Friday, December 4, 2009

Day 4 of chocolate calendar

Firstly, In true NTC fashion, I'd like to welcome the sun back... mr. sun: It has been a while- I was beginning to forget what you looked like :).
I thought I'd better write a post tonight, just in case any of you were concerned about whether I made it through to my last day of classes. Well I did. whew, I made it! Spring Slacker Semester here I come!
This semester was a toughie right until the end though (if you can call it the end since I still have a term paper and 3 finals left.. oh well- close enough :). By thursday I was so exhausted that I completely bonked 3.9k into a 4.5k recovery swim. New low...
I went to my magic chinese medicine acupuncturist (Christina) that night- and she said that over this semester I've gone from having a good strong pulse, to practically no pulse. Poor self :(. 5:30 swims just don't work well for me because I can never fall asleep early enough. Over the past couple years we've figured out that I'm really predictable: 3 sleeps in a week around 6.5 or less hours of sleep= sick. Just about every time. By the time today rolled around, I was so used to feeling shitty that I forgot about the 'train smart to stay consistent' rule. I hadn't even considered not going to swim practice this morning. But when I rolled out of bed, I found a text message on my phone telling me to go back to sleep. And to do the swim OYO later. Its amazing what a couple extra hours of sleep can do for you. I went from having a sore throat, sinus congestion, and being borderline mental breakdown material- to having a great day! Thanks coach, you got my back!

Someone else who also has my back is Dr. Murray- Kirsten & Lauren's (and now my) chiropractor. He's fantastic. He seems to have determined the cause of my stress fracture, my lower back & bum/tailbone pain, and pretty much everything else that is wrong with me in my first session. In the first few minutes with any doctor/physio/chiro/massage etc.. you just know whether they're good or not- y'know? Dr. Murray is really really good. I've known for quite a few years that one of my hips is higher than the other. Physio temporarily fixed it by yanking really hard on my short leg, but Dr. Murray was the first person I've seen who is fixing WHY my one hip is higher. Turns out that my left hip gets stuck, so I have very limited range of motion in that joint. Not only does that really really inhibit my running, make one hip higher than the other, and tighten up all my lower back muscles which pulls on my tailbone (leading to bum pain as well as back pain), but it puts all the stress while running onto my foot.. which leads to stress fractures..

I think this is all really cool :).

Even though this is the first time I've ever worked with a chiropractor, I've been considering going onto chiropractor school when I'm all grown up for a while now. Chiropractors, especially the good ones, just seem so smart. From what he told me, it makes me think about this summer. My back pain was really bugging me around the time of Canada Games/Worlds. At Canada Games my bike, and the first half of my run were a complete disaster. Then I randomly had a complete turn around 3k into the run, and managed to make up 40ish seconds to get on the podium. After the race I had the worst tail-bone pain ever! It felt like I'd slipped on ice and cracked it. Kinda makes me think that my poor running, and the pain afterwards were all related! This is cool- because it's all fixable! (the only problem is that the fixing part is mostly through active release which is not very enjoyable).

On another note: The second half of my swim ended up being in the dive tank due to lack of pool space. It went something like this:
"Soooooo hot in here.. I think my brain is going to explode. Or I will throw up. One or the other.... Oh well last 100m and I'm done the best averages..
Oh no two more board-short-wearing-public-swimmers just jumped in.. aaaaaaaaannd they're swimming the wrong direction.. quick Abort! Abort! To the other side of the lane!.. whew close one...
Coming up to the wall with 50 left... and are you kidding me!! Big-Bum-Breastroker decided to push off ahead of me. I was part way through my flip turn for goodness sakes!! Must get around. Way way around.
15m left- and oh no!! Death Trap ahead!! Head-up/glasses-on doggy paddler, and whalelike water runner are closing in from both sides! think skinny thoughts..
Made it!
soooooo hot.."

Thanks for swimming the last 2km with me Lauren.

And Way to go Austin for the great 10k TT on the track. Sounds like Rachael got a pb too! Alright team :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Pretty Cool:

I heard this song on the radio a while ago during a program on mashups- and thought it was craaaaaaazzzzzzzyyy!!
So well done.
A friend just tracked it down for me, so check it out:
Hurts like Teen Spirit

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Random thoughts from yesterday and today:

Last night we had a team sushi & movie night. It was fun- although the majority of us ditched out on the movie to give the cross bikes some TLC, and get to bed early. Oh so HP. (really its just that we already saw New Moon as soon as it came out ha)
After coming home from sushi, I was in a small panic because there was no chocolate to be found in my house. So I gave in, and opened the box of Jelly Belly's Steph gave me. Jelly Belly's are my #1 favorite candy (candy doesn't include chocolate obviously). At training camp 2006, three girls and I went through 2 cosco sized bags in 3 days. No joke. I am fairly certain that is 8 pounds of jelly beans... 3 days.. How I managed to survive the ensuing sugar crash I'll never know.. Now I stick to sport beans at training camps (they're not nearly as addicting).

I've decided that the equilibrium state of my condo is consta-mess. honestly it seems like regardless of how often I clean and tidy it falls back into it's natural state of disaster. I ended up staying up a bit too late last night, after attempting to fix up my cross-bike, to clean up my house for the 50th time this week. Luckily I found a hidden stash of chocolate chips to hold me over (don't worry- I put away the Jelly beans upon discovering the chocolate). But then my building's fire alarm went off at 5am. Urg. It took them an hour to get it off because we were having flooding in the garage or something. I fell back to sleep by 7am, and woke up for weights at 7:30. So I'm on an over-tired high right now.

Today was XC nats! The triathlete's there (that I know) were Simon, Kyle, Little Gabrielle, Dorelle, Alexander, Jordan B, Joanna, and Paula! I think thats it.. (hopefully I didn't forget anyone)? Anyways looks like everyone did really well. Kendra won the senior female race which was pretty fantastic (in August I predicted she'd be the one to look out for- nbd).

My foot is coming along.. I think I'm at about 8 weeks post-injury now. Still haven't started running yet, but today I did the full training with the team! Weights, big cross bike in the rain, and then swim. Holy bonked right now batman. Y'know that feeling that you get after a day of skiing/snowboarding? And your eyes and face feel hot and windburnt..Thats what I'm feeling a le moment. But coming from a normal canadian climate, I find it pretty cool that we're riding outdoors at this time of year. In Calgary you can't ride until like.. June. And to make things even better- the sky was blue yesterday!! Almost the whole day! It had been almost a month since the sun last came out. I didn't have to turn on my headlights while driving at noon for once! So I thought that meant that today would be nice too. But alas.. was I ever mistaken.. The perma-dark & rain returned for my first X-ride of the season. I wore as many layers as I possibly could, and surprisingly stayed quite warm. My toes and fingers were numb by the end, and I was soaked- but nothing unbearable. It was actually really fun!

Man do I suck at cross biking though. I have the 'riding on the road to get to the trails' part down. But when it comes to single track riding... ha. At least everyone always knows where I am because of my constant yelling/screaming.
I discovered this way of getting around the trails decently fast by just always keeping one foot unclipped, and scooching along like a scooter! (don't tell patrick).
Ok ok.. I do try to Ride my bike as much as possible.. but half way through today's ride my front brake broke (thats what you get with tiagra & sora components), and my back brakes were out of pads, so I really did need to brake somehow! When I arrived back at the parking-lot at least half the team were dragging their shoes along the pavement to stop too. It was kinda funny watching us all try to stop sans wiping out.

