Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

After 2 weeks of sitting in a stinky, sweaty library, Christmas is finally here! This semester really went by quickly and I enjoyed most of my classes, but exam time is by far my least favorite time of year. I hate sitting all day long and having almost no time to do any training. I basically did a lot of hot yoga, some hard swims, and set my trainer up in front of my desk to multitask. I don’t think I learn very much while I’m reading textbooks on my bike but it makes me feel productive at least. I’m so happy to be finished and to be in Canmore for Christmas! My dogs are in paradise here.

I drove down on Tuesday with my mom and sister and we had a pretty serious crash into the ditch about a mile away from our Canmore house. The roads were good for most of the drive, but the last stretch of highway was covered in black ice and we lost control going around a curve. It was very terrifying and we almost rolled over, but smashed hard into the mountainside and came to a halt. I don’t remember much except my sister screaming at the top of her lungs like it was the end of the world. Drama queen. We were all pretty shaken up for a while, but lucky my dad was close by and came to the rescue! I think the car is totaled, but at least we are all uninjured, and, most importantly, the Christmas presents are safe. Phew!

I stopped in Calgary on the way to Canmore to do a bike test and a run gait analysis at the Canadian Sports Centre. It was very beneficial and I learned a lot, so thanks a lot to Dr Smith, Dr Furber, Patrick, Linda and everyone else who was there to help me.

There’s just 5 more days to go until I leave for Maui for a good 5 weeks of training. My new Specialized bike is being shipped straight to Maui and I’m so excited to try it out! Thanks so much to Garth for putting this all together for me in time for the camp. After Maui I’ll be moving back to Victoria. I’ll be living with swimmer Julia Wilkinson and my friend Danika who’s also moving to Vic for the summer. Julia found a place for us about 800 meters from the pool, it sounds perfect! I’m really looking forward to the year ahead.

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I haven’t had anything too exciting to blog about since Budapest, until now! I’m very excited to be joining the Specialized team this year. I’m so grateful that they even considered supporting me, so I was thrilled when I found out that I would be part of the team. The bikes are super fast, the people are so friendly and helpful, and there will be a Specialized truck at the WCS events this year for support on the road. I’m on my way home from their headquarters in California where I was fit for a bike and was introduced to lots of cool, talented people. It took me about 24 hours to get there after 2 cancelled flights and a few delays, but it was well worth the trip. This place was AMAZING! Thanks so much to Bobby, Aaron, Garth, and so many others for the fantastic gear, the awesome bike fit and for being such great hosts for Michelle and me. I can’t wait to ride my new bike!!!

Fit on a tri bike juuuuust incase

Contadors 2010 Tour de France bike

I’ve had a really good few months back at school with a more relaxed training schedule, and swimming lots with the varsity team. It’s been a nice change of routine but I’m looking forward to getting school over with and training lots again. I’m going to Maui with the U of A swim team for 2 weeks after Christmas, and then meeting up with everyone for our triathlon camp right after that. 5 weeks in Maui… sounds good to me! Now I just need to get through exams living in this awful -30 degree weather, and I’m good to go :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I was feeling very anxious all week leading up to this race. I tried not to get distracted by media stuff and external expectations, but I still felt way more pressure than usual. Triathlon Canada brought an awesome support staff that took care of everything for us. Kim, Rob, Chris, Pierre, Gabor, Steve, Kurt, Carolyn and Patrick- I can’t thank you all enough. You were all amazing and I appreciate your hard work more than you know.

I woke up on race morning and was so relieved to see the sun. It had been very rainy all week and I knew the bike course would be dangerous on a wet day. I was ranked number 8 and was excited to be close to the fast swimmers for the start. I lined up next to Emma Moffatt and Andrea Hewitt on the far left. I was adjusting my goggles one last time just before the start and my strap broke!!! I ran over to referee Leslie Buchanan in a total panic. I couldn’t get the broken strap back through the goggles. She was very calm and told me “it’s okay, you have 30 seconds, just relax”. HAHA, a whole 30 seconds. I was freaking out and my hands were shaking. She took the goggles from me and threaded the strap back through. I tied a quick knot in them and sprinted back to my stating position with about 2 seconds to spare. THESE are the goggles that nearly ruined my life:

I proceeded to have the worst swim of my life. I lost all of my focus and still felt panicky for the first few hundred meters. I got out after the first lap and saw a huuuuge line of girls in front of me. I swam as hard as I could on the 2nd lap to make up as much ground as possible, but was still well back from the leaders by the end.

