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:

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