We’ve got a new webpage with a built-in blog

•January 4, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Please come visit our new webpage with a built-in blog.  We will no longer be posting on this wordpress site.  For those of you that subscribe to our blog via email, we’ve got that option for the new site as well.  But you’ll have to come look at our blog page to sign up.  Thanks!

You can catch up with us here: http://www.teamwurtele.com

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Are you not entertained?

•December 23, 2012 • 1 Comment

Trevor here.  I’m here to keep you entertained until Heather posts her next TTTT.  I don’t have much to say.  Deal with it.  Ha, jokes.

We were going to make a new website live this week.  But we’ve decided to just put it off until the new year.  It has nothing to do with the fact that making a new website is incredibly annoying and I want to throw pillows every time I try to make something work.  Or the fact that my wife is a bit of a perfectionist, finds things that I’ve missed every time she edits, and makes me want to cry when she decides that the thing I’ve worked on for the past 2 hours looks crappy.  Perfect or not, it will work on January 1st.  Complete with an integrated blog.  None of this blog in one place, website in another, business like we have now.  We’ve raised the bar. We’re going pro.  Don’t worry, there’s a bunny.

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ImageIn other news, we’re now well into our 2013 training program.  Training week 7 starts tomorrow. Our stellar off-season, consisted of 4 weeks of messing around in Kona (post race), The Bahamas (with a fun race), and St. George.  Late November and most of December was spent in San Diego with The Triathlon Squad – version 2013.  My speedo tan is at an all time high thanks to some great outdoor swimming, but I will soon revert into my natural, full-body pasty white with the coming weeks of indoor pools and fully clothed outdoor activities.  Thanks Canada, you loveable, cold, expanse of greatness.

The Triathlon Squad group this year has been awesome.  As far as I’m concerned it’s the best group the Squad has had since our first camp back in January 2011.  There’s no complaining, no drama, just a great group who suck it up and train hard.  It’s great for Heather and I to train with these ITU guys.  Joe Maloy, Eric Lagerstrom, Jason Pederson, Kevin Ryan, and Anna Battiata.  Not forgetting Derek Garcia (long course) and Jen Spieldenner who had late season races so are still working back into the 2013 training plan on their own.  We all get along well, pushing each other on a daily basis.

December camp in San Diego had us living in a condo with 3 other guys.  I haven’t lived with other people (aside from Heather) for 13 years now, so thankfully it worked out great.  Heather was a trooper, living with 4 guys!!  Yay awesome wife!  Even Kevin’s foul mind, Eric’s morning cereal slurping, and Jason’s long phone calls with his girlfriend have grown on us.  Try to imagine 5 athletes, 4 weeks of training camp, 81 total workouts, 1 kitchen, 2 bedrooms.  Somehow we managed to avoid killing each other. Or even getting anything other than “hangry”. The other 3 guys all shared 1 bedroom.  Kevin, being the last to arrive was relegated to the closet, which he aptly named the Smush Room.  Sexual reference to ‘smush’ (e.x. lets smush our privates together), rather than cramped (I’m smushed) reference.  Though, I’m pretty sure no girls ever went in the Smush Room, they would not have enjoyed the slow deflation of Kevin’s air mattress had they fallen prey to his incredible charm.  I’m not sure why we didn’t all team up and offer to patch that mattress.  Meh.  Maybe next time.  He survived. Thanks to naps on the floor. 🙂

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The first week or two of a training camp usually go really well.  Nailing every workout.  As time goes on however, the daily non-stop push starts to wear you down and you start to see a few really awful workouts.

