Sunday, August 30, 2009
Well....it seems like I had counted some out! Just when I thought things couldn't get any better...
Paul (Regensburg) tells me to check out the next edition of Triathlon Magazine Canada:
The Magazine wasn't out in Montreal, so Chris Lepik from Triathlon Magazine Canada sends a couple of PDF's to me: CHECK THIS OUT!! A COMPLETE SURPRISE!!!!
NO WAYYYY!!! Talk about a pat on the back before Clearwater!
And that's not all....
At the moment that was sent to me, I was back at home and on my first day back in the books, trying to get pumped to finish my studies FAST!
I open attachment number 2:
Notice how it says that I'm almost done with school!! :))))) Great article! Perfect motivation huh?!!
And finally! The most heart warming surprise I got in that magazine must have been this surprise advertising from Marinoni:
Now, you probably know why I have a huge smile on my face, an it is all perfect because now is the time to give her all for Clearwater!!!!
I am counting the weeks and am going to live by what Lance has told me: -Every session counts-.
It is time to give it the last shot, at school and in training.
I have had a complete week off training and can't stand it anymore. LET'S GET READY FOR THE BIG ONE GUYS!
To all of you out there, still racing, looking forward to end the season beautifully, LET'S GO!
Let's finish it well! Good luck.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I have met so many amazing people through it all. I think that is the way life has to show me that I am on the right track!
All those people have crossed my path and helped me build my confidence and made my desires start to become a reality. If you have already read my blog, you must know that I am talking, in most part, of my new Lifesport family, but I am also talking about the whole range of people I have met, from my old friends from Quebec that I started training with, to my new friends from TYR.
Which takes me back to last Sunday:
At Timberman, I was third. Things didn t go quite as planned as I was very dehydrated on the run and felt my legs nearly cramped more than once. But I am happy about my race because the swim and bike were descent and I gave the run my best effort on that day. I held on, and survived. (Catriona...wowowowow....you were on fire on that run!!!!).
Being at that race has taken me back and had me realize how lucky I was. I have been inspired and more motivated than ever after having been to Timberman, a race closer to my home town. I realized that I had some supporters, people that believed in me and that wanted to see me do well. On the day before the race, two supporters from Quebec gave me their best wishes in transition, we had never met, but they looked so happy for me and gave me their support, that is beautiful.
Later, an other very nice lady came to tell me she would be cheering. I later saw her on the course. It was a big help.
Finally, at the start line on race morning, I encountered old training partners that came to see me to wish me luck. One even had a message from my best friends watching the race from home: -Dominic and Josianne are watching on the computer, they wanted me to wish you luck-. Waw, Dominic is the one I did my first two hour run with...he has always followed and believed in me. That put things into perspective, I had a moment at that point, when I thought of how lucky I was to have all the people supporting me, I owed it to them to have a great race and to put my heart into it! THANK YOU EVERYONE! (Oh, and Sonia, mom told me she saw you!! You are great!)
The best thing about Timberman was that I got to meet my new sponsor s team! (TYR). Ryan, from TYR, was at the race, such a fun, relaxed, person! He spoiled me. He was even on the race course, yelling out splits. Photographer Eric was also part of the support crew.
Speaking of inspiration to race, I got to race Chrissie, which is so motivating, and we met after the race. All those things they say about Chrissie are true. She is inspiring, not only because she truly loves what she does, but also because her dreams, positive spirit and love of the sport are so contagious. She is someone that worries about others and always is seeking to help and to make the world (specially our little triathlon world), a better place. Chrissie also shared a very emotional moment before the start of the race, when she gave a speech in remembrance of the late Jon Blais before spreading his ashes into the lake.
Chrissie was among the four outstanding TYR athletes that I spent the days after the race with for the TYR photo shoot....AND WHAT A GREAT TIME WE HAD IN THE WOODS!!!!
Well, it was not only a photo shoot...at all...! On day one, we got to see the new TYR collection, to comment on the actual line. Designers spent an hours with each of us, asking about the actual products, what we liked, what we thought could be improved, and were very open to our comments. They presented the textures and material they wanted to work with in the future, asked for our perspective and were very open to our ideas. TYR is such a young, dynamic, open, company. It was quite a privilege to have that day to talk with the designer and input our ideas and opinions.
And....WHAT AN AMAZING 2010 COLLECTION IT IS!!! I am not just saying this! I have never seen such a nice collection!
