Friday, 29 November 2013

The time only comes once a year!


30 days has September, April, June and November…right? I am not sure where they have all gone but December is now at our door step.  November consisted of soaking up too much sunshine, finding delicious cafes, catching up with what feels like long lost friends,  spending some extra hours lying around in bed and doing some things for myself aka the most dreaded dentist.  I have learnt to make the most of the time off as “reality” comes hunting you down way too quick. Back up in the clouds, I am soaking up the minimal oxygen up in Falls Creek once again to start the year. It’s a beautiful place up here, quiet and easy to revert back to fundamental basics which are important for this time of year.

 

I don’t get much time to explore Sydney but every year Bondi puts on the Sculptures by the Sea. It’s a free exhibition set up along the beaches from Tamarama to Bondi with a new thought process every year. You can get alittle crazy with it by bending down and doing what some of the sculptures are doing. I don’t rate my flexibility so I left that for everyone else aka my dad.



If you asked me 3 years ago when I first started if I would ride a mountain bike, you would have got a blank “no “. It has grown on me over the years and something that I always wanted to try. I had fun exploring the Blue Mountains, down south at Wingello State forest and some trails around at home. I did have one embarrassing stack, miss judging the width of my handlebars and hit both trees. Nevertheless I was in the bushes on the side of the track. Learnt my lesson.  I loved single track, gaining some good skills especially when the rain came pouring down. I think I still have sore wrists from the first time I went downhill, grabbing onto the handlebars so tight. It could also be from my multiple attempts to master handstands and cartwheels. Wouldn’t say the circus would want me anytime soon. It was something different to the normal road riding we do throughout the season and something I will sure do in the off season next year.




 
Nothing beats a good selfie but I got to play around with the camera a bit showing off what I do for 300 or so days of the year. Some awesome underwater videos and photos with some also of me riding and running. What I wear, what bike I ride and what shoes I run in wouldn’t be possible without my sponsor so it is always great showing them off. Thanks to SportsCrafters for the new set of rollers that have already come to good use starting back into training and up here in Falls Creek. Abit of a shock to the system was testing at NSWIS before heading up to Falls Creek. After a few weeks off and just some easy jogs around the estate, testing always bites you in the bum. No expectations, but just from the treadmill to try and get the legs up to speed with it. It seems to always win..

 

 

Before heading up to Falls Creek, I got invited to go to Macarthur Triathlon Presentation night.  A busy night with lots of awards but the sight of exciting futures for the juniors of the club. Emma Carney had very inspirational talk and not too much has changed from what I do now. I got put on the spot with a few questions but I don’t mind speaking to a crowd. ( Hope I answered them alright ha)
 

I am looking forward to December with most of it spent up here in Falls Creek. Then it is home to lose some wisdom, turn 21, spend Christmas with the family and finish the year for New Years in New Zealand. J







 

Monday, 4 November 2013

Work hard in silence and let success be your noise!





My Season Review for 2013

Devonport Oceania Sprint Championships, February –
My first race of the season and it was time to dust some cob webs off to start the year. I had a decent swim but just missed a few girls up the road and was forced to ride in the middle of two groups. My run did not help me either after such a hard ride and finished 7th.






Wellington Oceania Olympic Championships, March-
My second race was much better with a solid swim but we ended up riding as one big group for most of the race. A massive positive was a sight of my run form coming through with a sprint finish for 4th place and making it through my first Olympic distance for the year.






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Mooloolaba ITU World Cup, March –
A small but quality field, coming out of the water with the lead girls would change the aspect of the race. We rode strongly over the 40km but I became the one dictating the pace at the front up the hills. A hot and hilly run put me in survival mood but equally my best world cup finish with a 5th place.





Auckland ITU World Series, April –
My first World Series race of the year! Back to where I finished the year last year, I love Auckland and the course. I exited the water in the top 5, rode strong and ended up finishing in 10th in a sprint finish with one of my training partners. A top 10 in a world series race, I couldn’t be any happier with the start to the year.








Yokohama ITU World Series, April–
As soon as I dived into the water, I knew it wasn’t going to be my day. I just had no strength and probably swam the worst I did all
year. I think I just lost focus and was too worried about being so far back and put myself in a vulnerable position following bad wheels.
Next minute, I came crashing down on white lines and landed pretty heavily on my ribs. I am not the person to pull out so I
finished up in a lot of pain to 21st.




