Why Belize And Guatemala?

Hola, amigos!

I have been promoting an adventure with Kathryn Bertine and her business partner in the company Bike CR, which caters to Latin American cycling camps/training trips. The camp we are hosting will be February 12-18th featuring an all-inclusive (we are THAT close to Mexico) seven day/six night (five days of training) tour of Belize and Guatemala on two wheels.  You might be wondering: why, of all places, are they going there?  I was also somewhat skeptical at first, my first concerns were whether those countries would be safe and hospitable to cycling.  Have no fear!  We will not be paving new ground in these countries as the cycling culture is alive and healthy.  Cycling is big in both Belize and Guatemala.

First get out a map and look at where Belize is: crammed in between Mexico and Guatemala.  Yes it is in right on the edge of the ocean.  Beautiful reef and a long stretch of coastline perfect for lots of post ride beach bum opportunities.  Belize is not just for watersports, it also has many cyclists using bikes for a variety of things.  From transportation, to hauling, to handy businesses, to racing, the noble bicycle is a key player in Belize’s transport system. 

The Belize Cycling Association does a great job developing aspiring athletes into competitive racers and has races ranging from the National Champs only open to citizens of Belize to the 140cm Cross Country Classic, a race so big with foreign athletes it essentially shuts down the country the day it takes place.  They are not strangers to spandex clad tourism. 

The roads are considered good to fair.  So there is not a brand new paved section of tarmac but it isn’t mountain biking.  Bring heavy, flat resistant 23-25 tires for this trip to be safe.  You know, like you would bring to Tucson.

Guatemala is just a hop/skip/jump away and hosts some incredible historical places and cultural experiences.  Seeing both of these countries on two wheels negates the unpleasantness that would arise from trying to navigate by car.  Moving slower on a bike is enjoyable- in a car it is annoying. 

So let’s go check these places out enjoying the warm seasonal afternoon 30C temperatures and get fit and cultured all at that same time.  Last year the superstar Chrissie Wellington was the guest coach and every single camp participant left with an amazing aura of awesomeness thanks to her. This year I have the dubious task of trying to fill her extraordinarily accomplished shoes.  Therefore, I plan to be if not as awesome at least as if not more enthusiastic about our adventure and will do some additional swim/run/core workouts while Kathryn whips us all into shape on the bike.    It is going to be a killer time.  Make it happen.

These are the details, see ya there: http://bikecr.com/bikecr_wp/?p=141

Questions?  Ping Kathryn at espnolympian AT aol DOT com.  Or me…. through the website. 

 

 

 

Introducing Mel’s Musings – Triathlete Magazine Canada

I will be posting regularly on Triathlete Magazine Canada’s online magazine as well as writing for the back page of the print version.  The online contributions will be on a variety of topics, the first of which is part of a series on organizing your thoughts to better estabilish and plan your goals for the race season.

Mel’s Musing – SMART Goals 

http://triathlonmagazine.ca/news/mels-musings-the-4-x-world-champion-has-much-to-say-about-triathlon/

Ironman 70.3 Australian Pro Championships and Ironman 70.3 Shepparton 4:15 Race Time

This is a two part race report since I have sorely neglected my updates and feel that with the races somewhat far in the rearview its best to update both in a short-ish double report.  I was 5th at the Australian Pro Champs in Mandurah and 2nd at the IM 70.3 Shepparton event.

The first race was in West Australia in Mandurah.  I did not do a lot of research on anything with regards to this race other than discovering the travel from Maui was more than 30 hours.  It was a long way especially since I had to fly to LAX from Maui to then fly BACK over Maui to Melbourne on the way to Perth.  WTF.  However, travelling there was a fantastic decision on my part.  I was well taken care of by Ian Crane of the Mandurah tri club who connected me to Gill and Jamie who were superb hosts. Jamie and I were both racing so cruising around pre and post race was a family affair and I ended up having some local support in the crowd which was awesome.  His daughter raced the kids race and her number was 111, just like I was in Maui.  111 is a number associated with divine intervention and manifestataion which is a bunch of new agey hooey but it is so weird how this number has followed me around since Maui.  I thought it was following my friend Barb because she read about it and experienced a bunch of it but here I am in Australia and 111 followed me there.  Here is a quote on the number:

Angel Number 111 is a message from your angels to be very aware of your persistent thoughts and ideas as these are manifesting quickly into your reality.  Ensure that your beliefs, thoughts and mind-sets are positive and optimistic in order to draw the energies of abundance and balance into your life.  Angel Number 111 signifies that an energetic gateway has opened up for you, and this will rapidly manifest your thoughts into your reality.  

