Saturday, August 29, 2009

Yokohama World Championship Series

I had a strong run in Yokohama positioning myself up front in the race but I didn't manage to finish on top this time. Lisa Norden SWE surged with 500m of the run to go, this is when I realised that I didn't have another gear in me. I finished in 2nd just in front of home country favourite Juri Ide JPN. The final 300m straight felt like ages as I had blown my legs before that.
We raced in very hot and humid conditions which made the race very tactical. There wasn't the usual fast pace out of T2, it was who could hold themselves together for the entire 10km run who placed best in Yokohama.

[Cute pictures of the opening ceremony]

I swam wide left to the first buoy like I had done in London since I chose the far left starting position. But Yokohama was different, I had lost my straight down from altitude feeling and the fastest starts came from the japanese competitors in the middle of the line up. I exited the first lap in a good position but as I dived back in for the 2nd lap of 2, I was swum all over and hugged so close by another competitor who was trying to get maximum draft off me. I was dragging her along so slowly that I dropped from the feet in front of me and when Juri Ide swam up beside me, I stopped and went directly on her feet just to get some peace. The final 500m of the swim was so much easier.
On the bike, there was never any stress. I sat in thinking it is better to save my legs for the run because when you expend all your energy there is no chance of recovering and cooling down in this heat. The pace wasn't very high after the first few laps anyway so it was smart to sit in the group.
I decided I didn't want to be stuck behind people while getting to my bikerack since it was at the far end of transition like in Kitzbuhel and London, so at the end of the bike I positioned myself in the front row riding into T2.

As soon as I got onto the run I felt the heat wave. My favourite parts of the course were the drink stations, even though I was yelled at by another competitor for knocking over 2 bottles before finally grasping the 3rd bottle in my slippery sweaty hand. From the coverage I have seen, my running form is back after I had a small crash last week before London. My front wheel went into a crack in the footpath and I crashed hard on my side (clumsy I know).
My 2nd place in Yokohama now confirms my 3rd place current World Ranking. I will be wearing number 3 in 2 weeks on the Gold Coast for the final of the World Championship Series on Sunday 13th September.

1 Lisa Norden SWE
2 Andrea Hewitt NZL
3 Juri Ide JPN
4 Liz Blatchford GBR
5 Annabel Luxford AUS

Friday, August 21, 2009

London World Championship Series

I am now in Yokohama, Japan for the last round of the World Championship Series before I head to the Gold Coast to prepare for the final race. I don't like to talk about my bad races, my 9th place in London was below the result I wanted. I swam well but the bike was frustrating as people over a minute and half behind caught up because there was no structure working at the front. The London bike course had a lot a bumps in the road and dangerous corners. There was a crash involving 6 or so which happened in a chasing group. The transition area was layed out as a single line of bike racks, so there was chaos in T2 as everyone cut each other off to get to their bike rack. I tried to stay on the very outside as my rack was number 1 at the front but there were still people who wanted to go on the outside of me going into transition. Within the first km, the run spread out and I ran in the second group with Sarah Groff USA, Anja Dittmer GER and Daniela Ryf SUI for most of the run. I didn't have any leg speed and I had no sprint so I finished 9th.
I flew straight from London to Tokyo then Yokohama is 90min drive from Narita Airport. We arrived on Monday to adapt to the time change but I still woke up at 3am this morning for 2 hours before getting back to sleep.
It is forcast for 32deg tomorrow and it's very humid. There are only a couple of girls who didn't race last weekend, for all us others who did we have to overcome the tired legs and the jetlag for tomorrow. All is looking good though, after some physio from Thierry I am on track for a better result.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Training camp in the French Pyrénées


I just returned back from a Sunday long ride. We managed to get a group of 16 together to ride from Font Romeu to one of the highest climbs in the French Pyrénées, Port d'Envalira, 2408m! I am spending 25nights here in Font Romeu at 1800m to prepare for the 3 final races of the Triathlon World Championship Series.

Training is going well, I have had no hiccups. I am enjoying my 4th training camp here in as many years, so everything has got more familiar each year. This year I am training with another NZ triathlete, Kelly Bruce. We are swimming at the Altitude Training centre, CNEA (Centre Nationale Entrainement en Altitude) but living in a apartment in town in Font Romeu. We trained 24 hours last week and this week 22 hours. My partner, Laurent Vidal, has been keeping a close eye on me and tells me to slow down during some sessions because he plans them to be easier sessions. Another good reason to have Kelly here to train with because she always trains at a good pace. And he's right to worry because there is nothing worse than getting tired from training at altitude.
We have visited some beautiful places in our first 2 weeks including the beach at Collioure, the best restaurant in Prades and the Caldea mineral pools in Andorra la vieille. Laurent knows the Pryénées really well because he had a family vacation here every year for a month when he was young.