Thursday, December 6, 2012

A very much delayed New Zealand Race Report and Update

Hi Everyone,

Sorry for the lack of updates over the past couple of months. It has been a whirlwind of midterms, playing a huge game of catch up with school and now preparing for finals. 

I have been avoiding talking about this for a while but I have had time to reflect on my race and my season over all and I am not content with how it finished. I worked hard to prepare as best as I could for U23 Worlds and I just wanted the big pay off to be in New Zealand. On race day I was missing that umff, that extra edge. I felt a little flat and was missing my "Domi" racing qualities. It may have been something to do with nerves or some allergies I developed leading up to the race or some other cause. All I know was that my performance was sub-par and I was hoping to execute a better race. I knew that the caliber of racing was going to be high and I didn't expect to be up there with the leaders because developmentally I am just not there yet. But I was expecting to have a better race execution than I had. I can't go back and change anything but I can learn and use the experiences I had for my future racing and training. It was exciting to be in New Zealand racing the best U23 women in the world and I strive to do it again next season. 

Also if you haven't already seen it here is my wonderful worlds video, made by my amazing coach Craig Taylor. It definitely embodies me as an athlete. If you are feeling down....just watch the video and it will bring a smile :) 

Here are some pictures from the race:

Action shot on the bike:
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The Elite, Junior Elite and U23 Elite team plus coaches and staff:
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U23 Elite Women after the race:
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Pre-Race picture:
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U23 Girls with the famous Jonathan Brownlee:
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Dive start of the race (I am the first one in the picture):
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One thing I am happy about this season, I became more of a consistent athlete. More consistent in training and racing. I put in some great training blocks this year and I believe my development as an elite triathlete is in the right direction.

Another new snip-it of news is that I am running varsity indoor track for the Guelph Gryphon's this winter. It is going to be a great winter with hopefully some speedy running. 

Here is my gryphon head shot: 

Happy winter training :) 


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Smile from ear to ear

Hey Everyone, Sorry for the lack of updates. The last few weeks of summer were hectic and busy getting ready to get back into a regular school/sport routine. 

I have some great news to share with you all!  Today I was officially put on the start list for the U23 World Championships in Auckland, New Zeland. As soon as I found out I had the biggest smile from ear to ear. We are leaving on October 9th and I race on October 20th. I am very excited for this opportunity best of all I get to travel and prepare with a wonderful Canadian Team, training partners, and awesome coach. All the kind words I have received from friends and family shows me how much support I have from all of you. I appreciate every bit of it. I am ready to do what I do best......RACE LIKE A WARRIOR! 


Thursday, July 26, 2012

"I feel good, I feel great"- Magog Continental Cup

Last week the RTC-Guelph squad and a few guests road tripped it Magog, QC for the Continental Cup which doubled as U23 Nationals. It was a quite a long drive of 8+ hours but team mate Joanna Brown and I found many ways to amuse ourselves, most of which had our coach Craig Taylor shaking his head laughing. Thanks to Jo were fortunate enough to rent a condo very close to race site and although it was tight at times with a small kitchen and one bathroom between 6 people, we managed to make it work. Cooking communal dinners was a highlight everyday. The relaxed atmosphere in the house put everyone at ease before their race and a joke or two here had everyone in high spirits.

My preparation a few days of the race was not most ideal and I didn't feel like my normal self. Everything felt like grindy. I didn't worry too much and just kept telling myself I would feel better on race day and if not I would just push through it.

Practicing beach starts

Thank goodness when race day rolled around I was my chippery self. I felt confident and ready to rock and roll. Number 4 was my starting number and this was the highest ranking I have had in a race. It was nice to have an early pick on the beach starting line. I knew I was going to have a great start because of the beach and shallow waters. For some reason I seem to be pretty decent at dolphin diving. I think its because of all that time I played on the beach when I was a child pretending to be a mermaid. I had a great start and latched onto the tail end of lead pack. I managed to hold on for roughly 900m and then I lost contact. I swam with a few other girls into the exit and ran like a mad man to T1. Lets just say I was on fire. Blasted in and out of T1 and I think I had the fasted split.

