Sunday, February 14, 2010
2009 was such an amazing year, in the past couple of months I have had a lot of time to reflect on the year in it’s entirety and I am honestly quite amazed at how well everything came together.. I mean 8 races 6 wins and 2 2nds – wow, still can’t believe it! I think I have to put it all down to great planning, my coach and I sat down at the end of 2008 and went through all the positives and negatives of that year and how we were going to plan our attack on the 2009 season with Kona being the main focus of the year. I guess the plan worked. Now I can only hope that 2010 brings with it some more good times – I can hardly wait to dive back into another big season of racing.
At the moment I am training in Noosa Australia, after 2 months in Brisbane hangin out with my family I figured it was time to head up here for some company with some of the worlds best. So far it’s been an absolute blast – I am living with Justin and Belinda Granger in their beautiful new house, and there are a bunch of other pro triathletes I can hook up with for training which always make those offseason miles so much more enjoyable. I am here for another 2 weeks before I head back to California to meet up with coach Siri and her training group. My first race back will be Oceanside 70.3 on the 27th of March. It feels like forever since my last race, the past couple of years I have finished my year in Phuket Thailand in early December, but after Kona I decided to have my break and enjoy a longer offseason, which means it will be over 5 months by the time Oceanside rolls around, I hope I don’t screw anything up – if I do something silly, like forget my shoes or helmet or how to mount my bike then you know why J.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Now that I have taken control of my own blog, I feel more inclined to actually keep it updated. This is my 3rd blog in 1 day… I am sure the novelty will wear off after a while but will try to post at least every couple of weeks.
In this blog I wanted to talk a little about one of my sponsors – Cerasport. I get a lot of questions about this product (no it’s not a sunscreen) and wanted to shed some light.
Cerasport are a rice based sports drink and that I have been training and racing on for the past 2 years. The drink is made up of a blend of short, medium and long chain carbohydrates. The rice-base carbs work fast but continue to give you energy longer than most other sugar based drinks. I used to get a bit of an upset tummy when I used other sports drinks but since I started using Cerasport I just don’t have that issue anymore. No more bloated tummy for me, which is a big help when I hop off the bike and start that run.
I hope this has given you at least a little idea as to what the product is and why I love it so much. Check them out if you get a chance - http://www.ceraproductsinc.com
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Warning - the last month has been jam packed so I have quite a lot to ramble on about…
Was so nice to kick the season off in Oceanside. I went into the race looking to have a solid hit out and see how well my body has taken to the offseason of training. I knew I was in pretty good shape but you just never know how that first race is going to pan out.
The race didn’t really start out as well as I had planned. I had a pretty ordinary swim and found myself 3 minutes off the pace when I finally made it into T1. Once out onto the bike I felt ok and just put my head down and worked as best as I could to try and make up some ground. I closed the gap to a little over 2 mins by half way but was unable to hold it there (damn it) and by T2 it was back to 3 minutes. Once out on the run I knew I had my work cut out. I would need a very fast run if I was going to get myself into this race. I didn’t feel particularly great running out there. Actually, I felt quite terrible at the start but after a few miles I settled into a rhythm and the miles started ticking over nicely. After the first lap I hadn’t made up much time at all on the leaders and with 5 km to go was still around 1:50 down on 1st (Sarah Groff) but was slowly closing in on 2nd (Leander Cave). My main focus became catching up to Leander. At that point I didn’t even think about catching Sarah. It was only when I caught Leander that I had my first glimpse of Sarah - she was only 30secs in front of Leander! I had to dig pretty deep but was able to catch Sarah around 500m from the finish line. It was such a great feeling to cross that line first – and so nice to start the year off with a win especially after such a disappointing end to the season last year.
After Oceanside I had planned on racing 3 weeks later at St Anthony’s then St Croix 70.3 the following weekend. We dove right back into training on the Tuesday after Oceanside. I planned a good 2 week training block before St Anthony’s. That is until I crashed my bike the following Monday – I will not go into details cause it is kinda embarrassing… hmmm yes far too embarrassing to share - I still can’t believe I fell off! Such a spaz!!! After the crash I was quite sore and sorry and although I did keep up most of my training volume I had to tone down the intensity and, after a couple of days, Coach Siri and I decided that we should give St Ant’s a miss so that I could let my body heal and focus on having a good race in St Croix.
It is always such a tough decision to pull out of a race – especially one of my favorites - but I know it was the right decision. St Croix rolled around so fast and before I knew it I was back on the island staying with my St Croix family - the Holt’s, and gearing up for another exciting race!