I know sounds like massive BS but anyways, number 111 was with me again.

Mandurah has similar temperatures to Las Vegas but a very fast and flat course with a “downhill” current-assisted swim.  I wasn’t pleased with my swim but no time in my wetsuit in the past two months probably contributed to this weak performance.  On the bike I had one fantastic lap where I took back ¾ of the time loss to the leaders out only to fade and lose most of it on the second lap.  I didn’t have one fast step for the entire run and managed to lose a 2km lead to Laura Bennett.  I probably saw that coming when I tried running the day before and my legs felt like tree stumps and running 4:00/km felt like an all out sprint.  All in all, the race had bright moments and some lowlights.  I think I should have travelled earlier to the race.  I didn’t manifest a win.

My feedback to these organizers is having 2km between aid stations handing out warm water is probably not the best in 40C temperatures.  More feed zones are definitely needed here.  Other than that, I loved the event and would go back for sure, maybe travelling a few days earlier to give myself time to loosen up a little more next time.  I loved all the wildlife everywhere (roos, and lizards, and pelicans oh my!) and the seaside towns are very cool.   Mel Hauschilt won the event and is not only a phenomenal athlete… she is a very gracious and conscientious one.  I really enjoyed chatting with her and listening to her post race comments.  She is an excellent ambassador for the sport.

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I flew in on an A380 and it was about the same size as this bird. 

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Number 111 was following me.

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Melbourne was superior to Mandurah for coffee but this spot in Rockingham was awesome.

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Mel, Jamie and Gillian check out King’s Park in Perth

I then travelled to Melbourne before doing the Shepparton 70.3.  In the days leading up to the race my legs on the bike came around very quickly which was encouraging. However, my swimming and running were stubbornly terrible.  I think I need to run a lot more than I have in the past few weeks with the taper to Maui, the recovery from Maui, the travel to Australia and blah blah I just need more workouts for this stuff.  Whereas for riding, I can take days at a time away and still ride well.  I guess cycling is just part of my genetic makeup whereas swimming and running are foreign entities.  The last couple days before the race I at least felt like I had some shock absorption when I went for runs and my mindset was go as hard as possible.

Shepparton 70.3 is put on by the local tri club and it is the biggest local race I have ever been to.  The event had a complete local grassroots feeling but massive participation and professional execution.  This race further confirmed for me that I want to be at Ironman events.  Even the tiny ones are huge.  All my family and friends at home watched video of the event start to finish.  This is how to run a race!

The swim was in a man-made residential lake that looked like chocolate milk.  There was clay in the soil so the water was extremely turbid.  You couldn’t see a thing 1 mm from your goggles so sighting on feet was impossible.  I swam across the lake to get a good warm up in which achieved the warm up objective right up until I got cold waiting for the gun to go off.  I have never started so slowly in my life.  I was still able to swim on some feet (we started with the men) but I saw the caps of Rebekah and Lisa swimming away from me quickly. 

Once we got on the bike the temps were warming up nicely and I cruised off in pursuit. This race was not to be without some turmoil as it seems after my preride of the lap on the very rough asphalt my bottle cage on the front of my bike between the armpads decided to rattle loose.  Coming out of transition my bottle was swaying precariously left and right.  So I quickly reshuffled the bottles to leave that cage empty but it was dangerously close to coming completely unbolted.  I spent a lot of that lap retightening that bolt with my fingers every 3 minutes or so which was a distraction but in the end might have helped me not go out too hard?  Not sure.  I caught Lisa Marangon in 20km and Rebekah Keat shortly after.  I kept the bike pretty steady throughout and ended up with a good split, seven minutes faster than any of the other women and surprisingly earned me a lead.  I actually thought Rebekah was right behind me the whole time but I guess it was a pro man.