Start of the race

When I got onto my bike I could see the lead pack forming 200m ahead. I got into my aerobars and hammered with Alex Coates. We were on a mission to get that lead pack and managed to catch them 4km into the ride. Once I was in the pack I settled in and took my fair share of pulls. Our pack worked well together. At times it was a bit of an accordion type pack but that's because the course was hilly and rolling.

After a great ride I got onto the run and tried to immediately get a high turnover. I tried to go with the three lead girls and figured I would hold on on for as long as I could. I held on for about 1km before I was dropped into 4th place. From there I felt each lap getting worse. I kept telling my self my mantra "I feel good, I feel great" and that helped me get into a rhythm. The crowds of people cheering for me also helped me get through that run.  I was running in 4th place, I really wanted to stay there and I did!

I was really happy with my performance and finished the same place as my ranking. I hit my goal of running under 40minutes on the run and I had a solid race from start to finish. The more I race these Olympic distance races the more experience I gain and the more I learn. I was happy to have a strong race from start to finish. I had fun! I smiled! and I was happy to be where I was. I need to channel the same energy for the next race. "I feel good, I feel great"!

Next up is Ontario provincials in Ottawa.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

FISU World University Triathlon Champs and Edmonton World Cup- A whirl wind of a month

For the past month I have been world wide jet setter and definitely accumulated some major air miles.
In mid June Dorelle and I headed to Vancouver for a week for a staging camp with our FISU team. Alan Carlson was the head coach of the team heading to Taiwan and he did an amazing job of hosting us with his RTC-Vancouver squad.

The Canadian FISU Triathlon Team
After our staging camp we flew off to Yilan County, Taiwan for my first FISU Triathlon Champs. I had a wonderful time in Taiwan at the FISU World University Triathlon Championships and it was one of the best events I have participated in thus far in my triathlon career. People were very hospitable and friendly. The race venue was awesome with a good mix of technical pack splitting sections. The FISU committee and officials took great care of us. I felt like royalty. The whole set up of the event was very much like a mini Olympic games. There was an opening ceremony with all the countries, the triathlon event, and an awesome closing banquet after wards.

The race was another tough one with temperatures into the low 40s but this time I knew how to play the game. I am happy I survived this time in the heat and I finished 18th overall. I wish I could have done better but I need more experiences to learn how to race in the heat. My body just can't handle the heat very well and I need to become acclimatized to race in all conditions.

My race in a short summary:
-Just missed lead pack in the swim
-Was in no mans land for 5k on the bike
-Eventually I was caught by second pack on the bike
-Worked well with the girls in my pack
-Had a good 7.5km run and bonked on the last lap
-The heat really got to me and I got the same dizzy feeling like I did in Dallas.
-Just kept telling my self "I feel good, I feel great" and made it across the finish line.

A week after FISU I was fortunate enough to get into my first World Cup in Edmonton. I had to do everything I could to have a speedy recovery between events and get over a 12 hour time difference jet lag.

Edmonton was a good result for me especially for my first World Cup, I finished 12th and made the cut off to gain some ITU points. I had one of the best swims of my season so far coming out of the water with the main pack and managed to stay in that pack for the ride. The bike course was tough and I enjoyed racing on it. My run on the other hand I struggled with. It may have been fatigue from racing the previous weekend or loading up my legs on the hills. I just never felt good on the run. The cheering from the grand stands and spectators on the sidelines helped me give my best effort. Overall it was an exhilarating experience and my first taste of fast racing against a strong field of girls.