I love it all though.  It’s truly amazing what you can do physically when you simply don’t think about NOT doing it.  You simply go and do it, no questions.  I think that’s the ticket with hard training that never really ends.  You wake up in the morning, and you just don’t let thoughts of not doing the workout enter your mind.  Yes, I often think about how I would rather just sleep longer, or maybe just skip the afternoon 50 minute run in favor of a nice relaxing dinner.  But never do I entertain thoughts of ACTUALLY doing that.  You have to go out and try.  It is unbelievable how things can change 5 minutes into a workout.  I’m sure you’ve all had those surprise workouts where you’re 5 sheets to the wind (tired, not drunk… What does that mean anyway? Sailing reference?), yet you pop off one of your better sessions.  If you haven’t experienced this, you’re missing out.  At the end of the day, when I look back to the morning and realize what’s been done despite the fatigue, this is what really makes me smile.  Most of the time anyway.  Sometimes I just think ‘thank gawd that’s over’.  Even before coach Paulo, as an age grouper, this was one of my strengths that saw me improve from year to year.  Doing workouts that I didn’t want to do.  Pouring rain, middle of the night after work (I used to work 3pm-11pm), 3rd workout of the day.  Time to run 15 km home.

In any case, right now, this is the start of our 3rd year with Paulo and the Squad.  Admittedly we miss some great camps, but I’m always reminded of how to get the most out of myself when I’m at the camps.  It would be tough for me to operate in a camp like setting year round, I really need my solo time when out training. I even found this to be the case at this past camp.  After the first week or so I was doing most of our ‘no coach in attendance’ runs by myself.  I really enjoy running by myself.  Not that I don’t like the guys I had to train with, they’re awesome.  I’m just not a ‘run and talk’ kind of guy for more than a couple runs per week.  Workouts also become a lot more variable near the end of a camp, whereas on my own I seem to be able to sustain a high workload for longer.  Anyway, 2, 3, and sometimes even 4 week training camps every two or three months have been great.

For three winters now, this is how the weekly training has progressed, with no crazy changes in weekly volume.  We’re very consistent year round, but definitely a bit higher load as we build into races:

Week #1. Wow, this feels really good.  I could do way more training than this no problem.  I’m amazing this year
Week #2. OK, fair enough, this is the right amount of work that’s sustainable leading up to race builds.
Week #3. Damn, I’m not sure this is very healthy.  Don’t I get a free day at some point?
Week #4. Oh MAN, I suck.  How am I supposed to win an Ironman when i suck this bad…followed by yelling at your wife when she tells you that you missed a 50 in the pool.
Week #5. OK, I got this. I can handle this.
Week #6 through Week #52. You stop thinking beyond the day or week at hand.  You just go out and get the training done, then race damn hard to express that work and turn it into a good result.  That’s what matters.  Getting the results.

Ten Terrific Things Thursday – TTTT #16

•December 13, 2012 • 3 Comments

Another week has gone by at our training camp in San Diego, and it has been a good one. Each day goes something like this:

Sleep, eat quietly, train, words from coach, eat with more conversation, joke around on the way to session #2, train, joke around less because some of us are “hangry”, the kitchen dance with 5 calorie-deprived people trying to make something to eat, chill, visit, critique each other’s swim videos, nap, drag our asses to session #3, train, roll out our legs, eat, sit around the living room, all trying to do stuff on 5 separate computers, annoyed the router cuts out every 5 min, sleep.

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The Squad at the lovely Poway Community Pool

This may sound like the life, but the days are full, we’re working hard, and I am ready to hit the sack at 8 pm.  For which I get teased, but it’s all about performance boys!!  Anyhoo, roomates are definitely good for new TTTT material, even if our schedule is bad for remembering which day of the week it is.  So without further ado, here are this weeks Ten Terrific Things:

1) Hill repeats at lake Poway. This workout has been a staple of our Sand Diego Camp: 15 min WU, 5-7 x steep hill repeats on 2 min, 15 min hard run – keeping hill sprint form, 5-7 x steep hill repeats on 2 min, 15 min run. It’s a great session, we have a perfect hill at the lake, and dog walkers to either cheer or get annoyed at us for being all scary and running fast.

jesus light

Ahhhhh (opera voice) – nice light on the way to heaven a.k.a hill repeats

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You can see the trail in line with the right buoy, but it continues further up – that’s the repeat section.

