Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Florida Training Camp

Just got back from the first camp of 2013 down in Clermont, Florida. It was a great group of athletes from across the country and we were lucky enough to head down there for just over a week and get a short block of training in the sunshine. We had an amazing coaching staff, which included some very knowledgeable guests. I truly believe the super speedy Sara McLarty could get anyone though ANY swim workout with her amazing and motivational one-liners…best one of the camp would have to be “do 75 hard and then 75 harder!” or “lets separate the girls from the women”. She was great and I learned a lot of new swim workouts in the pool as well as some great open water technique. Bobby McGee was also a great addition to the camp. He showed us some great running drills and workouts as well as a presentation of the mental side of performance. He also analyzed all of us individually and gave us specific drills to work on which I think will make a huge difference in my efficiency at running off the bike. It was also nice to get to know Alan Carlson and Kevin Clark a bit better. I learned so much from them in a very short amount of time…both of them have a lot to offer. I felt like the whole 10 days my brain was just a sponge and I was trying to absorb as many tips as possible. Clermont was a great place to train…we were staying in a Swiss water Ski school that was about 15min from the main city center but you could ride and run from the doorstep. Loved running through the nearby orange grove and perhaps “borrowed” a few citrus refreshments from time to time. I had to come back after 10 days to write a midterm and now I am just getting back into the routine of balancing school and training. Luckily only about a month left of classes! As overwhelming as school can sometimes get, the semesters do go by quickly! This weekend the group is racing Bazan Bay 5km road race. In the past we have rested and focused on this race to get World Cup racing standards but now that those are gone we are not getting much of a taper. The goal is to run just as fast or faster than last year but on tired legs…Because we have done almost no speed work it shall be interesting to see where my running fitness is at! Check out the video that Alex and Kyla made of the training camp!! http://vimeo.com/60913691

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Murphy’s Law- It’s been a long time since my last post. The main reason for the lack of updates is because I didn’t really have anything worth sharing. My last post was a couple weeks after I returned home from Mooloolaba, Australia where I had the one race all season that I was actually happy with. Heading into my first year as a U23 I took the second semester off school because I knew to get myself ready for Olympic distance racing I needed to get some more training under my belt. With it being the Olympic year there were also training opportunities that I couldn’t pass up. I trained harder and longer than I ever have…and coincidentally I was the most consistent I have ever been. A sore heel and some food poisoning had me miss out on only about 2 weeks of training all year. Based on how things were going I thought I was going to have a fantastic year… I couldn’t have been more wrong. Looking back I have decided to call my 2012 racing season my Murphy’s Law year- “anything that can go wrong will go wrong”. While preparation is the key to success in triathlon, the role of luck is not insignificant. I have had my fair share of luck to be sure, but not this year. (Not to say that my performance this year can all be attributed to lack of luck). I got heat stroke in Dallas and had to get pulled off the course within two kilometres of the finish. Two weeks later at my first World Cup I got the first flat tire of my racing career. In the races in between something little always ended up hindering my performance. By the time I got to Kelowna in August I was not feeling my usual excitement to race. After that race I took a week off and made the decision to keep training hard and racing hard. A whole new wave of confidence hit me and I went on to have a month of fantastic training. I was fortunate enough to be included as a member of the Canadian team for the World Championship Grand Final. But, to finish my season off in Auckland being so fit and so excited to race and then cramping on the bike and getting dropped from front pack was more than disappointing.
After Worlds, I ran for UVic at the national cross country championships in London, Ontario. Minus a fall at the start (Murphy’s Law strikes again?) cross country is always fun and my teammates are so awesome! After this race I discovered I had a stress fracture in my foot and have spent that past six weeks healing up.
In elite sport there are always hurdles and by overcoming them you grow, get stronger and look at changes that need to be made. While I accomplished only a few of my many goals for the 2012 season, the experience I gained will help me get to the next level in my career. Reflection time is over. You live and you learn. Its time to move on. Got through the semester of school and finished exams on the 20th with just enough time to get into the Christmas spirit. Have had a few days relaxing with the family but its time to get back to work. Here’s to a new year and new possibilities… Thanks to: Nineteen Wetsuits...I truly believe they are the best and will be working with them in 2013
-Saucony...goes above and beyond providing all my running shoes and attire! -Oak Bay Bikes for keeping my bike in working condition (New Years Resolution is to take better care of my bike :)) HUGE thanks to coaches Patrick and Carolyn who put up with me EVERY day.
And none of this would be worth it without my darling training partners! I know I can rely on each and every one of you...xo
And last but not least the fam...could not do this without your support (emotionally and finically)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mooloolaba & Mazatlan Race Reports

