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.