And....they are definitely diversifying the collection and....what is the most impressive are the stylish colours and designs coming up, remember I said this! It was just hard to think those products were not available to wear now, that part kind of felt like a great day of shopping, but...you had to wait to be able to take it all home. Patience! It will come soon!
We got to wear all those fancy things for the shoots, which was goooood!
See, look at that baby blue and white race suit! Got to wear it for shoot 1.
Water shot with the reversible bathing suit!
Becky (Lavelle), Andy (Potts) and I, getting ready for the -pop out of the water-shot!
Team TYR running to the camera!
Photo shoots can be long! Ours was NOT! Chrissie had a great idea....-who wants to play some games in the sand while Andy does his shots?-she asked. And so...the TYR Olympics begun! The wheel barrel competition, was my payback for sunday! hehheeh. Becky was a great partner!
O.k....well, we didn t do so good at the three legged race...
This one was my favorite!!!
Not only was the day at the photo shoot fun, it also ended beautifully, at the lake in front of the house, with a group picture of us just hanging out on the dock. So good.
We were definitely spoiled by the TYR crew during our stay. We had great places to stay, amazing food every night that Ryan s wife and his mom cooked themselves and great support during the shoot. We were also given time for training (I was off for the week, but couldn t resist Becky s invitation to go on a short bike ride, so nice! (and what a great girl she is, just so authentic and nice!!!)). TYR really put their hearts into our racing and gave us the royal treatment the whole time.
Thanks to all the TYR crew and Andy, TJ, Becky, Chrissie...it was so nice to meet you.
Special thanks to Liz, from triathlete magazine, who took all those pictures I posted and was great company during the day. Thank you also to Cat, great fun!
Now I am on a break for a week, I get to focus on school so I can get it done as soon as I can! Next on the schedule, Muskoka 70.3!
Cheers to all. Thanks for the very precious support.
Friday, August 21, 2009
I am writing tonight from the stormy Timber forest, where, from my hotel room, I am having just a taste of that wonderful thrill that most of the campers around here must be experiencing every time the lightning strikes!
I was waiting for that storm. Not just because of the lightning, but mostly because rumors have it that there is a cold front coming and... this might be the first sign of it cooling down. Now cold, here, is a relative term. It has been so HOT!
I am starting to feel race ready (and so is mom! she has started saving her voice), I feel explosive, I am focusing now on keeping it all for race day!
I have explored the courses several times. They are beautiful and I know them quite well now.
The way I study the course is strange but I find it very fun. I usually drive the course, I then identify-things, places or views- that make different sections of particular interest and help me divide it. That way, on race day, I can get the best effort by always staying motivated on the next section objective.
This time, I had quite a laugh when I got to divide this one into sections because we found many strange things along the road that gave some funny race section ideas:
I don t want you to know how ridiculous my course divisions can get so I wont describe the sections but I will show you some pictures of some of the odd things that inspired me to name the sections.
Here is the reasoning behind the -Mag course dividing theory-: If something is very odd or funny, there is little chance you will forget about it, and if you are lucky, during the race, it might even make you smile!
This time, there was definitely some odd things material!
Among odd things: The lost sea monster.
The bear that will not make you run.
The flying car.
Has Santa been naughty?
The big white rock meditating area
The watch dog that never moved.
Smiley face. Much needed at the bike turnaround!
Though not on the course, this was also an odd thing I saw!: Mom taking the wiener dogs for a ride. For all you dog lovers out there!
Now for a more serious idea of the Timberman race scene:
The water was warm and, as you can see, waist deep, for a long time!
I also went for a swim with David Kahn today, David is a new Lifesport athlete and will be racing pro on Sunday. We had quite an adventure trying to get a swim in between thunder storms.
More news a little later! Cheers!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I have safely arrived in New Hampshire. My first day here was great! And even just getting here was a lot of fun!
First, I got very lucky. After Curtis so kindly dropped me off at the airport (around 5:40 a.m), I directed myself to the nice lady at the Air Canada counter. Nice! No line up, just a lady waiting for me with a pretty smile!
-Your name please?-
She looks confused...
I feel a surge of adrenaline when she answers: -I don t have you on this flight!!!-
I suddenly remember how on the way to the airport, I was bragging about never having missed a plane! oops.
How could that be, I pulled out my ticket, the flight name on the ticket was correct but the time was not! So....as the adrenaline flowed through my body, the nice lady searched in her computer...before saying the most relieving words of the day, something like: - There is one place on the next flight, you are so lucky, you have half an hour to get to the gate, you can make it. -
I loved that lady, she was a YES girl, I felt like hugging her but I had to hold back and just give her a hand shake!
