under going some pretty intense physiotherapy on my right leg, with a treatment called dry needling. The lack of strength in that leg limited my training for Around the Bay. After three months of therapy, I was almost back to normal.
Just when everything was progressing so well and training was ramping up for Ottawa Race Weekend the injury bug bit again. This time in the form of not one but four stress fractures in the right foot. I most likely had stress fractures prior to this but being the guy that I am, I just ran through the pain. I was on a training run when I came upon a cobble stone sidewalk that was a little uneven. As my foot hit the ground I could feel and hear something was not right. I ended up limping the last 1.5K back to the start point of the run. I took a little time off as Race Weekend was approaching and I wanted to be in good shape to compete in the half marathon. I did not seek out a diagnosus until after Race Weekend which leads into the next set back.
Not sure if I was going to put this next event in the Firsts or Set Backs section of this post but given how it effected me mentally, I decided to put it in the Set Back section. Going into the Ottawa Race Weekend Half Marathon, I had a gut feeling that things were not going to go too well. The first 7K of the race I was feeling great and I was on pace to reach my finish goal time. Then at 8K, the pain started in the right foot and by 9K the pain was unbarable, so I pulled out of the race, my first DNF. Looking back, it was the right decision but at the time, I beat myself up pretty good for not completing. Shortly after the race I went to a sports doctor who confirmed the stress factures.
For the most part, the summer was uneventful and once my stress fractures healed, I resumed my training. I had an awesome summer and my training was at its’ best since I started my journey to complete an IRONMAN. I had just completed my first triathlon and I was feeling great. Mentally and physically I was in a great place, that is until September 14 when the injury shark (what happened was too much for a bug) took a big chunk out of me. While mountain biking, I took a spill that resulted in two broken wrist, two cracked ribs and a messed up knee. This was going to be my biggest set back and challenge to date. Though I am still healing, the recovery has been longer and harder than I had hoped it would be, both mentally and physically. I hope to be back in training mode sooner than later.
Though this was going to be a 2014 event, the decision to withdraw from IRONMAN 70.3 Mont Tremblant came in 2013. It took a lot of effort on my part to finally pull the plug on this goal but again it was the right decision to make given my health and level of training. One of the deciding factors for me was my lack of swim training. Without the extra three months of swim training, my weakest link in triathlon, I knew that it was going to be hard for me to finish the event within the time limit. Also, given the nature of my injuries, I did not want to push myself so much that I hamper my recovery or do more damage.
When reaching for a goal, especially one as big as IRONMAN, one cannot do it alone. So, here in no particular order I would like to say a big thank you:
The medical team: Dr.Ashikan, Dr. Pollock and the E.R staff at Kamloops General Hospital, who have put this humpty dumpty back together and keep me put together. I am grateful for having you in my corner in 2013, but with all due respect, I hope that I do not need you or your services in 2014.
Blog Buddies: 10000 Miles of Experiences, Adventures and Thoughts (Tony), Fit Recovery (Jim) and Chatter Gets Fit and From Meltdown to Ironman (Simone). Thank you for keeping me entertained, informed, motivated and educating me on so many things. I never thought that writting a blog would have connected me with such great people, some on the same journey as myself.
Team Tasting Blood (TTB): Laura, Diane, Katherine, Colleen, Jamie, Christian, Richard, Nicole, Amira, Julie, Ben-Zion, Andrew, Michael, Andree-Ann, John, Rene and Jesee. A great group of people whose athletic abilities far exceed mine, thank you for your encouragment, helpful tips and your friendship. I look forward to training with some of you in 2014.
Photo By Alistair Warwick
Alistair’s Cycle Group: Alistair, Catherine, Michele, Monica, Howard, Peter, Cal, Dodie, Tayeb, Mike and the member of TTB that came out of this group, Laura, Diane, Katherine, Colleen, Jamie, Christian, Richard, Nicole, Amira, Julie, Ben-Zion, Andrew, Michael, Andree-Ann, John, Rene, Jesee, Dawn. Thanks for the company on those great Saturday rides and the encouragment to get up those Gatineau Hills on Thurdays evening. Hopefully next year I can be a part of the ski group.
Photo by Alistair Warwick
Running Room Crew: Grace, Laura, Peter, Alain, Isabelle, Heather, Wahl, Elaine, Donna, Greg M, Greg B, Joleen, Michelle, Laen, Heather G, Michael, Jenn D, Jenn H, Phil, Shawna, Julie, Natalie, Dougie. Thanks again for another awesome year. It is always a pleasure to see you guys and run with you as well. Your encouragement and support especially over the last few months has meant a great deal to me.
Darren Clark: Thanks for your encouragement, help and the time you spent listening to me. I hope we can get in some more riding in 2014.
Jenn Hood: What started off as me pushing you, you ended up pushing me through those last few Ks of the Around the Bay. Thank you for your friendship, encouragement and company on those long runs. Heres to many runs together in 2014.
