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…
Heading back to Stockholm for the
fifth time I actually felt like a bit of a local.I arrived in Stockholm calm and motivated to
deliver a good to a performance on race day. After Montreal WTS I was really
disappointed not being able to put a race together that showed where I am
currently at, on course really suited me. I was flat from the gun and my body
couldn’t handle the high power spikes. We had a few days of training easy after
we got back and this gave me ample time to self-reflect and stop second
guessing myself. I had a French Grand Prix in Embrun in the French Alps the
next weekend and this was a good non pressure race to do the basics right. I
had a good result there finishing 6th with a solid breakaway up the
climb and a win for my team Poissy Triathlon.
day in Stockholm was slightly cold, sunny but quite windy. I stood on the
pontoon surrounded by very strong swimmers including Jess Learmonth beside me.
Stockholm water conditions are very choppy which I think suits me…
two weeks have passed since Madrid World Cup and it actually felt strange
having a weekend in Vitoria. The past two weeks especially have been specific
work to the demands of the Leeds course but also personal work on my run form.
I have been working a lot with our staff here and back home on being more
efficient when I run slow and even more so when I run fast. Every week we have
been working on small changes and key words and I can already feel the
difference in the changes. I didn’t have the best of races in Leeds last year due
to illness so I wanted to prove to myself that I had the ability to ride and
perform well on such a demanding course.
the start list being so small, this always means there are less links in the
chain. I stood on the start line next to some very good swimmers and I knew the
pace would be on from the start. Within 100m, we were already strung out in a
single line. All I was thinking was hold onto the feet in front of you. The
first lap was fast and t…