I got to the gate, flew into the air, and slept the whole way. I don t usually sleep in planes because although I love to fly, it scares me to be stuck in a metal cage, flying threw the sky with 200 strangers and no control on the situation!
But....yesterday, I was going to find out that it could also be scary to fly in a little metal cage with only three other people on board with some (though limited) control on the situation.
Here it goes:
The call up for boarding on the flight from Toronto to Manchester was original. I had asked the lady at the desk how soon my plane would board and went for coffee. Minutes later, she just yelled: Boarding for Manchester- then looking at me- that s you!
Why only me? Hmmm....She pointed me out to gate 270, I walked, walked, saw a tiny old plane down the line, prayed it wasn t mine...walked...and found it was mine. Noooo! Another flying coffin. Me and my family members call those types of planes that way because we had a very frightening experience in one of those in a storm. Those little planes are not so reassuring to me in bad weather.
I sucked it up, and got into the plane. Met co-pilot evil (he wouldn t smile back!) and met the three other kind passengers that would be with me. The plane was tiny, I gave a look to the other passengers and sat right behind the pilot (Hey, I want to know what s going on!!!).
To my relief, the pilot himself was nice, he turned around and gave me a grin. OUF! That was reassuring since that was at the precise moment the old man behind me was re-living some pre-school experiences as he was scolded by co-pilot evil for having put his back not quite tucked enough under his wife s seat. His poor wife tried to calm co-pilot down.
Then, co-pilot evil announced something along the lines of: -There is no flight attendant on this flight- (he was definitely not one)haha -so we will be flying together for an hour and a half, if you have any questions, let me know-
I felt like asking him why he looked so sad today...but I kept that to myself.
He then brutally shut the door. Uh, oh...there was no turning back now.
Then, the familiar sound of my vacuum cleaner started....it was the engine! (really, you would have laughed, it realy sounded the same!)
Oh no! There was nothing I could do...all of a sudden, I started wishing I had a parachute ...or wishing I had my pilot license. One day! Too late now! Here we go!
I had a lot of fun observing the pilot manoeuvres at take off and kind of forgot about all the scare. We had a smooth flight, I started to like the cowboy feel there was to it. At one point during the flight, the pilot got up and left the cockpit. – Hey mate, who s flying the plane!-
I kind of liked the idea of being in the air with no pilot. All of a sudden I pictured myself heading up to sit down at the pilot s seat as he had gone the the bathroom and taking control of the plane.
The pilot was back now, not a bad idea, guess I ll try the bathroom too.
I got up, walked three steps (that s how long the plane was, from front to back) and entered the strangest plane bathroom ever. First, where was the light...oh there...oh it doesn t work! I let one of my flight buddies know so he could have a good laugh (we had talked about the medieval aspect of the plane). Then a girl suggested...to just keep the door open, they wouldn t look! (great! Hehh, kind of funny situation). I decided to close the door and trust my senses. In the dark now. I lift up the big square compost type bathroom cover and will not start to describe the smell that arose from there. OUH! That is not all. At the moment I finally had to get out of the bathroom, the door was jammed. I had to fight it open in the dark, and once I did, my flight buddies and I had yet another good laugh.
-Who s next?-
The rest of the flight went fine. We had fun, as captain and co-captain read extra pages of the novels they were into. ( No kidding, they actually both were reading at one point)
When we landed, I was happy to be back on firm ground after that and found mom waiting for me at the airport with the puppies.
More news very soon!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Many things I have done and loved from Victoria:
-Ice baths in the ocean
-Cycling by the sea
-Biking for ever on outstanding bike routes (and never the same!) (And I have definitely not seen it all)
-Running for ever in trails around lakes, along the water, through the forest (and never the same!)
-Swimming in so many wonderful lakes. (I still would love to find a buddy to take me diving off the cliffs I have heard of)
-The special one on one training sessions with coach Lance
-My new friends, my team mates, my home stay family, my new training partners (training with Brent and Kerry from Lifesport and with the NTC group for open water (to get my but kicked regularly) and track)
-Shopping with home stay family (tried it out this week! More to discover in November)
-The nice places to hang out by the harbour
-The fact that you can just take a ferry and be in beautiful Vancouver
And most of all:
-The fact that for some strange reason, it really feels at home here.
Now for TIMBERMAN!!!
I am so excited about the next race. I have worked hard and have gotten in some particularly encouraging run trainings in this last week!
