It's always an incredible feeling when you've had a really good year of racing and you want to continue to improve but having a good year and continually trying to build on that will eventually run you right into a wall. This year I had a pretty rough Ironman but followed up with an incredible race in Calgary and Peace River and I'm looking at this year as a huge success. They say that nothing changes your life more than having a kid and that is 100% right. All of the sudden swimming, riding and running were luxuries that I simply didn't have a lot of time for. Fortunately I have an incredible wife who has done an amazing job with Ryder and knows that her husband needs some training outlet no matter how small. All my success this year can be credited to Amber, she is a great sounding board and coach and understands what it takes to be successful in racing. She's also had to handle the brunt of the work with a newborn and we have a happy, healthy boy because of her.
This year was a bit of a question mark for me, coming back from an Achilles tear is not something a lot of people can accomplish. I thought all my PRs were in the past but I had a very strong race in Calgary, not a PR but a 'tough to beat' time of 4:18 there on the new course and I hope they keep the course the same next year. The swim was a lot better, the bike a challenging uphill grind there and downhill back, and the run was hilly and tough (as always). I'm certain I can improve on my run there, I was suffering with some calf issues leading up to the race and didn't run as much as I'm used to. I think if they keep the course the same I can beat my PR of 4:11 at GWN, not the same course but Calgary is definitely more difficult even though the bike is short. Peace River is where I set my PR this year, beating 36 year old me by 1:20 almost breaking an hour for the sprint (1:00.57) and still placing 2nd! I was certain I wouldn't win with Joe there but I was only shooting to beat my 2009 time. So now it's time to relax and recover, call it a successful season and think about next year. I'm certain that I won't be doing an Ironman for a while but I'd like to concentrate on shorter distances to see if I can get faster and race really well at the 70.3 distance. I have a rough idea of what I'd like to do next year and a couple 70.3 races are on the radar, it's easier to train for and recover from and Id have more time with family. After all how can I be apart from this face for too long.