Madrid ITU World Series, May –
Madrid was my first race back after my injury with my ribs and I didn’t

know how it would go with minimum swim and ride training. I put my

ribs at the back of mind and went into the race with a positive mind.

My swim went really well and I couldn’t believe how I did it. As soon

as I started riding up the first hill, I knew my day was over. My ribs

weren’t giving me anything and I was forced to pull of my first race.
Les Sables and St Jean de Monts French GP
Both of these races for my French team, Tri Val de Gray are prime opportunities for racing mid hard training. Fields are always quality in these types of races and these two were chances to see how my ribs
were post injury. Not my best results but something I can look back on and see how I can improve for bigger ITU races.




Palamos ITU World Cup, July

 
A late one added into the calendar, I wanted to have a good race with the opportunity of having a break away. My swim wasn’t the best that day and I had to settle into the chase pack
losing time. A run that I wasn’t too happy with either , finished a okay 10th.




Hamburg ITU World Series, July –
I had to redeem myself from the weekend before and needed to put in a solid race. I swam as well as I knew I could exiting the water within the top 4 and ride solid on technical course. The weekend before took a lot of the legs especially run wise and I finished 26th. Back to the
drawing board with my run..
Tiszaujvaros World Cup, August –  This race was the one that suited me the most this year. A breakaway in the heat allowed me to get comfortably into the
final with a win. A breakaway again in the final let me get away with 7 other girls and we gained over a minute on the next group. I didn’t run to my potential and let podium get up
the road. Another 5th for the year, I was pretty excited on how
everything has progressed going into worlds.
Stockholm ITU World Series, August –
Stockholm scared me last year- cobbles, downhill, what?! I couldn’t let this take advantage of me and I went into the race confident. I came out of water within the top 3 girls and got onto my bike with knowledge I had better skills and ability then most of the girls around me. We just played around as most of the stronger riders were in the chase group. They eventually caught us and it was going to come down to the run. I felt okay running, not terrible or nothing to flash but finishing 17th is something to build on.




Satrouville French GP
 
This was very unexpected for me. I think I had the swim of my season and got on to the feet of some "fish" within the sport. The bike course was awesome to have a breakaway of four of us- a little climb and fast flats. We gained over 2 minutes on the main group of girls and I put myself in a position to win. I felt really good running and turned the corner onto the blue carpet and went for it. I went too early and missed the win just! 2nd was awesome, first under 23 and a massive confidence booster.




London ITU World U23 Triathlon Championships, September –
I went into London with the knowledge that anything could happen. People have some break- through performances at under 23’s. It wasn’t a course that suited my strengths. I was confident in my swim and my bike that if we had the people there we could have a break but this didn’t happen. I had a great swim and gained 40 or so seconds on main group of girls. There wasn’t enough of us to make it work so it turned into a massive group. Coming down to a run wasn’t what I wanted and finishing 14th was pretty disappointing for me.




Nice French GP
 
I picked my head up after London and trained on towards the end of the season. I still had fitness post London and went in there with the attitude of getting myself in another breakaway. That course is ideal for getting away as it is flat and fast. I was just off the back out of the swim and worked pretty hard to get myself back on the group of 4 girls. We rode about 90 seconds into them and I finished 4th and first under 23.




Tongyeong ITU World Cup, October –
 
The last race on my overseas trip before home, we stopped in South Korea. One very dodgy first lap in the swim, I put my head down and swam hard till I was
with the front girls on the second. 7 of us got away with 4 of us working well together. A 15 second penalty was going to my killer but I think this gave me
more motivation to run hard and give myself my first
world cup podium with a 3rd place. Very exciting!




Nepean Triathlon
My last race of the year was alittle bit different with a non drafting format. I actually really enjoyed the training leading into this and being something different gave me motivation to train hard till the end. I didnt swim that great but put myself in a good position off the bike to get a podium. I ran well and was happy with how my season ended with a third place.
Thanks to everyone who has supported me this season, my coach Jamie Turner, my parents, my sponsors and Triathlon Australia. I can’t complain too much with finishing 23rd in the world on the ITU points list and 32nd in the WTS rankings. A few ups and a few downs but that’s triathlon and I am looking forward to 2014!  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Sunday, 13 October 2013

