Trying to crack the USA!

April 16th, 2014 by

As usual another epic trip to the USA done and dusted and now back home before the next adventure in Mallorca for a Uplace BMC team training camp and race!
Its been a strange year so far. I’m not too sure where I’m at really. Ever since I started training this winter I’ve been struggling with my consistency and haven’t really strung together much good work for various reasons like illness, niggles and travel but on the other hand when I am training, I’m training really well. So I’m not sure where it’s coming from.
In spite of this I felt really good going to Oceanside 70.3 (California) and was quite confident. Before I left I raced a mile race and a 5k just 15 mins apart for a hit out and won them both in a sprint finish running faster then I have for a few years but in all honesty it was stupid. It was a fantastic tune up but my calves were so sore! I thought nothing of it and got on the plane to California.
The first race in California was really bad for me, I swam poorly, rode with good power but never followed the groups and ended up riding on my own the whole way. I’ve realised now that you really have to be a master at riding 10m apart, drafting but within the rules otherwise you get screwed over. The group rolls around together without you, you’re not part of the draft or the psychological benefit you get from seeing a rider in front if you and you lose minutes and minutes. Already deflated I hit the run and my calf pulled straight away. Race over…let’s get some Mexican food instead.
For the next few weeks I hopped between friends houses who I met while I was there and I really appreciate their hospitality. It really made my trip to get to know different people and see San Diego from the locals eyes. I can’t tell you how much Mexican food we ate and how many coffee we drank. Good times!
In this time I rode quite a bit and swam every day but barely ran for two weeks because my calf was completely locked up! Not the best considering I’m to run a 70.3 in a few days time.  Fortunately Gino one of the great physiotherapists down there helped me out and after a few sessions of therapy I could run again just in time for my next race San Juan 70.3.
It was good to be in San Juan (Puerto Rico). We were staying in a nice hotel by the sea which had a nice Caribbean feel to the place but it’s in the middle of a very busy city which is not how I thought San Juan would be. The roads were super busy providing rubbish opportunities for training while we were there but fortunately it’s just taper work so we didn’t need much! The main thing for me heading into this was to learn from my last race. Swim near the front, ride smart holding the pace of the key guys but just sitting at the legal distance and running with whatever I had left in the tank. It was sure to be a tough day especially with the Caribbean heat and hilly run course.
My swim was really nothing fancy and I definitely need to go home and get in some consistent kilometres, i felt like I was certainly missing some training but I was good enough to sit on the back of the lead pack and follow them around. Onto the bike it soon became apparent that I’d have to let Starky and Collins do their thing. They’re two of the best riders in the sport and I had to race my own race to some extent. Andi Bocherer came past me though fairly quickly and I knew that I had to ride with him for as long as possible if I wanted a shot in this race. He’s a top rider so it was good to follow him and learn how he races.  I was cheeky, I didn’t help him once in the whole ride, I was just content to practice the skill of holding a 10m gap. Towards the end I was getting quite tired and we caught a suffering Collins back up but after 90k it was a whopping 6:30 minutes to Starky!
6mins30 is an awkward gap for this guy. If he has an average day and I have a good one I’ll catch him but if he holds his own then I’ll run out of road. You never know how you’ll feel after a ride like that but normally as soon as your feet touch the tarmac you’ll learn your fate amd lickily for me I still felt like I had some gasoline for 1hr15 of chasing him!
I think Andi was pretty smashed so I passed him quickly putting me in 2nd. By half way I caught 3:10 on Starky and it was on track for a very close race which excited the locals!  However by then I was getting tired and my feet were very sore. The heat was beating down on me, I couldn’t get enough water and the efforts were taking their toll. I knew with 5k to go that I was going to run out of time. I was happy to take 2nd place just under a minute behind. Salvaging the trip and getting on the plane satisfied. Team mate Helle Fredrickson and Sofie Goos also got 1st and 2nd making it a great weekend for Uplace BMC again!