I was happy see Lisa Mensink and a few other strong cyclists in the chase pack with me. We were about 30 seconds behind the leaders and worked VERY hard to catch up. I’ve never had to bridge a gap like that before, and it took much more out of my legs than I was expecting. We caught the pack after about 2 laps and the pace did not settle down. There was lots of standing and sprinting on the very technical course. I tried to stay at the front but my average riding skills kept me near the back around every corner. I was so relieved to get off the bike. It was a deceivingly hard course and I’d worked very hard to get back into contention after my bad swim.

I ran up to the leaders within the first few minutes of the run, but was not feeling nearly as comfortable as I did in London and Kitzbuhel. I slowly got strung off the back and was running about 10 seconds behind the group for most of the way. I had settled with 8th
place in my mind because I was hurting so much, but saw myself slowly getting closer to the girls on the last lap. I reminded myself how badly I wanted to get on the podium, so I surged to catch up and went straight to the front of the pack. I was running at my max for the last 800 meters, and I just didn’t have anything left for the sprint at the end. I crossed the line in 5th, initially disappointed that I wasn’t on the podium… but then I looked around and saw the girls that were rolling on the ground beside me. I was in pretty good company. Maybe 5th place isn’t so bad after all :).

I was very surprised to find out that I had won “best runner of the series” award. I felt a but guilty receiving this as Emma Snowsill is clearly in a different league than me, and the only reason my run splits were fastest was because I have slow transitions and had to bridge a gap to the leaders in every race! Regardless, I was very honored to be recognized, and was very star struck standing next to Jan Frodeno! Haha…

So my 2010 triathlon season is officially over and I’m getting back into the swing of things at school. It’s very hard to switch from full-time training back to being a student- athlete. I’m sitting in class and all I can think about is how I would/should/could be training instead! But I am very happy to be home, and it’s nice to have a change of focus for a few months.

This season was beyond anything I could have imagined. I couldn’t have done it alone and I appreciate every single person who was a part of my success. Thanks so much for the support everyone. I'm excited for next year already!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Canadian Nationals

On Sunday I competed in Kelowna at the Nationals Champs, which is one of my favorite races of the season. I’ve done this race for the past 5 years, ever since my first year in triathlon, so I’m always excited to go back to a familiar course. The weather was much cooler than it has been in the past, and it was very windy on race morning. I saw whitecaps in the water on my walk down to the beach and was immediately terrified. I’ve never had much success swimming in waves- I can’t breath properly and my stoke completely falls apart. Waves and no wetsuit = potential disaster. I chose my start on the very far right and had clear water the whole way, a very nice change from my past few races. I got on Dorelle’s feet and stuck there the whole time. We got out with a group of 6 girls about 90 seconds ahead of the chase pack. The steep hill separated the group a bit, and after a lap it was down to Kirsten, Flora Duffy and I. We took short pulls and worked really well together, but having only 2 other girls to work with made it a challenging ride. I proceeded to have the slowest transition of all times (WHY can’t I get better at this???) and had to close a gap to Kirsten right away. My run was feeling great and I got about a 10 second lead by the first lap, but I knew that Kirsten was coming on strong behind me. The crowds were so great and I could hear people cheering my name along the whole course, which made the time fly by. There was a really strong head wind on half of the run and we ran the last 2 laps in torrential downpour. I started to get cold, but I felt worse for all the people watching the race!

I felt like I had lots of expectations on me for this race so I was very relieved to have a good performance. Now we have 2 more weeks in Victoria before heading to Budapest. Can’t wait!