Tongyeong World Cup 2013




 
There is something about Tongyeong that I really like. The Starbucks there does help my cause. The fish smell everywhere, rice is plentiful, symbols that mean nothing to us and a pretty unique place that not many people get to adventure into. The last race before heading home back to Australia after five months, I was excited to have a good race and put the last few weeks of training after worlds into a solid result. I knew if I was in Vitoria and not at home, I wanted to take things seriously and make the most of my time left overseas. Thanks to Eric at Jardines de Aristi Aparthotel for looking after us for the past 5 months. You make us feel more than welcome and some where we can call home for half the year. We had long hours of travel from Europe with a funny and hour wasting experience in Paris on our 7 hour stopover to find a swimming pool. Our women’s’ sense of direction or maybe Google maps got us there eventually. Mostly importantly was to get over jetlag quickly and get used to the changing of time zones. I think I did this fairly well with falling asleep at night becoming very easy. Trying to figure out why I was hungry all the time, the counting back of seven hours to what time it was in Vitoria made it much easier to justify my hunger in the early hours of the morning.

Tongyeong is a course I really like, being hilly and generally fairly hot. This year an extra hill was added into the run, being one of the steepest I have probably ran up in a race four times. Race morning was an early start with the air and water being quite fresh. I decided not to get in the water with it being only 20 degrees but I think I made the wrong decision not being warmed up enough. My first lap of the two lap swim, I didn’t go out hard enough and I got caught up in all the mess. Coming out on the first lap I was mid field with the glimpse of a group of a few girls up the front. I knew this would be the race, so I dove back in, put my head down with clean water and swam as hard as I could till I got on their feet at the first buoy. Coming back into shore, I made sure I was in contact with them.

Last year I made the mistake of not being desperate enough at the start and let two girls get up the road. With a group of 7 of us, 4 of us were working together to maintain the gap. It never seizes to amaze me that people just sit for a free ride and be pests, when we are giving them a chance at a top 7. We probably should have rode abit harder than tempo up the hill, hard over the top and down the hill to get away from them. Being an out and back course, it is easy to see where the chase group is every lap. We were gaining time on them every lap which gave me confidence in our riding to maintain the gap till the end. I found out on the ride I had a penalty for not putting my goggles in the box which meant I had to serve 15 seconds sometime on the run.

Coming off the bike, the two minute gap would be a perfect opportunity for a podium finish. I went out at my own pace, relaxed and hoping I could build towards the end. The four lap course went very quick with the hill and corners changing it up alittle. I didn’t feel that crash hot but had to make sure I was keeping hydrated or taking nutrition in with the temperature getting hotter. The hill was the only chance I got to see where the other group was in comparison to me every lap. The girls were catching and on the third lap when I chose to take my penalty, the 15 seconds couldn’t have gone any slower and I kept checking to see if anyone had come around the corner. On another note it was a nice chance to take a break. I knew I had to run the last lap pretty hard to keep my third place. I knew Tamysn was catching me but once again on the hill I got a chance to see where she was. I went as fast as I could down the hill and all the way to finish. My first world cup podium with a third place, I am pretty excited to end my ITU season on a high. A few mistakes and things I should have done differently but this is how you learn for next time. This even goes for the opening of the champagne bottle!

I would like to thank Jamie for another year as my coach. A few ups and downs but overall another year of development as an under 23. Thanks to Triathlon Australia for all the support throughout the year and helping me gain experience to grow and more forward as an elite athlete. To all the service providers that have helped in 2013, thank you for keeping me in the best possible shape. I couldn’t be any more excited to go home and see my family and spend some time with friends away from triathlon. One more race close to my home in Nepean before having some down time, with it all starting again later this year in Falls Creek.


Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Journeys...



Some would say I am a jet setter. I get onto the plane with the hope of a new airline magazine is there to entertain me for the first 10 minutes, usually with some pretty pictures. A text "Journeys" in the Air France magazine after six plane trips and six reads, I had to tear it out. Although I did attempt to read it in French, I turned the page and the English version was awaiting my read. It reminds me of the first time I did get on a plane; the novelty and uniqueness of being high above the clouds. I have to admit it’s not the same anymore. A few plane trips a month allows the mind to wander- "images of people and things we’ve seen, loved, dreamed of, yearned for, in places and times frequently distant from another". My thoughts generally although consist of did my bike get on the plane, how long do I have to sleep, what did I forget and the list is endless…
 
 
 


