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XTERRA West Champs and Quitting

All things considered, I’m happy with my first attempt at Vegas, which is basically the anti-Canadian course.

My goal was to test if my improved health and swim/bike fitness would result in a more respectable run split in the heat (not so much!).

Although I was able to jog the entire course without feeling the need to sit down and cry, which is very positive.

However, after the way my pre and post-race week unfolded I can’t help but feeling – what the F am I doing racing as a pro?

To elaborate on my last FaceBook post:

Wednesday April 9th pick up my new bike – ride it home – ride it around for 1hr – ride it back to the shop to change tires/stem – Thursday am convince Mel to drive me to bike shop to pick it up – 1:30pm (T-30min before my first client) call her again in a panic needing help to figure out how to pack bike in the hard case I borrowed from her – 3:30pm run home so she can take the derailleur off for me (turns out its really easy?!) – work until 9pm – 10:30pm finish packing – 6am Friday Danelle picks me up and we head to the airport – Saturday am pre ride course – Saturday pm epic nap – Sunday 8am struggle through another hot race – Monday 4:30am back to the airport – 2pm arrive home – 3:30pm back to work – 8:45pm get home and make dinner – 8am Tuesday arrive 30min late for swimming and flail around in the water for an hour – back to work until 8pm followed by another 9pm dinner – 8:30am Wednesday watch the bus drive away from me 2min early and am therefore 15min late for my accountant meeting – 11am supposed to mtb ride but haven’t opened bike box yet so spin around on road bike instead – 3pm back to work – stay there until 8:30pm clinic meeting (meet the amazing physiatrist who has joined our team and specializes in complex chronic pain and literally wrote the book on medicolegal assessment and reporting) – 10:45pm get home – Thursday am miss swim practice – 11am attempt trail run, 5:30-6min/km’s feel hard – 1:30pm back to work – 9pm eat sushi I picked up on my walk home from work while watching previously aired Jimmy Fallon episode online – 10pm stare at the view from my couch. I. Am. A. Disaster.

The view from my couch

The view from my couch


As crazy as that week was, the weeks between Maui (end of October) and Christmas holidays were worse.

Through November and December…

I got dropped by the local bike shop I was working with (my only sponsor)

Was told to quit triathlon by my former coach (no hard feelings, he had some very good points)

Questioned my proficiency as a healthcare professional and ability to survive in private practice

Lost my uncle to lung cancer (in Ontario and I was not able to fly home) and was reminded how impossible it is to stay connected with people over the phone

Seriously considered how much happier I would be if I moved back home to Ontario to be surrounded by my family and close friends vs. living alone 4500km away in my apartment that more closely resembles a garage with a bed and a kitchen in it

After a slow November at work decided to re-do my budget…And figured out not only could I still not afford a car, but I couldn’t afford my rent for the next couple of months. Cue the meltdown – phoned my parents sobbing and had to ask for money to make it through until January.

And so I did quit triathlon. I didn’t think I could handle the physical and mental stress of trying to balance a demanding profession with racing and quite literally do everything on my own.

After an extended period of time away from swimming I realized I didn’t want to give it up. Same for running.

Then finally my health started to improve. I could do more challenging sessions week after week without getting sick. I started to believe I could tolerate the higher volume and complexity of triathlon training (vs. single sport focus).

So 10 days before the race, I decided to head to Vegas. Maybe not the best financial decision but I can’t help myself. I love to race.


For most of us, this racing stuff isn’t glamorous. Not many of us earn a living. Not many of us have a healthy social life outside of the sport. Most of us would be better off if we got a real job (or in my case focused entirely on my real job).

But that wouldn’t be very much fun, would it 🙂


However it looks like I will have to stick to my original plan of taking a break from the XTERRA circuit to avoid another catastrophic system failure….and bankruptcy.

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” –Albert Einstein

Instead, I’m looking forward to embracing almost all events beautiful BC has to offer.

Thank You

Trek ProCity for adopting me. Telling me in December – of course we will help you out – was enough to prevent me from packing it in. Also, that Superfly FS is f#$*ing awessssome!

Josiah for giving me a program that actually matches my goals and challenging schedule. And proving that you can be a successful endurance athlete while balancing a job and family.

Mel: 1. For the above pre-race organization. That was a bit crazy 2. All the rides home from swimming that turn into “what should I do with my life” talks 🙂

Danelle: for being the best training/racing/travel partner ever!

Marilyn: for giving me lots of new and more productive things to think about while running vs. how uncomfortable I am. And just generally being an inspiration

Jennie for driving me around this year and your great perspective on balance

Sara …even though it feels like you don’t live in Canada anymore…for honestly sharing your thoughts about your bad string of races (read here). Not only was I relieved I wasn’t the only one feeling a bit hopeless but it gave me some perspective. My immediate reaction to reading that post was – don’t be stupid Sara, you shouldn’t quit…wait a minute…I guess I shouldn’t quit.


So this season will be about matching my goals and endeavours to the amount of support and experience I currently have.

For those of us who love a good motivational video: (good one Shimano)


One Comment Post a comment
  1. Clint Lien #

    Really glad I read this. Thanks Katie.

    April 18, 2014

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