Congrats to all of the other girls and guys that raced this weekend, and thanks to the Apple triathlon crew for putting on another fantastic race.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Soooooo that happened... again, no idea how…
I had a hard time adjusting to the jet lag on this trip and felt a bit sluggish all week. I slept for 13 hours the night before the race and woke up still feeling sleepy. My legs were aching on the ride over to the course and all I wanted to do was crawl back into bed! I felt surprisingly okay on the run and swim warm up, so I tried to convince myself that maybe things wouldn’t be so bad after all.

I had my highest start number ever for a WCS race, 18, so I was close to the right side and had a straight line right to the first buoy. I got a big knock to the face in the first 100 meters and one goggle immediately filled with water. My contact lens fell out and I panicked for a few seconds but was thankful that I still had one good eye to see out of. I put my head down, got beat up as usual going around the turn, and came out at the tail end of a big group of girls. My second lap was great and I managed to get right back into the front. It was pretty spread out by this point so I was able to actually swim, instead of constantly getting whacked and pulled under. I was super relieved when I got on my bike with the leaders. The bike course was much more technical and hilly than last year, going through a big tunnel and over some cobblestone sections. I surprised myself by staying at the front for the whole ride. Apparently there were 22 girls in the front pack but I only ever saw about 10 of them! There was a major break-away in the men’s race the day before and I didn’t want to get left behind if the same thing happened in our race. It was one of the more challenging rides that I’ve done so I tried to spin my legs out a bit on the last lap to get ready for the run. My second transition was definitely better than London, still not great, but I was able to join the lead group within about a minute. Andrea majorly picked up the pace at the end of the 2nd lap and I really thought that I was going to get dropped, but I hung on for a few minutes hoping that it might settle down again. Just Lisa, Andrea and I were left at the front for the last 2 laps. I made sure that I was leading going around all the 180 turns and took a few fast strides after each one to see if I could make a gap like I did in London. Ha.. not this time, we were all relentless and I was pretty much running at max effort for the last 5k.

I thought briefly to myself “wouldn’t that be crazy if I won?? Wait, that’s not happening, I’m completely dying and there’s no way I can sprint right now…” but SOMEHOW I managed to find another gear in the last 300. I didn’t look back and had no idea if the girls were right behind me. I expected them to fly by on the blue carpet but I gave everything I had and SOMEHOW got to the line first. I was thrilled with my result but had a hard time taking in what just happened because I was so absolutely exhausted, nauseous and half blind!

I have to give a big thank-you to Patrick, who spent a whole week in Europe with me, leaving a big group of his athletes behind in Vic. I know I’m not the most pleasant person to be around before races so I really appreciate him making the trip with me, it made everything so much easier.

Kelowna is up next weekend, then Budapest, then back to school! I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited to go back to school and live at home again. It’s been a great season in Vic but I’m ready to go back to the laundry service, dinner on the table, fridge stocked kind of life :) ..

Thanks so much for the support everyone!


Sunday, August 1, 2010


Here’s my extremely late race report, it’s been written for a while but I haven’t got around to posting it. I think I’ve received more emails in the past 7 days than I have in my whole life. The support has been overwhelming and I really appreciate every single message that I’ve received. I’m not used to getting so much attention from newspapers and TV stations so it has been quite the experience!!

This was absolutely the best result of my life, but was not quite the best race of my life. I’m usually able to get out ahead in the swim and avoid most of the chaos, but I got trampled going around the turn buoys on the first lap. The second lap was a bit better, but I could see a small gap to the front pack when I dove back in the water. Kathy was right in front of me and managed to close the gap so we were at the tail end of the leaders by the end. I hopped on my bike and hammered by myself to catch the girls who were about 100 meters ahead. I wasn’t making up any time until Nicola Sprig came blazing by me, so I stood up and made sure I got on her wheel. Kathy told me at our camp that if you don’t make lead pack, the first question you ask is “Where is Nicola??” because she’s SO strong and usually pulls herself and any lucky survivors up to the front. We joined the front pack after the first lap. The pace was pretty quick and our group got strung out on all the corners, which made for lots of standing and chasing. I took some pulls at the front but the girls were so strong that I felt like I was getting in the way. I hate sitting at the back so I tried to help as much as I could. Transition 2… another nightmare, I got off my bike in great position at the front, which almost never happens for me. I couldn’t get my shoes on very quickly, and I took a few steps with my helmet on before realizing that it needs to go into my box, so I ran back to drop it off and was out of transition dead last. Ha.. just like in Des Moines, I knew I had to bridge the gap to the leaders right away. The best part of the day was that my run was feeling great, better than I’ve ever felt, and I settled in very comfortably with the leaders. A few girls fell off the back until there were 4 of us left at the front. 4 girls and 3 spots on the podium.. I knew it was going to be a tough battle and I was not confident that I could beat any of them. I hesitantly went to the front at the start of the last lap with everyone right behind me, and was still feeling really good. I swung around the last 180° turn, looked back and saw that I had made a small gap. I still had a while to go at this point and definitely didn’t feel like I had the race won. I took a few glances to make sure that I wasn’t going to get out-sprinted at the end. I crossed the line in total complete shock, and happier than ever.

