Wednesday, 7 September 2016

2016 70.3 World Championships Recap

The proudest moment of my race, captured right here.

Swimming has been the sport in which I directed the most efforts in the past 9 years. I was pretty terrible at swimming and at times, it seemed I would never really improve beyond a certain point. In fact, I was told that if you didn't start swimming at a young age, it was pretty much a desperate case. There were times I did start to believe that. Swimming, for me, has taken the most work by far and has been the most frustrating but also the most rewarding part of my journey. I have focused on swimming because I known this is what I need to do if I want to win 70.3 worlds one day because the sport is changing; to win, you need to be very strong in all three sports. 

Every year, at 70.3 worlds (and all other big races), I have been dragging behind in the swim and all the while wanting to be "in the race" rather than chasing after it from behind. This year, I had some breakthroughs on the swim, and for the first time, I came out of the water with the fast swimmers at World Championship.

Coming out of the water with swimmers like Alicia Kaye, Daniela Ryf, Annabel Luxford, etc. is something I've worked towards and dreamed of for the 9 years I've competed at this race. So there is the talk on my point of pride. The bike ride that followed was strong and a very different dynamic than I was used to as I was now starting at "the heart of the race" where all the main players were and I just had to stay in the game until the run. I rolled with the pace, sometimes out of my comfort zone, so I am proud of the ride too! It was an action packed bike race and one of my favorites ever. I came out of T2 in 9th and with a bunch of very strong women to race. 70.3 is getting so strong and it was a very impressive field of girls battling it out on the run. I even got a sprint finish with Radka (Vodikova) for the 9th and 10th. I wasn't to the level on that part of the race on Sunday but I know the run can be my strength and I know one day, I can get it all together on the same day. So....I'll keep the dreams coming! 

The buildup:

Even though I had the swim I've always wanted, this was probably the roughest build into World Championships of my career. Since my DNF at Tremblant 70.3 at the end of June, things had not been going well. I felt overly tired there and we took a week off. After that, during what was supposed to be a pre-worlds build, a series of unfortunate events prevented me from doing much training at all, particularly on the run.

I got rid of some IT tightness just to twist my foot running in a trail and to later catch the flu once the foot was feeling better. With having lost a lot of fitness over that month, I had to pull out of European champs.

At this point, I was tempted to shut it down and just re-set for next year. But then I realized that I have a tendency to pull the plug when things aren't going well, and I saw an opportunity to grow as an athlete if I could make the best with the time I had and go race with whatever I had, without being scared of the outcome. When I decided to go for worlds anyways, my Coach, Paulo Sousa laid out a plan to train for two weeks, race Timberman 70.3 for fitness (2 weeks before worlds), cram in a couple more workouts, and then fly to Mooloolaba. I don't think many coaches out there could have taken on this challenge so well, and I'm very grateful to Paulo for his great work.

There were actually a wide range of people who made Sunday's race possible, from equipment troubleshooting, to moral support, to just plain positive energy..

The Support:

A very key person I worked with in the last few weeks was Andreanne Chiasson from Clinique Sport Sante Laurentides. She put a lot of her own time into helping me get on the start line. I got to see her several times a week at key times in the schedule.
Mom travelled both Timberman AND Australia, cooking meals and making my life as simple as possible :)

One of those meals ;)

I lost my seatpost bolt in the travel process (Thanks TSA!) Argon 18 saved the day, EXPEDITING a new one all the way from Canada!

Bike Bug also made a big effort to save me from the case of the missing seat post bolt.

Team Shimano got my bike all ready for race day! 
Feeling the Canada love from Kevin and Triathlon Magazine Canada!

More of that good Canadian energy! Great to see you again, Jeffrey!
Of course, when speaking of support, I want to talk about my sponsors. Shimano, Argon 18 and Compressport have supported me through the ups and downs of most of my career. My swim sponsor Roka... (I'm particularly thankful to them for the Maverick X I raced in on Sunday). Pioneer Cycle USA and Computrainer have supported my goals of getting to the highest level on the bike, and I'm very thankful for my newest sponsors POC and Betty Designs for fast, stylish gear!  And lets not the very special sponsor from back home: Station Mont Tremblant.

Australia, with the new dynamics, really was one of the most exciting races I have ever been in. It was also such a beautiful place to discover, a wonderful race course and I'm so happy that I got the opportunity to go, I took a lot of time to "just look at it" ;) Thanks for following! -Mags

**I'm in China since this morning, getting ready to race Beijing International Triathlon this weekend. It's time for a kick into speed!