Tomorrow is water run, spin, grocery shopping at Red Barn, start & hopefully complete term paper, anatomy work annnnnd then we're onto the last week of classes before Exams! Hope everyone in Guelph is having a great night. And good luck to those starting exams.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

we're the real deal

Chere Marianne:
We're famous! Made the ITU highlight reel. Although I do admit you got more camera time than me (see 40- 45 seconds). My only claim to fame is the footage of the dive start. (My bum is the farthest one from the camera (36 seconds)). Good times team. :)

Team Relay World Champs

Friday, November 6, 2009

3.4

Only 3.4 weeks left of school until exams. (whew huuuuuuuge sigh of relief). Ever since the beginning of the semester I've just been trying to survive until december. Killer semester ends in december. Only have to swim 5:15 mornings until december. Should be fully back into training by december.. oh and december means christmas of course. There's just so many things to look forward to!
I've never really been injured before. So this has been a bit of an eye opener for me. I've discovered that not training during off- season is excccccelllent. But not training (because of injury/school taking over my life), when I feel like I should be training makes me anxious, and grumpy and thereby depressed. and after a while getting fat (and slow) becomes less fun.
A few weeks ago when I was hardly doing anything trainingwise with the team, I showed up for my first weights session feeling like a depressed basket-case. But during weights I had so much fun. I came out of the session happier than I'd been in weeks. Like way way way happier. So I realized that training isn't something that I do just because its what I do. It Is what makes me happy. And being with the group makes me happy too.
So I've had really great attitudes going into all my workouts lately because of this discovery. I even go to my super early morning practices with a positive attitude because I am thankful to be there- even if 5:15 is nowhere near morning. Ok moderately positive attitude.

I realize that I have completely failed in the quotes of the week department, so I'll put one in now:

"never die easy"
- unknown

Thats all. I didn't really analyze that quote in any way.. but it sounds Badass.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Quote of The Week

Ok so as promised in ma previous post- here's my quote of the week. I was talking to possibly my favorite training buddy of all time last night (she should come back and train with me soon), and at one point she says,

-"aren't you excited for this season! There are going to be so many U23 girls this year. Nationals is going to be so fun!"

-me: "Yay! but you're going to have to show me how it's done since you're the experienced one and all.."

-"Oh don't even worry about it- Tri boys are easy to flirt with!"


so there ya go- The transition from Junior racing to U23 isn't nearly as hard as everyone makes it seem. I was worrying for nothing!


Since both my quotes of the week so far have been more like conversations- here's a bonus one.

" Time Flies when you're living." - Jasper Blake
( go check out his blog because a) he's the funniest triathlete on the planet, and b) he's getting ready for Xterra worlds right now!)

One of life's unexplained mysteries

I've decided to include a Quote of the week section into my blog. We will see if I find one for every week or not, but thats my goal at least. I've got a different best quote for this week that I will post shortly, so this next quote will stand in for my September quote of the month.

Overheard at the UVic bibliocafe:
A tuesday morning, late september

Student #1: Hey man- did you make it out last night?
Student #2: Ya- it was awesome- I don't even remember how I got home!
Student #1: Hey- you came out with us Saturday night too right?
Student #2: Ya! I went out every night this weekend! ended up pulling an all nighter Saturday night... (more talk about events of the weekend, hookups and such..)
Student #2: The only crappy thing is that I feel like I'm getting sick again. I just got over my last cold a couple days ago!
Student #1: Me too! My throat and head are really starting to hurt today- And I was sick all last week!! This seems to happen every september!!
Student #2: Makes no sense!!! Whats with september anyways??

hmm good question students 1 and 2- why are university students alll sick alllllll september long?? Guess its just one of life's unexplained mysteries.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dear October, we have gotten off to a rough start.. redo?

.. It must be Karma..
I'm not sure where to start to be honest.. I guess when it comes down to it, the root of all our problems is Anatomy 141. Death course. no joke. I mean its very interesting, but I've been investing 15+ hours a week outside of actual class and lab time- just studying for this one course! Its like the ultimate life ruiner- in a text book. Despite our (I say our because this is a twinly story- not just my story) attempts to NOT give ourselves absolutely killer academic schedules- it appears we have majorly failed this semester round.
Not only is this course very mean academically it also happens to be held at 8:30am Tues, Wed, and Fri mornings. Right in the middle of our three most important swim workouts of the week. (and yes it is a required course, and no it isn't offered at any other time, and no- no other online anatomy courses are transferable- believe me we went through that too).
Its been a struggle to find other options to ensure that we're still able to have a swim focus this fall since we cant be with the team. Alex and I threw about tons of different training options- attempting to create a schedule that kept us in the pool enough, but still allowed us to attend the rest of our NTC workouts. For a while it looked as if Alex and I would end up just having to train alone for the semester. At the moment I'm dealing with the after affects of an Australian foot injury. I'm going in for a bone scan on Tuesday, but until then I have to assume its a stress fracture. So that's been a pain. Since I'm only able to water run, that meant Alex would be doing the running and biking solo.
In a little fit of frustration- Alex said, "maybe we should just quit training entirely since we're barely surviving school in the off season as it is.... and just get really fat!"

She didn't really mean it.. honest..

but apparently the Karma gods don't understand sarcasm.
One twin can't be healthy if the other one is injured- so to even things out Alex flipped over her cross-bike handlebars and broke her collarbone.
Ironically our test today (in anatomy) had a lot to do with the pectoral girdle and clavicles, so at least we both knew what was going on!
So now it looks like Alex got her wish and can go get fat. And soon enough she'll be able to join me in the dive tank for some water running. If in fact I do have a stress fracture- I will post a picture of me with my air cast, and her with her arm sling. sigh ..We already get lots of funny looks walking around campus together as it is- since we look the same and all..

In the end Patrick and Island swimming came to our rescue- so fortunately the two of us will be part time islanders until december. Well I will.. by the looks of things Alex will be out until then. 5:30 mornings are really not my steez. Not oooooonnne bit. But I'm willing to throw in a couple per week until worstsemesterofalltime is over.

For now- I Hope everyone has a great thanksgiving!
And good luck to all the Vikes, and all canadian triathletes around the world running Cross this season. Huge Congrats to both Sarah-Anne, and Jess for their phenomenal races- and for making it onto flotrack! And good luck to all the Canadians in KONA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Season Review

I had a very brief chat with coach Neil the other day that went something like this:
NH: So How did you feel about your season?
me: Great!
NH: Really? so you had some races that you were happy with?
me: yup!
NH: Which ones?
me: weeeeeeelllll eerrrrr Patco, and ummmm (pause to think a while...) errrrrr I guess Worlds.. kind of...but I could've done better... uhhh ya just Patco really.
And that's when I came to the conclusion that my season actually sucked!

so why when I thought about my season as a whole did I feel happy with it??? The past couple days I thought that over. And I came up with this:
I think the first half of my season was really strong, but then by the end I just didn't have the energy to finish as strong as I had been earlier in the summer. My running at both Canada Games and Worlds was rather sub-par. And I'm disappointed that I was sick at nationals- but not much you can do about that. So those are those are the negatives.
...buuuuuuutttt...
I am pleased with my season because I feel like this past year I was finally racing at a level that represents my ability. I knew I had the ability to win Patco. check! I knew with luck I could win the Canadian series. Check! I knew I could become a front pack swimmer, and a leader in the bike pack- and I have accomplished both! I knew I could come top ten at Worlds and I did that too. Check, check, check. So that's an awful lot of positives!! Before this year I couldn't even check off one of those.

So I think that makes it approximately 5 to 3 in favor of being pleased with my season ;).

I may not have had any perfect races but thats probably a good thing- I think I'm getting pretty good at always leaving myself loads of room to improve. And all in all I was so fortunate to have a season like this one- no crashes (my 3 transition crashes this year are just embarrassing and therefore don't count!!), and only one sick race!! I wish I could say the same for Alex- but I think she had a great experience in her first U23 race, and is ready to kick butt 2010.
Overall feeling of racing 2009: Great!

And now I'm going to learn how to be a champion for 2010 from Ian's blog.

oh and on a side note I am currently attempting to round up some partnerships/sponsorships for this coming year because I am broke and have no more money for new shoes and wetsuits and stuff.. See take a look at this: My suit is missing something...