So I had a three minute lead on Rebekah into T2 which should have been plenty to hold her off and for one of the seven kilometer laps I was going fast enough to actually do that.  But then I starting tying up and I started slowing down while she continued accelerating.  I could see when we passed each other that the real estate was shrinking between us.  I ran a 1:26 which might have been enough had she not out run all but two of the pro men with a 1:20 flat.   Very impressive running and she was a deserving champion.  We both crushed the previous course record but she gets to hold the new one with her awesome race.

So overall it was a fabulous trip.  I hung out in Melbourne with my hosts Lucy and Jared and they took me for a bike ride with our buddy Jonesy on Beach Road and a run around the Botanical gardens where a million people do workouts.  I checked out downtown and the Queen Victoria market, the Mornington Peninsula wine region and a bunch of areas of town for shopping including Elwood and Chapel St.  It was such a great experience and I have to say Melbourne has amazing coffee culture.  Anyone from the Pacific Northwest would be impressed. Thank you so much to all of you and to Meg and Luke who I haven’t seen since they lived in Canada for connecting me to the Melbourne crowd.

Now I am home.  Ending the season with a strong performance is awesome.  Last year I ended the season with a terrible race, an SI joint injury and downward momentum.  This year I am strong, healthy and motivated.  I look forward to a solid winter of training to kick off a year focused on Ironman events where I will stubbornly pursue success in that arena. I am not ready to throw in the towel yet.

Thanks for reading and thank you to all of my sponsors for getting me through a stormy two seasons.  I think we can safely say I am back on track with the fastest bike split and course record at three Ironman 70.3 events, four top three performances in 70.3 and some wins in the XTERRA/mountain bike arena.  I look forward to improving on this season next year with a solid winter of training.

 

Thanks to Adam Zucco and Trainingbible coaching for resurrecting this career.  I don’t think we have actually knocked it out of the park yet but we are at least on track to step up to the plate.  Thank you to Jamie Grimes at Synergy Wellness in Victoria and eSoles, Paraic McGlynn and Wolfgang at Endurance Rehab for getting me off injury roster and back in the game.  Thanks to Nestor at Studeo DNA for optimizing my racing position on the Speed Concept.  Thank you to Trek, Bontrager, Shimano, Polar, Champion System, Powerbar, Blueseventy, Powertap, Frontrunners, Synergy Wellness Victoria, eSoles, Saltstick, Procity Victoria and Wiink2.  I love you all so much and am so fortunate to have the best team behind me.  Here’s to 2014!

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Mates and I check out a pub in St Kilda-Paul, Luke’s dad, Luke, Lucy and Jared

 

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Preferred mode of transport in Melbourne

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Gorgeous roses at the ends of the rows in the vineyards of Mornington Peninsula. This is Paringa Estate.

 

2013 XTERRA World Championship

The 2013 XTERRA Worlds were an excellent experience albeit a terrible performance. Given that training into the event went very well there is nothing leading up to the race to indicate to me I would achieve my personal worst performance in Hawaii. Starting the day with an excellent swim setting me up for the bike well, I expected to hop on the bike and do what I do best, only to not be at my best.

2013 xterra worlds

The only thing I am sure of is that my best form in my triathlon career is still to come.  I truly believe there is so much better potential than I have displayed this year.  The only way to realize that ability is to put this race in the rearview and get on with the next ones, even if my ego and confidence needed bandaids for a couple of weeks.

Thank you to all my sponsors and supporters who have offered some words of encouragement as I look to the races coming up at the end of this year and those in 2014.  Big thank you to my Hawaii friends Mark and Aaron in Paia for my local connection-  thanks you guys!(xx).  Extra big thank you to my boyfriend Mike and his family who packed in more fun into the trip than I have ever experienced in all my years of fun-having.  Dave and Barb you are pros…so much aloha to you guys.  

