Well, the leaves are finally starting to turn, the mornings are getting cool, and the days getting short.  With the arrival of fall comes the end of the race season.

I’m happy to say that I’m really happy with how this season went for me.  It began with a couple of select run races early in spring where I really held back and treated the races as tempo efforts rather than racing all out.  If I learned one thing from taking that approach, it was that you can some good performance feedback on where you’re at that early in the season, without risking injury or having to spend a couple of weeks recovering.  At the Calgary Police Half Marathon and the Calgary Scotiabank 10k my goals were to run strong races without digging into the red zone.  Basically I treated them as tests to see what kind of comfortably hard pace I could put down, so that I could go straight back into training after just a couple days rest.  It worked out well and I think paid off towards the mid season.

Thanks to Dawn and Nikayla Hopkins for this awesome shot!

In June my only race was the Chinook Half Ironman.  I didn’t have the best race there and I’m honestly not
totally sure what happened to me that day.  It’s a challenging course, but certainly not one that I would refer to as overly difficult.  At that race I executed a fine swim, a good bike that I rode well within myself, but when I got to the run I just felt a little more tired than I would have liked.  I managed an even split on the run, but didn’t walk away feeling like I’d had my best day.  I was pretty quick to move on from that race though and in retrospect I’d probably chalk the performance to my nutrition on the run not being as consistent as it probably should have been.  Honestly, I’ve done Chinook three times and I simply didn’t feel like dissecting this “okay” day.  The way I figure, some days you’re the hammer, and some days you’re the nail.

Home sweet home…

Then came the floods.  About a week after Chinook, Calgary was hit with what’s now referred to as the
most costly natural disaster in Canadian history.  I live in a building that was impacted by the flood and was out of my home for about two weeks which wasn’t so bad.  For all of that period, training was basically the last thing on my mind. I know everyone has their own priorities but I honestly think It’s a little unreasonable to spend hours upon hours training for goals that for most of us are just that, goals, while other people in your home city worry about putting their lives and homes back together.  When things go sideways for your neighbour, if you can help, you help.  It turns out digging out basements, cleaning up mud, and tearing down drywall is great cross training.  The floods were a test for our city and I’m happy to say that I think Calgary came through in true western fashion.  It was time to clean up, and move forward.

First time actually racing in a tri with Jon and Dave who raced their first IM’s this year

Credit goes to Paul Anderson and the entire team that made Ironman Calgary 70.3 happen.  I hadn’t signed but as soon as they confirmed it would go ahead, and move the venue, I signed up.  It was a fast course and a course that went along a lot of the routes that I was very familiar with.  I wrote a pretty lengthy post on how to actually race the bike course, so once I did that I figured since I told everyone how to ride it, I’d better do a damn good job of it myself.   Well, turns out I did all right.  I raced to a Half Ironman PB of 4:50, and though the course was a little short, I gave myself enough of a buffer to be satisfied that I would have cracked the sub-5 even had the bike course been the couple km’s longer.
up for the race, and was on the fence about it after the flood after hearing about the state of Ghost Lake.

The awesome team of Pace Beavers at the SeaWheeze Half!

Two weeks after that I flew out to Vancouver to run as a Pace Beaver with all my great Lululemon friends.  Though myself and neither of my fellow beavers Natalie and Rives had no idea how to pace a run group, I think we did a pretty good job!  It’s always a pleasure to be out in Vancouver and running alongside thousands of stoked athletes made my last long slow distance run before the big IM a blast.

My and my AMAZING cheer squad in the rings in Whistler

Finally on August 25 it was time for Ironman Canada, Whistler style.  I’ve already written so much about that race, so I’m not going to go much into it.  It was a great day, and an incredible way to cap off the season.  I was elated with my finish time of 11:21, which was 9 minutes quicker than my first IM in Penticton two years ago.  But with Whistler, I’m putting the IM distance to rest for a little while to focus on shorter distances, pick up some speed, and get a bit more balance with my business and personal life.

I’d now just like to thank all of my readers once more.  I had the pleasure to meet a lot of you at the races this year and seriously, every time someone comes up to me and says they read my blog, it makes my day.  And if anyone feels so inclined as to go for a ride sometime this fall, shoot me a tweet, leave me a comment, or message me on Facebook, and lets get it going!

Next week I’ll be posting on dealing with the post season blues!