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but I can see, I can see a distant victory

June 22, 2008

There’s less than two weeks to go until the Olympic Trials (July 4th) and I have not been able to do one track workout that points to running a good 5000m.  I had decent workouts when I started running again and I thought that they would get better, but the injury runs deeper than I anticipated.  Having pinched my sciatic nerve over 10 weeks ago I still cannot recruit my left leg muscles properly.  Specifically, my H reflex is quite slower on my left leg than my right leg and really affects my soleus.  When I try to run fast I cannot turn-over quickly enough to run anything faster than 31 seconds for 200m.  My calf also cramps up and fatigues quickly after 300m of faster running.  I’m able to run 400m in 63 seconds but as I go longer my calf almost becomes useless.  When I do a workout it takes about four days for my leg to be able to get back to that level again.  This past week I tried going to the track two days after a workout and after a 20 minute warm-up I could not break 33.5 seconds for 200m (I even took two tries).  Worst of all my calf still hurts when I run.  After three days off I got in three minutes before it started to get sore, what a great three minutes those were!

The reality of this injury is quite evident, even if I was in my lifetime best shape, the way my calf is working (or not working) I could not run a fast 5000m.  I’m not even sure what would happen to my leg after 1km of fast running on the track. 

Every week I had been adjusting my mental outlook…  “I’ve been cross-training for six weeks, if I can get six weeks of track workouts I can be ready…”  …. “I’ve been cross-training for seven weeks now, if I can get five weeks of track workouts…”  etc etc…  I truly believed throughout this whole process that I was in a position to make it to Beijing.  I had to have that 100% belief if I was to have a shot at running 13:19 for 5000m.  Having that 100% belief also set me up for a greater disappointment, and that’s just the harsh reality of elite sport.  So yeah, when I realized that the dream of going to Beijing was over it hit me hard. 

Once I started realizing the reality of the situation my desire to get healthy again and run well down the road started to override my desire to keep on banging on the track and train through pain for trials.  Right now I just want to be able to run pain free and enjoy running on the trails again and stop rushing things.  I’m glad I wasn’t more aggressive with my comeback as it would of been easy to force things more than I did.  My plan is to still cross-train and do elliptical workouts for the next 10 days in case my injury miraculously comes around but, I’m not holding my breath. 

Not running Nationals this year will be my first year not running the 5000m since 2001 and I’ll be ending my winning streak of four in a row.  I’ll still be going to Nationals to watch, unless of course my calf is good, then I’ll toe the line.  I’m just grateful that I was able to run Nationals every year since 2000.

2000 – 6th (steeplechase)
2001 – 4th
2002 – 4th
2003 – 2nd
2004 – 1st
2005 – 1st
2006 – 1st
2007 – 1st

And Congrats to teammate Taylor Milne who ran 3:36.00 in the 1500m last night to get the Olympic A standard. 

And check out the newest issue of Canadian Running on the magazine racks now.  They asked us to bring our competition gear…

Canadian Running Cover

And here’s to my injury.  This picture was taken within days of being injured.








  1. Skuj permalink
    June 23, 2008 11:51 pm

    Hey Reid, I’m so sorry, Man. That’s a really tough post to read, and I cannot imagine how hard this is to experience. I suppose we all hoped (and still do!?) for a Miracle, but we realistically expected this outcome, given all the gory details of the injury, and the worst timing ever. I’m not religious, but why the fuck are we tested like this somethimes? There is, apparantly, a reason for everything, but this is a really tough one to fathom….to be struck at the height of your running in an Olympic year. Middle Finger, indeed! But I know that you will persevere, and when your book is eventually completed, that dark chapter called “Early 2008” will occupy the middle pages. But I know that’s cold comfort right now.

  2. Patrick permalink
    June 24, 2008 9:04 pm

    Hi Reid. I’ve read your blog for a while now, but I figured this would be as good a time as any to leave a comment. I’m a Hamilton boy like yourself, and your story has been more motivation that you can imagine. I’ve just graduated from highschool this year, and I was fortunate to run at OFSAA in the Steeplechase (where I got owned). Even though I can’t even contend with the best kids my age in my own province, I have aspirations of maybe getting to run World Cross or something one day. Without being all cliche and what not, I’d just like to say that you make me want to keep striving for that. And no matter what happens this year, you’re still the blueprint all us Hamilton kids want to follow. All the way to London Reid, all the way to London!

  3. Cal permalink
    June 24, 2008 11:24 pm

    Hey Reid…Some times you just got to say WTF…Glad you did!!! Keep your chin up bro, you’ll use this as fuel for the fire!!!


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