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2016 off to a rocky start

January 3, 2016

I’ve been putting off writing a blog for a couple of weeks now. Mainly because I’ve been busy writing articles for iRun magazine and CBC’s Players Own Voice. The articles should come out later this winter. Writing has been a good way to feel productive between training sessions. (I wrote this article a few months ago on Olympic swimmer Andrew Ford).

The other reason I put off a blog is that I’ve been nursing an injury for the past two weeks. I was hoping it would have cleared up before 2016 and I could write a more upbeat blog. The good part is that this isn’t the worst time for an injury to pop up.

The week after nationals cross-country I travelled to China to pace the Guangzhou marathon on December 6th. I paced the lead women for 30km at 3:28/km. I felt a little sore the next day but nothing specific hurt (perhaps a 12 hour flight the next day tightened things up?). Around December 15th I started to feel tightness in my lower right leg but didn’t think much of it until the 20th.

On December 20th it hurt to run right off the bat. I stopped after 30 seconds to stretch and decided to give it a km or two to see if it loosened up. It thought it felt good enough (it wasn’t) and I ran 28km. The next day I woke up and knew right away I wouldn’t be running for a few days. There was a significant pain on my fibula head and tightness all through my lower leg.

Over the past two weeks I’ve loosened up all the muscles in that area but my fibula head is still really sore. I tried running the other day and I could tell that running was going to make it worse so I only logged 4km. The past few days I’ve just been in the pool and on the bike.

My physiotherapist thinks it’s tendinitis caused because my heel and ankle weren’t moving properly and in turn put too much stress on the outside of my leg. I hope that is the case and this can clear up shortly. My fear is that there is a stress fracture in the fibula head and I’ll be off running for another four weeks.

If this doesn’t clear up in the next two weeks I’ll have to postpone my trip to Kenya. I’m slated to leave January 19th but if I need a few more weeks of cross-training and physiotherapy I’ll stick around Guelph.

I had to think twice about going back to Kenya after all the doping allegations that were revealed in the ARD documentary. It makes me uneasy to know that there is a doping problem where I have trained. I figure since the doping scandals have come to light Kenya will be cleaner this year than last year. I believe the IAAF is conducting a review of Kenya and that there will be better anti-doping practices in place.

I know that Kenyan athletes were not always subjected to the same out-of-competition testing that Canadian (and many other countries) athletes are. Doping control can show up to my house (or wherever I input my location on the “Whereabouts” website/app) any day without warning. In Kenya the practice has been to tell the athletes when and where to show up, often having notice a week in advance. That sort of out-of-competition testing isn’t going to deter any athlete ready to cheat.

On this topic, I believe the 2016 Olympic marathon will be the cleanest Olympic marathon since the 1980’s. Mainly due to the inclusion of the biological passport and the IAAF putting pressure on countries to follow WADA’s rules. The biological passport has busted a few marathoners who have never tested positive for a banned substance and I’m sure is scaring a few more from doping.




Here are some pics from Guangzhou, China



A little bit of confusion at the Guangzhou marathon. The organizers had me talk to reporters at the press conference. I was up there with a couple of 2:06 guys. The Ethiopian refused to speak, the Moroccan was pretty good but I was asked the majority of the questions. I had to pretend I was going to compete the next day. It was weird but I think I pulled it off. The next day I paced the women.


The race put us up at the Shangri-La. It was one of the nicest hotels I’ve ever stayed in. This is the view out the back of the hotel. That is the outskirts of Guangzhou in the background. Needless to say a city of 13.4 million has a ton of high rises.


Shangri-La did a good job of the Christmas lights.


My wonderful girlfriend got me a GoPro for Christmas. I’m hoping to get some more content up on Instagram and this blog with it. The GoPro Session 4 is really small and easy to bring on a run now and then.




Halifax Winter


Click to access Ford.pdf

Click to access Ford.pdf

  1. January 3, 2016 10:41 pm

    Great pics!

  2. January 9, 2016 1:03 pm

    What if you went to Kenya anyway, and did some snooping during recovery?

  3. January 13, 2016 12:00 pm

    Love the update, Reid. Wishing you a speedy and uncomplicated recovery!

  4. pyrad permalink
    January 15, 2016 10:41 am

    Sounds like you got the VIP treatment at Guangzhou.
    Get well soon!

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