Yesterday was my last long brick, it was a challenging one and a fun one too. It got wet!!
With Curtis, at the end of a big training day in the rain. 1h easy swim, 3h progressive bike, 45 minutes tempo at the track. Big day, good day.
Featuring: Lucy Smith (pink top), won the 5km in a time of 16:28!!!! That has to be a new record!
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Because it left no time to overthink, and that was a blessing in desguise.
As I left Lance's place, I couldn't help but notice it hadn't gotten any warmer....it then started raining...I kept on thinking to myself that I was going to warm up during the time trial though!
I got to the training sight early, sat in the drizzle waiting for my training partner, secretly thinking I didn't know how I was going to do this. Feeling very alone.
I met Brent and things changed fast, he was ready for a big effort and that is very contageous! Brent always has a good drive, he is very balanced and a great, smart, training partner.
The work begun. The whole effort I put into that time trial was to turn my bad feelings into a good push on the pedals. It was not perfect, but I made it hurt plenty, it was a great practice, there was some good work in there and I was glad to see I was able to focus and push hard....forgetting about worries for a while felt very good. Riding my bike, felt very good.
I followed Brent into challenge number two (the hills), I was impressed with Brent's drive. He had us climb a couple of extra hills before the actual repeats, he wanted a good quality training and was not going to go for anything less.We finaly found the hill. We pushed, we focused, we enjoyed. Before I knew it, I was back at Lance's place feeling glad, satisfied, focused. Ready to run.
Challenge number three was even better. Coach was there with a smile and helped me push through...what turned out to be....one of the best run training of my life ( I NEVER would had expected things to turn out this way, this morning, when I woke up). Lance was very positive and even added 5x400 repeats to my training at the end, when I thought I couldn't take anymore. By doing so, he made me feel how I could take more than what I thought. Which brings me to the true lesson of the day: -the body can always give more, you just have to find the state of mind that will allow it-. The workout was a big set of 400's in which I had to focus on rythm and form. That workout took me to another place. I got my energy and focus from the fact that I love running, from the encouraging words of my coach, from the thought that I am so lucky to have such a great coaching support and to be here in Victoria, and from thinking about the race to come. And there is always that little extra bonus that you get sometimes: This time, my bonus was the nice, old man that stood by the track with his dog, talking encouragements to me after each of the couple of first repeats.
I left that track smiling, cooling down in some new, beautiful trails.
Now I know for a fact that the best remedy for a sad heart is to set a goal and overcome it. It is the last thing that you feel like doing but it is the first thing to do. I guess it is a good way to feel some control when things you can't control, affect you.
Another good remedy is.....good company.
Spaz, the magic nap cat.
Little house party....with Denise, Jennifer, Curtis and friend Mike.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Team mate Brent Poulsen (http://brentpoulsen112882.blogspot.com/), brought along some wonderful crew support the the Calgary 70.3. Devoted fiancee Carley shared smiles all day, standing in the sun and took some great pictures too! Thanks for the support Carley.
Probably the exact moment, at the beginning of the run, when I realized that second place would not come for free! I WAS BEING CHASED and it is written all over my face.
Starting the bike leg. Obviously happy about the swim. Giving Carley a holler!
Back to Vic! And to establishing some new training habits!
A well deserved easy ride was on my schedule!
I don't know what happened to Lance but he has been very nice to me since the race. He gave me a 2h30, rolling, easy ride on Tuesday. It felt like the calm before the storm but I tried not to worry about it!
I remembered -the ocean ride- from the camp. I had loved that ride and kept on talking about it. I figure Curtis got tired of hearing me dreaming out loud and decided to take me back to the ocean on Tuesday. (Even if he was not supposed to do any overtime because he had a bike time trial in the evening). Coach Dan, it was NOT my idea! He insisted! I swear!)
Curtis thought it was strange that I wanted to take pictures of the deer coming up someone's driveway on our ride! People in Victoria are really spoiled! I think Bree would have liked to see this too!
This one is for my mom, am trying to convince her to come here once in a while and experience life by the ocean!!!
Same here. Hey mom! This could be you!
This too.... but you wouldn't be drafting a garbage truck.
The ride took us all the way to beautiful downtown Victoria. ( It was scenic, until the garbage truck pulled up.)
Tuesday evening...or...the 2 dollar time trial:
Curtis tied his PB this time. It must have been my fault because I dragged him on the ocean ride. (oups).
John Botelho's time trial. Friend and subaru west coast triathlon series event director.