If there was a rehab facility for a bike shopping addiction, I would be there. But there is not. So all I've got is injury rehab...and enough bikes to cover any kind of riding my ADD mind conjures up.
So about a month ago, after being told by series director (and good friend) John Salt that he would not let me enter another Multisport Canada race before getting a full assessment from a sports physician on my concussion, I finally got things checked out. John gave me the name of a very highly regarded sports concussion specialist, Dr. Lisa Fischer.
Only down side, she works at the Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicide Clinic at Western. I don't mind publicly announcing my distaste for the clinic, as it was there that I was told I "should probably give up triathlons for good" when I first injured my back. However that experience is what led me to my current physio Elizabeth Fox, who single handedly brought me back into the sport and has made me a stronger healthier athlete. I was not keen on going back to Fowler for the first time in over four years, but I trust John very much and decided to make an appointment.
Turns out Dr. Fischer is in fact a very good doctor, and I wish I had more than ten seconds of correspodence with her to pick her brain more. She immediately diagnosed a number of unresolved post-concussive symptoms that were being exacerbated by increased heart rate and blood pressure during my training. So it was couch surfing time until further notice. At first I was actually relieved to be sitting at home doing nothing while my friends and training partners were posting PB's at their A-races. It had been such a battle over the month prior to get my body and mind to cooperate and get half a workout in, let alone stumble through my sub-par Bracebridge race, that it felt great to have answers and have some relief from fighting against myself.
After two weeks of no training, no loud movies (I still haven't seen Dark Knight Rises!), no Ipod, and limited computer and TV, I went back for a followup. Unfortunately my previous symptoms of perpetually feeling like I was in a daze and having dizzy spells had given way to headaches and even some emotional symptoms. One more week of sitting on my ass. At least I was starting to feel some motivation to race and anxiousness to get back out on my bike.
Finally this week I had my second follow-up. The only symptom remaining was very minor intermittent headaches, but turns out those were a result of soft tissue damage in my neck. I STILL don't think I crashed THAT hard.......... But I was deemed recovered enough to take part in the "impact test". So they whack my head with a hammer and see if my brain goes foggy again? Nope, just a neurocognitive assessment to determine if there were any residual physiological symptoms impeding brain fuction. So I got to play some videogames and memory tests on the computer for a while and ended up with a score of 92, which is apparently "exceptional" relative to individuals of similar education and percieved intelligence (guess that's why I'm a grease monkey in a bike shop).
GOOD TO GO!
So just over 2 months after defying my bike handling skills and crashing myself out of a race, I got the go-ahead to resume training...starting at under 60 minutes, below 140 heart rate. No running just yet, but so far swimming and biking feels great, aside from feeling pathetically out of shape. Funny how three weeks off seems to put you back three years. But I'm only looking forward and I'm getting a head start on everyone on training for the 2013 season!
In fact I already have most of next season put together and have even registered for some races, but I'm holding off making any big announcements just yet. I will however say that next season's races will be a reflection of where my motivation lies in triathlon, my busy working schedule, and my desire to get back to my roots in the sport...and being fast :)
In non-racing news (for me at least), Amanda and I are leaving for ITU World Champs in a few weeks where she will be racing on her first Age Group Worlds team, and I will be acting as team mechanic for the Age Group team, and recently asked by Sir Craig Taylor to support the elite team as well. I'm looking forward to going in a spectator/support role having gone to AG Worlds twice to compete. I'm sure there will be no shortage of amazing running in NZ and hopefully I will find some good cross training activities (ie. bungee jumping, zorb ball, and testing out my freeride skills) in our travels. Off season is over Nov 1 when I get back and the countdown to a new season begins.