Monday, June 24, 2013

It's been a while....

I have not written a blog in a very long time and that's because I have been busy finishing up my college degree. I am now officially a college graduate! I graduated the University of Colorado, Boulder with a BA in Sociology, which I am not going to use and instead pursue triathlon. An expensive education that I will use one day- possibly even go to law school, we'll see. 

Commencement ceremony with my parents. 

My prize for finishing school- gluten+dairy free cake from Kim and Jake's Cakes. The best!!!

Finally some free time to do what I love most- swim, bike, run!
My new ride for 2013- Scott Bikes. Yay!
Riding bikes with friends at 11,000ft in the CO mountains. 

And finally.....some racing! It has been a while since I have suited up in my Pearl Izumi race suit but it felt great to be back at it. Well maybe not great during the race....but nice to be back toeing the line.
ITU Edmonton World Cup. I finished 7th. 

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Games- 3 Strikes and Out

Olympic Games, London, England, August 4, 2012

Well, at least out of luck and out of the running for a top ten position which is what I was aiming for. My preparation had been pretty well perfect. Business class flight Denver-London, a couple of nights in the village then the two nights before the race with my family in a hotel right next to the race venue, Hyde Park. Great new bright red Specialized Amira and matching helmet. I was ready to go. Weather iffy but not terrible. Cool though – definitely not like a Bermuda summer! Cool water too, resulting in a wetsuit swim which was strike 1 as the wetsuit helps the weaker swimmers which I am not. No big deal though I came out of the water in good shape and joined the chase pack which included all the big names. Unfortunately one of the big names – Emma Moffat came off her bike on a bad corner next to Buckingham Palace and I couldn’t avoid her so also hit the deck. Strike 2. I was pretty shaken up but got back on my bike to try and get back in the race although I figured my chances of a decent finishing position had just about disappeared. By the time I got on to the transition carpet at the end of the lap – yes the end of  lap #1 – I realized my back brake was sticking. Strike 3 and now I’m really p*****! Anyway I got off my bike, fixed the brakes and continued on riding with the back-markers. I got through the run having no fun whatsoever (although big thank you to all the Bermuda supporters out there for cheering so loud!) and finished 45th out of 55 starters. One consolation I suppose although its not much – the bike crash was not my fault. That corner was lethal and at least another five or six girls came down at the same spot which is ridiculous. It is unfortunate that something like that can ruin 4 years of hard work and dedication but that's racing. Apart from my race disaster the Games was a great experience. My family, boy friend and other family friends were in London to watch me race and share the experience, without them I would of been a mess.  

Go Bermuda

Not impressed
The Village, the helpers, the crowds etc etc were all brilliant. Even the weather picked up after the first few days. The highlight of the Games was carrying the Bermuda flag at the closing ceremony. There is nothing like walking into a stadium of 80,000+ people with TV cameras everywhere. I had never been more proud to be Bermudian. One tiny complaint though – the speakers were all facing the crowd during the Closing Ceremony so we athletes could hardly hear anything. Even so - Spice Girls rule!

Daimo and I in the village

Finally a big thank you to all of my sponsors. Your support has been amazing and I am so proud to represent your brands- Specialized, Pearl Izumi, Oakley, Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, Skratch, and Breeze Bars. Last but certainly not least thanks to my coach Neal Henderson (apexcoaching) and my training partners. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

My Off Season in Pictures

It is hard to believe that it is 2012 and most importantly an Olympic year! Four years has gone by way to fast. I am back in full training mode and have even raced already this year which is hard to believe because it is January.

Here is what I got up to this off season:
Christmas Parties!

Christmas in Bermuda

 Riding my Specialized in Bermuda

Being a normal college student and going out. (once)

Getting muddy racing some cycle cross which is my new favorite hobby.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I got ya this time Beijing!

Three years ago, I was 20 years old, injured, sick and mentally gone, and I was on the start line of the Beijing Olympic Games triathlon. Not a good situation to be in. I had a terrible race and ended up not finishing. I was crushed and took 2 years off from competitive racing. I went home to Bermuda, got a job, didn't train and got a little chubby. Fast forward three tears and I was back in Beijing for the World Cup Series Final but this time I was three years wiser, healthy, fit and mentally ready to tackle the demons from 2008. I had a fantastic race and finished 9th. Very happy and surprised with that result, I could not have asked for more. This is how the race unfolded-

The swim was pretty uneventful for me. I had clear water to the first buoy and didn't get pulled under or hit, which is very unusual in ITU racing. I was constantly looking up to see where I was in the swim looking for little holes in the pack I could swim into, to move up. Eventually I was swimming at the back of the front pack in a sweet draft making the swim feel easy. I was out of the water front pack- mission accomplished. 

The pace on the bike was on from the start. There was a small select group of us 20 seconds up from a strong chase pack. Helen Jenkins, Andrea Hewitt, Jessica Harrison were on the front pushing the pace especially up the massive hill. Every lap we put time into the rest of the field eventually ending up with 1.50 seconds at the end of the bike. The bike was hard and my legs were feeling it so I didn't know what to expect going onto the run. 

I had a bad T2, struggling to get my left shoe on so I came out a few seconds down from the rest of the girls which in ITU racing is a lot. Although, looking back at it, it might have been a good thing because I started the run at my own pace instead of trying to hang with those girls. I felt awesome on the run.  I slowly started to pick off some girls and moved up to 9th. Nothing makes you run fast than having three Aussies chasing you! (Moffat, Snowsill and Jackson) 

It was an amazing feeling running down the finishing shoot knowing I had concurred my demons from 2008.  This was probably one of the race of my career and so far has meant the most. 2008 hurt me a lot so to go back to Beijing and totally smashed the race was an incredible experience. 