General Australian Prettiness:

Tri Mag Canada picture collection:

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Keep Calm and DO YOUR JOB


Following up on the last blog, where I left you with some food poisoning suspense... ;)

A few days before heading to Mexico for Los Cabos 70.3, I had a romantic dinner with Eric. Ironically enough, I might have been talking about my fear of food related sickness in Mexico as I devoured the California Burrito which ultimately got me sick.

As a result, I played an endless game of mental yoyo the days before taking off, but stuck by my decision to race no matter what. This turned out to be the right call, and thankfully I was symptom free on race morning!
Being smart is important but worrying has no point and is simply a waste of energy.
I turned on the TV 2 days before the race to find out Hurricane Patricia was aiming for the coast of Mexico. Thankfully, Baja was spared and we never felt any repercussions of the storm in Los Cabos. (Secretly I would have loved the wake up to huge surf on race morning but you can't have everything eh?)
It was a very good thing the storm stayed away, particularly if you consider that it had been only a year since Hurricane Odile. Damages from the storm were still very obvious and numerous hotels were still being re-built.
Since the symptoms of the food poisoning had died off in time for the race, you can consider me a case study about food safety at the Holiday Inn Los Cabos. I forgot about the food I had meticulously packed and drifted into doing like everybody else and eating at the buffet. I should thank Mel (McQuaid) and the Edmonton Canadians for having tested the safety of the food several days before ;)
Beach time with a Mexican Dachshund:
There was no bringing Alice to this race but I found Huela.
 Los Cabos Taxis:
At this point, Eric and I were still dreaming of acquiring an adventure van turns out pretty much ALL the taxis in the hotel area had serious potential. I told Eric that I had found a VAN OASIS in Mexico!!
More beach time before the pre-race swim!
Race will air on ESPN international.
The E-118, racked and ready!
 I woke up feeling absolutely zero stress. This was a new experience, but I decided to roll with it. Maybe the rollercoaster of the last few days with that "damn burrito" had made everything feel like a bonus. I was just lucky to be there on the start line not feeling sick.
 I warmed up, then climbed up the beach to join the other ready faces. Staring at the semi-calm ocean, I still felt zero stress. I was just going to trust that when the gun went off, I would race, as I always do. It felt so simple.
The gun went off, everything started off smoothly, and I felt very present and calm. I did get excited when I first realized how close to the front I was on the swim. Amanda and Brianna (both excellent swimmers) were right in sight. The swim went wonderfully and I was thrilled when, upon exiting, I heard Michael Lovato yell that I was a mere 45 seconds from the leader of the race! (Maybe the relaxed feeling was working for me ;)
The mood of the day would be "Keep calm and do your job" and it turns out it was exactly what I needed to do. So without any of the epic-ness I usually crave, I hopped onto the bike and got out there.
The bike course was hard and I worked it nice and steady. I moved into the lead at about 5km and remained in that position during the ride. There was very little flat on that course and I love the hills. Here they kept me engaged at every moment. I also enjoyed the multiple turnaround points where I could see how the race was going. Since it was also an Ironman event, there was great support from the crowd in various areas as well.
This looks like I am right out of an Alien movie BUT the orange bottles, filled with Ice water, kept me cool at the end of the bike ride.  
Dismounting and heading onto the run, I just remember, again feeling very calm and focused. I just took things one step at a time and stayed in the moment. The California summer had got me prepared for the hot conditions, the course was flat and flowed well and most of all, it entertained me. Just like on the bike, I remember noticing positive things along the course. There were so many different sections and out and backs, people cheering. You even went just right by the finish while heading into the final loop. I felt pumped and I loved that last loop where I got to open up a bit and feel good rhythm.
The finish
Finally, I crossed the line to realize that common denominator there was between Monterrey 70.3 (my first race of the season) and Los Cabos 70.3. Both Mexican races had that festive atmosphere and in both races, the last few miles to the finish were a crescendo of cheering. Just like in Monterrey, we got a Champagne shower and they even played the national anthem, we were spoiled.

I certainly hope to return to Mexico next season to defend my titles!
The season came to an end with that last race and now and it's time for some off season fun. Thanks for having followed my friends and stay tuned for a season recap and an off season adventure report!