I have quoted an exerpt from one of my favorite poems that I find appropriate to consider when addressing such an astonishing disappointment.  I hope you appreciate it.  Aloha.

Lines from Rudyard Kipling’s “If-” (not the entire poem)

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;  
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

 

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

Racergirl Television Episode 29: Crushing Maui Singletrack With Ryder

The title of this post says it all.  Ryder Hesjedal joined me for one of my workouts here on Maui to prepare for Worlds and I caught some of the action on my GoPro Hero3.  It was such an amazing day.  The trails above Makawao are incredible.  If you are a fan of Hornby Island you will love the stuff you can find here… fast, flowy and fun. Markus… I figure this might get you a little stoked! 

Enjoy the show!

 

 

 

2013 Day of Hope 10km

I have been on Maui for about a week now.  I came early to acclimate to the massive temperature shift from Victoria to Maui.  This year the trades are not blowing so the island has been very, very hot which is probably ideal leading up to the race.  I have almost never felt it be so hot here but I feel like I am adapting now after a week of being very careful to not overdo it! 

Most of the work for the World Championships was done before I got on the plane.  This week has been very low key with a couple of tuneup workouts and some fun rides in Makawao forest with my buddy and neighbor Ryder Hesjedal.  My skills are already improving trying to chase him on the trails riding his crazy frankenbike. 

The Makawao trails are like Star Wars in the trees.

I also got a chance to catch up with Linsey Corbin after her strong finish in Kona after a tough season of injuries.  I really enjoyed hearing her discuss how she managed her season.  I think she did a much better job of managing her injury and her mind than I did and I hope I learn something from talking with her.  She has a super pro attitude and approach to the sport.  I feel fortunate to have time with such successful athletes to help me refocus on the important details in the midst of a taper.

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Ummm what is he riding?? 

I decided that instead of doing a workout for running over the weekend I would just go run the Day of Hope 10km race instead to absorb some energy and enthusiasm for running. I am super glad I did!  Having missed the Run for the Cure at home due to other training commitments, racing a Breast Cancer fundraiser made me feel really good.  Like almost everyone, cancer has touched people in my life so doing a community event to raise funds feels good.  Added to that this 10km is very, very hilly so it was a good warmup for next weekend even if all the hills weren’t all at once. 

I had a great race and did battle with local speedster Sally and both of us set personal best times (for that course… not a good course if you want to set your best 10km time!) despite the heat and humidity in the morning.  The event was followed by a great breakfast at the Four Seasons, a lovely foot massage in one of the massage hales, an auction for some amazing hotel stays and some wonderful prizes for both the 5 and 10km race.  All of this was followed by a nice post race dip in the ocean.  Ahhhhhh!  I love training here.

It was a very strong training day as you can see from my www.polarpersonaltrainer.com file.   My average heartrate was 187 with a max of 198 coming up the last all uphill mile.  Heat really stresses the heart rate output!

2013 day of hope

Thank you to the Four Seasons Maui for sponsoring this event that has been going on for 24 years.  It is great to be involved in a community event with the added bonus that I have gained some run partners here on Maui for my training while I am here.  I will be here for a week after Maui to train for Australia so I have been enlisting workout partners.

 

Obviously I need to work on my watermelon growing skills.  I grew this exact variety to the size of a softball.  Hmmm.

 

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I want a surfboard fence at my house.

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Sushi Paradise.  Literally.

 

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Aloha! 

2013 Tour De Suds

Normally I participate in Tour De Suds as pre Utah Champs preparation but due to inclement weather it was postponed one week.  Since the race is a Mountain Trails Organization fundraiser, it would have been irresponsible to send 500 people up the hill on muddy trails thus, the new date.  Luckily the XTERRA was Saturday so I was still able to participate in both events.

