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.