Thursday, December 26, 2013

Off Seasons Fun!

Off Season!!  So this is a bit late, my off season officially came to an end a week ago :p

A time to let the body relax, gain a few pounds and let the mind turn to jelly after a year of obsessing thinking about training and racing.  This year I met some of my hero's, figured out I don't suck at triathlon, raced in 6 countries and became an Ironman.

This would be my first planned off season...planned being the key word.  Since I got into running about 2 years ago the only time off I have had was when I fractured my pelvis...5 never ending months off from a misdiagnosed injury.  Since then it has been a whorl wind of running races which turned into triathlon that lead to Ironman.

Ok time off.  Its been an intense year and I was definitely ready for some down time.  I think more mentally than anything.  I hadn't been able to train to the level I was before moving to Denver so the body didn't feel too bad but the head needed a rest.  I'm also taking some time off being coached at the moment, just playing things by feel.  I will absolutely be knocking down Lucho's door when I have my next "A" race on the schedule, he got me to a level of fitness I did not think possible!

I've heard all this talk about off season, how important it is, how you should work on the hard stuff, but should just do the things you like, gain weight, but not gain weight, don't train at all, but train your weakness, eat whatever junk you want, but try to get into healthy eating habits for the coming season.   The usual confusion that comes from so many differing styles and opinions.  So here I was on the plane ride home from Nevis thinking, "What now?"

Usually I don't have to think too much, there is always a plan laid out for each day, but now coachless and raceless I had no idea what to do with myself.  I got into a little bit of a post race season funk.  After such an intense race season it was like coming down from an adrenaline high.

So I did the only logical thing I head on over to coach Google to try to figure out what this off season is all about, and figured out what I want to do.

Off Season Plan:

1) Indulge - mm that box of chocolates looks good...

2) Work on my glaringly obvious weakness the swim

3) No Running

4) Try some new stuff unrelated to triathlon

5) Bike when I feel like it

Off Season Plan Results

1) Indulge - you cant go wrong with this one, lots off yumminess

2)   Tried something new with the swim, if I'm honest with myself I merely survived the workouts all year, there was no attention to detail or the level of focus needed to improve my swim.  So cutting the workouts down to 2000-2500yds and swimming 5-6 times a week.  Plan was the shorter workouts would help me stay focussed instead of losing interest and just flailing like I've done all year.  It definitely worked, in the last month I've taken almost 10 seconds off per 100yds in the last month.  Thats the same amount I took off all year last year.  So I'm not a hopeless swimmer as I previously believed there is hope if I can just stay focussed and learn to suffer in the swim like I enjoy doing on the bike and run.

3) No running, while more extreme then I would want I cut the run completely.  I started getting pain just above the arch of my foot about 3 weeks before Miami (same time I got the new bike).  So I wanted to nip it in the bud and get rid of it.  After 3 weeks of not running I was still feeling the pain when I tried a short run back and my calves were still rock solid tight.  Turns out it was the bike fit causing the problem, I had my seat slammed forward on my last bike because the frame was too big, so I got used to riding like that and it puts very little demand on my calves, well the new bike was set up "properly" and put a hell of a lot of demand on my calves.  Usually I would go back to the bike shop for a 2nd fit to get it sorted out but my little truck died so I haven't been able to get up to Boulder.  I started fiddling with the fit, I eventually got it to a more similar position to what I had before.  What a difference, a week later I went for a 5 mile run zero pain or discomfort and its all been good since then.  Well good except I am so horribly unfit on the run!  I have to keep reminding myself I used to like running :p

4) I had so much fun mixing it up.  Right now I live right across the street from my gym so I went crazy trying out different classes.  Zumba, Hot Yoga and Muay Thai, replaced swim/bike/run.  What I learned is I have zero rhythm, the flexibility of a cyclist (I dont think the yoga teacher meant that as a compliment) and a lot of aggression :p  It was a blast.  As a result I will be continuing the Yoga classes, I actually found one I liked that is challenging, with a little of the yoga mentality but not so much that there is a zen overload.  I also got back into strength training, my favorite!  It's Strength training that helped me lose all the weight and where I feel most comfortable, lifting heavy stuff and putting it right back down where I found it (sounds productive eh?).

