Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In



Dibens On Her Health And Future In Ironman

Julie Dibens hopes to return to the Ironman World Championship in 2013.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Julie Dibens got off the bike at the 2011 Ironman World Championship with a massive lead, needing to run a 3:13 marathon, nearly 20 minutes slower than the women’s marathon record, to break the course record. A foot injury forced her to drop out during the run, and she is missing the 2012 Abu Dhabi Triathlon because the injury hasn’t yet healed. This interview was conducted on a playground swing set. How’s the foot?

Julie Dibens: It’s healing. I just had an X-ray done recently and it showed it’s healing, it’s just not healed all the way yet. What is the exact injury?

Dibens: The third metatarsal head has been worn away. It’s called a Friedberg Infarction. The nature of my foot and the surgery I had on my feet back in 2005, it just meant that my third toe is taking up all the slack and it’s just getting a pounding. So it’s just a case of resting it a little bit more and allowing it to heal. I was in a lot of pain last year and I just want to get it taken care of. I still have a lot of aspirations and goals in triathlon and Ironman, and I know that I can’t do that if I’m not 100% healthy. What are those aspirations?

Dibens: I’m looking at a two-year plan with the ultimate goal of Kona in 2013, so I’m trying to look at a two-year plan of how I’m going to get there with the new qualification rules. I don’t want to do two Ironmans in one year if I can help it. For now, it’s pretty much all about how I’m going to get there. If that means doing a late season Ironman this year, then that’s one of the big goals. Obviously I was hoping the foot would heal a bit quicker than it has and that I would be here racing, but I have to look at the big goal and I have to be patient. I have to get rid of any pain that I’ve had. I have to get it back as close to 100% as I can.

PHOTOS: Julie Dibens In Abu Dhabi Did you walk away from last year’s race feeling optimistic because you were in such a great place getting off the bike or was it frustrating because you weren’t able to race to your abilities?

Dibens: It was both, but I kind of knew going in to it, I had that [foot] problem in Las Vegas [Ironman World Championship 70.3]. I knew going in to it there was a pretty good chance I wasn’t going to be able to finish that race, but I still believed I could. I just didn’t know at what point on the run the foot would start hurting me. Definitely disappointed the way it finished, but also super psyched. If I can get a similar lead to that off the bike again, then I don’t need to run that fast to be right in contention. And I think if anything, I left that race a little more excited about it than I was going in to it. Have you picked your first race this year?

Dibens: No, to be honest, I really try not to think about when that first race will be and just focus on getting healthy. I was really hoping I could be ready for Abu Dhabi. In December I started running again because I had that carrot hanging here and that time pressure, it maybe made me push a little too hard. Right now, I’d love to be back for Rev3 Quassy and I think that’s achievable, if things continue in the right direction. I had a few setbacks in December. The foot was still giving me pain, and I picked up a little bit of a knee niggle, all related to the foot because I was trying to protect it. It’s all about patience now, which all triathletes know doesn’t come naturally.

More from Abu Dhabi.

Video: 4X World Champion Mirinda Carfrae Makes Her Picks for 70.3 Chattanooga

Carfrae and former pro Patrick Mckeon break down the iconic course in Chattanooga, who looks good for the pro women's race, and their predictions for how the day will play out.