So if anybody has any tips I'd love the advice :)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Good tune whilst homeworking

Favorite Pump up song is still undecided.. but this song still makes my top 5 all time happy songs:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Junior Worlds 09


That was it! My last ever Junior race...
All in all I was pretty happy with how it went down. I mean minus the last km of course haha. But otherwise It was a really great experience. Even though we were still training pretty hard a couple weeks out from the race, our volume dropped from approx 23 hours per week to about 18. (I can't give you exact numbers because my workoutlog is temporarily suspended for the off season). I think the decrease in volume was really good for me because by the time we arrived in Australia I felt rested for the first time going into a race since Patco early on in the season. Training in Australia was great, and I'd been healthy for a really long time. But then, the night before the race, I managed to come down with Kirsten's cold. I was bummed- but not too worried about it because a) I get sick so easily that I'm getting used to it by now, and b) it was just a head cold so it shouldn't have much affect on my race. I woke up a bunch of times in the night with my throat so sore I could hardly swallow, but then when I woke up in the morning my throat was feeling a lot better and my only real issue was a lot of sinus pain/congestion. I tried to round up some tylenol sinus, but in the end we ran out of time to double check whether it was legal or not- so I ended up racing sans drugs. Which was good since I spent the 3hours after the race getting drug tested!

I was lined up right beside the second place finisher, Emma Jackson, on the startline which was nice, but we both had pretty rough swims- so I'm thinking our spot wasn't the greatest. I was stuck fighting for at least 400 if not 500 meters of the swim. The girl on my left kept grabbing the neck of my suit and pulling me backwards, so there was a lot of internal swearing going on by me that whole swim. By the time I found clear (enough) water, a small gap had already formed and Emma and I were left to try to catch back up. I ended up exiting the water really disappointed because it looked as if I was second pack even though I know I could have easily hung on to the lead group. I had a quick transition, hammered past all the girls who were fumbling around with their shoes, and all of a sudden I realized that the small group ahead of me was the front pack! I knew that I didn't have long to catch up before they got organized, so I really hammered the first turnaround and caught on to the back fairly quickly. The first lap of the bike was sketchy though! None of us had ever really rode the course before and there were lots of turns and chicanes. At one point the course switched from the left side of the road to the right, and since I was mid-pack I didn't know it was coming, and was very very nearly forced into the median. But I survived the bike! It was a pretty relaxed ride actually. Lots of sprinting in and out of corners- but otherwise not very fast. I came to the realization that at races like this those who push the pace are the ones that have podium potential, whereas everyone else doesn't really have a lot to gain from working the bike, so they are content to just sit in. And if by chance some great runners come up from chase pack- then to them it is only a place or two different. I didn't really know where I stood in this race. I wanted the pack to speed up, but at the same time I didn't want to be the only one doing work like I did in Patco. So I just did my share, and tried to stay at the front as much as possible- oh and tried to avoid the sketchy riders!
T2 was sweet. Somehow me and Alison came out together 1,2 and lead the first little while. First women out on the run at Worlds woot! The two leaders soon flew right by though. And I found myself in third. For quite a while actually! That was fun. I had watched Gomez and Brownlee the day before head out on their 10km run not holding anything back, and I just thought- this is Worlds man- and I only have to run 5km, so I'm going to run my legs off. And I thought "run like Brownlee" most of the way. My stupid orthotics almost killed me though! Geez! I tried to dump water on my head to cool off- but it went in my shoes and my orthotics made it so slippery that I was just sliding around in my shoes. So I had no push off. no power. I couldn't even dump water on me. I very very very VERY nearly just took my shoes off and ran barefoot because it was throwing off my stride so badly. (so a different type of orthotics will be required for next year!)
My arms were feeling pretty lactic right off the start too- which isn't a very promising sign (i don't know why it was my arms..), but otherwise my pace wasn't too uncomfortable. That is until 800m to go- when everything went lactic. Like complete, 100m backstroke type lactic- and I was struggling. Shoot. I don't know if taking my gel on the bike would have helped me or not, or perhaps drinking more, or being able to dump water on me..but regardless I had hit the wall. And then with ~600m to go Alison decided to pass me, and I all I could think of was that there was no way I could keep up until the finish line. And so thats where I'm most disappointed. I'm not disappointed that I went out hard- because I really do think I could have finished at that pace on a different day. I'm not disappointed that I died with 800m to go even though if I had gone out easier I might not have died at all and finished a few places higher. I'm disappointed that when Alison ran by me- I didn't tell myself to stick with her just until the top of the hill- and then from there- just until the corner- and then from there just until the finish.. instead all I could think of was the finish line being too damn far away.. shoot. So there ya go- another lesson learnt. But when I look back on a race I always think I could have maybe given it a little more- but at the time.. ha that probably was all I had, so I won't get too upset about it.
Buuuutt on a more positive note-coming into the race I thought that a top 20 finish would be realistic, so I made it my goal to come top 10. And I did! I also haven't worked much on my run this year- and instead focused a lot more on my swim and bike. And I don't think I would ever have been able to be a Worlds front pack swimmer until now- or even been able to chase down front pack on the bike until now, so I'm really happy about that too. And like I said earlier- Now I just want to make another national team so I can give it another go!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Gold Coast 09!


Ok this is a test to see if my brain is back to working normally. After skipping sleeping the night after the race (we had to leave hotel at 4am.. and I had yet to pack after the after-party), then flying all the next day and night (slash who knows what day or night we were actually flying in) and sleeping rather minimally on the plane, I was very very out of it when I returned to Vic. (sleeping sitting up makes lower back hurt/is borderline impossible, lying on tray= bum cramping and pins&needles in lower legs, and sleeping on teammate's laps is good except for when they're watching funny movies and laugh every few minutes). I then stayed awake until bedtime Vic time yesterday, and didn't feel too tired- but I had zero attention span, no motor skills, and great difficulty communicating coherently all day long. I currently have half finished projects (partially built bikes, partial e-mails, piles of clean and waiting to be clean laundry..) strewn all over my house, waiting to be finished by a less A.D.D me. So if this blog post is tricky to read- then I blame it on the jet lag.

Anyways Australia was awesome. Best Trip Ever. That pretty much sums it up. The race was really cool too. Everyone says that Worlds is such a great and different experience, but I don't think I really realized how different it would be. I went into it thinking that in the end- it was just another race. But really I think I learnt way more than I was expecting too- and now I just want to make another national team, so I can give it another go!

We flew to Australia Sept 3rd, and I didn't race until Sept 13th, so we had a fair amount of time to train and acclimatize to Aus before the race. It wasn't until the U23 race- two days before ours that I even felt like I was there to race, we were just too busy living the life. Here's the views from the Jr. Girls hotel room:


Since it was spring there it got dark pretty early, so we were all sleepy by like 9 every night. But the sun came up so early that none of us were sleeping in past about 6:30. We'd leave for swimming at 8, so before then most of the team could be found at our little coffee shop just down the road before workouts every morning.
We couldn't go to the beach, or do much walking around the days leading up to the race, but we found ways to entertain ourselves. And we did manage to get into the ocean for a few minutes one day. Check out our jr. team's 20Q videos on Ian's Blog if you'd like to see what we got up too..


The last block of training in Victoria before we left had been pretty rough for me mentally because the season had felt sooo incredibly long. And I struggled through yet another Vic training camp. But the change of scene and the excitement when we got to the Gold Coast fixed me so that I was ready to go.
Here's our pool at the Australian sports centre, where we did most of our rides, and where we ran one day!



Like I said- the racing was really great too. I'll go into more details in my race report. Watching the U23's (Paula came thirrrrrrrrrrddddd!!!!!!!!!!!) fired me up/made me very nervous, and by race day I was ready to race. I would love to go back again sometime and actually go to the beach! And see more of Oz, and visit with Steph (we only got to hang out for ~ 1hour during the women's race)!
Thanks for the cheering and the support, and the good times, and Ian's dancing, and the great admin team!

and as a sidenote for the Jr/U23 team I vote the themes for this trip were: T-Swift's you belong with me, the guys': "Craaazzyy B****es", and "Doin' work", Connor wishing he had a gun, good coffee with little coffee bears, Water bears.. sometimes Land bears, Ian's dancing, and "can you push the white button for me?" ha.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Falling on my head, BC domination and good stories like that!




