Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Phases of Downtime

My apologies for the overabundance of blogs. Hope you enjoy.
Written during "Randomly Productive Phase".

This Isn’t Actually Happening Phase
I don’t actually need downtime. I’m not actually not training. You still show up to workouts only to be turned home. Eventually acceptance wins (or the insistence of your coach with the threat that he will add an additional week to your downtime) and you spend a good day or two just moping in disbelief.

Rage Phase
You aren’t winning at downtime if you aren’t winning the party.

Maximal Exercise Phase
You accept that you aren’t allowed to do your sport but you do every other activity in order to maximize physical activity. This can also take the form of daily three-hour walks with lots of instagramming.
Exhibit 1 - Excessive instagramming
Treat yo’ self Phase
Buy things, eat yummy things, go to fancy places….you feel as if you need to be rewarded for a year of hard work and also for being so good at downtime!

Build Things Phase
Also could take the form of “Bake Things” phase. Struggling with the need to feel productive, you try to rejoice in the process of assimilating a bunch of little pieces into something whole.

The world is cruel and downtime sucks and I have no friends.

I Need a Puppy Phase
It will be the solution to all of my problems! And I have SO much time!

Random Productive Phase
Usually near the end of downtime. You start to miss having a schedule so you make yourself busy. Catching up on appointments, emails, cleaning, expenses, homework…even organizing things…it magically gets done.

I Ain’t Goin Back Phase
You start to get comfortable with going to bed late and waking up at 10am. You don’t mind lazy mornings spent reading a book with a coffee and your feet up while your breakfast sizzles on the stove. Training seems like a thing of the past and you feel you could live this way forever.
Every day is a Sunday.

Twitchy Eye Phase
Your body seems to be rebelling against you. Your legs want to seem to move fast again and your arms start randomly swinging around in a freestlye stroke pattern. It is not uncommon to spontaneously break into a flurry of pushups. Your body craves movement.

The First Day Back
Diving in the pool you feel like a beached whale that is missing its tail and one of its eyes and that has forgotten how to swim.

 Everything Hurts Phase
You avoid hard wooden chairs at all costs. You need assistance to raise your arms above your head. Laughing causes you to grimace.
Your ask your body why it hates you so much.

The I Will Never be Fit Again Phase
When did training get so hard? You call off your season and your career and start to evaluate various life paths in your head. Maybe moving to California and living under the sun and selling ice cream to all the happy children isn’t such a bad idea after all.

The Return to the Grind
You wake up. You train. You eat. You sleep.
Life has returned to normal.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Being Thankful for 2014

Back at the end of my season in 2013 when I was looking forward to the start of a new season, I really didn’t picture 2014 going the way that it did.
I didn’t think that I would be where I am now.
But life is a crazy, crazy thing. And I guess if I could always see my future then life wouldn’t be all that exciting.
So right now I am taking the time to let things heal slowly and get my mind back to the right place. Because if there is one thing that I have learnt this year, if you run head first into a brick wall, nothing will come out of it if you try to keep on running.
Rocks beat bones.
One thing that I do know is that I have so many things to be thankful for and that I have the best family, friends, and teammates.
I’ll be back!
Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving.


Clermont Training Camp

Agoura Hills Training Camp

Clermont Continental Cup

Sarasota Pan Am Cup & Relay Champs

Auckland WTS

Yokohama WTS

Dallas Pan Am Champs

Chicago WTS

Magog National Champs

Edmonton Worlds


A huge thank you to all of my sponsors and supporters.

And a special thanks to:
Craig, Tonya, Kate, Sophie Taylor
RTC Squad
Momma & Poppa Brown
Jaime & David Markin
Auntie Joan
Triathlon Canada
Colin Young & Sportbrand
Kretz Family
Hinton Family
Marcell Meresz
Triathlon Ontario
Speed River T&F
Jen Sygo
Scott Kelly
Alex Sereno
Heather Sprenger & CSIO

Monday, October 7, 2013

Post Worlds and Cozumel World Cup

Well I’m hanging out in the Cancun airport lounge and there is no food so I’m drinking coffees like it’s my job. Ergo, I have the ability to type like a superhuman and I may as well use it to my advantage to do some blog updates. Besides…my brain is still a little too fried for homework.
After flying home from London on September 17th and letting my performance at U23 Worlds really sink in, I jumped into a Varsity Cross Country workout on my second day back in Guelph. I was overjoyed to be reunited with the team and to feel the energy and excitement that was building amongst the girls in preparation for our upcoming season. I joined in for a couple more workouts with the team and decided to race the Vic Matthews Invitational last weekend (September 28th) in Guelph.

