February 2015 Update

I am currently in Wollongong, Australia, training with Coach Jamie Turner and our training group, the Wollongong Wizards. The Wollongong Wizards grew this year, and it’s great to have more people to push me daily. Canadian Amelie Kretz, a few Hungarians, and special guest Anne Haug have been challenging me up hills, on the roads, and through the water. At least once a week, we train in the Pacific Ocean. Last week, a friend of the Wizards, Trevor Kemper, filmed one of our open water sessions. You can watch a video of it here: http://youtu.be/MIsIP0hq4_U In my mind, with every stroke we take we move forward, but Trevor’s video proves otherwise as I watch us helplessly get sucked backwards.

One of my favorite rides we have been doing is a weekly 100km bike ride, which includes many Queen of the Mountains (QOMs), some hard pace lines, and a little recovery. The ride is enjoyable, but leaves my legs feeling heavy for days. We have also started to do some bike workouts on fixed gear bikes at the Velodrome. I love it! It gives training a new dynamic. (A fixed gear bike has one gear and no brakes. You cannot coast. In order to stop, you must use your leg/butt muscles to slow the bike). Our run training has been ramping up as well with a new run workout this year: track workouts. I’ve been coached by Jamie for over three years, and this is the first year we have tested ourselves on the Beaton Park track. It’s enjoyable to be back on the track running in a controlled environment that is the same every week.

I did a local Aquathon at the end of January, and a local non draft triathlon in Kurnell, Australia a week ago. It’s fun to start racing again, but it’s also a harsh reminder as to how painful it is and how much I still have to improve.

With my volume of training high there isn’t too much to report. I don’t do much besides train, sleep, eat, read, and watch TV. To check out some things I’ve been eating, you can follow my #FoodFriday tweets. I just finished reading Alberto Salazar’s book, 14 Minutes, and am currently hooked on Australia’s TV show My Kitchen Rules.

On an unrelated note, last September, I traveled to New Zealand to be a part of ASICS global campaign. It was a great experience, and one I will never forget. The directors were very patient with my lack of acting skills, and I was able to briefly experience the life of an actor/actress. The days were long, but enjoyable. We had hair and makeup followed by numerous takes. When the director was happy, we’d move to a new location and start another shot. We were immersed by scenic, iconic views, but we also had to start filming before sunrise and end after sunset to get the shots. It was incredible to see how hard these individuals worked to transform a perfect image they had on paper to a real life commercial. I’m thrilled with the result! It’s a great campaign that hopefully gets you excited and motivated to Go Run It. See if you can spot me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_B5X22YY0Q The commercial began airing on most major TV stations on February 23rd.

Up next, I will travel to Abu Dhabi to test myself against the best in the world at the first WTS race of 2015.

 This is us on our 100km Saturday morning ride

This is us on our 100km Saturday morning ride

 Madeline Heiner running loops on the track with me. She's a local Australian runner who can drop me no problem on the track!

Madeline Heiner running loops on the track with me. She's a local Australian runner who can drop me no problem on the track!

 The lady Wizards after an early morning race in Kurnell (From L to R: Sarah Ann Brault, Barbara Riveros, Grace Musgrove, Anne Haug, me, Charlotte McShane)

The lady Wizards after an early morning race in Kurnell (From L to R: Sarah Ann Brault, Barbara Riveros, Grace Musgrove, Anne Haug, me, Charlotte McShane)

 Finishing a tempo run with the lady Wizards (Photo by Pat Lemieux)

Finishing a tempo run with the lady Wizards (Photo by Pat Lemieux)

 The top of Mount Keira, overlooking Wollongong

The top of Mount Keira, overlooking Wollongong

 Ellen Pennock and me riding our Langster track bikes

Ellen Pennock and me riding our Langster track bikes

 Jamie explaining the days training

Jamie explaining the days training