So I just decided that I better make the relay race report as a separate post from the real race report, so that everyone doesn't get mad at me again for writing too much. The relay was by far the most intense, exciting, nerve wracking event I have ever done! Ha it was soooooo much fun. We knew we had the potential to win, and we really really wanted that win, but we also knew that it would be a close one. We all had our part to play-We had to use lots of strategies. We knew we had to get a lead on team Ontario, so that I wouldn't have to be running head to head with speedy ms. Joanna. Alison lead out, and her goal was to work together with the other leaders to drop Dorelle. They ended up making a few seconds on the bike, but mostly Sarah and Alison just pulled away by 10~15 seconds on the run. Then Christine's goal was to work with Stevie if she was close enough after the swim, and if not- to just TT the whole bike and to gain as much time as possible on Domnicka from Ontario. She ended up TTing the whole thing- but I think she still had one of the fastest bike splits! She said her bike finally felt like her old biking self which was great. And she made up tons of time.
I was so nervous waiting for the handoff- because my job was just to solo the whole race. And hopefully to have at least 30 seconds on Joanna before the start of the run because we estimated that she would run about 30seconds faster. So many BC teams came down to watch, and the whole cycling team was cheering for me at the handoff. I didn't know how much of a gap I had, so I just had to try and go as fast as I could the whole way. It was hard because since I was all alone I never knew if I was swimming fast or not, or if they were gaining on me or not.
Heading out onto the bike was where I crashed! it was sooooo embarrassing. You see in warm up I had been practicing jumping onto my bike in a harder gear than usual so that I would be able to hammer right from the get go. But that didn't work out because since I was just practicing- I wasn't using elastics, and so when I went to stand up on my pedals I got one of my shoes stuck on the pavement, and I flipped myself right over the handlebars. That kind of hurt. I was wearing lots of clothes though, so I didn't get much road rash- just a scrape on my elbow and my bum. But anyways in the race when I jumped on my bike, one of my elastics broke! I didn't want to have a re-run of warm-up, so I was calmly trying to flip my shoe over so that it wouldn't hit the ground, and I wasn't paying attention to where I was going, and I rode right into the curb, and flipped over onto the grass! Two crashes on the same corner in the span of like an hour! Ugh and this time it was right in front of everyone who was cheering for me. I felt like an idiot. Patrick was flipping out because he thought I might have messed up my gears- or my brake pads or something, but luckily nothing was wrong and I got up and going again super fast.
My bike was actually really strong- I think I gained time on the other girls! I was too scared to ever look back, but I saw how much of a lead I had at the turn-around, and I realized that I had loads of time on Rachel, and even more time on Joanna. The run felt rough. 2k is a hard distance because it is short enough that you should be able to just go all out the whole way, but coming off the bike you feel so terrible that 2k actually feels really long. I went hard, but I didn't ever need to sprint or anything because I had so much time, so I relaxed into it for the middle section of the run. Regardless I was totally beat after the sprint. I had worked really hard in the real race a few days earlier, so the relay finished me off. We had lots of group hugs at the end, but the other girls were kind of holding me up haha. And then we had interviews with TSN and stuff which was pretty cool. I think our guys team did a much better job of the interviewing than us though ha.
The boys race was equally as nerve racking and exciting. We ended up winning by a lot- but it was super close between us and Ontario the whole way. The Nova Scotia team's chain fell off in T1 of the third leg, and I think that might have changed up the race a little because Nova Scotia could have maybe worked with Ontario to catch back up to BC. But luck was on our side today.
Barb got some great photos! Of the individual race here:
and the relay here.
Check 'em out!
oh and PS. Our development guys did Amazing in Kelowna!! Paula came third to Lauren and Kathy. Andrew Fifth, Austin 7th (2nd U23 to A-Mac) . And Alex came 3rd U23 in her first Olympic despite dropping her gels on both the bike and the run, and having to tough out the ensuing major bonkage!

Canada Games Race report





Heyyyy! I'm back in Vic now after the big Canada Games adventure. I've been pretty exhausted these past couple days, so despite my huuuuuge list of things that have to be done before I leave for worlds, I've mostly just been lying around, doing some light training, creeping facebook pics, laundry, grocery shopping, wasting more time on facebook.. that kinda stuff. And now blogging! Not necessarily a high priority on my to do list, but more fun.
Canada Games was Awesome! Because it was a smaller field, smaller race.. I wasn't really expecting it to be so exciting, or so much fun. But it was a really great experience- so thanks Patrick, and Barb, and everyone who had to work so hard to get everything organized for that. My individual race wasn't the greatest physically. I'm not really sure what was up. I didn't sleep At All the night before (like maybe 1 hour max) so that may have played a part, but I think that just happens sometimes. You can't always be 'on' for every race, just like you can't be 'on' for every workout. I started the race with a great swim despite the huge waves! I was 100% in front pack right up until the last 40meters where the leaders pulled ahead a bit. I'm having trouble finding the results, but I think I was only out of the water 10ish seconds back from the leaders, so that felt great. Alison kept knocking off my helmet for all our events- Jeez Alison!! ha it wasn't her fault, but I lost some more time trying to find my helmet and sunglasses. We were focusing on team tactics for this race which was really cool because we've never done that before. So Alison and Christine were waiting up for me. Luckily I was up with them almost right away, and together we headed out on the ride with Dorelle, Stevie and Sarah-Anne. Since we've all trained together before our pack was super efficient. But my legs weren't there at all! I had to take smaller pulls than everyone else because I could just tell that I was slowing our pack down. I took a gel on the last lap of the bike with hopes of boosting my energy. And then the run started and I could tell that I wasn't myself at all. I pushed myself through the hardly moving feeling for the first lap, but I was barely holding on, and then as I came around the turn-around last I think my mind and body gave out on me, and I quickly lost time to the other girls. I knew that I should be able to stay with them easily, but I just couldn't get going. And then half-way through the run I had a complete turn around. Again I don't know what happened, but all of a sudden Kyla was back. And I was shocked because I have never gone from feeling that terrible, to good so suddenly before. And I didn't know what to do because I felt like I had already lost my race. I decided to go for a medal still, so I really began to pick up the pace. But it looked completely impossible. With only a lap to go I didn't truly believe that I had a chance of making up such a huge gap. But then I passed Patrick and I think he could tell that I was feeling better and he yelled at me to give it my all- and to go get that medal. So I kicked it up another notch, and all of a sudden I was gaining on Christine. I just kept pushing and with 600 meters to go I had caught her! I just kept on sprinting though- not daring to look back. I finished 15 seconds ahead- totally frying my legs. In retrospect I know that if I had been able to keep contact I could have still been in the race for the win, but I'm still proud of how I did out there. I don't know if I've ever had to dig that deep to catch up before. I definitely never worked that hard in any of my wins earlier this season. So if a bronze was the best I had that day then I guess I'd better be satisfied with that.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Race Report?? how about Walk Report..

First of all- I didn't get sick! I thought I was doomed- but nope IIIIIIIiiii beat it! haha take that nasty cold that is taking down the whole group.
Today was the Victoria Self Transcendence Tri- an annual nondrafting race. I have to admit I was a little nervous. Not so much about the results.. because it's just a training race, but I guess I was just scared of sucking. (mainly due to the non-drafting part). TTing on the bike has always been my weak point, so non-drafting races aren't really my specialty. I know my biking has improved a ton this year though! I think I've gone from one of the weaker cyclists in the Junior Series, to one of the stronger ones, but still.. I can't help but equate non-drafting to death.
Anyways..
At 7:05 am we were lined up girls and guys together in the water for the start. Since it was just a free for all, we were all shoving our way to the left side to get the best line and the best draft. That turned out to be a gongshow. After two strokes I hadn't caught any water-only bodies, and then my turn came as both kids to either side of me simultaneously dunked me, and the girl behind me swam right over top. Luckily I could still touch the bottom, so I popped back up again, emptied my goggles and somehow found my way back onto Alison's feet. Perfect. She pulled us right up to the tail end of the guy's pack (+Christine and Hilary). So we chilled there for awhile. (Maybe chill isn't the best word.. I actually was working my butt off the whole swim ha). Then I noticed that Alison and her draftee (my word for the guy pulling Ali..) were heading a bit off course, so I took a straighter line and beat them around the buoy. Alison was quickly right back at my side, so I dropped back again so that we weren't slowing each other up (that makes me sound like the good guy- ha I also dropped back to get on her feet again), and we made our way into the beach.
A little gap formed in between me and the pack in the last 75 meters, but I came out of the water only about 5 seconds back from Alison and Christine, so I think that qualifies as my best swim so far this year.