5) Turns out I like biking a couple times a week, I didn't have any planned workouts, if I felt like biking I would go for it.  I did a complete 180 from my training all year.  Instead of an Ironman focus on volume nothing but short and intense workouts.  I forgot what zone 4 & 5 felt like!  I definitely struggle with the top end, having trouble getting my HR that high to start.  Once in a while would randomly log into the MaccaX app, choose a bike workout and go hard as Macca coached me through my headphones.  I'm going to keep using these the next 2 months, mix it up before I go back to volume and work a little more on the top end.

I figured out when to end my off season when I started really itching for some solid training.  I found the number of workouts creeping up, the bike rides were getting more frequent, and I just wanted to start going hard again. That was about a week ago and I'm loving it.  Its bizarre trying to write my own plan, I have to hold myself back as I come back to fitness (not my strong point).  I'm having trouble realising that I'm not as fit as I was before Ironman and I need to adjust accordingly.  I made the mistake of looking at a week of workouts about 6 months ago, pretty sure I would die if I attempted that right now!

Time to get my head back in the game, and figure out what I am doing next season.


Switching it up, not looking like a sweaty triathlete :p

Drinks with friends and Ironman recaps are an off season must!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

MaccaX Triathlon Race Report

Ok sports fans we last left off with me being lulled to sleep with the soothing sounds of a DJ battle vibrating my room.

Race Day! MaccaX Triathlon in Nevis

1500m ocean swim – no wetsuit
60k Bike ride with the 5k “Anaconda” hill, steep enough to be standing most of it.
10k Run….

Alarm goes off race morning, luckily heard it over the racket going on outside.  That’s right the party was still going strong at 6am.  Lack of sleep be damned, last race of the year it was time to go hard and close out my first full season with a bang. 

Walked over to transition and bikes were racked by first come first serve so I picked a prime spot for Stiletto to wait for me until I was ready to unleash her on Anaconda hill.

Macca walks up to transition and first thing he says says, “You look tired.”  Geez thanks!  With everything ready to go, I wandered off, put in my headphones and took a quick nap by the water.  Feeling revived I head down to the water.

Ok maybe I do look a little tired...
It was weird not having to put on a wetsuit, I’ve never raced without one.  The good news is usually when I put it on my HR shoots up into the stratosphere so I was a lot more calm standing on the start line.  Some chit chat and a good luck from Macca it was time to go.

First two cans (buoys) were massive and white, so I managed to find those ones ok, the 3rd was an itty bitty black one, not so easy to see!  Unfortunately some foggy goggles had me stopping a few times and going a lot of extra distance….well foggy goggles and my terrible sighting ability, definitely going to be doing more open water work!

Ok out of the water, run up the beach and I was so excited to get on my bike.  A hard bike ride was just what I needed.  Its always a question of how your legs will feel race day, last week it was a disappointing flat feeling..  Not today! 

Legs just wanted to go, so I reigned them in.  Plan was first loop high end of 70.3 watts, 2nd loop go hard.  I felt like I was soft pedaling out of transition my legs felt so good but I was right on target.  Time to do some climbing!  The hill is a pretty constant incline with some little flat sections but averaging 7% according to my Garmin file.  I was able to sit right in my watt range going up so I knew it wouldn’t kill my legs for the run.  I definitely didn’t spin up it, it was too steep most of the time, but was able to keep at a comfortably hard effort and keep HR under control.  I couldn’t believe how good I felt 30 watts higher than the week before but it felt comfortable!  I had a little boost along the way at one of the steeper parts had a local kid run along side me cheering as I went :)

Then came the descents!  It made the climb more than worth it.  Rolling with screaming down hills with some curves to keep it interesting.  I was grinning like an idiot most of this ride, I loved the tough beautiful course.  I wasn’t even feeling the heat!

And then it started not going so well…the sound of rims on road is never fun but this was my first time experiencing it in a race.  Crap!  The race team was so accommodating and got me an extra tube the night before since I had blown through my other ones so I pulled off my tire and set about swapping for the spare tube.  Surprisingly calm I managed to get it back on check that everything was ready to go and get back to racing.  I had lost some time, wasn’t sure how much since my Garmin auto paused but it couldn’t have been much. 