About a week after my last post I headed to Caloundra, Australia for a 5 week training camp for all of March and the beginning of April. The first two weeks we got a solid block of training in the sun and heat minus the torrential downpours that would delay our afternoon rides (actually never have I seen it rain so hard- people who were in Gatineau in 2009...it was raining harder than that!). There was one night it was SO windy and raining so much Paula came into our room all serious and said "do you guys have enough food for the next, like, 3 days??". Luckily our condos were situated in a non-flooding area...but poor Patrick got stuck in Mooloolaba due to all the flooding there...
Then on March 25th Ellen, Aaron and myself raced the Mooloolaba Continental Cup (It was mine and Ellen's first olympic distance). Besides having to set my alarm for 3:15 on race morning all the pre-race warm up was the same routine. We did a beach start at the far end and did a point-to-point swim to exit by transition. I didn't have a stellar start but managed to just be behind the fastest swimmer and instantly had the fastest feet to draft off of...running out of the water I made a little gap to lead up the long stairs/run into transition. The bike was chaotic, disorganized and slow. In the one out and back loop of 40km the front pack included about 15 girls: Ellen, myself and bunch of Aussies and a couple of Kiwi's...there was one flat and a crash that I barely avoided that took out 3 of the girls. Starting on the run I knew I needed to pace myself and save a little for the two killer hills we had to run up. As usual everyone was pretty spread out...I just focused on staying into a nice rhythm because I wanted to finish strong. Crossing the line in 5th position behind Ellen I really couldn't have been happier. Going into this race I didn't know any of the other girls and how the longer distance would affect me so it was hard to have expectations. But secretly my goal was top 10 so I definitely surprised myself. The race was a little motivational booster that got me through another almost three weeks of good, consistent training in Australia. Race Pics
Here are some other pics of our Australia adventures: BBQ at the Wallace house
Strollin on the beach
Post race briefing
Me and Super Alex
Steve Irwin Zoo
I made the decision to go to Mazatlan about 2 weeks prior to the race...I thought "I'm fit, I'm healthy and I'm coming off training in the heat... so why not?" The race was mid April. I flew home from Australia, had 4 days at home and packed up with my Dad and sister and heading to Mexico. The week leading up to the race I felt a little off...I think I was underestimating all the travel I had done. It was nice to meet up with the Guelph crew for some race prep. Heading into this race I was purely excited and felt ready to go! This race had a few little hiccups, as many Mexican races do. It was a two lap swim and the buoy's were a bit confusing...luckily I got the course figured out and lead out of the water on both laps...despite volunteers on paddle boards trying to tell me I went the wrong way. Heading out of T2 with a little gap the lead motorcyclist went the wrong way! Fortunately enough I had time to turn around and still make the front pack. The bike again was slow but I bit more organized that Mooloolaba. There were the occasional attack and sketchy-ness of the uneven course...but we all made in into T2 safely. Having a great T2 I started the charge only the feel totally horrible. I ended up running with another girl (which is rare) and we pushed each other for a whole lap. I made an attack but then she proceeded to pass me with 2km to go. The heat definitely got to me about half way through and I did not have another gear to push myself. I finished 9th and was the 3rd Canadian. Congrats Jo and Manon who finished 2nd and 5th respectively!! I was definitely hoping for a top 5 but really did what I could and minus the lack of speed on the run I was 100% happy with how I executed the rest of the race. Its pretty cool starting my olympic distance career...man every single race is SUCH a learning experience. I've been training well in Victoria for the last month with a little weekend getaway to UBC with the twins and Paula. Heading to Dallas on May 30th to have another go!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

2012 thus far

I really have been meaning to do a post for a long time...I guess in the fall I didn't want to post boring life updates that nobody wants to hear about or cares about for that matter. But I do admit that I have had lots of exciting post-able things happening in my life since the new year started. It was this past Saturday when I was doing my pre-race run that I ran into Mr. Nelson (the best cross country coach and man who got me through math 12). I have ran into him twice in the last couple of months and update him on whats been going on and vice versa (he became a dad about 4 months ago:) ). I know he is one of my blog readers who supports, is interested and excited about my triathlon career....what I am trying to say is running in to him gave me that little push to finally update this thing!!