My fitness has been kind of a rollercoaster for me this year.  I believe that I am quite a bit more fit in training than my actual race results show.  In particular, I am expecting more from my run.  Given my race on Saturday, when I started Tour de Suds I expected to be pretty blown and much slower than in the past as that is what my results over the past two races might indicate.  That was not the case.  There is a disconnect between fitness and performance right now as the day after the XTERRA I had magic legs and lots of energy.  Not what you want the day after a key event.

2013-09-15 13.28.23 640x640The race was straight up to the top of that mountain in the distance. Awesome view from my host’s house.

I started up the hill with the cast of characters we normally see in this race (Scooby Doo, Ketchup and Mustard, the bananas, the cast from Wizard of Oz….) along with some of the uncostumed local speedy kids.   I had a raft of excuses for a poor performance to cling to if it did not go well so I removed any outcome goal whatsoever.  I had the option to drop out if I felt terrible as well as Adam’s coaching directive was to not “dig a bigger hole from the weekend” from which to recover if I was going poorly at that stage.  All of this to remove any and all expectations from the event.  I was doing it purely for the fun of it.

 

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An example of some of the fun costumes… Mr Potato Head.. so funny!

So when this cute little speedy girl named Evelyn went by, initially I thought, “Okay I guess she is going to beat me today.”  I didn’t feel like being super competitive… it was a workout first, not really a race.  Not knowing who she was I didn’t know how fast I should expect her pace to be.  However, she went by and I wasn’t hurting so I changed my mind.  I figured I would just RIDE with her for a bit and see what happens.  Riding turned into a very fun back and forth race where I was making more time on the flatter sections whereas she was quite fast when it was steep.  She made a decisive and successful attack about 3’ from the top and I didn’t respond (not sure I could have, really) and we finished 1-2 only 10 seconds apart.  We also ended up 2 and 3 OVERALL on the day.  Not only that, I rode four minutes faster than I have ever gone on this course and it didn’t even feel hard. 

So the fact I am not meeting my performance expectations at important races just shows that something is missing in execution.  I had SO much fun racing on Sunday and on Saturday I was panicked, I was not in the moment and I was stressing… not enjoying the same way.  I think that I need to find more fun like I did on Sunday racing with the bananas and react more like I did when I didn’t really care about the outcome.  I am performing the way I would expect to IF I take the pressure off myself.  This is exactly how I raced at TransRockies as well… no pressure.  I have been here before, where I want something so bad I force it much too hard.  I didn’t sleep for 2 weeks before Vegas I was so focused on achieving my goal.. and worried myself sick.  Then I probably carried so much stress and tension into Utah that I exhausted myself halfway through the race.  But then I relaxed and performed my best ever the day after that race… just shows there was more in the tank for Saturday than I thought and your head is your biggest obstacle.  I’m going to enjoy watching the fishes in Hawaii.  I think there is certainly less pressure going into that race as a non-favorite and who knows what might happen if I just relax a lot more.

As it turns out Evelyn finished 5th at elite USA mountain bike nationals and has finished top 3 in a bunch of the pro XC races this year.  For a lowlander to keep up with a local mountain specialist the day after a triathlon was actually quite a strong performance. Which just further strengthens my belief that I have trained correctly and I am in shape… I just need to get out of my own way to race well.

2013-09-11 17.22.32 640x640Time to just enjoy the ride.  I love my bike.

 

2013 XTERRA USA Championship: Snowbasin, Utah

The last race of the US XTERRA Pro series was this past weekend at Snowbasin Resort in Ogden, Utah.  Lesley Paterson finished off a perfect season winning the final race, Barb Riveros took second place, Chantal Widney of Canada third place with Emma Garrard and Danelle Kabush rounding out the podium.  Great to have two Canucks up there!  The quality of field for this race was the best ever seen for both men and women and it was a great prelude to the final race of the season in Maui, Hawaii.   It is exciting to see our sport mature and I am so proud to have so many strong Canadians in the race.  I am in excellent company representing triathlon in Canada.

Utah Canadians

 

The Canadian ladies in Utah!

