Saturday, April 26, 2008

One down, one to go!

9th!! It was nearly a 7th but I was passed on the last 100m by 2 girls...ouch! But with a run split of 35.49 (including my T2 split), I can deal with losing out in the sprint finish (this time only though!).

It was a cold day. The water, they say, was 15.4 degrees (yeah right!)....for those of you who don't jump into random (and usually dirty) bodies of water, at that temp you get brain freeze and your hands and feet go numb! I highly recommend it! There was also a boat that decided it was a good time to cross the harbour in the middle of the race...what the f$#k??

The bike too, was cold and windy. So windy they shortened the course by taking out a bridge that would have had a nasty gusty cross wind. The bike pack sucked though, no one willing to work too hard except when someone (me a couple times) tried to make a break. Other than that, it was a pretty leisurely ride for a world cup.

The run was flat and along the harbour. It too was windy! After a little struggle getting my shoes on (my feet were frozen!), I managed to tuck myself in behind one of the Russian girls and paced off her. I was running in 7th until the last 100m of the run, when 2 girls that were just behind me passed me. I didn't have much left to react to them, but I held on for the 9th place!

Anyway, the Dutch standard for Beijing is 2x top 10 finishes at a World Cup. Since I finished a heartbreaking (but well raced) 11th in New Plymouth, I still need one more! Hence the trip to South Africa for the Richard's Bay World Cup next weekend!

Wish me luck, the next one will be a top 6 for sure! Oh yeah, I now have a World Cup ranking of 14!!

Thanks a million for all the cheers--at least this race wasn't too late for North American viewing!
I hope everyone is working on improving the weather for my return home....


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Quick update...

Due to the recent unpleasant weather back home, I have decided to extend my trip by a week until Spring finally arrives there! Actually, I've decided to race in Richard's Bay, South Africa, the weekend after Korea! Wish me luck! I'll be back in Calgary on May 8th now.

Melt the SNOW!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Richard look away now! I think I may have found the wedding dress of my dreams in Ishigaki! I hope they will ship to Calgary! Now that I have the dress taken care of, we have to actually set a date (and stick to it!)!

Here is a riddle for you:

Question: What takes 4 days, 3 nights—one over international waters, 2x75 min bus rides, 8 different airports and a 1.5hr car ride with your fiancĂ©e?

Answer: My return trip from the tropical Japanese fishing island of Ishigaki back to my home-away-from-home, Noosa!

Although, as crappy as this may seem, I was on my 2nd day on my 2nd bus on my way to my 6th airport (Narita) and I was thinking how great it all was! It’s pretty cool to traveling the world and going to places that I probably would never get to if I wasn’t racing there! Oh yeah, and if anyone has Airmiles they want to offload, you let me know!!

Here’s a couple Travel facts/tips for you:

--In Japan, it is totally possible to make a connecting flight onto a competitor airline (no partnership here…) when you land 25min before departure time but still have to take a bus to the terminal, pick up your bike box at the baggage claim(10min before take-off), check-in for the flight (7min), get back through security (3min), run to the farthest possible gate while they announce last call for your flight (1min), and run the last 100m with an airline representative telling you to “be fast”! The crazy part is, both my bike and my bag (which took different routes) made the flight too!

--When traveling in Asia, always bring a pillow with you. Who can tell me those rock hard, mega thick, bean-bag-material filled pillows are actually comfortable?!The immigration line in Narita was longer than LAX….I didn’t think it was possible…

Off to the overnighter into Auckland....

Thanks for all the e-mails and comments! You guys are awesome!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Lucky 13?

Grrr....13th! I know...I should be happy, I am but not fully! Funny how quickly ones expectations change! Actually, I think it because this year I know I've put in all the work and that a top 10 should be patient, I know!

Here's how it went:

Well I arrived in Ishigaki on Thursday afternoon, put my bike together right away and went out for a ride. I noticed when I was assembling my bike that the derailleur wasn't screwing on quite as tight as it usually does, but I went riding anyway...after about 25min of riding I noticed it wasn't shifting quite as smooth as I like. I stopped and just touched my rear derailleur and it fell off--my hanger was stripped!! Oh Crap (well, other words were used..)!