Ok back on the road and back up to speed.  Until…that now too familiar sound…rims on pavement.  I would come to learn that there was a leak around the valve on the tube….so it didn’t hold air.  At this point I was over 3 miles away from the transition area and all out of tire tubes, so I started walking back, clicking along in my bike shoes.  There may have been a few words that my mom would scold me for yelling expressing as I trudged back. 

That was the end of my race day.  My first DNF.  I ran into Greg (CEO of Nevis Tourism) on my hike back to transition and he was kind enough to take my wounded bike off my hands and walk back with me.  We got to talking about the course and I mentioned how I would love to have my motorcycle on those roads and he said they were trying to get motorcycle racing to the island!  It would be so much fun to take on that island on a motorcycle :D

Unfortunately I didn’t get to take on the run course, soo I don’t have much information about it.  From what I heard it was a variety of terrain and it got hot by the end of it!

I did get to see the race unfold from the sidelines cheering people in and seeing Macca taking the win comfortably.  Thankfully the race was well prepared with cold beer at the finish line that helped ease the pain a bit :p
Macca takes the win easily! 
One reason to do this race…the prizes!  Under Armour sponsored the race and had plenty of great swag at the finish line.  Prizes included backpacks, shirts AND a pair of the same UA Speedform  shoes that Macca races in!

Macca had to head off the island right after the race so there wasn’t the usual post race big chain ring party, but next year with the triathlon taking over the island I’m sure there will be one hell of an after party!

My last night on the island was a lot more comfortable, I was comp’d a night at the Four Seasons and it was luxury!  I was also given a pair of the UA Speedform shoes to put to the pavement and loved how comfortable they were!  I’m getting decked out in UA swag lately, luv it. 

UA Swag- Finally tried the shoes, luv them!
Good Bye Nevis...I will be back!
I will be back.  I need redemption on this island, and that is one of the most fun bike courses I’ve done, and those flats pissed me off.  First full race season is officially over, I’m going to take some down time and freshen up before I go back at it.  No plans nothing on the calendar…feels weird not having every day planned around training!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

MaccaX Nevis Triathlon Race week!

Macca X Triathlon

Back to back race weekends.   I love it!  This was an opportunity for me to adapt to the heat more and smash it after a disappointing race in Miami.  I was fired up.  It was only Monday and this race could not come soon enough.  I guess I should start with the week in Nevis leading up to the inaugural MaccaX triathlon.

It was great to be a part of the inaugural race and get to see what potential this race has.  Especially with the island of Nevis.  I can just picture next year with a MaccaX camp like Miami, except we would take over the island of Nevis.  With just 400 rooms the island could be a triathlon haven, imagine a whole island over run with triathletes!  The locals were unbelievable nice, to the point where you questioned if they were told to be so nice, but it was just the island way.  Incredibly supportive of the race and so helpful you really felt welcome.

Sunday was the Miami Man race, and Mondays event was the travel to Nevis St Kitts.  Luckily from Miami its an easy trip, a 3 hour flight and 40 min boat ride.  I met Macca and Scott at the airport along with a couple other interesting people.  Along for the ride was Kendall Macca’s Under Armor rep (who also reps George St Pierre!) and the CEO of tourism for Nevis St. Kitts - Greg (who made the trip so much easier).  Kendall was here because Under Armor was generously sponsoring the race with a lot of sweet prizes and they were doing a photo shoot on the island with Macca. 

The flight over was uneventful, compression geared to my eyeballs, I had a row to myself so proceeded to stretch out over 3 seats and sleep the flight over.   I wasn’t the only one, it was a late post race night.

We arrived on the island of St. Kitts, the bigger of the two islands.  Luckily Greg was along on that flight because Kendall and I had no idea how to get us and our luggage over to Nevis (as you know travelling with a bike box is always so easy and hassle free…right…).  Scott and Macca were staying at the Four Season Nevis, and they take care of you, carrying you and luggage from the airport to the boat, docking right at the hotel!  Greg convinced the Four seasons to take Kendall and I along for the ride and then drove us to our hotels, 1st class service! (figuring out things are a bit easier when you’re with the big names).

