This year I set out to tackle some big goals.  I took risks, I made changes, and I pushed myself to the limit- there is nothing worse than not trying or never knowing if you can achieve something. There were many ups downs along the way.  Here’s my summary of the 2011 season.

I started out strong in Sydney and really from my vantage point, it was a quick hop to reaching my all goals.  Then I had a little stumble before Madrid where I was ill, an unfortunate part of being an athlete pushing your body to it’s limits, subsequently compromising your immune system. In hindsight, I never let my body fully recover from the illness and the timing of it made me feel like I was constantly having to play catchup the rest of the season (the downfalls of having a tight European summer race schedule).  I regrouped enough to have an OK race in Kitzbuhel and then headed to St. Moritz to get a great block of training in. I felt like I was climbing back up to my pre-Madrid heights and fitness levels slowly but surely.  Then I had what I like to call “an unfortunate turn of luck” in Hamburg, where a technical error let a wide-open opportunity to obtain an early London nomination slip away.  No worries, a bit of a step back but the season wasn’t over yet, so back to work for the London test event. 

The London race went well until the wheels came off on the run and I DNF’d the race.  Disappointed with the last few races, I was not in my “happy place” at this point in the season.  I was struggling going into the last few races, both mentally and physically.  My body was starting to revolt and my brain was just plain tired from the travel/illness/and a long season.  This frame of mind, non-responsive legs & an irritated shoulder lead to a lack-luster race in Lausanne and culminated with another illness acquired in Thailand and a sub-par (and quite frankly, embarrassing) race/DNF in Beijing.  I managed to pick myself up and dust off the ol’ ego one more time and head to Yokohama for another kick at the can.  I was down, but not out!  While it wasn’t my best race, I managed an OK swim, a solid bike where I was in the lead pack and stayed at the front and in control (like I my old self would have done) and ran with what fitness I had left after 6+weeks of limited/compromised training.  At this point I ended my season, it was clear I was in need of a break.

Now, back in Calgary, I’ve had some time to recover & get in some much needed family & friends time.  While I’m not fully satisfied with the 2011 season in terms of race results, I am not letting my experiences go to waste.  2011 was a year to experiment and a year to try new things; some worked, some did not-I have learned far more this year than I have in the last few years.  Now it’s time to use those learnings to their fullest and climb to even greater heights in 2012!

As with every year, none of my racing/training/travel would be possible if I didn’t have a great support crew!  Many thanks to my husband & family who never stop believing in me.  The NTB & Timex for having the faith, even after an up & down season. And to all my friends who have taken the time to send me notes throughout the season and waking up at all sorts of insane hours to watch me race….Thank you; you keep me motivated to race faster & stronger!

I’ll post more on my 2012 season schedule once I figure it all out…It looks exciting with the first 3 races in Sydney, San Diego, and then a do-over in Madrid!! 

Now let the off-season begin!

Cheers,

Lisa

PS-I’ve added photos to the photo page.

Follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/lisamensink