I couldn’t have had this result without the help of so many people. Triathlon Canada did a great job of making sure that we were ready to go in London. Thanks to Patrick, Kurt, Kim, Sophie, Ben, and Dr. Keeler! Also, thanks to Patrick, DJ, Sophie, Yulla, Ben and Dr Smith for all of the great work you did at our training camp in France. It was an awesome 3 weeks and I appreciate all of the work that went in to making it a success.

Up next for me is Kitzbuhel on August 15th, then Kelowna and Budapest.

Thanks again to everyone for the support. It’s been an overwhelming week but I’ve loved every minute of it.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tour de France

Today we had the incredible opportunity to watch the Tour ride through the Pyrenees. We drove the van near the base of the second last climb and rode our bikes to the top. It was definitely the steepest and hardest climb I've ever done. Our enormous backpacks didn't help either. I can't imagine those guys going up twice our speed after riding already for 4 hours! Kyla and I decided that we are never doing the Tour de France. ever. We did get lots of cheers on our way up though!

We were at the top of the Port de Pailheres. It was definitely worth the climb as we had a great view from the top and could see the riders and team cars winding their way up the mountain.

The coolest part was seeing Lance Armstrong live in person!

Kyla and I got some caught some pretty cool hats that were being thrown from the caravans.

This was definitely the highlight of the camp so far! I can't believe we only have 3 more days here before heading to London. We've done some really good work and my running is feeling better that it has in a long time. It's been a great 3 weeks and I'm really looking forward to racing next weekend!

Friday, July 9, 2010

camp week 1

We’ve been in France for about a week now and I’m feeling very adapted to the altitude. The pool in Font Romeau is one of the nicest I’ve ever been in, with huge windows overlooking the mountains. It’s also much warmer than the pool in Victoria so the swims are very enjoyable! There’s a big lake right by our place for open water swims with a trail around it for longer runs. The roads are great for cycling with very little traffic but it’s hard to find anything flat. We’re either climbing or descending for all of our rides. I really like the climbing but unfortunately I’m very nervous on the winding narrow downhills and I get dropped every time. Hah, better safe than sorry I guess. We’ve gone down to Spain to do some of our harder workouts, which is only about a 30 minute drive away.

We had an easier day yesterday so we decided to drive into Andorra after the morning swim to do some shopping. We were told that it was a 90 minute drive… 2hrs later we’re not even close and feeling very carsick. On the way back we discovered that there’s a tunnel that goes UNDER the mountains, instead of taking the winding narrow roads up and OVER the mountains. The tunnel saved us about an hour of driving on the way home. It was a long trip for a short few hours in Andorra but it was a cool place to see!

There’s a big triathlon in Les Angles this weekend so there’s a bit more action in this little town. Apparently it’s one of the hardest ironman courses in the world. It’ll be fun to watch!

Here’s a few pictures from the past week…

Saturday, July 3, 2010

France Camp & Coteau Update

Today was our 3rd day of training in the beautiful Pyrenees in France. We made it here safely after a very long trip and we're staying at a Bed and Breakfast with wonderful hosts. We've been doing some lower intensity work to adapt to the altitude and I feel good so far. There's definitely a noticeable change from training in Victoria, lots of heavy breathing, especially in the pool. We have some hard work starting tomorrow so I'm sure it will only get more difficult. Kathy, Kyla and I are lucky to have Yulla (massage therapist), Sophie (chiro), Pat, DJ and NormaTec here taking good care of us. It's a small group but we have great support and it's really a great place to train.