My journeys this month have been twice to France and once to London. I would say I have had two successful trips to France with my French team Tri Val de Gray. We had our first podium win in Sartouville and finished 4th overall for the season for 2013 by 0.5 points. Sartouville was exciting being in a breakaway and finishing just a few metes too short in a sprint finish for 2nd place. The last French GP of the season was held in Nice. It is a beautiful place where the beach side atmosphere makes me miss home. The thought of my bike not turning up came true and I had a few dramas pre race. I was very lucky with my Giant Envie turning up one hour before we were leaving for the race! Nice beaches aren’t like the beaches at home with blinding white sand but instead had massive pebble stones. Running into start I miss judged my dive and nearly faced planted straight into them. The water was pretty choppy but I found good feet from the start and had a hard swim with 5 of us girls having a gap on the rest of the field.


The swim doesn’t finish until you have jumped on your bike. I was just off the back of the girls and I knew that if I didn’t get on, there was no body for ages. I rode hard the first lap and got myself within the group of five by the end of the first lap. We all rode well together and got
a gap of 90 seconds by the time we entered T2. I had a pretty shocking T2 and ran straight past my bike rack. This meant I missed the girls going out onto the run and was alittle off the back from the start. The ride was fairly solid and took abit out of the legs. I was pretty stoked that the torrential rain came when we were running but I couldn’t be happier to finish up with a solid 4th and first under 23!


We have also been having a few adventures or journeys here in Vitoria. We headed to picture perfect San Sebastian for the day to soak up the last days of summer. It’s always so relaxing there and time sure does fly when you are having fun! I felt like I came back alittle bit browner than I left but it’s probably just my imagination. The water is still somewhat warm and the pontoon with the slide is always fun. I tired to be alittle adventurous and went to go get my hair cut before home. This could have turned out extremely well or horribly bad. Too much of my surprise, the lady did a fabulous job understanding my Spanish to try and have some hair left when I left the place. Might go back there next year! ;) This last month we have been trying to explore Vitoria more, finding new restaurants, coffee stops and making regular visits to the butcher. It is always so busy there- it feels like a mosh pit. They cut your meat to order so it is actually better to grab a ticket, leave and come back. We wanted to only order 2 slices of cold meat and we got 22. Oh well looks like we are set for a few
days..



The number of people here in Vitoria has shrunk over the last few weeks, with everyone going home to their different places around the world. Not going to lie I do miss the best neighbours in the world, Gwen and Pat. Grace and I always do our regular checks to make sure they haven’t come back.. One more journey to Tongyeong before heading home to Australia!


Saturday, 14 September 2013

London Under 23 World Championships


London Under 23 World Championships

Once a year, there is a race with this fancy title - world championships. My third time representing Australia, it is always such an honour and pride to be wearing the green and the gold. I have been very lucky over the last few years with the other girls getting picked being my other training partners or often known as the “Wollongong wizards”. Vitoria has been a perfect lead up environment with everyone developing a focus to be the world’s best. Leading up London, I had a solid race the French GP in Sartrouville placing 2nd. This gave me great confidence in my racing with a breakaway of four of us , gaining 2 mins before the run. Coming down to a sprint finish, I just didn’t have the last kick in the last few metres but none the less, it was an exciting and challenging racing. I knew all year, gaining strength in one discipline sometimes means it affects the strength of another. The opportunities that I have had this year to develop my races to world class have been fundamental to where I am now. Racing the best girls in the world shows me where I am relative to others which motivates and makes me determined for the future as an elite rather than a under 23.

 


 

A perfect situation would have been a small break off the front for the whole race, with big enough gap that it wouldn’t depend so much on my run. Ideally..Nerves settled in well and truly and I knew what I had to do to give me the best chance of winning. “Swim like the boat sunk, bike like you stole it and run for your life”. Knowing that the left side was significantly shorter than the right, being second onto the pontoon I had a lot of choice to where I started and not dependent on others.  The water, a fresh 15 degrees, I was telling myself “swim as fast as you can to the first buoy”.  I had a good start and got straight on the feet of one of the Canadian girls. I lost contact with feet for the first lap but kept relaxed and thought about proc esses. By the end of the first lap, a small gap had been created and I knew now would be the time to get on it. Swimming on feet is much easier than swimming by yourself. The swim was hard but I knew I put myself in good position from the start. Lucy Hall had 30 seconds on us by the end of the swim and knew the first part of the bike would be crucial.