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View from the bench where the repeats end

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Plenty of trail options

2) David McColm. I was going to write David McColm Photography (www.davidmccolm.com), but in addition to being an incredibly talented photographer, he is pretty terrific in his own right. We were lucky enough to hang out with this Whistler-based wonder at Volcanoes National Park, and our new webpage (to be revealed soon!) features some of the amazing shots he took. Here is the man himself, and a few of his photos…

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running

Whistlersunset

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3) Business Time. Most people seem to have seen this video, but it’s worth watching again. Two minutes in heaven is better than one minute in heaven…  We’ve also been enjoying random singing of “Team Building Exercise Night Tonight!!” on van trips to training venues.

4) This Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) image of a the larva of a bluebottle fly (Protophormia sp.), also known as a maggot. Clearly the creators of Star Wars has access to scanning electron microscopes, because the Sand People look a lot like this. 🙂   Anyway, maggots, though totally gross are kinda cool. As you can see, they have tiny teeth like fangs extending from their mouths and sterilized versions of these bad boys are used to clean wounds. They feed on the dead tissue, leaving healthy living tissue untouched, and their saliva contain anti-bacterial chemicals. Yes a maggot science primer, just what you always wanted!

Maggot magnified

Maggot – very magnified

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Sand Person. Cross with Jabba the Hutt and bingo!!

5) Skiing. I love skiing (telemark is my thing, though I’ve downhill skied since I was 5) and it is one thing that I really miss as a triathlete. I know that they are not mutually exclusive, but I’d hate to have a season ruined by some stupid injury from a ski crash (because, of course, it’s no fun to just do weeny blue runs!).  Anyway, this video satisfies my ski-lust, and the picture below it makes me laugh because I was always worried about that as a kid. My worst t-bar experience was when I was spring skiing in Fernie BC, and I just had farmer john snow-pants on over a turtleneck. I was goofing around, got the bar hooked on my snow-pant strap and got dragged up the hill on my face.

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6) Earth as art. It’s definitely worth checking out this PDF, and the interesting descriptions of the amazing formations seen from NASA satellites:  (http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/703154main_earth_art-ebook.pdf)  Here are some examples:

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Carnegie Lake – Australia

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Von Karman vortices – South Pacific Ocean

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Grand Bahama Bank – Atlantic Ocean

7) Gravity light. Uses the energy generated by resisting the fall of a heavy bag to generate light.  This is a very cool idea as a way to replace kerosene lamps  in much of the developing world. Check out the website here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/282006

gravity light

8) This “cat friend vs. dog friend video”. Captures the pretty steriotypical versions of both (especially the aloof, mean-ish cat) but I got a good laugh out of it!

9) My Click Elite shoulder bag. I love this bag (see above photo with David). It is perfect for day-tripping, travelling, or just wearing around like a purse (but purse is a horrible word, so it’s awesome that it’s a BAG). Lots of good pockets, a padded zippered area for camera gear or a small lap top. Check the website out here: http://www.clikelite.com/

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10) My Triathlon Squad mates and coach Paulo. Great to have a solid group of people to train, obsess over swim technique, and occasionally go out to dinner with.  Camp 1 of 2013 has been terrific. One more week to go…

triathlon squad

Ten Terrific Things Thursday – TTTT #15

•December 6, 2012 • 6 Comments

At long last another TTTT!  “Hurrah” scream all my fans!

(thanks you two)

I got to post #14  (140 terrific things – that’s a lot of awesomeness!) but then totally ceased with my weekly posts. Those Thursdays seemed to come around more and more quickly, and I found it hard to get interesting photos, think of clever things to say and feel motivated to write while building for worlds and at the end of the race season.

But enough excuses. On to this week’s TTTTs!

1) Random bike art. I love riding my bicycle and appreciate cool, artistic, bikey things like…

and…

and… (painted on a freeway overpass)

2)  The fact that my twitter friends can have a great debate about the spelling of the iconic Canadian winter hat. I’ve always known this  key element of my wardrobe as a toque, but apparently the French Canadian spelling is tuque… and since it’s a French word… and more Google images show up when you use tuque… I may have to modify my spelling. It does kind of wreck the brilliant idea for a photo that I’ve had by a sign for the Toquerville cemetery, though. It’s a small town that we often ride through in Utah, and the sign cracks me up. Is that guy wearing a tuque?!

