Spending a week in Gray, east of France,
to nothing more than 7 degrees and rain, I had the opportunity to meet my
French team.The week leading up to
Dunkerque after long travel from Florida, it was time to adjust to the time
zone or my way was wake up at 9.30 everyday and wondering where my day had
gone. French was a whole new language that was very hard to catch on to with me
half the time speaking my little knowledge of Spanish. I got some solid
training in with the pool being minutes away, the roads being quiet for rides
and finding trails in the fields just behind my French teams house. We drove to
Dunkerque on Saturday, a long 6 hour drive, where the sun was out and I was
ready to race.
My team, Tri Val de Gray considering of Barbara Riveros, , Sandrine Fariello, , Marie-Clémence Prat,
Fabienne Hébert and myself,were maybe
not the strongest team but Barbara let me know the important values and I
suppose our race tactics- fast swim to the first 200m buoy and basically on the
rivet from there. I had no idea what to expect but from what everyone was
telling me. The morning of the race, it was cold, wet and windy! Reminded me of
Beijing take 2. Beanie, gloves, multiple layers of clothing and a freezing cold
wind chill, the race was not going to go anywhere.
not to do a swim warm up as the water was a fresh 12 degrees and the outside
not much warmer. I did dry land exercises to stimulate swimming processes. We
were the last team on the pontoon, having no choice where to stand. Barbara
spoke to me as using this to our advantage. Before I knew it and even think
about diving into cold water, the gun went off. I put my head down and swam
straight across the field, trying to get infront of them before the battle at
the first buoy. I got a few knocks to the head but nothing like I expected. The
next part of the swim I was trying just to follow feet and keep my stroke rate
high. Before I knew it, I could see the blue carpet to get into transition.
Coming out in the first few girls, I could
not feel my feet or hands but wanted to keep with the main pack of girls!
From Huatuclo, I knew
there was no time to muck around. The ride was technical with corners and 180
degree turns. The ride seemed to be okay- it had its intense moments especially
into the tail wind and other times it seemed to be just rolling the legs. We
had about 15 girls in our pack, trying to keep near the front to avoid trouble
as the road was wet and girls skills levels were dodgey. Being quiet tall,
especially into the head wind, the many small girls did not give me any benefit
being behind them with the strong winds! After 5 fast laps and plenty of
accelerations, I got off my bike near the front. Being near the end of
transition, I had to dodge lots of girls running out. Coming out, top 6 out of
transition I tried to get good pace early as my feet still were so numb! Within
the first 500m, Emma Jackson and a few other girls went past me. Felt like I
was running on the spot! The running had many corners and accelerations, making
it also interesting. The first 2.5km felt very fast. Going around for lap 2, I
felt like I lost some rhythm with 2 more girls going past me. That was probably
the most disappointing moment of the race. Coming down the last 500m, it was
all or nothing. Finishing in 11th place, was exciting and I look
forward to racing more as it was a lot different from ITU racing.
The word I learnt the
most in french was froid (cold)- even with multiple layers, I felt like an ice
berg. Thinking about the cold was second to me with a lot of other processes
coming into play before that in my mind were more important. Thank you to my
French team, Tri Val de Gray for looking after me so well and I look forward to
more racing to come.
With Abu Dhabi on the horizon, I had
4 weeks of consistent training in our Wollongong base with the knowledge of the
demands that the race in Abu Dhabi would have. Building on training and
confidence each week was a great starting base for the season. Doing some new
sessions in our training environment in this year has lit a new spark giving me
confidence back in areas that I had lost. On 16th February I raced
in Devonport Oceania Champs where I placed second after a full week of training.
It was great to put processes in place under fatigue and get a full race under
Race day threw everyone off guard with rain starting to fall and a colder air temperature.
Abu Dhabi gets about three days of rain a year and racing on the F1 track was
going to make critical moments even trickier. Before I even got to the race
site, I was covered in sand, water and muck off the roads. I knew that having a
good pre-race plan would be key to executing right on race day. Every
Tuesday they open up t…
Arriving back in Hamburg for my sixth time makes me feel somewhat like a veteran of the sport, but it also means I have plenty of experience behind me to execute the demands of a hard fast course. I have never cracked the top 20 in Hamburg and I have always been left wanting more from myself. Over the past month I have done a few races in the lead up with two local races and Antwerp World Cup where I placed fifth. Training has been consistent and I knew I had the confidence, skills and race plan behind me to get the best out of my self on the day.
Having such a late start for race day is my favourite race day. The 6.40pm start time allows time for a bit of training, all the naps and chill time before its time to line up. The water was just over 20 degrees which meant no wetsuit and the air was just a little warmer. I decided I wanted to start far left to try and miss the chaos of the first can. As the better swimmers started lining up from the right I was not convinced I had made the …
For the past month I have split my time between home in Campbelltown, Wollongong and Canberra. Training has been building every week and I have been able to incorporate some downhill running back into my program which I found earlier in the year really worked for me. We have been working really hard behind the scenes and I came into Yokohama looking forward to being able to demonstrate that. Last year Yokohama showed I was able to perform under some tough conditions and I was confident of a good result this year.
I was relaxed on race morning and I knew what I needed to do to put myself in a good position. Not racing Bermuda, my ranking had dropped to 8th but it still gave me a good choice on the pontoon to have some good swimmers around me. The swim was pretty rough and I got caught up in the mess until the second buoy turn to come back into the pontoon. I started to move around people and move up in the field. The second lap pace got even faster and I had to close a lot of gaps . I …