I had mixed emotions heading into this race. I was extremely excited for the opportunity to race at the highest level again, but also not really sure what to expect. After a lot of change and a lot of work to improve my weakness, I really had no idea if it was too soon to expect improvement, if i was going to have my a** handed to me, or be leaps and bounds ahead.
On top of that my run prep had been a bit skewed after my run in with a tree root that left my ankle fat and blue and unable to walk just a few weeks prior. Of course after this there is a trajectory of time that follows of time off, whinging, cursing, healing, and building back up to where you left off. You cant alter time and i needed to buy back more of it, but that was impossible, so the run form would be a bit more unknown race day. I strapped it up and just as long as i could get through unscathed it would be a win on that front.
A smaller than normal field fronted the man made lake in Edmonton for a really cool swim around a little island. Just before the hooter sounded i watched a group of ducks swim very slowly across about a meter in front of us! 35 ppl about to jump on their heads! They cant start us now, these poor things are going to die! I dont know what happened to them cos the hooter went and I was off! I wish them luck! It was a pretty stacked swimmers field that always throws more challenges my way. With my new technique thrashing away i was in touch until around the last 200m. going slughtly offline was costly as fatigue was creeping in and i just fell short before the exit.
Fight or flight kicked in, in T1, as the group headed out of transition..Frantic to get on but a few seconds too slow. So the next 20km was a TT chasing the group ahead. After a tough bike for everyone climbing up a large hill 6 times, losing time on the leaders but holding the chase pack meant the race would be finally won up the road, but a good run would move you up the ranks. My ankle did all I asked of it, gave me a solid run to finish 20th, and success in the 'beat your start number game' ;)
But for now its been back to the daily grind to improve.