I have mixed feelings about my race in St Croix. I always like to come back and race there to test myself out over a really tough course. I feel like I am in far better shape than I was this time last year and was hoping it would show in my racing. The race started out well enough - I was 3rd or 4th out of the water around 2 mins down on Joanna Zeiger and 1:30 behind Nina Kraft. I didn’t particularly feel great at the start of the bike but really tried to attack and get away from the girls that were just behind me out of the swim. I was quite surprised at around mile 10 to look up and see Nina and Joanna. I did not expect to catch them that early. I took the lead not too long after that but Nina chased me and caught back up on the beast. There is a $250 prime for the first to the top of the beast and Nina was going after it. Once over the beast, though, I was able to pull away. I really wanted to give my legs a good test out there. I was feeling pretty good and was really enjoying just being out there riding my super fast Cannondale Slice. I think I got a little carried away with racing and noticed late in the ride that I was feeling quite thirsty. Oops…. At the next aid station I grabbed a water bottle but unfortunately it was only half full – drank it in like 2 gulps. I wasn’t too worried then though - my legs still felt pretty good and I figured I would be fine. That is until I got onto the run – oh dear! I just felt terrible from the start. So so thirsty and it was starting to heat up. I had a 3 min lead off the bike but I was just not running well at all. I drank what I could at the aid stations but the damage was already done. I just had to hold on as best I could until that finish line. Catriona Morrison was closing fast and looking really strong. She caught and passed me with around 6km to go and I had no response. I could only hope that there was no one else behind her. I finished 2nd in the end but with one of my slowest run times ever.
After the race I felt quite annoyed with myself for making such a silly mistake. I am usually quite diligent with my nutrition plan knowing exactly how much I need to drink and at which aid station I will be refilling. I just didn’t give St Croix the respect that it deserved. You can get away with it on a cooler day but not in St Croix with it’s hills, wind and heat. Having said that though, I can sit back and look at the positives and negatives of the race. I put together a decent swim and had a great ride and feel that my cycling is starting to improve. I just messed up my nutrition and paid for it big time on the run – I know I can run much faster than that. I just couldn’t do it on that day.
After St Croix I had a couple of days off which included a road trip with my pal Mary Miller up to Boulder via Las Vegas. We had such a fun trip but that is a story for another day. I am now just trying to adjust to the altitude and get back into training before my next race which is the Revolution 3 triathlon on the 7th June.
Monday, April 6, 2009
After Clearwater it was so nice to be able to spend some time with my family. I came back to Oz and decided to live with my brother & sister in law for the summer so that I would be able to spend some time with my little nice Mackenzie. I absolutely love this kid – she is so adorable, I didn’t even mind the early morning wake ups smelly nappy changes or anything. It was also nice to be home for the arrival of two new nephews. My sister Colette and her husband Murat welcomed their first baby Kaya into the world on the 7th of January then two weeks later my sister in law Tammarra and my brother Warrick had little Patrick. I have some photos below of the 2 little monkeys. I guess you could say my summer in Australia was mostly spent hanging out with babies and I loved every second of it. Of course when I wasn’t changing a nappy or reading a story I was out training. It was so nice to have a few months without the stress of travel where I could get in a block of base training.. Something I neglected to do last year by diving straight back into racing in early Feburary.
This year I had the end of November off then used December to ease back into it, I then had the whole of January and February to enjoy some nice long base miles.. One other thing I have done differently this year is try out a new training tool – Powercranks!!! These things are so freakin hard.. I got them put on my bike on the 1st of January and my first ride consisted of a lot of single leg drill over an hour wind trainer session then another hour lying on the floor in agony. My hip flexors had no idea what had hit them. This sort of thing lasted for a few weeks, with relatively minor increases in distance with each session and a number of phone calls to my coach asking if she was sure this would make me faster!! It took about 5 weeks before I could do any quality at all, but by my 7th week I was really starting to see the improvements, I can now say that I am a firm believer in this product! I am back on normal cranks now with the odd shorter ride on the powercranks to help remind my legs how to pedal correctly. I definitely feel like I am riding stronger than I ever have before .. But I guess the true test will be how well I ride in my next few races?
Speaking of which, my first race of the year will be next weekend in Oceanside. It’s shaping up to be a great race with some really fast chicks lining up. I am looking forward to testing out my body and see where I am at in terms of strengths and weaknesses. I am also quite excited to be riding my new cannondale slice. I picked up my new baby last week from Nytro. I have a very good feeling about this bike! If you would like to see some photos below is a link to an interview I did with triathlete mag a few weeks ago.
Oh and I guess you may have gathered by now – I am back in the US, at our SoCal desert training base, I arrived here on the 1st of March and will be here till late April when I head over to St Petersburg for st Anthony’s tri and St Croix 70.3. I am thoroughly enjoying being back in training camp with Siri and the new group – I have 2 of the best roomies – Sam Warriner and Hayley Peirsol. It is amazing how much more enjoyable training can be when you are surrounded with such great company.
Until next time..
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I think there are a number of reasons that can help to explain why the day didn’t turn out as we had hoped... But mostly I think I was just tired! It has been a very long year with my first race way back in early February, I think I raced far too much early in the year and didn't get in enough training early on... Then I neglected to take my usual mid year break and may have trained a little hard these last two months into Clearwater trying to cram in as much work as possible before the race. Bottom line - I didn't give this race the same respect I gave it last year... Lesson learned!