Well we hop on the boat over from St. Kitts to Nevis, and first things first are handed some rum punch. I like this place already!  The first thing you notice is the breathtaking view of the two islands.  Its incredibly lush and green, and you look towards Nevis to see a volcanic peak disappearing in the clouds.  We were assured the volcano had been inactive for some time… Macca regaled us with a story of a swim race between the two island, approximately Ironman swim distance between.  I didn't realize how far 3800m was until seeing the distance point to point between the islands.

Left to right Greg, Kendall, Me, Macca, Scott

Didn't look real it was so beautiful

Had the beach to myself most days!

On the ride over was chatting with Greg and he asked where I was staying…now the last thing you want to hear when you say the name of your hotel is a near disgusted “Oh…Um is there any way you would to stay somewhere else?”  Oh crap.  Now I’m pretty cheap with travel and have stayed in some sketchy places I figure I’m just sleeping there the rest of the time I’ll be training or on the beach, how bad could it be?  It was pretty bad.  Beautiful view but pretty sketchy all around.  I got one towel and 1 roll of toiled paper for the week, and the shower dripped without letting up the whole week.  Little did I know how my hotel choice would affect race day.
The view made up for a lot

It may not have been so bad if I hadn't seen the luxury of the Four Seasons first.  3 pools, beach front cabanas and umbrella's with service right to your lounging chair.  It backed on to a stunning golf course filled with Monkeys (cant believe I didn't see a single monkey!).  

This is definitely a race to come to end of season, bring the family and enjoy a beach vacation.  Golfing, boat rides, Sea-doos, hiking, scuba diving and miles of empty beach front make it the perfect place to relax after a long season.  

I had a week to acclimate to the heat and take in the stunning island.  I was hoping the time would help my body adjust after it was obviously not ready for the heat in Miami.  The good news was because I put out such low power on the bike, and ran slower than I do in my long easy runs I wasn't sore or fatigued at all from Miami.  So I didn't have to worry about recovering in time just needed to keep the legs moving and spend tons of time by the pool adjusting to the heat ;)

A gallon of sunscreen and a good book in my favourite chair by the pool - key to heat acclimation success
On of the must do's on the island is Scuba Diving!  I've never been before and really wanted to give it a try.  Slightly terrified and very excited I got my lesson in Scuba Diving on the boat and before I knew it was weighed down with a tank and vest.  I was all ready to go...until it came to jumping off the boat...I think I stood there for about an eternity (in reality about a minute) with them urging me to jump.  I've always had a bit of a fear of water that I've been forced to overcome with this triathlon madness, and don't think I would have been able to jump in if it hadn't been for learning how to swim the last year.  Crazy that I was this scared to jump in, when in a few days I would be doing my first ocean swim without the protection of a wetsuit.  Once I got in though, it was magic.  Scott was a pro at this and snapping pictures with his GoPro as we went, Macca hadn't been in about a decade but you'd never know.  I followed along, making sure not to get lost but it was unreal being down there.  We saw so much, a sea turtle, little sharks, lobsters tons of sea life.  I soon forgot how far under water I was, just enamoured with the experience.  Next year I expect to fill a boat with MaccaX members and share this experience with the team!

Macca & Scott

Going down trying not to freak out
Forgot to be scared, just lost in an underwater world

 The next couple days were heaven after a long season.  Fantastic swims in the Sea, its really a lot easier to convince myself to do open water swims when they involve swim/beach lounging bricks :)  The golf course was great to run along, and I could feel that I was slowly adjusting to the heat.  I needed about 10 gallons of sunscreen (give or take) as much as I love the sun it doesn't love my redhead skin.  The roads were a little rough but everyone gave you plenty of space as they passed, you never felt like an inconvenience, and there were no crazy drivers trying to run you off the road.  I wandered into town and found the Nevis bakery a great place for a leisurely breakfast and some tasty sweets.  I was not hating the Caribbean laid back environment.

Next up on the agenda was an unexpected radio interview, definitely a first for me.  Live on Von Radio in Nevis chatting about what the MaccaX triathlon brought to the island and plans for the future.  I think the DJ forgot my name, I became Ms. Canada half way through the interview :p  Team MaccaX got a lot of attention as Macca talked about how he wants to take over the island with our team next year.  You think the camps have been fun this year, I'm telling you having an island of our own would be ridiculous!

