This was supposed to be a training camp post…in February…but I will combine it in to a race report and then it’s two for one!
I am not a big fan of winter. I get cold and sad and it feels like the world is closing in.
Last year I was very fortunate to miss a lot of winter as I attended strategically placed camps in the worst months. By the time that I got home to Guelph the snow had melted and warm breezes flowed through town. I was training outside again before I knew it.
This year I was highly encouraged by my coach to take classes during the winter semester, which would leave me grounded in Guelph and therefore no chance for two-month escapes to summery places. I decided to stay in school and become smarter (I think that is how it works) but I was very fortunate to be a part of the Triathlon Canada National Team camp in Clermont, Florida that took place during reading week.
I was very excited to head down to Florida in February and see all of my triathlon buddies and get in some super training too.
We arrived safely in Clermont and were picked up by taxi driver / high performance manager Drew. It was a short drive to the Swiss Ski School where we stayed for the next two weeks.
We were also very fortunate to be graced with the presence of amazing run coach Bobby McGee who taught us some useful drills and tricks and who was unmatched in his skill at riding small pink bikes around the golf course.
Sara McLarty kicked our butt in the pool and in the open water for two weeks, and I have never met someone so enthusiastic and charismatic who knew the right thing to say when the going got tough.
The support staff at the camp worked tirelessly to make everything smooth and the camp really could not have happened without them. I have to thank the coaches Craig, Carolyn, Alan, and Kevin. Libby and Drew worked out logistics and kept things rolling from day to day.
Camp video by the amazing Coates!! - http://vimeo.com/60913691
After the camp I was not very excited to come home to the snow and cold but pilots tend not to listen to you when you tell them to turn the plane around. I was only in Guelph for a short bout before heading back to Florida to race the Sarasota ITU Pan American Cup.
Sarasota was my first race of the season and I was pretty anxious to shake out the legs and just see where I was at from my base training from the previous months. I arrived a couple days early and scored an awesome hotel with Amélie Kretz and Domi Jamnicky...both had stayed in Florida and I almost didn’t recognize them due to their extreme tans.
Amélie and I had some pretty fun adventures the day before the race that included an unplanned 90min ride and two trips to the race site to try and get all of our precomp done. We were also almost eaten by alligators.
When race day came I was excited but also a bit distracted as I was trying to complete an essay that was due the next evening. I had written a lot of it but in a (rare) bout of foolishness I had left my textbook in the airport lounge in Toronto while on route to Sarasota. Luckily, super coach CT had picked it up for me when he flew out the next day so I was scrambling to put more words on paper. In the end I guess it was good to have something to focus on so that I wasn’t too fixated or stressed about the race. I am usually the most nervous for the first race of the season. (NOTE: got that essay done on time and didn’t even have to pull an all-nighter)
There was a bit more scrambling around when I got to the race site as I had some malfunctions with my race wheel cassette, but in the end everything worked out and I was pretty calm when I lined up for the start.
I ended up being far right on the start pontoon and I didn’t have too many fast swimmers around me until…Sara McLarty strutted down the pontoon and stood next to me. I was so happy (I did a little dance) because I knew I would either get dragged along with her, or she would shoot off like a rocket and I would have a bit of clear sailing until the first buoy.
When the swim started I put my head down and just told myself to take super fast strokes and stare at McLarty’s hip. I stayed there for a little bit (meaning all of about 75m) and then I looked up and saw that I was in second place! This lasted for about 3 seconds before the storm of flailing arms descended upon me and McLarty kept on accelerating. I got caught up in the fray and watched McLarty motor away to an eventual 55 second lead out of the water. Man I want to swim like that some day.
When I got out on the bike I had some catching up to do as I had a little disagreement with my wetsuit in T1. I caught up to four girls and we made an eventual pack of six. Our bike pack worked well together for about three laps before everyone decided that was enough effort for today and sat up to save their legs. It was very frustrating to watch two very small packs in front stay away from our big pack of six but I didn’t have a ton of confidence in where my legs were at so I wasn’t as aggressive on the bike as I usually am.
Off the bike I had a decent T2 and only had a bit of accelerating to do to catch two girls that had shot off in front. Kretz, Frintova, and I ended up running together for most of the run and the race finished in a sprint (yay) where I just couldn’t get my legs turning fast enough.
I was happy with the execution of the race and now have some good focus on things that I need to tweak going into the season.
A huge thanks to coach Craig for coming down to the race and also to Amélie’s parents for helping us out with bags, bikes, boxes, and everything in between.
The highlight of the weekend was getting to spend some time with Amélie and her famille and hitting up froyo not once but TWICE on Sunday in Fort Lauderdale.
Anyways the plan now is to finish exams, get ready for San Diego WTS, get the snow to leave Guelph, and start working the tan again.
Thanks for reading!
Link to results - http://www.triathlon.org/results/result/2013_sarasota_itu_triathlon_pan_american_cup/8964
All dressed up at the Gryphon Varsity Athletic Banquet!