Friday, September 28, 2012

ABC Thank You's

I probably had the most awesome 2012 triathlon season ever in the history of the world. Ha, just kidding, it was dreadful. But through it all, I had some fabulous people by my side.  Since my season has come to an end, I have a lot of Thank You’s to give out. One night when I couldn’t sleep I started making a Thank You list in my head. In alphabetical order. Sorta like counting sheep. I finally snoozed off thinking about all these great supporters of mine. And it was a fabulous sleep indeed. 

A is for Air Canada, thank you for getting me safely to all of my destinations (mostly) on time and (mostly) with all of my luggage, and for letting me ride at the front (mostly) every time.
B is for Bikes, and Specialized makes the fastest, nicest, lightest ones on the planet.
C is for Champion Systems. Pulling on my Canada suit always gets me pumped to race.
D is for Dad, who just drove my car 4000 km across the country for me. Superman! (Ps. Dad if you’re reading this I'm ready for you to drive it back now).
E is for EVOC bike bags, keeping my bike safe when I'm on the go.
F is for my fabulous Family and Friends. All of the most important people in my life.
G is for General Mills. Being on the Reeses Puffs cereal box is probably the raddest thing that’s ever happened to me.
H is for Helper and Michelle Comeau, you are one fantastic helper. Thanks for making my life easier and being so understanding of my ever-changing plans.
I is for Immunity FX. 2 pills a day keeps the doctor away.
J is for Jon Brown, super coach, thanks for taking me on in the lead up to the games, and for doing every single run workout alongside me.
K is for Kim Ward, massage therapist extraordinaire, and Dr. Keeler, who did everything he could to help me get better.
L is for Lasik MD. No more contacts wooo!
M is for Marilyn, hands down the best physio ever. Would not have been on the start line in London without you.
N is for Nike. Best shoes, best clothes, best people. Game on world.
O is for Own the Podium, thanks for making sure I had everything I needed to be my best. Sorry I couldn’t be my best this year.
P is for Proctor & Gamble. Your support for my awesome mom and me, and for all Olympic moms across the world, is tremendously appreciated.
Q is for Quarq, my power meter. Always reliable. Love-hate relationship.
R is for Rogue, the fastest most comfortable wetsuit ever made. Thanks, Nineteen.
S is for Sables. Magic fog-proof superhero goggles.
T is for my hardcore Training Partners, I couldn’t get out the door and push myself every day without you guys.
U is for United Cycle, my bike shop in Edmonton. They gave me my first bike 6 years ago and have supported me since day one.
V is for Vitamins. Sometimes I think 7 Systems saves my life.
W is for Whitfield. Thanks Simon for being my friend and big brother and mentor and training partner. You're a hero.
X is for the fluorescent X Spidertech tape that held me together when I was broken.
Y is for YOU! All of you reading this who reached out and supported me when all I wanted to do was hide away from the world.
Z is for Zipp. These. Wheels. Are. Super. Fast.

Thanks. I couldn't do what I do every day without you all.  

I’m on a serious mission to make you a little more proud next year.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Series of Unfortunate Events

This was the name of my favorite book series when I was younger. It’s the story of the three Baudelaire children whose parents are killed in a fire and are placed in the custody of their evil cousin who plots terrible schemes to steal their inheritance. Seemingly everything that could possibly go wrong, goes wrong. Sounds dark and horrible but is somehow charming and entertaining.

With every negative situation that I’ve faced this year, I feel more and more like the Baudelaire children, having a continuous string of unfortunate events block my path. Slightly less dramatic since my parents did not die in a fire and I don’t have a cousin trying to kill me, but similar nonetheless.

I came home from the Olympics feeling upset and directionless after my disappointing experience. A few days later I had a generous offer from Craig Taylor at the RTC in Guelph to train with his group and get ready for the World Championships in October. It was the perfect opportunity to try something new with a refreshing change of scenery. Craig and the group here have been fantastic, and Guelph really is a lovely place to train. What an awesome bunch of happy, positive people.

I had some blood work done about a week after I arrived just to make sure that everything was normal. I was feeling tired but assumed this was just an effect from training hard again. Unfortunately the numbers came back with some of the lowest iron levels that the doctors had ever seen. It is a simple but quite serious problem that likely had a huge impact on my race in London, and got overlooked because of the focus on healing my injury. The fact is that it is not really possible to continue to train at the level I need to in order to have the result I am looking for in 6 weeks. I’m devastated and frustrated that I can’t have a shot at another race this season. I was hoping to restore some confidence in myself after the Olympic disaster. I guess this will have to wait until next year.

I realize this is fairly private medical information that I’m sharing, but a lot of people are asking what my plans are for the rest of the season. Iron deficiency anemia is something that a lot of athletes struggle with and it is a fixable, treatable problem. For now I need to focus on what I CAN do. Some good lower intensity base training while I work on getting my iron and energy levels back up. This might actually be a good thing, establishing a good foundation for next year so that I can come back strong and healthy. Liver for dinner, yes please!

At the end of 13 horrible wonderful books, the Baudelaire children eventually overcome their misfortune and the author Lemony Snicket leaves off with this:

“At times the world may seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe that there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough. And what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may in fact be the first steps of a journey.

Keep a good outlook, and a series of unfortunate events may not be so unfortunate after all. I knew these kid books were good for something! Thanks Lemony Snicket.

Onwards and upwards…