Transition was a little messy- my helmet and glasses had been knocked off my bike, so I had to search for those, and then as I was running out one of the first time racers realized he needed to get something out of his bag, and blocked off the whole exit with his bike. I stopped myself from careening into him, and a little, "uhh excuse me?" got him moving out of the way pretty quickly. I jumped on my bike with the other girls still in sight. I think I must be more used to having to catch up out of T1 because within less than a minute I had flown by all the girls! (except hilary). My lead lasted all of ten seconds, and then Christine passed me back, and we soon found ourselves in a little non-drafting draft pack of four: Alison, Christine, Stevie and I. We tried to stagger, but the road wasn't very wide, and non of us were willing to drop back, so we were riding all in the span of about a van's length and width- rather than having a van's length between us like we were supposed to. ha woops. We soon caught up to Hilary drafting..uh..riding with two of the Manitoba boys, and they joined our non-drafting pack.

Annnnnd theeeeeeen about 6ish Km into the ride, down this back-country road, we all heard my tire go flat. We were just cresting a big painful hill, so my first thought was, "oh dang!", then my second thought was, "thank god" because that hill was Really Hurting ha! But then I realized that I'd been doing well, and I'd been feeling great, and that maybe I had a win in me after all- so then I was disappointed again. I hope this means I got my 'flat tire whilst racing' out of the way for the season.. or the next couple seasons.
I also realized that I was 6ish km out in the middle of nowhere, and that I had a long walk in bike shoes left to do. So clip-clopping along the side of the rode I made my 75minute walk allll the way back to the race site.
I was shocked to see how spread out the girls had become as they passed me. I hadn't felt like it would spread out at all seeing as we were practically drafting. But Christine had rightfully assumed her place up front, while Alison and Stevie followed not too far behind.
I thought about what made some people ask if I was ok, while others didn't. I made a friend with a cyclist named Jerry( I think?) who was out cheering on his son in law. I cheered on Tom who was doing his first tri today. I said thank you to all the volunteers.
And a half an hour after the junior race had finished I made it back to the race site. I couldn't finish the race because I'd never made it to the turn around on the bike, so I handed in my chip and called it a day. It wasn't a complete disappointment though because I think I was feeling good enough to have stayed up with Christine on the bike. I'm sure that wouldn't have been the case if it was a flat course! But seeing as hills play in my favor I think maybe I could have pulled off a decent non-drafting( ok a little bit of drafting) race after-all!
I haven't seen the results yet, but Congrats to Christine who's been running great these last couple weeks- and won! And to Jeff who ran his way up to first as well. And Aaron who would have actually won if Jeff had been racing his real age category. And everybody else who finished!
Oh and Pat for his relay!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Heat Training

Ola!
Just thought It has been awhile now since nationals, so I should probably switch up the blog post. I don't know about everywhere else in Canada but Vic's summer has been HOT! We are going onto our third week in the 30's. Very un-Victoria like weather. They are saying it's the hottest since 1941 or something like that. Vancouver hit an all time record high the other day. I would give anything for this kind of heat were I at my cabin, spending the days on the beach, or on the boat. But in Vic I'm having a little bit of a love/hate relationship with it. I love how after hard rides we can stop by one of Vic's many lakes and dive in to cool off (although some of them are getting to be not so cool now), and then it's so hot we dry off before we get home. We even dove in the ocean on Wednesday after the track workout! That was chilly. I love how it feels like Summer! I love how everyone does summery things- the lakes are always packed, kids running through sprinklers, feeling like your head is going to explode from the heat while doing km repeats on the track in the middle of the afternoon...
I guess the hate part only really comes into play at night-time when it doesn't cool off at all. I'm a crappy sleeper- I grew up sleeping in the basement in Calgary which was always cold. So 32' inside my third floor condo doesn't lead to good sleeps for me. I think that might be why our group is sharing this one cold so easily. We're all training so hard, but we're probably not resting quite as well as usual. But I am determined not to get sick! I had a great training day Wednesday- but a super bad sleep that night which lead to a not so great feeling thursday, and then another bad sleep thursday, has lead to an aahhhh I'm borderline getting sick friday! But I won't. I just had a good nap- and I think I'll be good to go tomorrow. I've also been ODing on all my health supplements. ( Oil of Oregano, Vit C, Zinc losanges, Cold-fx, Echinacea, Elderberry extract, deep immune..etc) so if I don't die from whatever comes of mixing all those- then I should stay Healthy!
Otherwise we're just in the middle of a Canada Games training camp, our third week of build, so it has been lots and lots of good training. Manitoba is here training with us, so that's fun. We even rode up Hurricane Ridge last week over in Port Angeles. That was really neat! I loved it up there.
We have a little local race this weekend- and then the countdown to CSG is on!
Here are some pics from hurricane ridge:


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Gatineau Recap (* warning: very long blog post)



* I included some headings for those who don't feel like reading everything*

Well I'm back from Gatineau in one piece. My nasty cough has somewhat returned, but I'm sure a good sleep in my own bed will cure me. I know my race schedule is nothing like that of our Senior national team, but I feel like its been non-stop racing and traveling the past few weeks, so I'm really looking forward to actually training.. and resting in one place for a while.

Nationals itself wasn't quite what I'd been hoping for. There are a lot more lessons to be learned from bad races than from good ones though, so at least I know I came out of this race smarter. And now my fire has been lit to re-deem myself. Two positives to take away from this weekend.
So about that race...

PRE-RACE WHINING AND COMPLAINING:

I spent the week leading up to Nats in quarantine once again. I wish I didn't have to include the 'once again' part but unfortunately it seems to be a re-occuring issue among us Coates girls. It began on Monday last week when I wound up spending my day in bed with a fever, brutal neck and back aches, a sore throat, and a disgusting phlegmy cough. Sorry if I just went into too much detail ha. It took me most of the day to find the energy to pack for the trip. I honestly didn't know if racing would be an option, but then Tuesday rolled around (the day we left for Gatineau) and miraculously most of my flu symptoms were gone! It was possibly my speediest recovery ever. But I was still wiped, and my easy 3k swim in the warm pool was almost the end of me. I was absolutely paranoid about infecting my sister ( we are really good at sharing illnesses) and the team, so I sat on the other end of the plane from my team, and stayed in my own hotel room for the week. I actually ended up staying in the suite because that was the only room left!! And that was awesome by the way ( king size bed, flat screen tv, jacuzzi..) until I had to pay the bill at the end of the week ha. The girls were all formulating conspiracy theories( jokes)- and decided that I was just pretending to be sick in order to rest-up and kick their butts on race day. I WISH! haha I am not quite that tricky. Nor do I feel the need to play mind-games with my team-mates. I was recovering well from my flash flood flu, but training was not going well at all. Easy runs and bikes shot my heart rate through the roof, and all of my sprinting abilities were non-existent. Even the day before the race it felt like each and every muscle had been injected with the flu shot- and were just so painful. It's really hard to think of yourself as a competitor and a threat when you can't even keep up doing an easy jog. Patrick really emphasized positive thinking, and I tried as hard as I could to put my fears out of my mind. But I think it was just as much my lack of confidence that limited me this weekend as my physical well-being.