Yea this didn't suck
 Ok a little bit about the island course.  Specifically the bike ride, it was going to be epic.  The bike course is two laps around the island, 60km approximately, with a wicked 5km climb called anaconda hill you get to tackle twice - beauty :).  The rest of the race is Olympic distance with a 1500m swim and 10k run.  I haven't done an Olympic distance race yet because the swim is too long in relation to the other two and I don't have enough distance to make up for it with the bike and run.  With a longer hard bike ride this race would play to my strengths, I couldn't wait to tackle it.

 Plan was to head out on the bike course with Macca and Jane to check out this Anaconda hill everyone was talking about.  Unfortunately it was a ride plagued with flat tires.  First up was Jane she flatted half way up the hill.  Luckily some of the locals were nice enough to pick up her and her bike and bring her back to the hotel.  We head back opting for lunch instead of a bike ride, turns out on the way back Macca got a flat, and I would later find out my tire developed a slow leak that had it flat by the time I got back to my hotel.  3 riders went out, 3 flat tires came back.  Uh oh.

Aborted race course recon
Managed to change out the tire, I'm getting good at this and do a bit more cruising around, but it was close enough to the race I didn't want to tackle a whole loop and tire out my legs so just got a sense for the constantly undulating bike course and got more excited because it was feeling so good.

The race was on Saturday November 16th and before I knew it, it was the day before race day.  I was  pumped for this race, I was feeling on top of my game and then some in the training I was doing.  Barely noticing the heat anymore, and legs felt fired up. The pre race fun continued with the requisite pasta party!  Race bags were handed out, followed by short speeches by Macca and Greg then we got down to the fun of the race briefing.  Nothing too crazy here, just don't screw up the order and you should be ok.

Then came race night...this is where things got rough.

Where I was staying there was a restaurant on the other side of the wall of my room.  I figured it wouldn't be a problem, as the cook was out of town so the restaurant had been closed the whole time I was there.  Well the night before the race there was an event going down, a freaking DJ contest!!  So I get back from the pasta party, planning on an early evening and my whole room is vibrating to the pounding bass of the speakers on the other side of the wall about a foot from my head.  To the point the roof sounded like it was going to collapse and the room shook.  I laid out my race gear on the kitchen table before I left, half of it was on the floor from vibrating off.  This was insane.

Needless to say I didn't get much sleep the night before the race.  But I was determined to not let it get to my head. I had some racing to do the next day, and my body hadn't felt this fired up since Ironman I wasn't about to waste it.

Well race day will have to come in part two, I've blabbed on enough!

Walking from the boat to the Four Seasons

Good Night Nevis

Monday, November 25, 2013

Miami Man Triathlon and Camp with Macca

Miami Man Race Report

Hello Miami!  I was so excited to race, I haven’t had a race since Ironman Kalmar in August and couldn’t wait to hit a start line…well technically I did the marathon as part of Challenge Penticton a week later but that race started in T2.  Training had been a challenge with the move from Scotland to Denver and dealing with elevation but I was confident I could have a descent result, for no other reason than I wanted it ;)

The race set up - You swim in a lake, just barely wet suit legal (I’ll take all the help I can get!), then a fairly uninteresting bike ride going out and doing 2 loops, before heading back in.  Followed by the fun part – the run!  You get to run around the Miami Zoo through animal exhibits and baffled tourists visiting the zoo (debatable which were more interesting to observe!)

Now racing with Team MaccaX and Chris McCormack had some benefits.  Instead of having to head down to the race transition the day before to rack my bike we had a truck pick them up and rack them for us, feeling VIP.  I was next to Macca’s S-Works, hoping that some speed would rub off on mine! 

Stiletto dressed in black next to Macca's S works
Race Morning

Ok this is pretty hot and humid already, this should be interesting.  Scotland never got above 65 degrees all summer so racing in humid high 80’s was going to be a challenge.  The locals looked at me funny complaining about the hot weather, nothing compared to what they get during the summer!

Usual fun getting set up, checking, double checking, rechecking, checking my list again, to make sure I had everything in transition.  You would swear this was my first race.  I was almost giddy with anticipation, I just wanted to go out and smash myself! (no wonder people thing triathletes are insane) Its been too long since I’ve hit that point where everything is screaming at you to stop but you win that battle against your head and push through what you thought possible.