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The classic knit, ear-flap tuque

fisherman toque

If this had no logo, I’d call it a fisherman tuque. If it had a bobble on top, it would definitely not be a fisherman tuque.

Toquerville Cemetery Sign.

‘You mean I’m wearing a tuque, not a toque!?!”

3) This video. I don’t approve of “road rage”, I think we all just need to chill out, be courteous to other drivers and realize that losing 30 sec here and there is really nothing to freak out about. That said, we’ve all been angered by jerks on the road, and this video is quite satisfying. The music and the little arrows are perfect!

4) Not having owned TV for the past 6 years or so.  Yes there are some cool, informative, entertaining shows but the majority is total garbage and the commercials hurt my brain. There is a TV in our rental, and I was pretty stoked that the original Star Wars was on, until I starting taking commercial vs. actual show time splits. The average was 9 min of show (ranged from 6-12) with 6 min (always at least 6) of commercials! That’s ridiculous!!   I realize that it’s generally considered pretty terrifically lame to be all like “I don’t watch TV”, and I admit to wasting plenty of time on the internet.  Still, I’m pretty happy with the hours of my life I’ve spent doing other things and I recommend you do the following:

kill you tv

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5) This meme. Brilliant.

6) Floor space. While we love our RV and the ease that a home on wheels lends to our life, it sure is nice to have a bit more (indoor) open area on which to sprawl after hard workouts and to use for rolling out our legs.  We are at a training camp in San Diego for a month and are sharing the spacious, (white!) carpeted area with 3 other squad mates. This also helps us appreciate our RV life 🙂  I have to say, though, that even with the grumpiness that hard training brings, the guys are being pretty terrific. I haven’t even had to hide in my room very often!

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7) Maru the cat.  We love cats (we miss Manah SO much), and this cat has a pretty terrific obsession with boxes. If you are one of the few people that haven’t enjoyed “A box and Maru” video, you’re welcome.

8) Apple pie and ice cream – Bonk Breaker Style.  Oh yeah.

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This is clearly my dessert because the amount of ice cream is wholly inadequate for it to be a Trevor worthy treat

9) COFFEE! If this has been on a TTTT before, it deserves to be here again. Coffee is magic “make me actually able to cope with all the training I have to do today” juice.  One of our new squad-mates swears by Dunkin Doughnuts coffee. We try not to hold this against him.

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10) Chemistry cat memes. Oh yes, you can satisfy your science geek side, and guffaw-guffaw-cheezy-joke-side, and be a crazy cat person all at once! woot!

cat meme chemistry

Mourning Manah

•October 22, 2012 • 16 Comments

A big part of our life for the past 10 years has been our awesome cat Manah.  We got her as a kitten while studying in Victoria, she came to Norway when I was doing PhD work there, and she has been all over North American when we committed to our lives as nomadic RV dwellers. She was an awesome outdoor adventurer – always smart enough not to stray too far and make her way back to the RV wherever it was parked. She’d follow me for strolls if it was quiet, but mostly she came and went as she pleased through her cat door. She was playful and loving; a purr machine who was always up for a tummy rub, complete with super cute curled back toes.

For the past while she was being a bit more lethargic than usual but we sort of just thought, well, she’s 10…

When I took her to the vet to get her shots updated for boarding before Kona, right away, they were like “your cat is really sick.”  She had a fever and yellowing around her gums and in her ears and so they did blood tests and took x-rays. Massive liver failure. Fluid around her organs. White blood cell count off the charts. Decline of no return.

I was in total shock. The crazy thing was that she was still pretty normal, meowing insanely if we motioned to the butter shelf in the fridge, jumping on the bed for cuddles, hanging out outside with us… Animals are so tough, and good at hiding discomfort.