So the fall consisted of going to school and doing minimal training....oh I got my wisdom teeth out (one of the worst experiences of my life) and hmmm what else oh I went to visit one of my best friends down Fresno, California which was really fun.

Okay now on to 2012

Started off the New Year by heading to a 5 week training camp in Maui (that actually turned into a 6+ week camp). This was my second triathlon training camp and it was by far the best. The riding was especially amazing! Being able to escape the rainy weather of Victoria and really get a some consistent, solid training in the heat was just what I needed to start off my first year U23. Given the extra opportunities Olympic year had to offer I decided to forgo university for this semester and take advantage. I really got a step up in fitness while I was there. It was a great group of girls and we all worked really well together.

We headed back to Victoria on Feb 11th and have been training consistently ever since. Adjusting to the colder weather and atmosphere where you have to be a little more responsible (like having to drive hahaha) took a little while to get used to but its good to be home.

This past week I did both a 800m free TT and raced the Bazan Bay 5km to get both my World Cup time standards....it was a good indication of where my fitness level is and I'm happy to just get those standards over with :)

Up next I head to Australia for another training camp/race. I will be starting off my season on March 25th at the Mooloolaba Continental Oceania Cup. Super excited to be heading to the heat again and can't wait to race!

Updates to follow...promise

P.S Check out Mrs. Pennocks new blog....good for a laugh and she has some good pictures from Maui - www.ellenpennock.blogspot.com

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

excuses...race report...race report

So I had nothing really exciting to post about in the month of August... it consisted of a smart decision to take a week off running to avoid a hip injury...which also resulted in a DNF at nationals in Kelowna. And then Worlds were at the beginning of September but facebook, twitter and blogger were all blocked in China so no updates could be done there...and then basically since I've been home I have been in MAJOR catch-up mode with school. So those are my somewhat pathetic excuses for why you haven't heard from me in awhile. I'm sorry. Anyways I will backtrack a little bit and review Kelowna and my prep for worlds...and then of course worlds race report. So Kelowna....this was my first time doing this course and I can see why everyone just loves it. Leading up to the race I was pretty tired. This was my 2nd nationals and it was weird not feeling completely rested for it.
My Kelowna race played out like this:
-had a horrible swim start...my goggles got foggy and for some strange reason I waited for about 150m before pulling them off...the rest of my swim was me playing catch-up to the leaders
-I think I was the 2nd last person to make front pack on the bike that out of the water...out of T1 I caught a couple of people so the chase wasn't too hard
-the bike was amazing! I loved the course with the all the corners. I felt totally in control and so strong
-T2 was alright and exited in about 4th position.
-First loop of the run was terrible and starting the 2nd lap my hip started to get sore...I told Patrick when I ran by and he told me to stop
-Very sad but I thought better to DNF at Canadian Nationals then at World Championships (like I did last year)...even though any DNF sucks!

Now on to prep for Worlds:
-was trying really hard to stay focused and not get to the point of burn out and just wanting the season to be over (like I have the last two years)
-started swimming really really fast...the fastest I've swam all year
-had my best run workout of the year with a Tuesday 1km set
-was super pumped that training was going well and headed to China excited and ready to go!
-it seemed like we were in China a really long time before our race and for some reason I was unaware of the significant hill on the bike course...panicked a little
-went though the ups and downs of tapering by feeling amazing and then feeling crazy tried...but come race morning I knew I was ready