I don’t think I need to go through all the details of the race. I will just say that it was not at all one of my better days. I just felt awful the whole way and never really got going. I did get a penalty at about mile 10 on the bike for blocking & that didn’t help at all. It was a fair call though and just a silly mistake in my behalf – I was riding behind Dede legally and figured I needed to really get going if I wanted to make up any time on the bike… So I pulled out and tried to pass… Then realized I was going nowhere! I just didn’t have the strength in my legs to get around her in the 25 secs they give you for passing. So I dropped back again and bingo yellow card for me and my first ever visit to a penalty box… I think I followed the bike up with a PW (personal worst) run!! But no matter how terrible I was feeling I was going to make it to that finish line no matter what!!!
Congratulations to Joanna and Terenzo who both put together fantastic races!! Also a special congrats to my great friend Richie who placed 3rd – I think he is one of the most consistent triathletes out there and he unfortunately does not always get the credit he deserves!
So anyway I am now in St Croix having a little down time. I am going to do an Olympic distance race here this weekend for fun then I am heading off to Vancouver to visit one of my best friends, Lauren aka Gunz aka Gigi aka Gunnison Groves.. She is one of the funniest girls I know and there is always many laughs when we get together! After that I am going to spend a couple of days back in Boulder before I head back to Aussie for a quick bag drop then I’m off to Phuket for a holiday race with my best friend Annabel Luxford.. Bring it on - I more than ready for some fun times!!
Sunday, September 21, 2008
You may or may not have noticed that I skipped the Chicago triathlon, with a trip to Turkey scheduled the Sunday night after the race, and the strong possibility that I was in for a pretty much forced week off from training, I figured I would be better off finishing off my 4 week training block strong & using the race weekend as a longer weekend of training. With my flights already booked out of Chicago to Turkey, I decided to spend the weekend in Chi town and do a little training with my great friend Keith Norsym (who recently moved from Boulder to Chicago and also just had a baby boy.. well not him but his beautiful wife Tiia – so happy for you both). I did manage to get down to watch some of the race and was so happy to see Becky Lavelle take the win – Becky is one of the nicest girls on the tri circuit and after a rough end to 2007 it was nice to see her back kicking butt again!
The trip to Turkey was for my sisters wedding… Yes she did marry a Turkish man. And no he is not allowed to beat her with a small stick ☺. He is actually one of the nicest guys I have met and I think a perfect match for my sister – they btoh met while working on a cruse ship about 5 years ago. They had a traditional Turkish wedding and it was really cool to be able to see how weddings are done in their culture. I was one of the bridesmaids. Although, when Colette (my sister) told Murat (her husband) that he needed to pick two groomsmen he had no idea what she was talking about… Guess they don’t have them in Turkey. This was pretty much the one thing my sister insisted on, and we were able to bend the rules slightly to have a small bridal party… In Turkey the ceremony is more a formality, the real wedding is what we would call the reception. Just a big party really, with live music and lots of dancing in a circle with everyone holding hands . The music was certainly different -Murat’s family is from near the black sea and their traditional music sounds a lot like bagpipes. It was a lot of fun & a really cool experience!
The trip to Turkey came and went so quickly – it was just busy, busy, busy from the moment I got there, I met my family in Istanbul (so great to see them all again) and we spent 2 days sightseeing – I am not a big fan of sightseeing, but it was cool to check out the blue mosque, I did manage to sneak in a run while in Istanbul and certainly got some funny looks from the general public. I ran in shorts and a t shirt, and while it was very hot, I would not dare take my shirt off!! Then we headed to Ankara where my sister lives and where the wedding would be; I was only there for 2 and a half days, so there wasn’t much time to get all the last minute bits and pieces ready for the wedding. Then it was time to say my goodbyes once again, and I was back off to the US, sad to be leaving but glad to be hopping on the plane where I could hopefully get a little sleep! Fortunately my mum and younger sister (Kalista) were able to spare some time to come back with me to Boulder before they had to head home and back to work.
We met back up in Denver and had 6 nights in Boulder – where I tried to get back into some training before LA tri as well as show my mum & sister around Boulder. It was also my last week in Boulder. So again, it was a rather busy week with packing/sightseeing & training. Then we were all off to LA for the LA tri where mummy & Kalista got to watch me struggle through the race (and oh what a struggle it was –note to self – don’t schedule any more races so close to a family members wedding). Unfortunately that was the end of the holiday for Mum & Kalista, they were on a plane back to Aussie that night ☹
It was so great to have had that time with the family & I was definitely sad to see them leave. But it’s also getting to the business end of the season & I am very happy to be back into training without any distractions at all… And I really mean that – I’m now in our new training base which is in Borrego Springs (inland from San Diego). It is a tiny desert town with really not much going on. But I really love it here – It’s so beautiful with mountains surrounding the town & virtually no traffic at all. Actually there isn’t even a traffic light in the town. I don’t have any internet access, or cable tv at my house, and if I want to get online I have to hop on my bike and roll down to the library. I am here for 8 weeks and am sure I will have some stories to tell about the place in my next blog.
Peace out ☺