We took her home for the weekend but she yowled in pain while peeing, and we had to put her down before flying to Kona. It was a very rough time.
The other day Trevor bumped the cat door and I looked up expectantly. Sigh. I really miss my cat cuddles. You could be having a super stressful day, but she’d make you stop, pause, giver her some pets, and things would always get that little bit better.
I wanted to share some of the zillion photos I’ve taken over the years and celebrate the wonderful life that we had together.
We love you and miss you Manah aka: Banana head, schmoo, shitten, Manakin skywalker, Mani-packi-meow, kitty-witty, cutie patootie, barfy… (known by our parents as the grand-kitten 🙂
The early years. Wow all of us look a lot younger!!
As an adolescent she didn’t yet have her giant mane. She did, however, have the “you don’t actually want to read that giant stack of papers, or work on the computer, you want to give me a tummy rub” trick down perfectly! Note the curled back toes. That always slayed me with its adorableness.
Manah was always super cuddly and she’d lull us to sleep with purrs on a regular basis. The 5 am wake-up-paw-to-the-face wasn’t quite so delightful, but if we got up and touched her food bowl (it wouldn’t matter if she had food or not, you had to physically get up and touch the bowl) she’d leave us alone for a few more hours.
Manah was a great traveler. She took to the RV really well, and would happily sit on our laps, or the dashboard, or above the cab, while driving. We often got the double take from people. Was that a cat?!
Manah loved being outside. Especially with us. Hanging out in the grass, or the dirt, or on a picnic table getting a tummy rub was pretty much the best thing in life.
Anyone who has a cat – or any animal for that matter – knows that they all have quirks. Manah was an absolute fiend for butter. If you got anywhere near the compartment in the fridge she’d know, and if you had it on the table you couldn’t get her to shut up. She also preferred to poop outside, but not in nice, quiet, hidden spots as you’d expect. She’d pick the most exposed, embarrassing places and we’d have to run outside and pick it up. Once she was taking a dump in the middle of the concrete driveway of an RV park, and a big burly dude on a Harley drove up. She didn’t budge and he had to drive around her, with a very bewildered look on his face.  She’d also only drink out of a tall water glass, perched on the bathroom sink. Now that she’s gone we can’t get used to closing the bathroom door.
Manah had some good hunting skills and when we were home in the Okanagan there would be rodent surprise waiting for us almost every morning. Yum. After cleaning up entrails, though, it would be the usual morning lap time over coffee. Going to all that trouble to wake us up was exhausting, so she’d need a nap. Looking at her on Trev’s lap while he read, and drank coffee was my every morning domestic scene.
Manah got a little bit of press in her time too. She featured in a Rolf Prima Ad with us, as part of an article in Triathlon Magazine Canada, and Triathlete.  Mostly though, she was just famous in our eyes for being lovable, adorable, smart, and occasionally annoying as hell. She was an awesome cat and she will be missed.

Post race interview in Volcanoes National Park

•October 21, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Big thanks to David McColm, a great Canadian photographer and all around fun guy to hang out with, for this awesome video in Volcanoes National Park.  We talk a bit about our 2012 races in Kona.  Liquid hot magma included.

The brain brings the data

•October 17, 2012 • Leave a Comment

So coach Paulo read my race report blog below and it irritated him. Understandably. He is pragmatic and likes to actually be objective and look at the data when measuring improvement.

This was his e-mail, which explains the table of data shown below. The yellow indicates who had the best time in Kona that year. Red is the difference to my time in minutes.

Heather,

Read your race report and thought I’d share some data about the
progression of your swim in Kona in the last 3 races you did there.

First table has your swim times, the best split for that year and also
the splits for some of your competitors.

Second table has the time difference between you, the best time and
your competitors.

Third table has the percentage from the best time for you and your competitors.

There are many features of the data presented, but I’d stress only three:

– Your time difference to the best time has decreased both in 2011 and 2012.
– Your time difference to the most consistent performer in the years
you raced Kona (Rachel Joyce) has decreased in 2011 and 2012.
– Your time difference to the best athlete in that list (Mirinda) has
also decreased from last year to this year.

There are athletes that swam faster this year than they did last year,
but those are outliers in this data set. I think the data shows your
clear progression in the last couple years, and is in line with the
evolution of your pool times.