Swim – 41:20

That final few seconds as they count down, I just repeat to myself stay calm, no more panic attacks in the water.  My usual warm up of putting in my head in the water to blow bubbles and try to lower my HR from the bazillion miles an hour it shoots up to when I put on a wet suit.  GO GO GO!!! We’re off.  I tried to use some of the techniques that I learned in the MaccaX camp and and board short (swim off the hip) of people near me.  This worked pretty well, but unfortunately the people I swam off of were about as good at sighting as I am…so I ended up swimming a fair bit extra.  On the bright side it was my fastest pace per 100m I’ve swam, so if I can stay on track I have the ability to PR. 

Bike – 2:33:25

Here is where I knew it wasn’t going to be my day.  My plan for the bike was to start at the low end of my ½ Iron distance watts and build to the top of what I should be able to hold in the first half hour, then hold it.  Usually I ride the whole race at the low end, this time I wanted to push a bit more. 

Well that didn’t really happen… I started off and felt pretty flat.  I was working a lot harder than I should be to hold the low end of Half Iron Watts, and HR was about 20 beats high.  I fought to hold the low end, I tried to increase and there was just nothing there, legs didn’t respond.  So I figured ok, I’ll hold it here and then at least I’ll have lots left for the run.  First half I avg’d 23 mph, then it started going downhill.  I was working my ass off and the watts were going lower…and lower…soon I was in my recovery zone of watts, but HR was still zone 3…I was hydrating like crazy until mile 28 and then the last aid station around mile 43 they didn’t have any water, just sports drink, I should have taken the sports drink for hydration but I had already taken in more calories than I had before in a half!

My power went so low I averaged lower watts overall than I held in Ironman in August when I was out there for over 5.5 hours, I could barely hold that for the 2:33 I was out on the bike!

Brush it off, time for the run.  I should have tons left because I was at Ironman intensity on the bike!

Run – My slowest run in a Half yet 1:53:45

Get off the bike, determined to go out there and at least have a good run.  Pain.  Now I’ve had this bike about 3 weeks, and one bike fit well this race made it clear the fit wasn’t quite right.  My hip flexors were locked up and I couldn’t seem to extend my legs back, so a fast turn over shuffle it was.  First aid station I stopped and chugged down 3 cups of water, I was feeling the lack of water the last half of the bike. 

I have to say though it was pretty entertaining watching the expressions and comments of the Zoo tourists as all of these crazy triathletes run around them! 

Every aid station I poured water over my head, ice down my pants and top (I sounded like a cocktail with the ice jingling around in my bra…could have used a few cocktails).  I wasn’t feeling so good, but I did get a lift every few miles.  There was such a big group of Team MaccaX out there I got excited every time I saw someone, and cheered them on or a thumbs up as we went by each other or saw people on the out and backs it was very uplifting on a tough day. 

I was so happy to be nearing the end of the run, the last 4 miles I had started shivering and getting goosebumps, the beginning of heat exhaustion.  Something I’ve had some bad run ins with as a kid and should have recognised. 

So happy to be a few 100m from the finish!
Race Finish – 5:12 – about 20 minutes slower than I was planning on…

BUT I made it across the line upright, feeling like a super star with team MaccaX cheering me on through the finishing shoot. 

Result 1st in AG, 4th Female...missed 3rd by 6 seconds...

Finished! Serious bling for finisher medals
Stuffed Zoo animals and Power Bars for the win!
It was a tough day out there, I was pretty confident that I could win the race going into it.  It’s funny how expectations can cause you to miss out on the positives in something. I didn’t realize until a week later it’s the first time I’ve won my AG in a Half.  Because I wanted the win, I overlooked that, definitely taught me to slow down and appreciate what I have accomplished. 

I’m not sure if it was the heat, the timing of going up and coming down from elevation, or dehydration but it just wasn’t my race.  However the support of the team during and after the race made it a memorable one.  Plus there was the after party to look forward to!

The night ended with a few beers and war stories of the race. 