I was eighth on the day and fourth on the XTERRA tour overall.  My stranglehold on top 2 (the last 10 years?) ended on Sunday.  With a better day on Sunday I might have held on for another year of top 2 but it wasn’t to be.   Lots of girls handing me my arse when I didn’t show up with my best.  

I was asked before the race: would you be happy with your race if you didn’t win?  I said yes, if I performed at my best and it still wasn’t good enough I would be satisfied for sure.  I am impressed with how strong the field is in XTERRA and I really look forward to sharpening my tools before I show up in Maui.  All of the women in front of me this weekend are strong and focused on XTERRA and there were more superfast girls still behind me, so I can’t be that disappointed.  However, I do know that focused or not on XTERRA my fitness is better than that but I still have to prove it.  That was the day and if I want a better result I am just going to have to work harder and make it happen.  

I’m sure I am not the only one who felt a bit frustrated with their performance on Saturday.  It all has to come out on the big day and small things can affect that day’s performance.  The only thing you can do is go back to work, be diligent, disciplined and confident that eventually it will all come together.  Keeping your confidence is the trick.  I am sure I will have a good race come together if I stay on track and refuse to be discouraged when things don’t play out as expected.

Now for some things you may or may not have known about the race in Ogden:

        The swim was about 2.1km instead of 1.5 km.  In very un-XTERRA style… we did a super crazy long swim to start the race.  Weird.

        The weather was probably the warmest we have ever had at this race.  Normally race morning is freezing and we have frozen feet the whole day. It was downright beautiful!

        There were more ITU and WTC types in the race than any other XTERRA other than Maui.  Looks like the qualifying requirement is definitely working to improve the depth of field!

        Emma Garrard had a baby 9 months ago before she went and had her best Nationals ever, finishing 4th!  Another super fast mom in the field.

        There were 1000 people taking part in the triathlon and who knows how many more in the trail race.  That is a solid turnout for a mountain bike triathlon event!

        The race was point to point, starting down at 6000 ish feet and topping out at 7700 ish before descending to about 7000 where the run started and finished.  

 

 2013 xterra nationals

My www.polarpersonaltrainer.com file from the race showing the effort was there even if the power went out.  You can see that I suffered on the run… where the heartrate went down instead of up.

I have turned this season mostly into positive despite a start that was looking a little troubling.  Starting training for the season in April is not ideal but coming from not being able to run resulting in my worst Oceanside performance ever, to working myself back to three top 3 Ironman 70.3 races, two bike course records on the Ironman 70.3 circuit, a 1st and a 2nd place on the XTERRA tour and a win at the TransRockies mountain bike race against quality girls is not that bad a year.  I may not have knocked it out of the park but generally you need to start with good momentum to make that happen. And that is what I have now, some awesome momentum.  I think it is turning around now and I am excited to see how the coming races pan out

I take inspiration from World Mountain Bike Champion Julie Bresset who had an injury during the mountain bike season.  She blew up at the World Cup weeks out from the World Championships where she rode at the front and faded, only to roar back and win the World Championships a few weeks later.  That pointy end form takes a bit to come back and first you have to feel it before you can keep it.  I think for a few precious minutes I felt it.

Thanks to all of my amazing sponsors and supporters.  You inspire me every day to work my hardest… thank you!  Thanks to Adam Zucco who is patiently riding this roller coaster of return to form with me… all the while talking me off the ledge when I get impatient 🙂  Thank you to Rob and Linda Karz, my Park City host family who give me such an amazing base to work from for this race.  Such a pleasure to have annual visits with such incredible people.  This really is a charmed life I lead.

Back to work.

 

2013 Utah champs

 

2013 70.3 Worlds: Vegas Is A Bust

I don’t quit races.  I finish what I start even if I have to finish an hour behind the winner because I am having an off day.  On Sunday I had a DNF.  My race day ended at T2.  My racing actually ended at about 30 miles into the bike.  There is no excuse that ever matters: I couldn’t finish and didn’t get the job done with my first DNF in a very long time.  That was not the performance that I know I was capable of coming into the event.  The ultimate respect and admiration for Mel Hauschilt for taking the win while all the pressure was on and to Heather Jackson and Annabel Luxford for earning podium spots with superb races on a tough course.  Their performances were what we all aspired to.