I understand that right now you’re frustrated, but talking about a
“stagnation” is clearly not fair for you and the work you’ve put into
your swimming since we’ve been working together.

Like up until now, we’ll continue to work towards you having the best
rate of improvement possible. But it’s important to be realistic about
what we’ve done up until now and where we are right now, before we set
out to achieve what we want.

Paulo

His response to my blog highlights some of the things that make him a great coach. Others are less tangible and have affected me greatly but they are my little secret and pearls of wisdom.

This is what I wrote back:

Hey Paulo,

Thanks as usual for the clear thinking and the data. Re-reading it I was like… ugh didn’t mean to sound like I was totally unhappy about your swim coaching etc. I just want to be MORE FASTER!!  🙂
Honestly, we hear so damn often – if you guys were just better swimmers, if only you could really improve your technique in the water… you’d really be in contention… We just start buying into it, without giving credit to all the work we’ve done. 
I am TOTALLY guilty, often, of subjective condemnation of myself, without really looking at the data.   
Do you mind if I post this? As like a blog ammendment? 
H

Of course, I didn’t wait for a response. Damn athletes.

He will likely get pissed at me writing this, but we always seem to work through differences in our relationship – in a spirit of mutual respect and appreciation.  So it’s okay that we piss each other off sometimes, right Paulo? In my experience, all genuinely productive relationships work that way!

It is any wonder people are so totally addicted to this sport? So much to think about and improve upon on so many levels… I love it!

Oh my god, I am going to suffer in the water this winter!!!!!  🙂

Heather’s 2012 Ironman Championship race report, and a year in review

•October 17, 2012 • 6 Comments

Well it has been a few days post race, and the depression over my sub-standard performance (I was 14th this year) has started to fade a bit. Trevor and I had an AMAZING photo shoot with Canada’s David McColm at Volcanoes National Park and our sight-seeing trip, with numerous coffee and pastry stops, was good for the soul.

  

 

In my quest for a peak performance in Kona I totally glossed over a solid 6th place finish at the 70.3 World Championships in Vegas, and my win at the Timberman 70.3 was just a blip on the radar – some more good training on the way to the big show.  This is the way it goes when you are incredibly focused and driven to achieve a big goal, but it’s important to reflect on the positive and give yourself credit for continued improvement. Compared to 2011, with two Ironman wins, multiple 70.3 podiums, and top 10 in both the 70.3 and Ironman World Championships, there were more downs than ups this year. I feel conflicted because I know I am a better athlete than I was last year, but one has to let the race results do the talking and they don’t seem to agree.

To sum up:

-sick in Abu Dhabi, DNF
-unprepared for the heat and humidity at the US pro Champs in Galveston – 8th.
-2nd place New Orleans 70.3 (race turned into a duathlon b/c of water conditions)
-awesome race in Quassy – 12 sec from the win, run down by Mirinda Carfrae for 2nd.
-top fitness for Coeur d’Alene only to have the “crank falling off-DQ’d after 22 miles of running” drama.
-8th at IM Frankfurt 14 days later just to get it done and validate my Kona spot.
-win at Timberman 70.3
-6th at the 70.3 World Championships
-14th at the Ironman World Championships

So that’s that.

Here in Kona, my race was actually going to plan for most of the day, and I was confident that a top 5 was in reach, but it was not to be.

In the swim I lead the chase “group” – I think there were 3 of us – and I lost less time to the leaders than last year so the race was off to a positive start. That said, I need to be in the front group to get on the podium here and I should absolutely be capable of this. In 2010 I swam a 51 min IM swim in St. George, beating Meredith Kessler out of the water. I also used to be in front of Caitlin Snow out of the water, pretty much guaranteed  These two ladies now soundly kick my ass. Their improvement highlights my stagnation and this is not acceptable. Trevor and I have both known for quite awhile now that we need an overhaul in the water so that’s our primary mission this winter.

