Thursday, 28 February 2013

February Monthly Report


 

“Twists and Turns” This is the title of the Matthew Mitcham autobiography - a truly inspiring story that was compelling reading. He was a transitional athlete that moved from gymnastics and was picked up by an AIS coach mucking around at his local pool. He has moved past adversity and come out the other end with an Olympic Gold medal. “People kept remarking on how they were surprised that a gold medal and fame hadn′t changed me. I always responded, "Why would I change? Being me is the easiest person to be." He isn’t just a pretty face!

Within my own life, although I don’t dive, fly or fall with style, I have my own twists and turns; not from 10m platform hitting the water at 60km an hour, thank goodness! Realistically, I twist :  rotation with every stroke in swimming ( I might be a bad example if you have ever watched me swim ;) ), daily exercises from Alex Price or the occasion dance move boogieing around my house. I turn : flip turns on the wall, unwanted roly-poly’s  in the massive surf that even come with the added bonus of a few tears and lost goggles, turning corners on my bike and doing U turns on the run. These are the simple twists and turns in my life and I do them everyday automatically but these have given me memories and experiences that have moulded who I am and who I will be.

 We are lucky enough to train now in an environment with one of the best runners in the world - “Invaluable experience that you can’t necessarily just teach” (Emma Snowsill).This adds to the twists and turns as you get the chance to watch, learn and chase. I had my first race of the season in Devonport, Tasmania and I got another opportunity to observe what it takes to be the best - the person getting further and further up the road. I can already see the positive contribution in my daily training environment and I am pleased she has made the choice to train with us. She also gave me a good excuse to bake up at storm and test out my cheesecake baking skills for the squad.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
To end, check out the article from Triathlon Australia on my coach Jamie Turner: http://www.triathlon.org.au/Coaches/Coaching_News/FEBRUARY_INTERVIEW__Three_Minutes_with___Jamie_Turner.htm



Saturday, 23 February 2013

Devonport Oceania Sprint Champs 2013


 
 
I have finally come out of hiding for 2013. With a few months of base training under the belt, training has been going relatively well but I know I am no where near full race fitness.

A late arrival on Thursday night to the White House. Yes, the White House- looks alittle bit like it. It is a 110 year old two storey weatherboard mansion. It is always nice to stay in places like this as it feels like a homely place to stay before a race. I even got to have a nice bath, as my blonde moments for the trip started as I thought there was no hot water in the shower.. I just had it on the cold tap :/ My third year back in Devonport and not much has changed. The normal pre race on Friday and finally it was time to race my first race of 2013.

 

A lot of people were going on about the choppy swim conditions with the extremely strong wind. To what I swam in at North Wollongong a few days ago, the waves looked tiny and I wasn’t planning on shredding any tears. With a 100m beach run down the water, it was important to maximize the opportunity and run as if a tsunami was chasing me. With 750m in the choppy water, I could barely see the buoy, let alone anyone else. Coming back in, it was luck of the draw to catch a wave back into shore. I got a few little ones but nothing good enough for a body surf. Exiting the water in 5th, I was just off the back of some of the main girls. Unfortunately, that 5 to 10 seconds, just put me off the back of the girls to start the ride. With the swim being choppy, it spread the small field out quite abit, more than I expected with the main pack of girls being 40 or so seconds back.

 

Lucky Jamie’s eyesight is a lot better than mine as the night before the race, he noticed that my seat had moved a good 30mms back. This is when I am so grateful for the environment that I am in. I rode with Gillian Backhouse until we caught on to Gwen Jorgensen and another Australian girl. The wind gave us no mercy at all and I didn’t touch my drink bottle once, as I just didn’t have time. With only 3 of us rolling through, it was hard into the head wind and took a lot out of me. My bike fitness is probably lacking the most at the moment from only being on a road bike for the past month. Today of all days, would have been the perfect situation to have a larger pack like the chasing group behind us. I could feel myself fatiguing by the end of the 20km and it didn’t help that one of the girls refused to roll through for her team mates sake up the road. Coming off the bike, the 3 girls in front of us had 35 seconds on us.