 
The first lap of the bike, I rode with one other girl with the knowledge that one girl was up the road and we had 40 or so seconds on the next group major group. Having a smaller field means there are less links in the chain. By the start of the second lap the majority of the field were in our group with the aim to catch Lucy Hall up the road. The road was damp and following good wheels was important. My legs have definitely felt better in previous races and I was cautious in over riding as there wasn’t any benefit riding hard on the front. By the 2nd last lap we caught Lucy Hall and everyone relaxed with the pace dropping. I have made the mistake too many times this year, letting everyone get infront of me in the last lap and I lose my position before getting into T2.

 

 

Starting the run it was just a massive group of us, running up the rise to the u turn. Unfortunately on the way back down, I lost contact with the group and found myself in a group of four. If I can take anything from my run, it is that I kept in contact with the group of four the whole way but just had nothing to give.  The final straight came up fairly quick and the legs just didn’t want to sprint. Finishing in 14th it was definitely not what I wanted in London . Although things didn’t go to plan and I didn’t reach the expectations that I set for myself, I stayed upright, I am not injured and I can take many positives from the race. As some would say “I am a work in progress”.  

What can I say? I have learnt so much this year from training, racing and the people around me that not only have I grown as an athlete but a person. The opportunities that are given to me to train in such a high quality environment and be coached by Jamie Turner are something I have very privileged to be in. Jamie always looks out for the best for us, trying new things and helping us develop into elite athletes. Sometimes I wonder why we do things but I have total trust in what he does as my coach and like being challenged in our daily environment. I can look back three years ago as a junior in Beijing and see how much influence Jamie has helped grow from then to now. Training is made much easier with three other girls that made the team with me and what a show you all put on Thursday with Charlotte being the new Under 23 World Champ. Also a massive thanks to Gwen Jorgensen for being an amazing training partner, friend and next door neighbour this year. Words can’t say how grateful we are for having you in our group. Thanks to all the service provides from Triathlon Australia, Victor, Amelia and Alex for massage for the past few months. Thanks Bernard for getting me the opportunity to race in Under 23s in London and the chance to perform throughout the year.  Even though they are thousands of km’s away, my family are awesome and could not be any more supportive with what I do. The season isn’t just over yet with another month in Europe and two more races to go. Looking forward to many world championships to come..





Sunday, 25 August 2013

Stockholm WTS 2013

 




One of my favourite cities on the World Triathlon Series circuit, Stockholm is a beautiful and unique place to hold a race. Some of the busiest bike paths, everyone commutes on bikes and I feel like we are understood. The feeling of being underdressed, surrounded by plenty of men in business suits, lots of coffee shops and a buzzing atmosphere in the city. Having a day off on Thursday when we arrived, I took the opportunity to stretch the legs in the central of Stockholm, do a lot of window shopping and put the feet up at local coffee shops. We stayed in a perfect location this year with the swimming pool being 300m, running trails alongside the water and still close to race sight. I wanted to come back this year with more confidence in my ability to ride this type of course and see where I am at before London in a few weeks time.
 


Race morning was pretty relaxed with a morning swim in the pool as I didn’t plan on getting into the water at race start. A chill 14.7 degrees in the water was not that inviting. Thanks to HUUB for getting me a new Axena wetsuit soon quick this week, as I ripped a hole in mine earlier this week. The pretty pink was definitely a stand out! The field split up all over the pontoon and I went were the Australian coaches had worked out it was the shortest to the first buoy. I wouldn’t say I had a perfect or clean start but by the first buoy, I worked my way around people and got some on good feet coming back into the pontoon. I had no idea where people were behind us so I didn’t want to lose the first few girls. After watching the replay, I now realise the field split dramatically into two and I was sitting comfortably at the front. The swim slowed a lot in the second lap, becoming 3 abreast but I felt comfortable as I was swimming next to familiar faces. Exiting the water in 5th place, I wanted to make up as much time as I could going into T1 as the swim doesn’t end till you jump on your bike. I have been practicing my transitions a lot latterly as they have been costing in past races. Thanks Gwen for the extra motivation of the past few weeks and many lost elastic bands chilling in the recovery centre car park.