Photo by Sports Shooter
Brigitte Bernier: Some of what I accomplished this year would not have been possible without your great physiotherapy treatments. Thank you for getting me back out there and keeping me in check when I needed. Though I wish you did not smile so much when you were putting those needles in me. LOL
Friends and Colleauges: I want to thank you all for your encouragement, support and taking the time to read my blog. Your comments on my posts and on Facebook mean a lot to me, some more than you will ever know.
Family: Having the support of family is paramount to acheiving any goal and I am lucky to have that support. Though some shake their head and think I am crazy but still support me any ways. Thank you all for being there for me when needed you the most.
And last but not least, the Missus, Renee. Without her support and encouragement, the goal of reaching IRONMAN would not be possible. She has kept me grounded when needed, lifted my spirits when they were down and helped mend me when I was broken. Thank you for not beating me over the head with a shovel for putting you through so much in 2013. I hope that 2014 will be less taxing on you.
Well, it was certainly an eventful year and in certain areas I do not wish to repeat, but as I always say, it certainly could have been worse. I have to take the good with the bad and try not to dwell on the bad but concentrate on the good.
As I put 2013 behind me, I look forward to many joyus occasions and reaching a number of new goals in 2014 which I will post in the next few days.
Until then… Happy New Year and a successful 2014
Maybe not the most inspirational video ever but it certainly can be motivating.
It is a little heavy for motivation but just a reminder to make every day count.
Over the last 10 days or so, I have been to see various medical professionals about my on going recovery. On December 3, I went to visit my general practitioner doctor for my yearly medical check up. Other than the various injuries, my health is very good I am happy to report. Once all the normal test were done, my GP and I had a conversation about my injuries as to how the recovery was going. He was not happy with the fact that I was still having issues with my ribs and the continued swelling in my knee. I have been refered to a sports medicine doctor for the knee to see if surgery can be ruled out. Towards the end of my visit, I asked my doctor to give me an honest and frank opinion on whether he thought training and completing the IRONMAN 70.3 Mont Tremblant was advisable. He looked me in the eye to say ” Duane, I know your heart would be there but I worry that you would not be allowing your body time to recover as needed to continue on your with your goal.” I have a great doctor, as he remembers so much of our conversations and that he remembered my ultimate goal. So, he advised that it would not be good to push myself to try to compete at Tremblant. Strike One
On December 10, I had a scheduled follow-up appointment with the surgeon that worked on my left wrist. It is never a good thing when you arrive at the hospital and they say “good to see you again. You know the drill, come back once the x-rays are done.” With x-rays completed it was back to the exam room to wait. As usual, the first doctor to see me was an orthopedic resident who reviewed the updated x-rays and examined the wrists. We chatted about my continued pain in both wrists and ribs. The resident left the exam room and I could hear him talking in the hall with my surgeon I suspected. A few minutes later, three people entered the exam room and closed the door. It is never good one person leaves a room and three return let me tell you.
The look of concern on all their faces was a tell-tale sign that it was not going to be a good conversation we were about to have. The three people who entered the room were, the orthopedic surgeon, orthopedic resident and the orthopedic physiotherapist. Even though the wrist is healing well, the progress is much slower than expected and there was much concern about the pain I was experiencing. The orthopedic surgeon advised me to continue with my physio and to return in six weeks for another exam. As the orthopedic surgeon departed, I had a conversation with orthopedic resident and the orthopedic physiotherapist regarding doing IRONMAN 70.3 Mont Tremblant. Luckily, the orthopedic resident is a triathlete who has completed a few 70.3s. He asked me a few questions and given where I am at in my triathlon training, it was his opinion that is was not advisable to push it to try to make the June 24th date. This opinion was echoed by the orthopedic physiotherapist as well and her advice was to totally heal then get back to training. Strike two.
I have been lucky to find a great physiotherapist that has helped me over the past 18 months with various injuries. She has always been a straight shooter with me on my progress. This past Thursday, I had an appointment with her for a normal session, along with an assessment update. She was very happy with my progress on the right wrist that is more or less back to 90% of range of motion and little or no pain. As for the left wrist, there has been progress but not as much as expected. In her professional assessment, I will need at least another couple of months of physio before the left wrist will be back to normal. Again, I had “the conversation” with her and she was in agreement with the previous medical professional that my progress to date would impede me from competing in IRONMAN 70.3 Mont Tremblant. Strike three.
So there it is, I am officially withdrawing from IRONMAN 70.3 Mont Tremblant. Though I am disappointed, I realize it is for the greater good. As one of my training friends pointed out, I was on the fast track to longer distances, so this could be my body telling me to slow the freak down. I am also going to take this same friends’ advice and focus on shorter distance triathlon. Practise makes perfect right? I may be out for the moment but I will return stronger than ever. Over the holiday break, I will be working on a training plan and a race schedule for 2014.
2014 is going to be an awesome year filled with new challenges and great training!
Until next time…..It doesn’t matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off. You cannot make progress without making decisions. Jim Rohn