I raced in Coteau du Lac on the way over to France last weekend and it went really well. I got out of the water with a group of about 6 girls and we worked hard on the bike to stay away from the giant chase pack. The strong winds and the long out-and-back course and the super strong riders I was with made it one of the hardest bikes I've ever done in a race. I was a bit worried about the run but the plan was to go a bit conservatively to shorten the recovery time after the race. My legs felt heavy for the first few laps but got much smoother towards the end. I'm glad I was able to do one more hard race before London at the end of July. Patrick, Kyla and I spent a few days in Quebec before heading to France.. and here we are now! I'm really looking forward to the next 3 weeks. It's a beautiful place to train and I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to be here.

Here's some pictures from the past few weeks..

The victoria crew at Kathy and DJ's place after the race

Top of the mountain from our hike yesterday

Our home for the next 3 weeks!

More updates coming soon :)


Friday, June 25, 2010

Thanks Shimano

I'm really lucky that Shimano was willing to help me out so late in the season. They just sent me a new set of race wheels and I'll have a chance to race on them tomorrow. I just took them for a ride and they're great.. I don't know much about bikes or wheels but I could honestly feel a big difference versus my old race wheels. They're great at cornering and are super light. Also, thanks to Pro City for setting them up for me, and for installing my SRM last week. I get my bike from United Cycle in Edmonton, so it's great to have such helpful and reliable guys at Pro City to help me out in Victoria!

While I'm on it, I have to thank BlueSeventy for recently sending me their new helix wetsuit to use this year. They have been such great people to work with and it's by far the most comfortable suit I've ever worn.

I've never had much success with getting sponsors, so I feel very fortunate to have these two great companies help me at this point of the year.

I'm currently in Coteau-du-Lac for a continental cup race. I'm using it as a bit of a training race before leaving for France next week. There's a big group of BC athletes here and I'm looking forward to watching all the juniors and senior men race tomorrow! Gooooood luck everyone :)


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

HyVee Report

Wooow what a great weekend. Kyla and I were starstruck all weekend with all of the famous people that we kept seeing at our hotel! We were running on the treadmill beside Emma Moffat the day before the race and we thought it was soooo cool, so to be running with those speedy girls during the race was pretty neat.

We woke up on race morning to huge thundershowers and lighting, so we were really hoping that it would clear up before race time. It ended up being almost perfect weather for us. No rain, but still cloudy so it wasn’t as hot as we expected. I was worried about the swim since lots of fast American swimmers were in the race, so I knew that I would have to go out hard to get into the front pack. I never have any idea where I am until the run out for the second lap, and I found myself in pretty good position. The second lap was much better for me- way less chaos and I felt way more relaxed. I got out of the water in the main pack with Hayley Piersol and Sara Mclarty about a minute ahead us.

The bike course was very narrow and technical at some parts, and despite all of my efforts to stay at the front of the pack, my cornering is really bad so I kept getting pushed to the back. I took some pulls but I do not feel very comfortable in those big packs and feel safer at the back, even though I know it’s not the best place to be. My biggest mistake of the race was being at the back going in to T2 and having to bridge a gap to the leaders right away.

The run was very challenging and I felt very out of place running with that group of girls at the front. I surprised myself by keeping up with them for most of it. I let a gap form on the third lap when Emma Snowsill passed us, but I got a second wind on the last lap and felt like I could maybe catch back up. I was going all-out for the last 400 meters, but Emma Moffat and Helen Jenkins were in a sprint with each other for 2nd place, so I would’ve had to have a super sprint to be able to catch either of them. 4th place is always a little bittersweet, but given how competitive this race was with all the money on the line, I couldn’t of asked for more!!

Thanks so much to Kim and Rob for looking after us before the race, it’s really great to have them travel with us and know that we are in good hands. And of course thanks to Pat and Kurt for their help and support!