On the bike I executed my plan, rode my watts, and, as per usual, reeled people in on the return trip from Hawi. It always slays me how ridiculously hard people ride at the start of the race here. Like somehow, magically, you can red-line and blow the cap off your watts here in Kona and not pay for it later. Uh no. I was sitting up Palani taking it easy and even people knowledgeable about the sport were yelling at me to ride harder and close gaps that were forming.  I knew what I was doing and just smiled. Patience grasshopper.

I was off the bike well in the top 10 and stoked to give it all I had to run to top 5. I believed I was going to do it. When that belief starts to slip away as your legs and stomach (and in turn your will) stop co-operating is one of the hardest things to deal with in racing. You try to take care of little things, cooling, hydrating, porta john stops… “Just get to the next aid station, it will come around”… “You will feel better if you just run faster, dammit!”..  There were some very low lows, but despite being passed by many out in the energy lab, I rallied and picked it up for the last 10k home. I finished. Top 15. Not what I wanted, but what I have to live with and learn from and improve upon.

People that know me know that I am hard on myself, but also that I am fueled by a huge well of underlying happiness, joy in the pursuit of excellence, and appreciation for how lucky I am to be able to do this!  Friends and family are the core of my support crew. Coach Paulo is the brains of the operation. Fans, tri-geeks, people that write notes of encouragement on facebook, random people that yell “go tall chick”, “go Canada” all serve to lift me to new heights.

My incredible sponsors make it possible for me to do my best. This is not just lip service. We love the people we work with, and the products and equipment that we use for training and racing are fantastic. Thank you SO MUCH to Saucony, Blue Competition Cycles, First Endurance Nutrition, Rolf Prima Wheels, Aqua Sphere wetsuits and goggles, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods and Oils,  UltrAspire run belts and bags, Torhans aero bottles, Giro helmets and shoes, CycleOps Power, Bonk Breaker energy bars, and Tifosi optics! Wow! It takes an army!

Mostly I have to thank my wonderful husband Trevor for always being the light of my life and dreaming the dream with me.

Mahalo

Ten Terrific Things Thursday – TTTT #14

•August 30, 2012 • 10 Comments

This Thursday’s Ten Terrific Things = reasons why living out of a 23 ft RV mostly doesn’t suck. Enjoy!

1) Your home goes where you go, which leads to fun adventures and training in incredible scenery like…


2) When you go grocery shopping, the food goes directly from your cart to the cupboards/fridge. I don’t have a picture of this so more cool scenery:

3) We have picnics outside almost every day, and when we eat inside we don’t have to get up to get utensils.

Note the sneaky, toast licking, cat

4) When you stop at a rest stop on a long drive, you get to have a good sleep in your own bed. You have a very cozy, albeit smallish, bed. Occasionally goats stop by.

5) When you go lake swimming you can get naked and change in the privacy of your own home, right before jumping in the water. Same goes with drying off and changing after swimming. Sometimes, you even get to stop at hot springs (clothing optional after 9pm)

6) You can drive to lots of races. You don’t have to take your bikes apart, and you know that everything you need for racing is with you. Somewhere. You can also do point to point rides and make forward progress to your destination, while training.


7) You don’t have to drink horrible coffee while traveling because you can make your own espresso wherever you go

This was taken before we were sponsored by Tifosi. We have much cooler shades now 🙂

8) You get to see stuff like this outside your window

9) RV’s are most comfortable between 10-35 oC or (~55-95 oF). These are also the best temps for triathlon training! BONUS. Having to have the AC blasting is our least favorite. Waking up to negative temps and having to wear mittens to eat hot oatmeal (propane stove!) is good for you every now and then.

10) You have the coolest camper-cat in the universe. She loves to hang-out outside, never strays far, and always sleeps in incredibly comfortable looking positions.

Okay so I take a lot of pictures of our cat…

Timberman 70.3 – A win for Heather

•August 22, 2012 • 6 Comments

I am very happy to have taken home my first 70.3 win.  “It’s about time” as my rather frank loved ones would say 🙂  I’ve won 1/2 iron distance events before, and I’ve done A LOT of Ironman branded 70.3s, but the big W has eluded me until now. YAY for the 2012 Timberman 70.3!