The fun didn’t end there, the next day it was time to pack up and head to the Caribbean to the islands of Nevis St Kitts for the inaugural MaccaX triathlon! Some pictures of our fun in Miami below :)

Big Group ride with the team and Macca

Great background for some transition practise

Promo work for Team MaccaX

A ridiculous amount of podium finishes for the Team!

My wicked room mate and new manager Heather!

Love this team, beers at the finish!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Race Plan & Training with Macca

Miami Baby!!

As I’m writing this I’m flying across the country to Miami, Florida.  I wish I could sleep on flights it was an early morning with a 5am wake up call, but since I cant (too excited) may as well be productive.

This will be a rambling post (shocking and unexpected I know).  So much to catch up on but a lot of cool things happening.

The next 10 days I am going to live and breath triathlon, race, train, and see a bit more of the world.  The only way it could be better is if my hubby could have come with me.  2 races - 4 days in Miami and 6 days in the Caribbean in Nevis St. Kitts.

The Schedule:


Macca is holding a training camp in Miami leading up to the Miami Man Olympic and 70.3 race.  Unfortunately I missed out on the welcome dinner Tuesday and day of training today.  I cant wait to get down there, almost 100 triathletes are attending the camp many of whom I have spent hours talking to online about all things triathlon and some very slightly disturbing random conversations to keep things interesting.  Lots of BIG personalities to say the least. So today I arrive at the hotel and get settled in, probably spend some hard time by the pool while everyone is out riding and doing technique work.  What?  Its training…I need to acclimate to the heat ;)


The schedule has a packed day of swim/bike/run and transition work.  I’ll take it pretty easy through this, rest up for race day Sunday.  I love that there will be so many other people to train with. Now that I think about it its been about a year since I’ve actually trained with other people.  You get caught up in your own training and sessions and with triathletes its tricky to match up schedules so this will be great!

Then a talk by Macca at the local bike shop that evening.


Rest & eat. 


RACE DAY!!!  I haven’t hit a starting line since Ironman Kalmar and I cant wait to race!  (Challenge Penticton doesn’t count I started in T2 :p)

AFTER PARTY!  Throw it in the Big Chain Ring and party it up with the crew & Macca.  Looking forward to this part.

So 2 races coming up the Miami Man 70.3 this Sunday and an odd distance 1.5k/60k/10k in Nevis.

It was very cool to meet up with my coach Lucho before these races to talk about triathlon and what it takes to be successful in this sport.  Usually there is a Skype call before races to hammer out targets and race plan but being able to chat over coffee in person really added to the experience.  Its great to hear about his experiences being a professional triathlete being among the ranks of the elite, especially finishing 12th in Kona. It’s very cool to have such a talented and knowledgeable athlete to guide me and let me pick his brain.  As well as an honest assessment of what it takes to make it to the professional category.  He even brought an entourage, his adorable son dressed up as Spiderman J


Nothing too fancy but a little crazy. 

Essentially survive the swim, take risks on the bike and see what I have left for the run.

Not my typical plan, I’ve always hedged my bets on the run essentially survive the swim, ride moderate, run my ass off.  I’ve had a mental block about the bike, still think of myself as a runner even though I’ve only been running 2 years I’m more comfortable with it.  After the last year my biking has transformed and is usually faster than the other two in relation to the field.  I just haven’t trusted it in racing yet, my legs start to feel fatigued I always back it off thinking about the run.

Now this doesn’t mean go out there pushing threshold the first hour and being completely stupid, it just means going to the upper limits of what I should be able to hold for 56 miles, instead of riding comfortably like I usually do, let the legs hurt a bit.  Ironman was my A race of the year these two are just bonus’s so I’m going to take the opportunity to experiment and I’ll either PR, or spectacularly explode and have some data to use for the future. 

You rarely learn anything in your comfort zone.   I need to let go of ego and not be afraid of blowing up and sacrificing a podium finish.

Training leading into this has been blah, I haven’t fully made the adaptation, paces and efforts that felt comfortable in Scotland are still a fair bit harder here and it hasn’t been as consistent as I would like with the move.  While I usually pull a lot of confidence from my training this time it’s all going to have to come from a belief that I have not lost fitness from Ironman training, and just know that I have the mental strength to go out there and suffer more to get the result I want.

Let the fun begin.

No pictures right now but there will be tons of the training camp, racing and partying with Macca to follow.