After you jump on your bike, it’s straight downhill onto cobbles with a sharp turn back on yourself at the bottom. I got my feet in early and made my way up the front to keep a good position for the whole ride. The course was 9 laps. To be honest I had no idea who was in our group but when I found out we had over a minute on the next group we had to work together to keep it away. Unfortunately, this didn’t go to plan and I spent too much time on the front doing the work that no one wanted to do. When the chase group caught us after a few laps, I made sure I keep my position at the front of the group. Andrea Hewitt went off the front with Vanessa Raw and I remember thinking, should I go? Within that two seconds of thought, they were already gone. I felt good riding and happy with how my strength has improved since this course last year. I knew I had nothing lose on the cobbles and after Hamburg and Tiszy I was ready for the technical components of the course. Riding up the hill into transition, it felt just like our HOP (hour of power) loop at home with some familiar faces powering up the hill. Another thing I did wrong was let the girls that have been sitting back the whole ride come around me on the last lap and I lost my position coming into T2. Last year, I just got dropped from the front group to one of the last. It’s amazing what a year can do, abit of confidence, strength and a clear goal.

Going onto the run, I actually felt really good considering the hard ride. My first 2.5km felt comfortable and I wanted to keep running at that pace and keep relaxed. The cobbles up hill and down hill make it hard to get grip and keep cadence up. I tried to keep with the small group behind me on the second lap but my legs just wouldn’t go. The third and fourth lap, my body was lifting. The 2 x double espresso’s that morning started to kick in. I started to pick up girls ahead of me which was a big positive and that’s when you have to do your best work; in the back end of the run. I am not going to lie, running up the hill on the last lap to finish, I was so excited to sit down but obviously not enough as I got out sprinted for 16th ;). I am very pleased with 17th and can take many positives from this race and onwards to London.



Thank you to Triathlon Australia for organising most of our trip with flights, accommodation, massage and ice bath post race. Thanks to Alex Price for the massages and taking our wheels to and from the race. Sorry about that white shirt with the new grease marks on it. You can borrow some stain remover! Always a thank you to Jamie for helping us get ready for the demands of the course and helping me progress as an athlete but also a person. I am will sure be back to race Stockholm again, the challenge is addictive!

 

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Tiszaujvaros ITU Triathlon World Cup





My third year back to Tiszaujvaros, my third year competing in the semi and final format, I was excited to get racing. Our trip started with a little overnight stay at the Adams family Budapest airport hotel. A very cute, yet creepy place, everything from the staff to the style of the room to the playing of the theme song as soon as we got into the bedroom, it was an interesting experience to say the least. Arriving in Tiszy, it once again turned on the heat when we arrived and it felt just like Vitoria has been over the last few weeks- nothing different to us. I was pretty lucky with our room having air conditioning, which was nice to get a good night sleep every night. I couldn’t figure out why everyone was complaining..Tiszy only being a small place has a great atmosphere and it was awesome to still see a triathlon to put them on the map.

Semi Final

I was ranked third going into the semi and I knew it was going to be tough to get through. This heat had very strong swim/bikers and if I missed the group, I would be made to run fast to qualify. I was pretty nervous but I knew that the 1 %’s were going to count even more. I went more to the left of the pontoon with Lucy Hall picking the spot next to me. Perfect! A three lap swim with it being 110m to the first buoy it is absolutely chaos if you are 1 second behind where you should be. I got a clean start with a few hits at the first few buoys but I found free space earlier and was able to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. The swim was very strung out from the start. Getting out of the water, Lucy had about 15 seconds on our group. I made up a lot of time in transition and found myself in a group with 6 other girls.

I was surrounded by girls that would not call themselves strong runners so they wanted to ride hard to make it to the final. The pace was pretty solid for the 2 x 10km out and back laps. The pace was kept at a high standard for the whole ride with our group working well together gaining 2 mins 30 over the next chase pack of girls. We were told before the race that it was all about positioning in the semi final to what you would be ranked tomorrow, not off ITU rankings beforehand. I had a great transition and found myself running with 2 other girls for the whole 5km. We ran a good tempo for the whole run and were able to back off with the other girls being so far behind. I put alittle surge in at the end and got the number 1 position for the final on Sunday.

It was all about recovery- eating, massage, getting off the feet, compression and getting ready for the demands of the course tomorrow. I felt like a lot of pressure was off my shoulders, once I made it through to the final.

