Last weekend was GWN race weekend and it's always a tremendous time to welcome in summer; the first major race of the year, the tour starts, everyone is happy and excited to race and you get a chance to see if all the training has paid off. It was a little bitter sweet because I went into it knowing I wasn't able to run with a torn achillies but I wanted to at least have a solid swim-bike. The weekend started off great hanging out with friends going for a little ride (which of course I got a flat on) and then going to the lake for one loop of the two loop swim course. I was pretty pleased to have finished the loop in 15 minutes, it made me think that perhaps I could pull off a sub 30 minute swim.
Race morning there were dark clouds to the west of us and wouldn't you know it by the time we got to the lake it was raining, not a hard rain but enough to make it annoying. I did all my pre-race prep and lined up a couple rows from the front and hammered the swim right off the start, I kept a solid pace and drafted off as many strong swimmers as possible. I was a little disappointed later to find out I did a 31:05 swim again but I was going as hard as I possibly could and given all the swimming I've done this year that's probably the top end of my time without swimming 5 days a week.
The rain made things on the bike really frustrating, my glasses fogged up and I put them in my pocket where they fell out at some point. So I didn't have them for the downhills which made the stinging rain difficult at 60+kms/hr. The entire ride I kept feeling like I couldn't push the same power that I normally do but I heard that from everyone else too so I'm attributing it to the cold. The way back I was pushing as hard as possible I knew I wasn't running so I wanted to power through right to the end. At the final turn right before the finish my front wheel hit a soaking wet crack in the road and went right out from under me. Bam! down on my left side I went and slid for 10-15 feet. Arrgh no, I jumped up and my chain was off on the front and back so I was fiddling with that for 20-30 seconds I was only a couple hundred meters from the finish of the bike so I was just shaking my head at how I could be so stupid. The bike only suffered a little nic on the seat, which can be easily replaced so I obviously took the brunt of the impact. My left knee, thigh, forarm and back have quite a bit of road rash which I can handle just fine but my ribs must have landed on my arm because they are really bruised and moving around is difficult. Oh well, all of it will heal soon enough and I think this is the universe telling me that it's time to call it a year.
I was really hoping to have a great race in Calgary but I've decided to roll it over to next year and fully recover my achillies so I can get back into running shape again. So that is the end of the 2012 season for me, a bit disappointing but not the end. I signed up for IM Coeur D'Alene 2013 so I'll start preparing for that in December/January and get a full, deep recovery going into it. Getting older is tough but listening to my body is key to making sure I can still train and race.