The mystery behind the broken toe ….

Yesterday I finally went to the Doctor. I took an appointment at the Rosebank Center for Sport Medicine and Orthopedics. What a great place. Physios running around and lots of Sport Memorabilia hanging of the wall. I felt at home.

I went to see the Doc and tried to explain to him why my foot is hurting. He probably thought I am a big joke, not knowing when and where it happened. His initial diagnosis looking at it was a broken toe. If it was I would have felt it much more and I was still convinced it is something like Tendinitis or worst Tendinosis. He recommended X-ray, obviously, and luckily they had it in the building. A scan was made and I anticipated the verdict ….

Looking at it quickly on his PC I did not see anything at all. It all looked in place. As soon as we magnified into the toe we saw a nice little clean fracture in the bone.


The verdict is out. I just swam 1.5k, cycled 40k and ran 5k with a broken toe. What is the mystery is still where, when and how it happened. I do have a few theories.

Base theory: I was suffering pain in the foot the week before. It could have been a stress fracture already at that time. I thought it would go away and did not pay too much attention to it.  The treadmill run on Thursday before D-day was ok and did not hurt too much. So I went into the race with it.  What next and here the options start.

Theory 1: Warm-up swim

I did the warm up swim in freezing water. I felt my feet being ice blocks. Getting in and getting out was not easy and it was a bit rocky. I did remember stepping funny on a big rock. But not registered anything. Probably because feet were frozen and excitement high.

Theory 2: T1 Transition

I came out of the water being happy. I nailed a good time and I felt awesome. Obviously the adrenalin was pumping and I was looking forward to the bike. At the exit it was a bit dramatic for some athletes and the warning was to swim until you feel the ramp. I exit fine, but I could have stepped wrongly there somewhere …. The bike was okay. The cycle shoes offer good support and I did not feel anything. Plus the adrenalin was pumping high in the veins.

Theory 3: Flying dismount

Entering the T2 zone I did a nice flying dismount from my bike unto the road. Bare feet of course with shoes still clipped in. That is quite a lot of pressure that hits your sole and landing on the left foot might have caused a stress fracture to turn into a nice proper fracture.  This is were I started feeling the pain, but then of course I entered the run and that is a lot banging on the feet.

So the options are plenty where something could have gone wrong and I wont break my head trying to dissect it anymore. The result is a clean fracture at the start of my toe, not the end parts that one can wiggle about. Unfortunately no tapping together toes and see how you can motor through the training. For the next 4 – 6 week I need to wear a Moon boot/Aircast. Looks cool. I just need two to balance it out, but that will classify me as weird.

4 weeks rest which in my mind currently is – 2 weeks complete rest of my foot and no intense exercise on it. I went for a swim this morning and I can pull buoy and drag my feet without it being pain full. I will focus the next week on strength training. Will do some heavy weights and try and manage some cardio to keep the weight down and the fitness up.

After 2 weeks I will start cycling / spinning again. Get the legs pumping without putting too much pressure on the foot. I am investigating Agua jogging.  I will look like a pensioner with the flotation belt. If I stay long enough in the pool my skin will adjust and get all wrinkly too.

Tri rock is the 22nd September and I was looking forward to that one. I wonder if I can still do it. I was looking forward to the ocean swim. Maybe I should turn it into a duathlon. Swim and Bike and do an optional run. It will  be an ego wrecking DNF, but at least it will be intentional. But I will get the experience in the ocean swim that I am longing for.

If by some miracle I am strong I might just nail the run ……. but more important is rest and recovery (two words that I hear and don’t understand the meaning off)

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