Next up is U23 Nationals in Magog, Quebec.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Lessons Learned in Sedona and Dallas

Hey Everyone,

Just though I would make a little update as to what I have been up to for the past month. I have been putting this post off for a while because It didn't go the way I had planned. I guess that's part of being an athlete it's not always an uphill progression. Everyone at some point and I bet more than once reaches a plateau or even a downward slope.
The month of May for me was one of those downward paths. I was very excited to go to my first altitude camp based in Sedona, Arizona at 4,300 ft. I came into the camp with a bit of a cough and thought nothing of it. I wanted to push and train through the illness. However after the first couple days my cough progressed, still my stubborn head thought it would go away so I kept working out. At about day 6 into the camp that's when I hit the wall. Any sort of intensity would have me hacking up phlegm like an 80 year old smoker, by body was weak and I couldn't do anything. I was forced to stop hard training and decided to see a Doctor. It turned out that I had asthma induced by bronchitis and on top of it I was allergic to high amounts of pollen caused by the wildfires that clogged up my sinuses. So camp for me was a bit of disaster. My new goal was to get healthy for my race in Dallas. 20 days we were at camp and I managed to get 3 days of solid training at the end. If I had gone to the Doctor right away and taken those first few days off it would have been a whole different experience. Oh well I definitely learned my lesson and I won't let my hard headed stubbornness get me next time.
Other than the fact that I got sick I tried to make the camp the best experience I could and I have my awesome team mates, training partners, and coaches to thank for helping me.
Sedona overall is a beautiful little town and it is truly a surreal place to train. The scenery is incredible, the riding is challenging and the whole laid back relaxed feel was just what I needed.

Here are some pics from the camp:
Diving into the beautiful pool in Sedona
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Our backyard for 20 days
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Practicing our drafting.... I'm in the lead in the white cap
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Met world class triathlete and Olympian Lisa Norden
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Girl power pace lines.... rocking the awesome RLM kit!
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Beautiful riding in Sedona
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Track session in Camp Verde
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Met up with London Olympic Marathoner Dylan Wykes
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After our training camp we flew right to Dallas, TXS to compete in an ITU Continental Cup. Hotshot Laura Bennett was racing so I was excited to line up against some strong girls. The race did not go the way I wanted or expected it to go. It was a learning experience and what danger I put my body through. Race day was roughly 43 degrees Celsius and freaking HOT! The best way I can describe how it felt was racing in a sauna. I had my first DNF in my whole entire career as a triathlete. I was disappointed and felt like my race was incomplete.
I had a good starting spot and got on some fast feet and tried to hold on. My first loop was strong and the second loop was weaker for me and I lost contact. Eventually a gap formed from the pack I was in. I tried to do some blast strokes to catch up but I wasn't strong enough.
I got onto the bike and absolutely drilled the first loop to catch the packs ahead. (Looking at my power file I pb'd my 5 minute power test in the race of 299Watts). Even from the start of the bike I didn't feel like myself. I felt weird like I was cold. I hydrated a lot but that still wasn't enough. Eventually a pack formed for me and we worked really well together. It wasn't until the 6th lap that my chain dropped as I was down shifting. I lost my pack and put it on as fast as I could. I worked really hard to try and catch back up. After going onto the 7th loop I got really dizzy. I got really cold and I was so desperate to cool off that I poured Gatorade from my bottle onto my head. I biked to the side of the road onto a side street and collapsed. That was the end of my race. I had passed out from heat exhaustion. Of the 25 girls who started the race 12 finished. Half the field literally dropped to the ground and out of the race.
I am going to keep my head up high. I work hard and the pay off will come. I do have to remember that it is my first year U23 and I am still at the bottom of the ladder and that it is a process like my Junior years were. I am going to keep climbing that ladder and at some points there will be a couple steps back in order to move forward.

Sorry for such a debbie downer post but on a positive note, I am back home and finally feeling like myself in training. I am having some great session and I have another week here in Guelph before I head out to a staging camp in Vancouver. From there I will travel to Taiwan to compete for Canada in the FISU World University Triathlon Championships. This will be my first time in Asia so I am very excited.

I will be sure post an update after FISU.