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.