I have one short week back in Vic before we head to Europe for a training camp, with a stop in Montreal on the way to race Coteau-du-Lac. My next big race will be London at the end of July. Maybe I’ll do a post or two between now and then… hah I knew I would be bad at this blog thing!

Thanks for reading..


Monday, May 10, 2010

The Sun Run

I was originally on the start list to race in Seoul this past weekend, but was told that it would be better to stay home and get some training in before the summer instead of going away for another exhausting trip. I was disappointed at first, but was given the opportunity to race the Sun Run instead, which is a big 10 km road race in Vancouver. About 55 000 people sign up for the race every year and it’s a pretty fast and accurate course so I was really looking forward to it.

The race starts with a big downhill section, so the first few kilometers were way speedier than 10k pace. I went through 5km in 16:48, which is around my PB, and was expecting to have a major positive split, as the second half has some up hills and is quite a bit more difficult. I wasn’t worried about my placing since I was just racing to get a good time, but people started telling me that I was the second woman and I got excited and picked up the pace a bit. Malindi Elmore was waaaayy ahead of me so I had no hope of catching her but I really didn’t want the girls behind me to go by! The last 2 km were painful as always but I tried to stay focused and not slow down too much. I could see the clock at 33:4.. as I came to the finish and I tried REALLY hard to get in before the 34, but ran out of time. Oh well. So my official time was 34 flat, with a chip time of 33:55 since I started a bit back from the mat. I’ve never done a race with both men and women before and really enjoyed it- there were always guys around me or in front of me so I always had people to run with. Overall- very happy with my time and a totally unexpected 2nd place.

Just waiting for the ferry to get home... got here at 1:45 for the 3:00 ferry, which was full, so now I have to wait for the 5- which is delayed until 5:45. Booo I hate traveling. Lesson learned, don’t be cheap and always make a reservation.

Congrats to everyone else that raced this weekend, and Happy Mothers Day :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Monterrey Race Report

I’ve been overwhelmed by all of the messages that I've received since my race on Sunday! I’m not the kind of person that likes any sort of attention, which is why I am reluctant to start a blog, but this race has made me realize the supportive group of family and friends that I have behind me. So thank you!

In February I made the decision to put school on hold and move to Victoria to train. This was a difficult and stressful choice, but trying to balance training and school was like having two full time jobs, and there were simply not enough hours in the day to do well in both. This allowed me to get my race season started earlier with some good training behind me.

I had no expectations going in to Monterrey and was excited to get my season started. I always get extremely nervous on race day, and this time was no different! I finally started to relax after the hectic swim start when I found myself in a good position near the front. There was a wall of 4 girls swimming side-by-side directly in front of me, so I was able to tuck in behind them. Our pack of around 8 girls came out of the water a minute behind super swimmer Hayley Piersol, who we caught after about 2 laps on the bike. It was pretty chaotic ride as the course was very technical, and any sort of organization that we had quickly diminished every time we went around a corner. I did my fair share of work, with about 5 other girls taking pulls at the front. We somehow managed to stay away from the chase pack and had about a 30 second lead coming into transition. I went out onto the run fairly conservatively as I’ve not had very consistent run training these past few months. The first 2 laps felt comfortable and I found myself separated from the rest of the pack, however I could see that the Japanese girl was making time on me every lap. I ran the last 2 laps waiting for her to blow by me, but surprisingly the gap slowly started to get bigger in the final few kilometers. I ended up with the fastest run split of the day and a very unexpected and surprising win.

I know that it is still very early so I can’t let this result get to my head, but it's certainly a nice way to start the year. I really need to work on my mind-set heading into these races, as I get way too worked-up and nervous for no reason. I think I said to Patrick about 10 times before the start: “I HATE this feeling, this isn’t even fun, why do I do this to myself???!”… haha.. As soon as I start I realize that racing can be fun, I don't hate it, and I do it because it feels awesome to have a good race and know that all of the hard work is paying off!

Thanks to Patrick, Bill, TriCan, all of my teammates, family and friends. And Bill from ProCity for the bike-fit!! Still in discussion about what my next race will be, but for now it’s back to work J

Thanks for reading,