Worlds Race Report:
-it was raining and cold which totally sucked and made me to half of my normal swim warm up
-when we were lining up I just wanted to start! Got a somewhat good spot on the pontoon with Joanna right beside me
-I thought I had a pretty good start but looking at the video footage Im pretty sure I was the last to actually enter the water.
-met up with Christine at the first bouy which was actually really comforting and we exited the water side by side in 7th and 8th position
-the bike was alright...first hill was the worst but the other two times I just spun up with minimal effort
-ALMOST crashed on one corner but somehow stayed up...and at the end of the last lap I dropped my water bottle (yelled and didn't take anyone out! ooops)
-worked the little riser into transition hard and got a little gap heading into T2
-left T2 in first and went out fast
-got passed by a couple of girls but tried to stick with them
-worked the 2nd half and the hills really hard
-gave it my all
-place 8th

Now doing school and a lot of down time...off season is here!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Best Day of Summer

Well there has been a lack on updating on my part...sorry anyone who reads this :(. I have been very busy this last month with 3 races and on the only weekend free I was sick. The three races I just did was a big chunk of my season and everything just went so quickly. Things didn't turn out exactly how I wanted but I sure learned a lot and am growing as an athlete. Having some training partners away in France and coming back from basically a month of tapering has made this past week pretty hard mentally and physically. However the main reason for this post is to tell everyone about the best solo ride of my life! Cycling is for sure my weakness of the three sports and I also strong dislike training on my own. However this past Sunday was probably the nicest, warmest and most beautiful day of summer so far (it also happened to be Matt's 20th Birthday).

Anyways, I decided to ride from the pool out to my parents house in Metchosin and would stay the night and have my mom drive me home in the morning. I decided on a loop that would take me about 2 hours. Everything just felt good from the beginning. I actually had energy around 2pm on a Sunday which is unusual and the temperature was a perfect 25 degrees. When I got on my bike my legs just wanted to spin and off I went. There were hardly any cars so it was just me and the road. 120 minutes went by in a flash and I totally would've kept riding if a homemade bbq salmon dinner hadn't been waiting for me :). Perfect training sessions like this make up for unfortunate events that happen in races or sometimes disappointing trainign sessions...and it reminds me that being happy and feeling great is the most important thing :)

Finishing this next block off with my first olympic distance (non-drafting) in Sooke where the ladies get chased down by the men! And then on to Kelowna :)


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

St. Malo

So like I said in my last post "the season has officially begun"...but off to somewhat of a rough start for me. This past weekend I competed in the first junior series race in St. Malo, Manitoba. While the weather was nice, the course was straight forward and the coach support was great....my body just wasn't 100%. It all started with a little sore throat that I thought was due to sleeping with the AC on in the hotel room. Anyways I was feeling pretty normal leading up to a race with rest (a little sluggish and tired)...I guess I just thought not racing was never an option so when I woke up in sweat and the chills on race morning I just looked past it (my mom tells me after that I probably had a fever- I should know things like that!). I am sure glad I didnt because I think thats what got me through the race. The weirdest part of racing while I was sick was being on the start line and not being nervous. I guess I just wanted to get it over with in a little pain as possible...which im sure is how some people race hahaha but not me! The swim was pretty good. Had the 2nd spot starting position and actually didn't touch one person the whole time! I also didn't exit the water with my teammates who I have been able to draft off of in workout (came out 4th about 20sec behind). Which lead me to be in 2nd pack...which was a first. Working with 2 girls we got caught by another 3 and really worked together and just about caught the two leaders by the time we got to T2. The best part of the race was the bike...I felt strong and in control. My transitions weren't too bad either and I thought my overall tactics for racing went almost perfectly. Then there was the run....I didn't know a 5km could feel sooooo long. I was having a hard time just even staying in the game mentally not to mention my body was failing me (not in the intense way Kyla's body was failing her though!)...so at half way all I was focusing on was my turnover. Finished in 4th position behind some speedy gals. Congrats to future teammate Ellen who won her first series race and Christine for pulling out a strong 2nd place. I am happy to report that there is nothing more I could have done in the race...so no regrets... Except for maybe actually racing because since then I have been in bed all day everyday watching episodes of Desperate Housewives trying to fight whatever virus has taken over my body. I am so sick and tired that I don't even have the energy to think about training, or stressing about upcoming races. I don't get sick often...I think its been about 2 years. But when I get sick... get really sick! So everyone please send healthy thoughts my way and hopefully my next post will be more positive!