I happened to be across the street from the local Ishigaki bike shop, with all the cruiser bikes out front, I was confident that they would stock parts for a Spanish bike. To my dismay they did not! But the guy offered to "make" a temp one for me but "it might take a few days". I came back to the hotel and put in a frantic skype call to Richard in Noosa and sent an e-mail to Coach Paul....What do I do?? Now this story is getting a little long, so I will try to condense it. I ended up going to the Japanese Triathlon Union (JTU) mechanic, I think he saw the panic in my eyes, so he made a call to a buddy on the Mainland....Orbea Japan (thank you!) was sending me a new hanger but it wouldn't arrive until Saturday afternoon from Kyoto. Just in case the part didn't make it, I also arranged for a back up bike (thanks to Marc Jenkins for volunteering, well, I think he saw the panic too...). To wrap this novel up, the part came at 3pm the day before the race--thank goodness! Heads up to the Speed Theory guys (Dale and Greg)...the bike is in major need of an overhaul when I get back in May, slot me in!

Now the race: The swim: went really well. I was just off the front couple girls going onto the second lap, so I put my head down (literally--right Coach?) and bridged the gap. Too bad it didn't really matter as the girls behind us in the water eventually caught us on the bike.

The bike: went well too, I felt really good on the bike. Although the group didn't really work well together, so we were caught after the first lap. I also pulled way too much. Then I went for the 'prime' on lap 6, which I didn't get, and expended WAY too much energy to be second across the line. I can onto the run in first place (for a fleeting moment--Hey, the Aussie's can run 33min, I knew it wouldn't last long!).

The run: I just didn't feel super great. I tried to run with other girls but got dropped going over the bridge--the hills weren't working for me today. I managed to move from 15th to 13th in the last 2k and for an 'off' run day, my run split was okay--much better than last year!

Now, I am heading off on a long journey back to Australia for a week of training and then back to Korea for my top 6 finish.

Phew, that was a long one! I'm sure there are many spelling mistakes and grammatical errors in the is one Dad!


Friday, April 11, 2008

Pics from NZ

New Plymouth World Cup swim start--3rd from the right.

T1--this time I got my helmet on the first try!

This one is for the NuVistites reading...I do occasionally still think about oil and gas! I had a great view of an offshore platform for the first 3.3k of the coastal run during the race!
The rolling hills of Taranaki...all volcanic deposits...makes for some great biking!
A clear view of the dormant Mount Egmont/Taranaki from my homestay's house. Very cool, they have a ski hill on it in the winter.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Oh So Close!!!

Hey Guys!

Well, I had another solid race in New Plymouth yesterday. I had a start # of 15 this time, which was nice not to be the last to line up for the swim start! The swim was a bit chaotic as usual, but a good wetsuit swim for me (I've had problems with the wetsuit in the past!). The bike ended up being a pack of about 20 girls and I stayed up at the front and out of trouble into the corners. I managed to come off the bike into T2 first this time (see the new pic above!), learning from my Mooloolaba mistake!! Onto the run, I was slightly off the pace the first 3k but bridged the gap upto 3 girls--Hewitt, Davis, and Tucker--and ran with them. This had me running in 9-12 place at the 6.6k mark. The last 3.4k were 3 short loops by the stands. Since I was running with a Kiwi, we had lots of crowd support (well Hewitt did and I pretended they were cheering for me!), Richard and Adrie were also on the course in their Dutch Orange, so I never missed them! To make a long story short, I was passed by an Aussie and Hewitt made a break that I didn't match and I had a sprint finish with a Japanese girl for 11th, with a 36.55 run split on a hilly course. It was just shy of my top 10 needed for Beijing qualification--but 2 more races to do that!

I'll take an 11th place though! Next up is Ishigaki on April 6th and I intend to beat my start # there too (it might even be in the single digits there!!)

Thanks for the support!
--PS--my current World Cup ranking is 17th!! Nice!