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Oil on the fire


Racing Olympic Distance (non draft) this year has been a learning experience. There definitely were some moments of "sweet frustration", but I thrive on those, they motivate me.
During the 7 years of my professional career, I have almost only ever raced 70.3. This year, I added 3 Olympic Distance races to my schedule.
It might seem I am taking a strange route here, at 33, but I need to prove to myself that I can be good at this. It's feels like a step I didn't take, something I missed along the way. I am loving how this new challenge is impacting my motivation and how it allows me to race more, while I keep on focusing on 70.3. What I learn from racing shorter can certainly transfer to better Half Ironman distance racing.

(Mag's Micro 2015 "short course" racing update:

Cardiff 10Km run: 3rd (PB time of 34:34)
Escape from Alcatraz (5th)
St Anthony's triathlon (2nd)
Beijing International (4th))

And here so, here goes the tale of my most recent challenge:

The Beijing International Triathlon

      Eric and I had a toast upon take off. This would be the third time this year that we got to head out together to race! This would also be the second IMG event we would attend (both Beijing and Alcatraz are IMG).

I moderated my excitement a tiny bit after talking with Eric about his previous Chinese ordeals. But the idea of eating too much safe food (rice), experiencing potential side effects of faulty sign language communication and facing organizational hicks were all easily brushed aside as our plane directed itself towards China and my giddyness took over.

                                               (Trying real hard to make smart choices look fancy with my Compressport socks and long leg compression)

Once in China, apart for a very short lived bike box scare, we easily found the men holding up signs with our names. They waved. We followed. Eric and I looked at each other with a grin as they lit cigarettes or laughed, pointing at us, mimiking a Christian prayer.

It was nothing but good entertainment though. Our quiet driver got us to the spectacular looking -Beijing Riverside Hotel- in under an hour. The taxi had traveled through the night with little interruption other then a hysteric phone call in Chinese that resulted in a U turn. There had been no reaction on our part but an open eye or two, we were too exhausted to worry.

China DAY 1

We woke up the next morning and it was already Thursday. A trip was planned to visit the great wall of China. Unfortunately we had to bail on this first opportunity as we had arrived late and
had a big day of building bikes, getting some trainings done and recovering from the previous day's 16 hours of traveling.
 The best of Thursday was about riding bikes with Eric on an improvised China route. I enjoyed negotiating traffic under new rules. I mean no rules. I gave my pre-race ego a boost, blowing by Chinese scooters and such. I also got to understand that a honk was not an aggression, even when it made your heart pop out of your throat. To be serious though, and because you do need to know how great this event is, I have to mention how we could bike right out of the hotel onto the bike course. Very well planned venue.
After  our ride together, we got to meet up in the lobby with our coordinator Florencia and the other pros. A ride was organized to take us to the pool. A 45min trip through the crowded Beijing rings got us to a fancy 50m pool equipped with Palm trees and hot tubs. There, our personal spa assistants pointed us to our lockers and walked us to the pool. I kid you not. ;)

China DAY 2
 The light of Friday was a run on the course. We got lost hunting for arrows in a magnificent Chinese garden and caught a glimpse of the epic stairs at the heart of the run course.


There was also a guided bike course tour planned. Then we would meet the IMG crew for an evening of celebration. After an introduction on stage it was time for the costumed dancers to come out and for the party to attack the buffet.
The funniest moment of Friday was when Matty Reed threatened some of us with a -Duck foot- from the buffet, which luckily saved us from innocently putting it on our plates, (my hungry eyes had seen mistaken it for delicious pasta). Because I do need to be serious again, I should mention that as this buffet featured such duck feet and other exotic dishes, there were also foods I was familiar with and we EVEN ended up eating pasta dinners the two nights leading up to the race.

China DAY 3: Saturday

Saturday, the tension was higher. It was the day of the pre-race interviews, two light trainings and as much rest as we could get.

China DAY 4: RACE DAY.

I was pleased but not satisfied with how the day went. My swim was disappointing; I have had some very good swims this year and this would not be one of them. After a good dive start, I swam for a bit with the front pack before getting dropped. For most of the swim, I was in a pack of four with
Ricarda Lisk, Felicity Sheedy-Ryan, Caroline Steffen. In this field of nine, I was at the very back of the race after the swim. On the bike, I knew it was time to play packman!
It ended up being my strongest leg. I loved the hilly, technical course and was proud to have layed down the best bike split on the day.
By the time the run started, I had moved up from 9th to 4th and was chasing after Radka Vodikova, who ran up to 2nd. I did end up catching Laura Bennett and was in third with about 600m to go but a fast charging Felicity would challenge me in that last stretch, beating me to the line by 7 seconds.