Final:

Another late afternoon start, we were able to flush the body out in the morning with a short swim and ride pre race to get ready to race another sprint distance. Having first pick on the pontoon, I had all the choice in the world to pick what I thought would be the best and fastest way to the first buoy. I went right, hoping the wider line would help me out. I don’t think I have ever been swam on top on more than that before and at the first buoy it was chaos with arms, legs and bodies popping up everywhere and I was one of them. I told myself not to panic and I was determined to get out of the fighting. The swim was once again strung out earlier with 2 British girls trying to make a break off the front. I moved my way up over the 750m and made my way into front girls out of the water. T1 was going to be important again and I made the most of it, being the first out of the bike with the knowledge the other 2 girls at 20 seconds on us.

The ride course today was 8 laps of 2.5km with a u turn being the only indicated of where the chase pack were behind us. Once again I found myself with many of the girls I rode with yesterday. We all worked well together, but we still weren’t gaining time of 2 girls up the road. The course was good as the chase girls lost motivation as they could not see us up the road. Over the 8 laps we were continuing gaining time on them which was exciting as the podium was going to come out of us girls. I put myself in a good position the whole ride and found out early who sucked at turning corners and doing a u turn. Coming into T2 we had 2 girls with 30 seconds on us and the next chase group being over a minute behind. I had a shocking T2, not being able to get my shoes on quicker enough and I lost contact with the front girls early.


The run course was 4 x 1.25km laps which kept every lap short and sweet. I didn’t feel fabulous and two days of hard riding was taking its toll. I was happy to have someone else to run with to help bridge the gap. Within the first 2 laps we caught the 2 British girls but one of them stuck with us. Podium was just up the road but I just didn’t have a different gear to offer. I knew the girls were coming from behind so I was thinking about keeping my cadence high and "popping". Coming into the last 500m, the other girl pulled infront of me and I was left in a sprint finish for 5th place. Equal best to two other world cup finishes, I know that top 3 was so close. I was pretty knackered by the end after 2 days of solid racing. I can take away two races that turned out near perfect. Although my run was not there on Sunday, I am looking forward to the races coming up over the next few weeks before London to continue to work on this.



Thank you to all the Triathlon Australia staff for the helping us out where possible over the weekend. Thanks to Beata for helping us to find massage in Tiszy pre and post race with Roland and Lazlou both being very friendly and offering a great massage service. On to Stockholm now in 2 weeks time..



Sunday, 4 August 2013

London London London


One year ago, 55 women and 55 men from 37 nations were lining up on the pontoon to start in the most important race of their life. Millions of eyes around the world and thousands of supporters lined the course to watch a race to gold. My eyes were glued to the TV here in Vitoria as I waited for who would be the new Olympic champion for triathlon in London. Who would have thought after 2 hours of racing three women would be sprinting down the blue carpet? I can remember every session from that day, probably because it was pitch black and 9.30 at night when my day concluded and I couldn’t be any more motivated with an Australian and a hometown girl, Erin Densham receiving a bronze medal.


In 39 days time, I will get my chance to go to London to represent Australia in the Under 23 team for World Championships. I am very happy the team was announced earlier than expected as I can not only physically but mentally prepare for the demands of race day. This is my third year on the Australian team and the third time I will pull out the green and gold nail polish. Hopefully we can get Grace out of her tomboy ways and wear some! ;)

Earlier this year I had a forced mid session break as I took injury leave. I knew I had to come bouncing back to be selected for the Australian team. Being able to compete in World Series races has given me vital and accelerated development opportunities within triathlon and has helped me gain confidence as I race against the worlds’ best. I also give massive credit to the professional environment that I am privileged to be training in with my coach Jamie Turner and the three other girls that will be on the start line with me in London. The Wollongong Wizards are back for 2013 and ready to take on the world.

So what’s been happening in England in July 2013?

-  The hottest days on record with a scorching 33.5 degrees in West London. That is a typical warm summer day at home.

 - Andy Murray was the first British man in 77 years to break the hoodoo to win Wimbledon.

-  Prince George Alexander Louis was born. Whilst I was googling how to spell his royal name, they are already predicting what he will look like at 16.

Although there is plenty of excitement leading up to London, it will be business as always in Vitoria with racing, training and plenty of 1% to work on. It is so busy in Vitoria at the moment with Canadians, Americans and us Aussies, that we had the perfect race simulation opportunity at open water. We called it "Landa World Cup". Plenty of personal bubble breaking and with nearly 20 girls diving off a pontoon to try and get to the first buoy first. It was a perfect situation to simulate a race.