Race Morning came way too soon, and once again I couldn't keep any food in. It is strange because I don't get anywhere near as stressed as I used too before races, but I still can't eat! It took me at least half an hour to force feed myself a bowl of cereal, but I don't think any of that stayed in me. Alex and I are working on a better pre-race nutrition plan for the future. Because it's impossible to race to your potential on an empty tank- especially in an afternoon race like this weekend. Race Day brought 21' and thunder showers. The conditions were sooooo epic. I wish I could steal some of the race-day pics of the Kids of Steel running through puddles up to their thighs in the midst of the downpour. We don't get that quantity of water during showers in Western Canada I don't think. This was like getting a whole kiddy pool of water, dumped on your head- aaaaaallll the time! It made the corners on the bike very treacherous. In the age group race before ours, whole packs of riders were taken out on the corners. We had done loads of cornering practice before the race, but in the end we were forced to almost come to a stop before taking each turn it was so slick. I skidded out three times- and I'm telling ya- I was not going fast around those corners!
Anyways- back to the beginning.

THE ACTUAL RACE REPORT:

One of my goals for this season was to have strong early season races, so that by nationals I'd get a good starting position. Luckily I had that going for me- so I got the far right spot all to myself. I think I had my best start ever from there. The go came really suddenly once everyone had finally all got lined up, but I had a quick reaction, and had perfectly clear water for my dolphin dives. To my left I could see Sharpie leaping, and waving me on from the warm-up area, so I knew I was doing well. And I actually sighted properly! Often times I find that when I'm on the outside at the start, I accidentally separate myself from the pack, and lose the draft entirely. But this time I kept a good line, and found myself in open water ahead of the whole group. Unfortunately that was the highlight of my swim. Christine was soon zipping past me, and I got right on her feet, only to discover that I was stuck going one speed. (a not fast enough speed). Hilary was soon filling in the gap I left, and then before I knew it- what felt like the whole group of girls were swimming on top of me. I saw all my usual swimming buddies pull away, but where I can usually dig deep and hang on- today there was nothing to dig into.. if that makes sense.
I sprinted into transition superdy duperdy fast (at least thats what I was going for..) because I had a lot of time to make up. My "supposedly best" bike spot in Trani ended up being not so great though..I was right on the end, so as I pulled my bike out- my shoe got hooked onto the end of the rack. I kept yanking, and succeeded in knocking a few other bikes right off the rack. Oopsy. The volunteers seemed to get it all fixed pretty quickly though. Legs were notttttt feeling so great on that bike though thats for sure. Gaby went whipping by me- 'stay with me,' she said. So I got on her wheel. There was a few seconds where I fell off, but then I hardened up- 'I can stay with Gaby,' I just kept telling myself- 'I can!' And I did. But it was a while before I could pull through. Most of this season I have felt very strong on the bike, but this race I was thinking more about hanging on then actually racing. That is a lame way to race. I'll expect that feeling when I race Elite, but for now that is a lame way to race my last junior year. No one in our group was pulling particularly strongly, so we were soon engulfed by the pack behind us lead by Rachel Edwards (& mini Edwards in tow!), and together we caught up to the front pack (minus Stevie and Christine who had broken away earlier on). I was having weird cramping, even in my hands, so I took my gel, and hydrated a lot, and by the end of the bike I was feeling much stronger than before.
But then I made a rookie mistake. I found myself leading up front for a really long time all by myself as we were nearing transition. It didn't dawn on me until too late that all the other girls were just using that opportunity to sit back and take off their shoes. Usually I don't take my feet out until right before transition, but I had forgotten about the death corners right before the dismount line. Probably 6 girls ended up coming into T2 before me. And with my transition spot right at the end of transition it ended up being a huuuuuge mistake. I was stuck waiting for all those girls to rack their bikes before I could even come close to my spot. Ughhhhh where was my brain! Needless to say there was a big gap in between me and the leaders of our pack heading out onto the run. And then this is where I think I made tragic mistake #2. I just let them keep their lead thinking that I would reel them in slowly. I was scared because my whole race had felt really weak, so I was worried that if I took it out too fast that I would just die all over the place. In that instant I completely lacked any killer instinct as A-Russ would put it. I needed to get in with those girls right away! But I didn't. Maybe if I had- I would have blown up all over the place. But Maybe I would have won. Either way I didn't put myself in the position to risk it. And I regret that. Even though I wasn't entirely in the game physically, I could have still been in the game mentally.
My run actually felt stronger and stronger as it went on- I think that gel really helped! And by the end I think I was only about 5 seconds back from Alex.

I was pretty disappointed at the end of my race, but it wasn't my result that made me sad (every one of those girls deserved to be where they were), it was my performance that made me disappointed. I feel like I was in survival mode instead of racing mode. I totally lacked any aggression in this race- and that's what I learnt not to let happen again.

The end.
(yay!)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Relays!!!!




Oh my goodness. The relays were just so much fun. Actually this whole trip was so much fun. Thanks so much TriCanada for bringing us down here and giving us this experience. Like Sarah-Anne said, "It was really nice of them to take us here even though they knew we would come last." Well our C team may have been a bit back in the results, but we were definitely not last- and we killed the American development team!! ok so here's how it went down:

The World Team Triathlon Championships consisted of 4 person teams (2 girls and 2 guys) who would each do a super sprint triathlon before tagging off to their next team-mate. Canada brought the national team, and two development teams. We didn't know until the day before the race which team we would be on. And since Sarah, Marianne, and I are all very similar -none of us could guess which one of us would end up on the B team. I think we were all pretty impartial to which team we ended up on though because B team meant a lot of pressure whereas C team would be more fun (although slightly anti-climatic as it was destined to come last(ish). In the end I was chosen to lead out the C team, and Marianne got to join Paula, Kyle Jones and A-Mac on the B. For some reason I had been expecting not to have to lead, so when I heard I was leading the C I freaked out a bit. I would be racing the fastest women in THE WORLD, and somehow I would have to hold on long enough that we wouldn't be out of the race before any of my teammates even got to start! ok so much for C team being less pressure..

As we stood behind our flag bearer I had mixed feelings of "this is so exciting!" and "Oh my god what am I doing here!". My C team was ranked third to last to start, so I didn't really have much choice on the pontoon. The wind was blowing very strongly to the right, and in warmup we had all noticed that it was making for a strong current. Pretty much everyone had lined up on the left side of the pontoon to avoid having to swim against the current. So I had a choice: choose a spot right smack dab in the middle of the pack and fight my way to the first buoy, or pick the spot second to last on the right and swim against the current. I chose the far right spot. I don't know if that was the right choice but I did have perfectly open water the whole way to the buoy! I absolutely gave it my all, but even though I was right up front, I lost some distance from having to swim towards the left as well as straight. And then coming around the buoy was a huge fight as the whole packed funneled together around it. I didn't take the turns very tight, so coming around the second buoy I was still on the outside of the pack. I knew I needed to get on some feet, but I couldn't push my way in anywhere. Finally I realized that I should stop worrying about drafting, and start focusing on swimming fast, but by that point we were pretty much at the beach. I came out of the water only a couple seconds back from Lauren and Paula and the leaders. 'Ok this is good! Just need to run fast up to transition.' I just kept telling myself 'sprint, sprint, bridge the gap!' But my legs could only go so fast- and everyone else was sprinting as fast as they could too. I had a pretty speedy transition, but when I ran up to the line to high ho silver I just ran into a big pack of 15 girls wobbling around on their bikes trying to get their shoes on at the line. The mount line was in a pretty inconvenient place: right in the middle of a chicane- so it pretty much corralled all the girls who were mounting their bikes into one small area. Since there was absolutely no where left for me to jump on my bike, I just kept running with it. Dodging all the swerving girls on bikes (Seriously!! They are supposed to be the pros!) . But by the time I finally found space to jump on, all the other girls had got their shit together, and were biking off without me. Ugh! I got up and hammered my way past a few stragglers onto a really big girls' wheel. We were so close- there was only a tiny itty bitty gap in between us and the whole pack of leaders. Like almost no gap. The girl I had latched onto was a tank, so I thought we'd bridge up for sure. Unfortunately it turned out that her helmet strap wasn't done up, so she was more focused on trying to do it up one handedly rather than hammer the first few minutes of the bike (Seriously!! They are supposed to be the pro's!). Not only is that worthy of a DQ- it sucked for me. I was pulling us as hard as I could to close the gap, but I really really needed her help, and she was too busy sitting on my wheel trying to do up her helmet to help me. She eventually got her strap done up, but our opportunity to catch up was gone. Now that she was focused on riding though I was doing everything I could to stay on her wheel. Luckily I was a bit stronger on the corners, so she didn't gap me there, but as soon as we got to the straights there was no chance of me taking any pulls- I just put my head down and sucked her wheel to the best of my ability. My corners were actually really great Minus one 180' turn where I was in too hard of a gear going around it. That turn happened to be the one where Phil was watching. As I turned the corner he yelled, "Gear down, gear down- you're in too big of a gear." And I was like, 'how does he know- I haven't even pedaled out of the corner yet', and then I stood up out of the corner and could barely move, and I was like, 'oops! definitely way too hard of a gear'. I didn't make that mistake again though. ( it was by far the most technical course I've ever done. 20 corners in the span 3.3km including 2, 180 degree turns and 2 wicked chicanes)! I had been terrified of the chicanes when we practiced, but in the race they felt great!

