Alicante WC & A Reflection on 2013
After The BIG final in London, most of my fellow athletes were done and dusted for their season. It did cross my mind to call it a day for 2013, and finish on a high, but decided to do just 2 more races; Alicante WC and Garmin Barcelona Triathlon. I have to admit, I was a little jealous of the guys and gals ending their season and having a break, I was totally fried following race, both physically and mentally, it's been a hell of a long year, but only a few weeks left.
So, firstly the penultimate race of my season . . .
So write this on the flight back from winning the WC in Alicante. What a hard race I made for myself, no sleep the night before, worried about the race, trying to hold on to fish Lucy Hall in the swim who then made the break happen out the water, a group of about 5 of us working our asses off on the bike, fair play to those girls, it got us a 2 min lead into T2 and then for me it was about proving to myself that I can still run! I ran hard and really enjoyed the race, albeit it was very very very hot!!!! I was chuffed to come away with the win, my last ITU race of the year.
I have one more race, the Garmin Barcelona Triathlon next weekend, which is a different race for many, this race the elite men and women start together!!!! I love it, you get to race with the guys in a drafting ,race so basically if you're in there with the men and out of the water you're at a BIG advantage, plus it's quite fun when you "chick" some of the lads ;-) this race I try and do every year as a bit of fun, and then I am DONE!
I would say for me it will be 3 weeks of feet up and rest, but I think I'll be chasing Erin around now she's finding her feet. I'll be spending as much time as possible with Mum, Dad, Big sis, Erin and all my family and friends, and I've got a few nice foody trips planned too :-)
This year would not have been possible without my backing support team, so thank you.
A little thought on my races and the 2013 season . . .
January seems right to start here really, when I flew out to join Darren and the D-Squad in Canberra, Australia. I really enjoyed my time in Canberra, it was a chance for me to have a solid winter training. A lot of people say it’s a boring place, but they had great cycling, running trails, and a good swimming pool and lake to OW train. In addition to the obvious training necessities, Canberra had nice coffee shops, and places to eat, so what more could I want. Training in Canberra meant that I could race the Devonport ITU race, which I loved, and was a great hit out race, which I really enjoyed, especially in the break away with team mate Alieen Reid!!!
Mooloolaba World Cup - I took this as my first big race of the season, and I was thrilled to come away with 2nd to Anne Haug. This race showed we had done a good job on the first section of the years training for me, and really made me excited for the year ahead. This race also showed how Anne’s kick on the run was back with more power than last year.
NZ WTS – One I would like to forget, a very hard lesson to learn - warm up with a wetsuit when conditions are boardline no-wetsuit swims - other wise you end up with hypothermia and in an ambulance. A DNF which I hate hate hate, moving swiftly on . . .
San Diego WTS – also not 100% happy with this one if I’m honest. A terrible swim, Sunday ride bike, and a run that didn’t feel great, I finished 5th which is a great result and showed my progression from last season. For me, this race was the Gwen show, with a stormer run!
Yokahama WTS – So this race I have fond fond memories of. Not only my first podium in a WTS race, but a highlight for me in running with Emma Moffat and that sprint finish where she seems to be enjoying it with a smile on her face, and me in absolute agony with a grimise on mine. Considering I wasn't going to enter this race, I'm so chuffed I did, 3rd place.
Home Time - Then I had some time at home, which was needed. I had 10 days at home between San Diego and Yokohama, but this time at home was like a battery recharge for me emotionally. I suffer terribly with homesickness, which is one thing I try to need to work on. I got to see family friends before the European stage of the season. Much needed.
Madrid WTS – After being at home I had no idea how I would do coming into this race, and I can remember being so so nervous. When I was on the run I remember thinking just keep pushing Gwen is coming fast. I crossed the line 3rd and yes out kicked by Anne again, but this race showed Non’s speed on the run, she was on fire!! Madrid for Team GB was a record, it was the first time 2 GB women shared the podium, what a special moment!
Kitzbuhel WTS - OK, so obviously one of my faves, my first WTS win and to be named the Queen of the Mountains. This race was a total shock and I really mean that, I train with some very strong girls on the bike, and I still don’t know where my hill legs came from that day, but what an experience, and I have to thank those Morzine hills for helping me. What also made this race for me was that moment I shared with Mum and Dad at the finish, it was their anniversary and that memory will stay with me forever.
Hamburg WTS – This race was a true German show and they did it well with Anne winning the women and then the German team winning the relay, I finished 3rd with a fast run with Anne and Non, sharing the podium again with Non, the highlight of this race was giving dad that BIG beer glass after the race , I knew he wanted it! And then lets ski[ the relay GB team will be back.
Home Time - I got a week at home after this race, again to re-change the batteries ready for the final push into the Grand final London Hyde Park. Once I was home I got to race the London Triathlon ,which was brill, I had a load of my family and friends there to support me in a local (ish) race where I also got Erin her first TV interview with me.
Stockholm WTS – The land of Lisa Norden. Seeing Lisa and getting to catch up with her a little was the best memory of this race, however I'm afraid I didn’t feel the love all day and was very disappointed after this race with my 5th position. Just not my day, however, it did show Miss Hollands come back, which was great to see, hopefully 3 GB girls dominating the podiums next season ;-)
Training in Morzine - Back to Morzine and the race in Stockholm had given me a new burst of energy, with 3 weeks to go before London I was ready for some hard work and I got my head down.
London WTS Grand Final – This race meant so much to me, and has been in the front of my mind since I missed the Games last year. I've got to admit when I crossed the line 4th I was gutted to just miss the podium, and was so annoyed that i couldn't perform on the run. But then when I got told I'd finished 2nd in the overall standings, I was ecstatic! I went into the race not even thinking about the series and just thought it was between Non, Anne and Gwen, but London was such a freak race, and just shows that not everything is so clean cut in triathlon. To finish the year like that WOW, what an emotional trip and I had tons and tons of support from family, friends, total strangers, fellow triathletes. Than you so so much
This season for me was about consistency which is what I think makes a great athlete. I can say this year not finishing lower that top 5 is pretty consistent. 2013 has been a rollercoaster ride for me, and thanks to everyone who rode the coaster with me, and enjoyed the limo at the end.
On to Barcelona . . .
All of my blogs can be found on the all new dedicated site for sporting blogs. . .