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!

1 comment:

  1. Jo Brown - 4 months no blog, c'mon update time :-)