 

After coming down from Falls Creek, February has been exciting with new sessions of running, sometimes, well most of the time ending up in a heap on the side of the bike path. I haven’t been feeling that bad but coming off the bike, my legs were not moving anywhere. The chase group weren’t that far behind us and by the u turn on the first lap, I knew people were going to make the move past me. No excuses, it just wasn’t my day run wise and for the first race of the season, I have to get used to running off a bike again. Its back to the reality of hard and fast racing and you just have to start somewhere.   Finishing in 7th,  I wanted better and I will be hard on myself. Bigger and better things to come…

 

Thanks Jamie for the weekend in general, getting our wheels down to race start and looking out for the benefit of us athletes, Berta for the massages, Devonport triathlon for hosting such a great event each year and a final congratulations to the rest of my training group for an all-around successful weekend!

 

 




Sunday, 3 February 2013

January Monthly Report


For 13 years of schooling, I came home every day to the question of “what did you do today?” “Nothing” was generally my answer as I went to the cupboard for afternoon tea. Now15 years later, I still get asked the same question, nothing has changed but my answer. Now I answer - I ran, swum, rode or spent a few hours catching up on sleep. I now describe my life as working nearly 365 days. Standing in front of three junior girls, on a development camp run by Jamie Turner and Kieran Barry, I got the chance to reminisce on where we have come from, why we choose what we did, the investment we have put in and what it requires to be good.  All of us 4 girls came to the same final conclusion that what we do is NOT a sacrifice – it is commitment of our time to strive for success, memories, goals, achievements, and unfortunately failures. The friends, travel and the positives I get out of it make my life an unbelievable dream that I could not have imagined even in year 12 at school when I was studying for my HSC.

 

Six years ago, I competed in my first Australia day Aquathon – it was a fun, competitive day out. It’s always an excellently run event, being the biggest Aquathon in Australia. This year it was the biggest event so far with a massive 2000 + field competing on the coastal edge of Wollongong with an international line up - good enough for some ITU points to be up for grabs( I wish ). Over the last 3 years, I have been lucky enough to come down from altitude and race. This year  the Aquathon challenged my base miles coming down off a massive run block.  You are either going to have off days or amazing days and this is one of my off ones. With no change of gear I felt quiet flat. It’s only the start to the year and I am looking forward to bigger races to come. As you can see from the last 4 years, I haven’t changed much , I still love my heel strike and my nice summer glow.


Riding all of December on my Giant fixie, I had a love/hate relationship with it. I wanted more gears but I enjoyed riding on it as it improved my skill base as you have no choice but to pedal around corners that you would normally stop pedalling on. We started the month with bike fits from Aaron Lean who is part of Cadence Performance Cycling. After a lengthy 3 hours of getting my new Giant bike set up, we found out that the frame wasn’t for me. In one way, it was disappointing as I still have not ridden up the hill in Falls Creek after 3 years. Coming back to home this disappointment went away pretty quick as I honestly missed my old school fixie. After our stay up the mountain, I had a new Giant bike waiting for me at Spearmans Cycles in Wollongong. Thanks to Jamie, Jo Hall and Ryan Lennox for organising my bike and getting me back on a Giant TCR Advanced. I can already tell it’s been a few months since have rode some km’s on the bike as my hands are showing impressive blisters on my palms.  I look forward to getting my fitness and bike confidence back after a long break and pushing some bike watts around the hills of Wollongong.

 
The weather gods have been playing some weird games as of late. From heatwaves to freezing cold, we have had it all. In Falls Creek we had an early leave from altitude due to the threat of bush fires. It was better to be safe than sorry and thanks to Jamie for organising us so quickly with accommodation - we packed up and moved when things became a bit dicey. In Wollongong, some wild weather along the coast line has been hitting us with wild winds and massive surf. With the beach being closed on a lot of days, I have been using the rock pools in my HUUB wetsuit for a pretty choppy swim. This week I felt like I was being blown away but as I am still here it must not have been too bad  ;)