I came back from that experience very inspired. Frustrated to not have managed to pull through with that third place but also motivated. I LOVED the raw feeling that came with close racing, being on the red line, coming into the finishing shoot at a sprint. Feeling how much strategy can impact racing and how sharp the race dynamics have to be. This was so exciting and what an adventure.
I certainly hope to have the opportunity for another shot at the title at this race in the next few years.

Oh and...this happened!!!!!!  

I am loving how this new challenge is impacting my motivation and how it allows me to race more, while I keep on focusing on 70.3. and how what I learn from racing shorter can certainly transfer to better Half Ironman distance racing.

But I'll let Eric's next video explain it all! Stay tuned! It should be out in the next few days!
Happy training everyone and thanks for following!

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Out of St. George

I will not be able to take the start in St George. This was definitely an A race for me and yes, I am frustrated of course… 

had planned on racing St Anthony’s last week-end andthen St-George this weekend, thinking that  the double would be nice and St. Anthony’s would be a good dose of speed prior to the big show.

I loved St Anthony’s and finished 2nd, facing a few challenges during the race. The most significant of which was when I crashed my bike out of transition. slippe don the saddle and landed with my chest on the bars. In the heat of the moment, I didn’t feel much and kept on going, though my chest and collar bone were certainly feeling a bit sore.
It wasn’t until after the race that I felt a slight discomfort at the costo vertebral junction at the level of my fourth rib(between my shoulder blad and spine). I iced it and still didn’t think much of it.

I traveled to St George , arriving late Monday night andmet up with my Mom at the RV camp ground where She had found a cool spot overlooking transition. 
Her part of the race was already successfully completed;She he had done the epic drive from Quebec solo in 4 days, (a drive filled with adventure….with her own obstacles to overcome). We had planned a nice week out there, getting ready for the race.

It’s only after I tried to swim the nexday that things started to seem more serious. That day, I didn’t push it. called a local physio that was nice enough to see me right away.  I  got some anti inflammatory treatment and did the bike and run workouts I had to do. I had pain during training that day but nothing that crazy. The next morning though….Iknew I was in trouble.

It was time to call Gino Cinco (Function Smart Physiotherapy), the guy that we (Triathlon Squad mates) rely on to keep us going strong all year. He evaluated me  as much as he could on the phone and  we agreed to wait a little bit and see how the situation would evolved.

Sadly, yesterday morningPaulo and I decided that the race was not going to happen. I am convinced we made the right call. However important that race was to me, having a good season is more important.

Mom insisted to take her adventure west and drive me all the way back to California in the RV.  We were back on the same day (last night).
I am back in Poway this morning and well….I have to just be patient at this point and see how this will evolve. 

I am very determined to get back to racing soon. Hopefully, I can get well enough to take the start at challenge Knoxville. I will keep you posted!

I would agree with my coach Paulo. It’s only when the shit hits the fan that you truly get tested. I’ll take that for motivation.

I’ll be watching my friends and teammates Heather and Trevor Wurteles race on Saturday. 
Take care and thanks for following.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Disappointment in Oceanside: Getting Back to the Routine

Because I want to keep you posted, even when things don't go as planned, here is my Oceanside 70.3 post race video!

Disappointment in Oceanside: Getting Back to the Routine from Eric Lagerstrom on Vimeo.

Also, Thank-you all so much for all the encouraging posts! Here's a few more things I have coming up on the schedule:

Aero testing in L.A (April 8th)
Betty Designs Fashion Show (April 23rd)
St Anthony's triathlon (April 26th)
St-George 70.3 (May 2nd)

All good stuff :)

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Ironman 70.3 Monterrey Race Report

Thank you so much for all the encouragement and support after my race last weekend! Here's a quick recap video I put together, hope you enjoy!

Friday, 6 March 2015

Magali Tisseyre: "I want to win 70.3 World Championships"

With just a little more then a week to go before the season begins at Ironman 70.3 Monterrey, I am very excited to share this season intro video. It's an update on my current training context in California and some thoughts on that goal I have been chasing for so long. Hope you enjoy!