Here is a little run-down on the day:

The swim was VERY warm with long, shallow shores and lots of dolphin diving. I was quite overheated with the wetsuit legal call, but fortunately the air was cool enough that I was able to cool down, shrug off my mediocre swim, and get down to business. My ride legs felt great, and after I realized that the watts I was staring at were my average watts, not current watts  (must have hit the toggle button on my power meter) I felt even better.

I was off the front in the first few miles and it was a lonely road from then on, with only the occasional slower pro male swimmer riding by. The far turn was a large loop so you couldn’t eve get a glimpse of the ladies behind.  I just rode my watts, and was happy to hear from some splits c/o Chris Corbin, and others that my gap was getting bigger. Chris was nice enough to tell me times to the chasers, but nice enough to Linsey to not inform me who the second and third place people were. Well played!

On to the run I was happy to have a significant gap, because I knew I would need it to hold of Linsey and Caitlin. I felt pretty good, and just tried to keep my turnover up, and remember that I was running a HALF and it needed to hurt the whole time. Pacing is one of my strong suits, which really helps in full IMs, but I have to work to not be a total mono-speeder and get my butt in gear!

At the far turn on the second (final) loop of the run I still had a good gap (~ 2 min) on both chasers- Caitlin was just passing Linsey as I went the other way.

“Keep the pressure on”, “turnover”, “no one is catching you” = the general jist of all that ran thru my head on the little over 5 km to the finish. Thanks to Joe Gambles for yelling at me to keep it up in that “you can do better than that tone” that is very motivating coming from the dude running a 1:13 and killing the mens race.

With 1/2 a mile to go I asked my lead cyclist if she saw anyone behind. She was very friendly and helpful (calling for people to cheer, move over etc) but she wasn’t very good at riding and looking over her shoulder.

givin’er / panic face

I didn’t want to look behind me because, well, I didn’t want to slow down (enter visions of tripping over my own feet and falling down), nor show that I was concerned if someone had me in her sights.  So I  specifically said “just look behind quick for a lead cyclist like you.”

“OH” she responds, rather nonchalantly “there is actually one like 50 yards back”. WHAT!?!?  Panic. I just gunned it with all I had left.  Crisp clear thoughts = “HELL NO” followed by the “need the info” and “throw me a frikin’ bone here” from Austin Powers 🙂  I did not want this to end with a sprint on the un-even grass finish-chute. Had I not asked, Cait would have snuck right up on me!  In a replay of Kona last year, I couldn’t even slow down to enjoy the finish chute b/c Caitlin was right on my heels. Whew!

Relief, elation, the win.

We had a bit of time after the finish and drug testing before the awards at 4 (where I got a maple syrup trophy!!), so I went back to the hotel to shower, chill, and get on the computer to get in touch with Trevor, Paulo etc.

As if I needed help to look even more “lanky” – Caitlin has one of the quickest turnovers of any runner I’ve ever seen, and makes running ridiculously fast look effortless.

On the way in, the friendly front desk ladies of the Gunstock Inn asked how the race went. When they found out that I won, and that Joe Gambles (who was staying in the room opposite mine) was the male winner – well, they were pretty excited! By the time I went back out to get some food, a poster was up in the lobby, the pro finish times printed off with ours highlighted, and the billboard outside was up! Very nice touch Gunstock Inn! Definitely the place to stay if you do a race in that area of New Hampshire (there is also a 25y pool and workout room on site, a good free breakfast, and Chrissie Wellington stayed there too, if you need more reasons).

Thanks to all my fantastic sponsors for enabling me to get after my training day-in-day-out, and to race with the confidence that comes from having the best equipment.

I got to stop by Saucony headquarters on my way to this race, and it was awesome to see behind the scenes and see how keen everyone was for athlete feedback. They have made a huge difference for us this year, and we couldn’t be prouder to represent Saucony.

Thanks also to The Triathlon Squad and coach Paulo. His guidance has been key to our continuing improvement, and we ar excited to see what the can do at the 70.3 and IM World Champion

 
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