Everything was just so fast though. Definitely had no chance to do up my biking shoes- and the water bottle on my bike was useless. By the end of the bike me and the girl who was pulling me had caught two of the girls who had been dropped from the leaders. My T2 felt fine, but the run felt rough. In warmup Simon and Kyle had showed me what they thought the loop was. So I had that loop pictured in my mind as I headed out. I was super thirsty and hot, but the water station was at where I thought the turn-around was, so I thought that taking water would slow me down too much- and we were almost done anyways. But then the run went way longer than I had imagined- and my legs weren't working, and I was thirsty. I really wanted to pick it up because I expected myself to be able to sprint the whole run, but I think I was going my 5k pace. I'm pretty disappointed with how my run went because I know I could have been able to keep up with the two girls I left transition with. At the end I finally found my extra gear and sprinted to the tag off, but I wish I had found that sprint earlier because then Connor could have left for the swim with two other guys rather than by himself.

So that's how my part of the relay went down. Ha that was longer than most people's full race race reports. It was so exciting to watch the rest of my team and the other canadian teams finish the race. Especially when Brent and Kyle came around in the lead pack together! Looking at Marianne waiting to be tagged off by Kyle, I was just like, " oh thank goodness I lead out!". But Marianne did Awesome, and held her fifth place position! And Andrew held it too!!! So in all Canada came 3rd, 5th, and 13th! So Great!

I guess I didn't talk much about Saturday's racing- but that was so cool too. Simon wins Gold, Lauren Bronze and Brent right up there too! Yaaaaa Baby!!!


Friday, June 26, 2009

This is Sooooo Cool!!

Well It's actually very very hot here. But Des Moines is sooooooo cool! I'm having a lot of fun. After Couteau de Lac we spent another 4 days training in a little town outside of Montreal called Rigaud. That part of the trip was pretty chill. We were in a cute family owned inn that would cook us whatever we wanted for breakfast in the mornings. For half the trip we were the only ones staying there. We swam in both the Couteau de Lac river and the local school's pool. We had to drive to the next town to find restaurants, but it was kind nice to be training in such a relaxed place. The roads for riding were beautiful, but really bumpy and cracky from their winters ( that’s how I broke my race wheel- I wish I had a picture of the death pothole to put up.. looking at the hole afterwards I was pretty surprised that I hadn’t died when I hit it). Coming here was a huuuuuge change from Rigaud. We went from old little town inn in the countryside to a super fancy new hotel in the middle of a brand new shopping and restaurant district. It's Great! We're right beside a Super Target which is like.. an even better version of a US Walmart! It has absolutely everything. I had to refrain myself from buying every unnecessary yet fun thing I saw- Snow Cone Mix anyone? We also have a neat health foods market right around the corner that is great, so I was able to stock up on gluten free treats! They even have a little restauranty thingy inside that we’ve eaten at twice now.

So anyways- I came charging back into my room to tell Marianne about the best grocery shopping trip everrrr, only to find that they had delivered us each big gift bag things full of treats and shirts and bath/body products, and just so much stuff, plus 4 flats of water and propel to each of our rooms! It was sooooo cool! ha. We both couldn’t stop talking about how exciting everything was. The hotel pool here is half outdoor, half indoor. We weren’t able to get in for a swim anywhere yesterday, so Paula and I tied ourselves to poles with our stretch cords and swam stationary for a while. I just had fun sproinging backwards every time I stopped swimming.

Presents!:



I think we all felt a little out of place at the pre-race meeting. Not only were we the youngest by far, there were so many big names… and then there was us. Most of the athletes there got to watch themselves in the ITU promo video they played before the meeting. Its weird being at a race meeting with the people you usually only watch on tv.
Apparently they spent more on the race set up here than at the Olympics (2.5 million!). There's a huge grandstand, advertisements and vendors everywhere, even walkways above the transition zone, so you can watch from above. Not only is there $200 000 for winning ($1000 just for finishing) - there is a $5000 swim prime, and 3x $500 bike primes! And you don’t have to finish the race to win the prime. Definitely a very exciting place to be.

West Des Moines itself is beautiful. . I lovveee the lake/river that the race is at. Everything is very green and clean. And hot. Water temperature was 29 degrees yesterday- In normal circumstances I would be absolutely ecstatic to swim in a lake that warm, but since it’s so hot outside a little bit cooler would be nice. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced this kind of heat+ humidity before except for maybe in the heat chamber. Just jogging outside the other day was really hard. Fingers crossed that it’ll be a bit more bearable for the World Cup tomorrow.

At the moment an outdoor concert thingy is going on outside our hotel. I'm thinking maybe I should go check it out, since there is no way I'll be falling asleep anytime soon. The boys are also on this Tetris kick, so I might just have to go show em how its done.
I was given the choice to either watch the women’s race or the men’s, so I think I’ll go cheer on Paula at the women’s tomorrow. Pretty excited!
oh and ps. helmet was found. So the casualties from my trip to Rigaud only include one broken race wheel, and one floor pump left behind at the race course.

Me at the hotel pool:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hi from Rigaud

I don't really feel like writing a super huge race report right at this moment. My race didn't feel easy and relaxed like the last few. I struggled the whole way through. And I think my win was very muchly due to others. Stevie who worked with me to Bridge up to the leaders, and Christine who powered us all through the 20k bike. Buuuuut it's been fun. Unfortunately it is turning into an expensive trip. So far I have managed to crack my front Zipp race wheel, lose my pump at the race course (that's the problem when your pump becomes the team pump), and at the moment my helmet is temporarily lost as well. aaaaaahhhh I must have left my brain back in Victoria. Although the breaking my wheel was more my not quick enough reflex's fault rather than my brain..
Ok here's some pictures stolen from Craig (in reverse order):


(apparently I race walked through the finish..)


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Friday, June 5, 2009

Why my sport is more badass than your sport

After this morning's pre race prep I came to the realization that us triathletes- we're pretty badass. Especially the Canadian ones. It all started with kids of steel racing...

Take the Calgary Kids of Steel race being held this weekend: Snow warning for race day? No biggie. Those four year olds can handle it. Their training wheels can give them a little traction on the icy corners.
You winter sport athletes think you're so tough- We have our kids ride around soaking wet, in the snow, wearing nothing but their bathing suits.

Those Kids of Steel days just helped build character for the Jr Elite, and Elite races. Like Edmonton ITU a few years ago..
No other sport can compare to riding down Emily Murphy hill at 70+ km/hr on the skinniest possible tires, nearly touching wheels with 20ish other athletes, on slick roads from the pouring rain. That downpour was followed by torrential crosswinds that pushed a few of the athletes right off the road into the barricades of the bridge. And the race finished off with the Elite women running through big pellets of hail. The spectators all huddled under inflatable tents while the water levels rose to their knees- causing the racers' helmets and shoes to float away from the transition zone in the foot of ice water.