Big thanks to my coach, Neal Henderson for having confidence in me as an athlete and bring me back from hating racing to loving it again. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A frog stole my shoes

....that's why I have not blogged in so long or maybe it's because I spend most of my free time now watching The Mighty Boosh instead of being productive. Having said that, I think watching The Mighty Boosh beats wasting countless hours on facebook and twitter.  It is a good thing school starts again in less than a week.  

Howard Moon and Vince Noir. Love them. 

Besides watching a lot of silly British TV, I have been training a lot and racing not so much. I have not raced since Hamburg WCS in July because I didn't want to fly back over to Europe again for just a weekend and try to race well. It was a lot more difficult that I first thought. Not having a base in Europe was a bad idea. All of the World Cups and World Cup Series races are in Europe so to fly over there for a weekend to do one race is a little ridiculous. To make things worse, I do it alone. That is the one downside of being from Bermuda. So that being said I pulled out of  the Tiszaujvaros world cup, which I am hoping was not a bad decision and won't prevent me from getting into some of the world cups at the end of the year. Time will tell. 

Next up for me is the Chicago Triathlon on the 28th of August. Time to pull out the TT bike again and this time ride it a little faster! Will be fun to race in Chi town as a pro because I grew up racing the Chicago kids race. BUT, this weekend I am going up to Leadville, CO for the Leadville 100 trail running race because Daimo is doing it! 100 miles of running..Crazy. I will be pacing him over Hope Pass for the second time. 

Picture from the WCS race in Hamburg. Notice the brown mustache......yeah the water was a little disgusting. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Edmonton World Cup

I have been a bit lazy recently on the blogging front but that is because I have not been up to much. The weekend after Captex I raced in the WCS race in Madrid. I didn't have a good race, hence why I did not write about it. I got sick on the trip over there and ended up dropping out of the race. I hate to drop out of races but on that course there is no room for weakness. Just not my day. I took a week off from training after Madrid for some much needed rest. Amazing what a week can do. It was nice to have some R &R and have some time to do 'normal' stuff like go camping. I am embarrassed to admit that it was my first time officially camping. My boyfriend (Daimo) and I went camping just outside of Estes Park at the Longs Peak camp site. It was beautiful up there! As it was my first time camping we naturally had to roast marshmallows and make s'mores. I'm officially not a camping virgin anymore. (Yay!) 

Fast forward a month and I was on the start line for the Edmonton World Cup. I have never raced in Edmonton so was really excited to be there. The course is awesome except for the swim. The lake was a little gross but from what I have heard they really cleaned it up. Nice big hill on the bike and some technical sections, and then an up and down run course. I had a decent race finishing 13th. I won some prize money, gained a lot of Olympic qualification points, and world ranking points so all in all it was a great weekend. 
Off the front on the bike

I flew back to Boulder for two nights and then jumped on a plane to Hamburg, Germany for the next round of the World Cup Series. This is my favorite World Cup so it is great to be back here racing. Even better my parents are flying over to watch me race. I have not seen my mom since Christmas! Long time without seeing Flora= presents for Flora. I hope!! 

That's all for now. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

My first trip to Texas- Captex Triathlon race report

I am currently writing this blog sitting on a Delta airlines flight to Madrid. The little boy who is sitting across the aisle from me just lost a tooth, which happened to fall out of his mouth and land by my foot. He looked over at me with blood pouring out of his mouth and asked me to pick it up for him. I almost puked at the sight of the blood and politely (through gritted teeth) told him I couldn't pick his tooth up. What a way to start a 9 hour flight across the atlantic. Fortunately the other 8 hours and 30min were uneventful. Anyways about that race in Austin....

This was my first non drafting race in almost 6 years, and my first time racing my Specialized Transition TT bike. I was excited and nervous at the same time. This was a last minute addition to my race schedule so I had not spent much time on my TT bike before. I had a great fit from Sean at Boulder Center for Sports Medicine the week before the race so I was comfortable and aero on my bike.

The race started at 6.50AM which is a lot earlier than I am used to racing (the WCS race on Sunday starts at 2.36pm- sleep in!) so it was an very early wake up call so I could eat my breakfast before the fun began. These races are a lot more relaxed compared with ITU World Cups, it was quite refreshing to arrive an hour before race start, rack my bike, do a little warm up, and start. No check ins, uniform checks, specific warm up times, or lining up 20mins before race start.

I had a great swim coming out of the water 4th on Jasmine Oeinck's feet. The swim was a little unusual because we caught the men who started 4mins before us. At first I thought we were swimming ridiculously fast to catch them, but later I found out they were sent off course and had to turn around. This was annoying for both them and us women because it was really difficult to swim around the slower men, who to be honest were just getting in the way. Regardless, I exited the swim where I wanted to be. On to the bike, and well this part could of gone better. I need to spend a lot more time on my TT bike, and I will leave it there. I was really excited to get off the bike and onto the run. I had a decent run, although I was expecting to run faster but I guess the bike took more out of my legs than I thought. I finished 7th which I am happy with considering it was a strong field. Big congrats to my Specialized teammates Tenille Hoogland, who was 6th and Kristen Peterson who was 10th.

All is all it was a great weekend in Austin. I had my Specialized teammates there, an awesome home stay, and the Specialized truck, mechanics and support. They are hands down the best bike company to be sponsored by, and it not just for the awesome bikes.

Next up is Madrid World Cup Series this Sunday 2.36pm Madrid time. Stacked field so it is going to be a tough one!

My super cute new tri suit. Thanks Pearl Izumi!!!