As 2014 starts, I wanted to take some time to reflect on 2013 January 3rd, 2013
ARRIVAL IN AUSTRALIA
This was my first year training with Jamie Turner and the Wollongong Wizards. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I loved it!
February 14th, 2013
MY WORST BIKE RIDE: Black racing crit on Valentine’s Day
Emotionally and physically I was wrecked from the past month and a half of training. My body wasn’t used to it and I was missing home. The first part of my day should have been great. I remember Patrick buying me gifts (chocolate, lotion, a love note, etc.). He gave them to me, but I wasn’t thankful. Anyway, we left for the afternoon ride and I was dreading it. I had a poor swim and run that day and I was so tired I could barely get out of bed. I rode to the deserted road with the Wollongong Wizards and we were told to race each other. I was getting dropped almost every lap (and would turn around to try to stay with the group, but I continually got dropped). My mind was not in the correct state. I was tired and making excuses. My body was still adapting to the workouts, and I hadn’t learned yet how to handle my emotions when I was physically tired. As the year progressed, I knew what to expect from the workouts and was able to better adapt and change.
February 15th, 2013
ONE OF MY WORST RUNS: 3 rounds of 10 min at 3:50k pace plus 4x1:20 on 2:00 faster
Mentally I was doing heaps better than the previous day. I felt alright in the morning and at the afternoon swim, but I did not do well at the afternoon run session. I remember struggling through the first round, getting dropped on the second round and getting demolished on the final round. During the cool down, I ran with fellow Wizard, Natalie VanCoevoerden, and felt like I wouldn’t make it back to North Wollongong Beach. When we finally shuffled in, we found Charlotte, Grace and the boys playing in the ocean. Jamie told me to cool off in the water. I looked at him with one of my faces knowing that the 50meter walk to the ocean would feel miserable. Patrick was there, and he could tell I was exhausted. He started to ask me what I wanted in the curry we were going to make for dinner. “How about broccoli? Carrots? Cauliflower?” All I could think about was how I was going to get the 1k home from the beach. “Gwenny? Do you want cauliflower?” Patrick repeated. “I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT CAULIFLOWER!” I bellowed. To this day, Jamie makes fun of me telling Pat I didn’t want to talk about the cauliflower. Obviously, I needed a break. I spent the next few mornings sleeping in and I was back in business before I knew it!
March of 2013
PATRICK AND OUR BIGGEST FIGHT: How many coffees are acceptable to buy a day?
I think two coffees are acceptable. Patrick likes to enjoy five or so. I know there are much worse “addictions” to have, but I tend to stress over how much money we spend. In the end, I don’t think either of us won this fight. We talked about it constantly for a few weeks trying to come up with a compromise. We settled with full disclosure (Patrick had to tell me exactly how many coffees he bought a day).
April 19, 2013
BIGGEST RELIEF: San Diego Win
After the WTS race in Auckland, I wasn’t sure if I had made the right choice to be a professional triathlete. I knew I was fit and ready to race, so when I didn’t perform in Auckland I was worried about my career. Wining San Diego changed everything. Crossing the line, I remember thinking, Thank goodness. I am meant to be doing triathlon!
May thru September
CONFIDENCE BUILDING WORKOUT: 1k repeats in Vitoria (done between May and September)
I enjoy 1k repeats. They are long enough to make me tired, yet short enough to not wreck the body. I loved doing 1k repeats with either Charlotte McShane or with Aaron Royle. If I was doing them with Aaron (Bugs, as I call him), he would give me about a 15 second head start. It works out perfectly so half the time he beats me, and the other half I win. It was motivating, exciting, fun, and gave me confidence. (I tried doing the same thing with fellow Wizard Ryan Bailie, but he always timed it so he would pass me in the first minute, which I didn’t enjoy as much).
July 20th, 2013
MOST HUMBLING MOMENT: Entering T1 at Hamburg in 43rd place
Running to transition from the water and seeing almost all of the bikes gone is not a good feeling. Jamie and I had been working on improving my swim and I had seen improvements in the pool so this was a very humbling moment for me and something that still motivates me.
August 24, 2013
BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: Winning the World Triathlon Series race in Stockholm.
I had a rough time in Auckland, followed by two successful wins in San Diego and Yokohama. The first part of the European season I struggled. I had a mediocre (at best) race in Madrid, a hard time in Kitzbheul, and a bad swim in Hamburg. I had been working hard and training well. A lot of sweat, tears, and gut went into the season, and Stockholm was when I was able to showcase what I’d been learning from my peers, support crew, Jamie, and Patrick.
December 4, 2013
HAPPIEST MOMENT/BEST DAY/MOST JOY: Patrick’s proposal
I had no idea Patrick had a ring and was completely shocked when he got down on one knee. It is a moment I will never forget, and something I cherish every day. I can’t wait for the rest of our lives together.
December 12, 2013
MOST RECENT WOOPSIE: Ruining soon-to-be Mother(-in-law)’s new kitchen Table
Pat and I drove to Fargo, ND, to spend some time with his family. While there, I asked his mother, Jane, for some nail polish remover. Jane gave me some, and went to bed. Patrick, Craig (Pat’s Dad), and our friend Justin were talking and catching up at the kitchen table. Patrick farted and I was complaining, so he reached over to plug my noise for me. He accidently tipped over the nail polish remover which spilled on the beautiful wood of the finished table. We were frantically cleaning it up and wondering how we were going to explain this to Jane. An hour passes and we decided to head to bed. I lifted the napkin I was doing my nails on, however it stuck to the table. “Uh Oh,” I said. Everyone looked at me and shook their heads as they knew what happened. The first spot was bad enough, but now there was a huge part of the table that had the finished removed. I was not looking forward to telling Jane. Thankfully, she was a good sport and she didn’t seem to mind too much.
Some Favorites from 2013:
FAVORITE POOL TO SWIM IN: URAC in Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
FAVORITE PLACE TO RUN: Salburua (Vitoria, Basque region). There is a 6k loop that I would be happy running every single day!
FAVORITE PLACE TO RIDE: Cable, Wisconsin or Vitoria in Basque Region.
FAVORITE WOLLONGONG WIZARDS MOMENT: Family Dinners.
FAVORITE COFFEE PLACE: Diggies
One of our Family Dinners in Vitoria
The Wollongong Wizards running in Falls Creek 2013