The experts say that ice bath temperature should be around 10 degrees. Water temperature at World Champs 2008: 12 degrees.
... I'll admit they did bring in helmet removers for the elites though. Since the juniors were unable to remove their chin straps with their numb hands. I vote that even with helmet removers we're still leading in badassness.

Or how about PanAms in Mazatlan last year. The beaches were all closed due to dangerously high waves. "But no worries those triathletes can handle it. Hell, we'll even have them do warmup before the sun comes up, so they can use their 6th triathlete sense to anticipate the incoming 15+ foot high swells in the absolute darkness." Only about half the field had to be rescued by the lifeguards on jetskis- see not bad, not bad- Us triathletes, We're badass.

(waves in Mexico):


We're so tough we don't even need the roads to be paved- we hardly even noticed the 50 billion cracks and potholes from our aerobars

You're not a real triathlete until you sport road rash scars on your elbows and hips.

Or what about PanAms in Oklahoma this year: E-Coli count was over 500. In Vancouver the beaches close if the count is over 80. But no worries- having a stomach of steel comes with being a triathlete. Just as long as there is no gluten, dairy, eggs, fat or sugar involved.

Or Colorado a couple years ago. 35 degrees at least, on an open road, no shade, and only two water stations for the Elites on their 10km run.

I thought about all of this out at the course today. The water temperature at the lake was 12 degrees. The air temperature at the time we will be racing at is 2 degrees. It felt even windier on the bike than it was in Oklahoma city the day the tornadoes rolled in. We can't take the time to put on clothes in transition, but we'll manage. Because we are damn badass.

oh sigh.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Oklahoma Race Report

I did it!! My fourth year of Junior Elite and I finally won a race. I was thinking about it the other day, and I realized that although I've had a lot of potential these past couple seasons I've never held up that banner at the finish! So I'm happy- I think PanAms is a good race to win too :). I didn't do a very good job of holding up the banner though haha- it was so heavy!!!

The race for me was a bit crazy. I got a flat in the first 5minutes of my bike warmup/bike to the race course. I race on tubulars, so I was in a bit of a panic as soon as it happened. It was only 6am so it was still dark out and I don't think I was quite awake yet at that point. I quickly pulled over to the side of the road, whipped out my cell and repeatedly called Patrick until he picked up. As soon he answered, my brain kicked in a little, and I realized I was probably only a kilometer away from the hotel. My tire wasn't completely flat yet, so I bump bump bumped my way back to the hotel. Luckily I was in good hands. Kurt and Craig took my wheel to try and fix, and they gave me a spare wheel to warm-up on. In the end I just ended up racing on that wheel, and even though my bike felt way heavier, and the shifting was a little off, it didn't seem to make much of a difference for me in the race.

It was a non-wetsuit swim today, but the water was cold. And the air was cold! Our coldest day so far here in Oklahoma, and soooooooo windy. I did my warmup in my wetsuit because I've been known to have major issues with racing if my core temp gets too low. I left my wetsuit on as long as possible, but I was still shivering at the startline. They didn't call us up based on itu rankings, so I had a pretty crappy start number. I thought that as I ran up to the startline I would have to pick the spot at the end of the line, so I lined up beside the south americans that had been called before me despite the fact that I did not want to start next to them. Then I realized that other girls were choosing whichever spots they liked, so I tried to run over to be beside Gaby or Christine, who I know are strong swimmer, but the officials started yelling at me. Apparently once you've 'chosen your spot' you are not allowed to move. LAME! There was 61 of us on the start line, so an absolutely massive field for junior racing. As soon as I hit the water I got stuck in the dreaded 'washing machine'. Even worse it was the slow swimmers washing machine. My dad who was watching from above said that after the first 100meters I was almost in last. I stayed really calm and confident though (I'd usually be panicking at this point), and gradually made my way through the main pack. Finally I caught up to Marianne and Alex who were leading our little chase group. Seeing the front pack not too far away, I put in a huge surge, and pulled Alex and Marianne to within 15ish seconds of the lead pack.

The run up to transition was super long, and I had planned to absolutely give it my all for that part, but my feet and legs were so numb from the river that I didn't make up much time. I managed to really really hammer the first minute of the bike and caught up to the pack. I'm happy about that because I'm not sure I would have been able to do that last year. Or maybe it's just because the pack was ridiculously slow... Lucky ms. Ridenour who always gets picked first for positioning, found clear water right off the bat, and had an amazing swim. She lead the whole swim and bike solo, maintaining a gap of approx 30seconds.

I yelled my head( tried to just stay encouraging, but I got frustrated a lot too) off pretty much the whole ride trying to get the pack working together, to catch up, but no luck. I felt like I pulled the whole first 10km by myself. But then by the second lap the other canadians shared the work with me. Alex got her wheel stuck in a crack going around the turn-around, and went down. She was up and right in the pack again, but her brakes were rubbing so much that she could hardly pedal, and had to stop and fix it. And then re-fix it everytime she hit a big bump (which were all over the place). That was devastating because I know we would have come 1, 2.

T2 was a bit slow on my part, for some reason I tried to rack my bike by the seat rather than the handlebars, and struggled with that a bit. And then my feet were so frozen I had trouble putting the race flats on. I got into a groove pretty quickly though, and by the first 600ish meters I had already caught up, and passed Christine. I felt super relaxed the whole run. A girl from Mexico caught up to me at the turn-around, and we ran together the whole way. I put in a few surges on the second lap to try and drop miss Mexico, or at least make a gap between our followers, but I don't know if I gained anything or not. Coming to the last 400ish meter, PK told me to surge, so I tried my bestest. And coming up through transition I just ran really strong- and I won! I kinda like how you couldn't see the finish until about the last 70meters, because then there was less of 'the finish line is so close- yet so far away' feeling that happens at some races.

Marianne finished 3rd which was so great! I haven't found any results yet, but Gaby had a great run, and finished 5th or 6th. Rachel and Christine finished strong as well- in the top ten for sure. The boys had some bad luck. I think 5 of our boys went down on the bike. But Connor Hammond had a great run- finishing in 3rd, and Ian came 5th I think. And Aaron, Matt, and Cole were close behind. Well I better go run and cheer on our elites! Go Canada!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Good Day

First, a few pics from the crits (that I stole off the internet...) :
sprint finish!






We had a beautiful 20 degree day today- not bad for May!! And I got to spend most of it outside, so that was nice. We had a short, but pretty tough 4.3ish km swim in the pool, followed by a waaaaaaayyyyy too long, Absolutely Freezing, 800m swim in the lake.
I struggle a lot with the cold. And May 1st Thetis Lake swimming is really really cold. Luckily I came prepared with an absolutely amazing neoprene/water repellent wetsuit shirt to wear under my actual wetsuit (best investment of my life!). So that shirt is the only reason why I am still alive at this moment. I still struggled though. Everybody else made it back to the beach, and then way way after them came Matt (he has issues with the cold maybe even worse than me.. buuuut he's a considerably faster swimmer) and then way way way way way after Matt I somehow made it back. oh sigh.
No major panic attacks though on my part, aaaaand Patrick didn't even have to rescue me! (thank you absolutely amazing shirt:)
We then went straight from the lake swim into a 90min hilly base ride. Then a tiny little 90min break before we were on our way to the track for 4x1km with some 200's. My left hamstring has been ridiculously tight and sore from weights yesterday. (actually my WHOLE BODY is ridiculously tight and sore from weights.) But my left hamstring in particular was really bugging me, so I did a lot of running on the grass, and decided not to do the 200's today.
Everything has been coming together lately though. Swimming has been gradually coming along- This week has actually been pretty awesome for me in the pool(finally!). I guess today was a bit rougher in the pool, but I think that's mostly from overdoing the weights yesterday. Running felt fast today for the first time in what feels like forever, and biking has been solid. I just about finished the newton heights crit in the pack on wednesday (I got dropped in the second last lap- but close enough). So everything is going pretty well. Just have to Stay Healthy! fingers crossed!!! And get that sister of mine healthy too.