Monday, August 24, 2015

Toronto Island Tri and Reflecting

Sunday marked the completion of my second triathlon and my second win of the 2015 season. The MultiSport Canada Toronto Island Triathlon had huge personal significance to me. First, because I won the race in 2013 - when I was at the peak fitness of my triathlon career. And, second, because it marked six months from my knee surgery. Realizing this led me to reflect on where I was, both two years ago and six months ago.

Thinking back on the Toronto Island Triathlon in 2013, I recall feeling like I was soaring through the sky, so happy and carefree compared to today. I felt untouchable, unbeatable, fast, fit and like I could achieve anything that I wanted to. I had met and even exceeded all the goals I had for that season, the main one being to qualify for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. I couldn't soar forever, unfortunately. Although I am thankful it wasn't much worse, injuries, surgery, circumstance, and even people, have brought me down since then. And, even to this day, I feel like I am fighting for everything I have that is dear to me. In comparison, though, I feel like this state is more "real life" than the one of the past. And, what feels better about my win on Sunday than my win in 2013 is that, even amongst the stress, I can push through and succeed.

The other significance of this race is that, exactly 6 months prior, I was lying in a hospital bed, listening to the surgeons say that I would likely not run more than 10km ever again, and that the likelihood of me racing triathlon ever again was virtually impossible. Now, my story is not like those of others who were told they were never walk again, and then they go on to win huge cycling tours or compete at the Olympics. However, it is a significant story in my mind. And I am proud of the patience, consistency, hard work and determination I have put in to get to where I am today.

For the race report, this about sums it up: Post-race on YouTube

I also want to mention that my sister, Sara, finished 3rd in her age group! She was 3rd out of the water, then passed a girl on the bike and ended up only 20s behind the 2nd place finisher. She only just got back into training in the past 6 months (after taking a break to have her wonderful daughter, Maddy) and it's so great to see her at the top of her age group.

Lastly, congratulations to all the other great athletes out there! Especially those I have been lucky enough to get to know. It's nice to see or hear about their hard work and watch it pay off at the Toronto Island: Mikael Staer-Nathan, David Lamy, Claire Vendramini, Dan Johnson, Mike Mandel, Phaedra Kennedy and Rob Lines.

A special thank you goes out to:

- The volunteers, officials and race organizers
- Kim Lumsdon, my swim coach
- Adam, you are the reason I never stop pushing
- My parents, Maddy, Kevin, Lauren (thanks for the photos!), spectators and fellow racers for being there to cheer me on
- My sponsors: High Rock Capital Management, WattsUp Cycling, The Urban Athlete, Altra Running Shoes, Fitt1st Bike Fitting

A few pictures:

Ms Maddy is getting a ride on Nonno's shoulders. Ideal for spectating.

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