With business there is pleasure and on Sundays’ we make the most of the recovery with the facilities at the Bakh Centre. The words "tengo frio" are used quite often as the ice bath seems colder every time I visit and I am still amazed how people dunk their heads in. Outside there is a play pool, where the beach chairs beckon you to relax and soak up the sunshine. What do I do – try and catch a cloud – there is no time for relaxing in the path to London.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Hamburg World Series Race




Thank you, Danke, Gracias, Merci- I still don’t think I knew what country I was in or what country I was from. Hamburg is spectacular with beautiful buildings, the best shopping (window shopping unfortunately), an awesome place to run around the lake and thanks to the organises for mapping out the 45km training ride loop. The country side of Hamburg was something different to the inner city life and was perfect for pre and post race spin. I actually got really tired with no traffic lights to let me take a breather ;)

 

After Palamos World Cup the weekend before, the week leading into Hamburg was all about soaking up abit of R and R or “mad chilling” as I like to put it. After racing Hamburg last year, I knew what was coming for me- fast swim, faster bike and an even faster run. I made vital mistakes last year that I didn’t want to make again. Speaking to Jamie I knew I needed good positioning from the front end of the race to get more near the front at the end. A later start to race day, which I love, allowed me to think about what needed to be done in the afternoon- processes and intent in place to be able to perform. The weather put on a show being warmer than I expected which was perfect for a non wetsuit swim.

 

The Alster would not be the cleanest place I have ever swam in with the sight of your hand being lost in the murky waters. My ranking has moved back in the WTS rankings as I have missed a few due to my ribs. The field split up on the pontoon and I slotted myself in about 24th spot with a few good swimmers on both sides of me. Last weekend in Palamos and even in French GP races, I haven’t been having a swim I knew I was capable of. A non wetsuit swim and fresh water is something that suits me to the tee. I didn’t want to get bashed around from the start and end up fighting. Until the first buoy I put my head down and was determined to get there up the front. One of the cleanest swims I have had in a while I found clear water early and good position on the feet of the leaders. Coming back in under the bridge, the darkness and a big field is always a chance for an odd wack to the head; not this year. Running out of the water in 4th, I knew the swim doesn’t finish till I got on my bike was comfortable in the main group. We had about 6 girls with about a 10 second gap on the field. I got alittle bit flustered in T1 and couldn’t clip on my helmet. I didn’t want to get dropped like last year.



The whole ride I wanted to make sure I was in good position at the front and not getting strung off the back around the u turn and skinny streets. The word technical defined by google means something that requires technical knowledge to be understood. The course demands lots of accelerations- high power, low power, high cadence, low cadence efforts due to the corners. It means holding good wheels, weight on the outside foot and taking the corners big.  The pace was on from the start and I was happy to roll through to keep my position near the front of the pack. This allowed me less effort to get back on and use my skills to my advantage. As soon as all the coaches were calling out time splits to Gwen the girls knew they had to keep that gap if they wanted a chance to win. I found myself alittle further back on one of the laps and had to work much harder to get back on. Two corners was enough of that and made a change straight away. The German team rode very strong and were dominate within our group. The ride felt comfortable but I knew all the efforts would impact my run. Coming into T2 it was mayhem with everyone leaning down to take off their shoes in the skinny streets.

 

Palamos was abit of a disappointment with my run so I wanted to go out and see what I could do over 5km. I don’t know if I have lost abit of confidence in my ability to perform run wise as I haven’t been doing that much speed work into Hamburg and unsure where I am at. It was going to be fast from the get go and I didn’t have the lungs from the start. This weekend my legs wanted me to go but my lungs were holding me back. I had a group of girls to run with that helped me keep pace and a sprint finish is always a way to make sure you are still alive. Finishing in 26th, am I happy? Yeah. Is there still plenty to work on ? Definitely. I look back on the race and realise that I have learnt so much from the two years I have done it and are more confident in my ability to perform in the front end of the race. Although I didn’t run was fast as I wanted to and needed too, it was still progress from last year with a 20 second quicker run and something that I can look at a positive as. Another 20 seconds is 10th place…

 

Now it is back to the drawing board and it is going to be something that is more self driven to improve in areas that need development. I am looking forward to abit of a self change to get me into good shape for the later races of the season. I would like to thank Bernard for giving me the chance to start and the opportunity for development, Amelia for the keeping my body in working order and Jamie for always knocking some sense into me.  Next stop Tizy World Cup!