The race went out fast and I was flying for about 2km before I hit a wall and the volume from the previous week crept into my legs. I was still doing full triathlon training and was not rested for the race. Needless to say, it was very fun and a great performance overall for the Gryphons.

Last Thursday I flew to Cozumel to compete in my last triathlon of the season, the Cozumel World Cup.

I was extremely excited going into the race and pretty confident knowing that I had some good fitness coming off of Worlds. I didn’t feel extremely sharp in the days leading up to the race and fretted a bit about the heat. In the end I knew I was just going to have to race hard, stay focused, and put myself in the mix. Everything else was out of my control.
I had a rough swim, and was pulled and dunked a fair bit before the first buoy. I was held under the water briefly which was scary but I made friends with some fish and they were friendly so that was ok. I’m guessing that my timing chip fell off at some point during all of the grabbing and scraping so I apologize to anyone who was trying to follow if I made it extra difficult. Its probably still at the bottom of the ocean somewhere and I’m sure a scuba diver will find it and maybe show it to his friends or just leave it at the bottom of the ocean.
Not having a timing chip means that I can make up all of my splits and everyone will have no choice but to believe me. Bonus.
So…not only did I have the fastest swim, but I also had the fastest bike AND the fastest run. If you’re thinking, “Well then, how did she have the fifth fastest time?” I have the answer. Apparently, I stopped to have some cervezas in T1 and then a small siesta in T2.
The highlight of my race came after exiting the water. I sprinted to my bike and mounted just behind the Olympic gold medalist. We were about 30 seconds back from the lead girls and had to TT to bridge to the front group that had formed. So I worked with Spirig to close the gap and we joined the front pack after about 8km. Working with Spirig was - and I risk sounding like a huge dork here - really cool. It’s not often that I have the opportunity to work with other strong cyclists and everything just flows so much better when you have someone to push the pace with.
I was very badly positioned going in to T2 (mistake 1) and then was far too kind as I ran with my bike in transition, not wanting to hit or collide with anyone (mistake 2). I then proceeded to struggle with my helmet (mistake 3) sunglasses (mistake 4) and running shoes (mistake 5). I exited T2 at least 10 seconds back from the leaders and immediately felt the heat. I could see the leaders just ahead and decided to just be patient and build gradually instead of hammering right away to catch up (mistake 6). I ran through some girls on the first lap and could still see the leaders just ahead. I stayed in fifth for the second lap, maintaining my distance from the lead but not quite running fast enough to close the gap.
In the end I finished fifth. Again.
I don’t have a whole lot more to say about the race but I will say that I am disappointed. Sure, it was a strong result, but I could have done better. I will always strive to be better and fifth place is not in the least bit satisfying. 
I’m home now, after spending a lovely Monday morning with Leslie Buchanan during our journey from Cozumel to Cancun. I’m happy to back in Guelph for a bit and it seems like I am just now settling into school and cross-country. It’s been a long season but there is always room for cross...and dessert?
I would just like to take a minute to thank a few very important people who made this trip possible. My coach, Craig Taylor, flew down to Cozumel with his two beautiful daughters and superstar wife, and they were all there to support us this week. Kyla Rollinson flew down last minute to take in the race and support the Canadians and it was a treat to have her there. The race organizers did a great job of making the race safe and smooth, and I want to give a special thanks to both Ulf Schuetze and Leslie Buchanan.
Finally, congratulations to my Canadian teammates who fought through the hot conditions and finished strong. Kyla Coates raced for the first time in two years and had a great performance and Dominika Jamnicky and Andrew Bysice are both headed to San Juan next weekend to race an Olympic distance tri.
Thanks to anyone who followed along and for any words of encouragement…and thank you for reading!