The title pretty much summarizes my last 12 months of racing.  2011 started off promising, an 11th place finish (with a silly penalty) at the WTS race in Sydney.  The rest of the 2011 season was then plagued by a lost shoe incident, a poor immune system, and racing at less than 100% (see previous blog posts for details!).  By the end of the season in mid-September, I hadn’t seen the results I knew I was capable of, I was sick again, and exhausted.

From there I took a much needed extended break. Then finally in December, I felt healthy, I wanted to exercise, I got my nutrition back on track, I wanted to get fit and race & train smart and to my full potential.  The fire was back and I had a lot of work to do. I built up slow, knowing there was lots of time until Sydney in April.  My first hurdle in 2012 came in the form of a stress fracture & labral tear in my hip (from a fall in December).  Not a great start & a pretty big challenge to start the season.  It involved 9 weeks of NO running.  So I swam and biked and I got strong and fast in 2/3 sports.  I went to every therapist I could, I got advice from professionals in 4 different countries, I worked hard.  Finally 3 weeks out of Sydney, I was running without pain and seeing some decent run workouts but knew I was lacking some speed and run strength. Starting Sydney was a bit of a bonus but I wanted to start to get some race pace under my belt going into San Diego.  The swim went well, I was 11th out of the water and the bike solid (unfortunately almost the entire field came together on the bike) but I just wasn’t quite ready to handle the hard pace out of T2 onto the run.  I slugged it out for 50th.  Not a great result but I knew my swim/bike was there and I had 4 weeks to get the run speed back.  I came back to North America and worked hard to get my run back.  2 weeks out of SD I ran an unrested 35′ 10k, I had some great key workouts, I was back on track.

So that brings me to San Diego 2012.  The race started out right in the swim.  I was 12th out of the water and could see the leaders, so onto the bike I got my shoes on quick and got ready to chase.  To keep a long story short, we went into a tight corner (the road went from wide 2 lanes into a tight 1 lane with a cement island on the outside) a little too fast.  The wheel in front of me rode close to the barricade, I saw the concrete coming up fast and leaned hard into the corner.  I went down and unfortunately 2 girls behind me had no other way around and went down too.  I got up and realized I was on the course, so I stepped over the concrete island & off the course to where my bike had landed and was in the process of assessing the damage…thinking, can I go on?  Then, as far as I can tell, the exact same thing happened to one of the women coming thru the corner after us but she hit the barrier and I was standing in her trajectory…she slammed into me at full force, and I hit the ground and my bike hard–fracturing my elbow in 2 places, injuring my hand, and getting a black eye. That’s how my quest for a second Olympic Games ended.

SD Swim

Off to a good start....



This is where it ended up...getting stitched up post crash...



Back home looking banged up for Mother's Day brunch


So now I am back in Calgary.  I’m fusing some bones back together, growing some new skin and reassessing what’s to come–a full 6 weeks no swimming and no outdoor cycling.  Sport is awesome, it can bring such great highs–one’s you are always chasing. But also such great lows–one’s that leave you looking up & wanting more.  I was sent a great quote: “There is honour in giving it everything, in putting it all on the line. In order to win, you must open yourself up to loss”. Would I do it all again?  Without a moments hesitation. And I’m not done yet.

Now time for some thank you’s.

First off to all those there for me in San Diego after my crash–THANK YOU: Cathy for running to my side and keeping me calm and getting me the right care and bandaging me up. Richard for always being my rock and being there to dress me, feed me, brush my hair, and keep me sane…such love! My mom for being in SD and cleaning my wounds and washing my hair and giving me hugs!

Now THANK YOU to everyone who was there thru all the ups and downs of the last 12 months: My friends, family, & supporters from around the world who get up at all hours to yell at the computer and send me great notes of support no matter the outcome. To Paul for being a great coach and friend when I needed it most. And finally to the NTB & Coach John for keeping the faith and believing in me.

Up next?  Still working out the details…but some news to come soon….stay tuned!