I really had put everything wholeheartedly into creating an excellent performance for myself and now I will refocus to make it happen in 2 weeks.  I was ready, both mentally and physically and everything was indicating I was going to have a great day.  Even while the race was unfolding I was adapting to the circumstances to try to maximize whatever performance I had regardless of what outcome resulted.

I actually had a brilliant start to the race and swam with the leaders for a long while (thanks for the tow Leanda!) before I swam off course and ended up in the main bunch (that murky water is pesky if you like swimming crooked).  Every race I swim better and I almost had the swim I have been working for.  I think my swim training was spot on:  I had speed and my stamina continues to improve.  Thank you Clint and the Tuesday morning swim club:  I saw Tenille swimming UP to me!  Execution should have been better.  However, enough good energy from that swim experience had me positive for the bike … maybe I could have swam front pack if it were clear water, especially in the no wetsuit conditions? Or maybe if the front pack slowed down a bit ;)?  Or if I could fart rocket launching power out my bum to keep me on their feet?  Whatever.. I didn’t stay but there is still positive thoughts to work with at my next race.

When we started the bike I didn’t have good legs at all.  However, I just continued to reframe the situation and refocused, thinking things might come around as the race went on.  Sometimes a hard swim just zaps your legs for the opening miles and they come back.  But there was no recovery on Sunday.  Even MC said that when he saw me early into the bike portion of the race my body language on the bike was not right – my giddyup was missing.   I just did not have any power at all, ever.  It seemed that Heather W left some of hers in T1 as well because I was wondering why I couldn’t pedal and she was kind of with me which gave me hope that maybe I was feeling just really bad but riding ok? I was going for my best day even if it wasn’t my best performance….

At about 10 miles I started to feel quite nauseas, had a pounding headache and drinking from my bottle had me revisit my breakfast so no… I wasn’t riding okay or coming around and I wasn’t riding at my own level.  Heather and everyone else left me behind.  Ryan from Blueseventy’s excellent advice to “Pedal Harder” aside (my request), after a couple hours of trying to push through with no food staying down, barely anything to drink and my lost breakfast, I was empty.  In T2 I knew I was not going to be able to run and there was no turning that day around.  No miracles on ice for this girl.  From that great opportunity was born a missed opportunity, from which I will learn and find some great opportunity in the future.  Not really what Herb Brooks meant… but that is what I experienced*.

I am not sure I have ever trained harder or been more committed than I have been to the process of getting back to form from my injury this season and everything prior to this race showed the work was progressing nicely.  I missed something last weekend.  I have done the work and was pretty scrupulous about staying away from any small children and people visibly harboring disease but that wasn’t enough.

Right now the main goal is to put this particular race in my rear view mirror, not dwell on a missed opportunity and instead refocus the new opportunities I have coming up**.   My 70.3 season improved as the season progressed with three top three results and two course records on the bike, so that shows my form is coming back to the top level.  I started the season in the deepest hole ever, from which Adam Zucco dragged me to the surface and it just didn’t come together on Sunday.   

Thanks so much to my sponsors and supporters for the actual and virtual hugs on race day.  It was a tough day and I appreciate the words of support.  I am looking forward to using this disappointment to create some fury for my next event in Ogden, Utah in two weeks at the US XTERRA Championship at Snowbasin Resort.   

 

 *If you don’t know what I am talking about you must YouTube search “Miracle On Ice speech” and educate yourself on some of the finest hockey inspiration there is.

** This tweet is appropriate as I move on:  7h

Sometimes the harder you try to force something to happen, the less it does! Step back, relax, then re-engage with the right intensity

Win A Polar RC3 GPS From Polar USA

This week you can win a Polar RC3 GPS.  Watch this short video for instructions then “LIKE” the Polar USA Facebook Page.  You can give us your entry at www.facebook.com/racergirlmel.  Good luck!