To be completely honest, I was ready to stay lying flat on my face after about the 100th fall. But I decided to pick myself back up for the 101st time, and I’m so glad I did. I’m not really sure what kept driving me to get back up after each setback that I’ve had. My frustration and sadness far outweighed any desire I had to continue training. But for some unknown reason, I kept getting back up, and giving it another try.
After my most recent injury, a pelvic stress fracture diagnosed in May, I contacted Siri Lindley to ask if she would be interested in having me join her squad. One last try, I thought to myself. I was going out of my comfort zone and straying from the advice of a few people by packing my bags and coming down to train in Boulder. But I knew the second that I spoke with her that if anyone was going to get me back to racing, and loving the process, she was the one. Thankfully, she was willing to take on this disaster!
It has been such an overwhelmingly positive change, I can’t even begin to describe it. My spark is reignited, her intense passion for the sport and for each of her athletes is contagious, and she makes me excited to train every single day. I started progressing my running on the AlterG treadmill as soon as I got to Boulder, and we’ve been successfully managing my comeback ever since.
I raced at the World Championships in Edmonton a few weeks ago, after only about 3 weeks of running on the ground, and it went much better than I expected. I had a great swim and bike, up with the lead pack, which is not easy especially after a long time away from that level of racing. My run was about where I expected with minimal training, and my first 10k in almost 2 years! I finished in 15th place, which is not something I would usually be celebrating, but I crossed the line feeling like I’d just won the race. It was a huge step for me. I was healthy, happy, and racing like I belonged in there, all in front of a hometown crowd. There's nothing better - (except actually winning).
A week later I raced in Las Vegas at the Super Sprint Grand Prix triathlon. It was a unique format of 2 mini-triathlons back-to-back, in a pool and on a fast 1km loop course, with heats in the morning and finals under the lights at night. Unfortunately I got sick the night before the race with a massive sore throat and cold. The prelims went well and I was going into the final with the fastest time, but my body was pretty run-down by 8pm that evening, and I felt terrible diving in for the final. I tried to pretend that I was feeling fine, but 6th place was my best on the day, which wasn't too bad after all! It was an incredible experience racing in the middle of Las Vegas under a dark sky.
I'm back in Boulder now, continuing to build up my running and getting ready for 2 more World Cup races in October. I know the season is over for many, but I feel like mine has just begun. I'm encouraged by my recent results, and my confidence is slowly coming back. Sometimes you need someone to tell you that you're doing freaking awesome... and Siri is really good at that. Being in a happy place is the most important thing, I've realized, and with that, great racing will come.
Thanks to everyone who is still following my journey, and especially to Triathlon Canada, Nike, and Specialized who have continued to support me through the rough times. It's so refreshing to write a blog post reporting good news, and I truly believe that the best is yet to come.
Thanks to Jordan Bryden, Slowtwich, Nils Nilsen, and Jeremy Brown for the photos.