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.