First Snowshoe Race of 2014… done

I will be brief. I don’t really enjoy snowshoe races. I have done the 10K races in the past and start getting anxious about a Sunday race on the Tuesday/ Wednesday prior. It is just not right. I am done with ‘feeling’ like I have to race.
 
 
 Enter…coach. Words of wisdom always come from Mr. Pye. My voicemail left to him went something like this:
 
 ”Steve, question, I am snowshoe racing tomorrow and I am starting to freak out. I haven’t run more that 4miles since Xterra Worlds. (Thoroughly enjoying some time off) I am signed up for the 10K.
 1. Should I stop being a baby and do the 10K and look at it as a good chance for training.
 2. Switch to the 5K.”
 
 His response:
 ”Switch to the 5K, I think you will respond to that distance much better”.
 
 Yay I love you is what I thought. It felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Now it actually felt like I was going to have fun… Oops, did I say that?
 
 Yes, it was still a sufferfest and yes, I was anaerobic by the first 30ft, but so was everyone else. Safety in numbers. Recovering going uphill at altitude basically doesn’t happen, you just keep on keepin’ on.
 
 A phrase Brett has as his screensaver was my mantra today:
 ”The fastest man does not win, it is he who slows down the least”.
 This helped me today, where I felt like walking and I thought ‘no don’t hike, at least run, but back off the gas a little’. I kept reminding myself it was only 3miles.
 
 I had a young girl Casey who I was see-sawing with through out the race. She she was lovely. I would never have run that fast if someone weren’t on my heels. I think I only ended up 5-10seconds ahead.
 
 As always with these snowshoe races, once done, I am glad, I had been a part of them. They really are a great event and beaver Creek is a beautiful place to explore winter or summer. My race today is dedicated to Beth Pappas, a friend who can’t run right now. She tore her ACL yesterday, sorry babe, here’s to speedy healing. Let’s be thankful for the things we CAN do.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 - Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Beaver Creek, CO

The last few days leading up to Xterra Worlds

What more could I hope for at Xterra World Championships than my Mum, Dad and brother flying in from Australia? This year we rented a 3 bedroom condo at Napili Bay and it was perfect. Brett and I flew on Wednesday before the race and the flights came off without a hitch, shock, horror. Our luggage even beat us off the plane!


So everything was falling into place. I chatted with Josiah about the changes made to the bike course and decided to pre-ride the first 3-4 miles of the course, cut out and then pick up the end of the trail from about mile 14 to the end. It was the brilliant. Last year Jen, Christy and I pre-rode the whole course and fried ourselves and then I went out the next day and redid some sections. I told myself “never again”. I am gettin’ old, ya know!

 

It was getting darker earlier at home, so Brett and I had been doing some night riding.  We think everyone should own some Gemini Lights, they make riding at night pretty awesome.  But with the darkness comes cooler temperatures.  So going to Maui is hot for us.  Elevation helps, but we have perfect, cool fall weather to ride in.  Not the best for preparing for Maui.

Friday I went for a 40 min run and was surprised after warming up that running a 7:00min mile was comfortable. I was loving the oxygen. Now it was somewhat flat but I was stilled pretty jazzed. I did a few pick ups in speed and left it at that.


Later swam with my brother. Let’s just say he kicked my ass. He says he doesn’t “swim” but he played water polo all through High School (grade 7-12) and then for Sydney Uni. He also surfs any chance he can. It was fun trying to keep up with him. We practiced blind running starts into the surf (standing on the shore with our backs to the ocean so we couldn’t sub-consciously ‘pick’ when to go) and bodysurfing back into the shore. This certainly helped on race day. As did sussing out what the current was like. It was helpful to see how much we drifted or didn’t for that matter and at what distance from the shore.


Friday was pretty much chill out day and laze about. I tried to stay out of the sun and to not ‘overthink’ things. I was actually feeling really confident and strong. I had had some of my strongest training sessions the 3 weeks before Maui thanks to mastermind coach Steve Pye and had to remind myself of the 5x 5min intervals at 278watts on Mountain Star.

There is always a little pressure before a race despite being even the most confident competitor, it wouldn’t be racing. I am over putting myself through the anxiety of putting too much pressure on myself to the extent that I don’t enjoy myself anymore. I feel like I experienced that last year and a little this year, and it is horrible. I was feeling relaxed and happy that my family was here to support me. I am lucky to have a husband that supports my crazy passion. I am blessed to be able to have the privilege to compete with such a elite field of athletes and to be healthy and have the ability to do such a sport. I need to remind myself of these simple things every now and then. Now was one of them. Time to enjoy my hard work!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Kapalua, Maui

The ebbs & flow of training.

We all know that training is a cycle. We progressively overload the body so it has to make certain adaptations to overcome the same stress the next time you expose yourself to the same conditions. This is how we become stronger. Recovery is key to allow these adaptations to soak it. It all makes complete sense, but the emotional part of this process can be tough.

You can’t feel great every training session, let alone every day. There are great days, good days, so-so days and then flat out crap days. Unfortunately this can play with your emotions and confidence.

 

A day of training does not define you, nor does a race, but your attitude does.

I have difficulty maintaining balance and perspective at times (anyone who know me, knows this is an understatement).  I have to remind myself that I am pursuing performance excellence, not perfection. I have to remind myself that there is no such thing as perfection, otherwise I set a trap for myself.

There are doubts that creep in when you are have a less than stellar day and these are the days we begin to question… “Am I good enough?”

I know that I am not alone. I am slowly realizing that these days are the most important. These are the days that play with our self esteem.

If I can keep my spirits up and keep fueling my passion to follow my heart in spite of the fear of failure, I’ve won half the battle. For me the physical part of training is easy, it’s the mind management that is the heaviest task.

The tough part for me is believing that I am “Good Enough”.  What does that even mean, right?

I struggle with this general theme in many areas of my life. I am not sure where it came from, but it is both what makes me question myself, but also makes me tenatious.

For instance, over the past few months I have been struggling with “Believing” that I can run fast.  I am currently doing my mile repeats at 6:35.  This is the fastest I have ever run.  Instead of being happy, I was scared that I couldn’t repeat the performance again.  I kept thinking it was a fluke!  Everytime Steve (my coach) gave me a track workout, the anxiety would arrive 2 days in advance and I would be worried I would fail.  What is failure anyway?  Even after running 6:35′s several times, there was still this thought that each time was an exception and I wouldn’t be able to replicate it again, WTF!

By the time it sinks in I am able to run 6:35′s I will be running 6:30-6:25 right?  Does anyone else do this to themself?

Anyway I just thought I would share because I am working on my head right now.  Enjoy the following poem, it’s scary true.

The Man Who Thinks He Can

If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don’t!
If you’d like to win, but think you can’t,
It’s almost a cinch that you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow’s will;
It’s all in the state of mind!

If you think you’re outclassed, you are;
You’ve got to think high to rise.
You’ve got to be sure of yourself
Before you can win the prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go
To the strongest or fastest man;
But sooner or later the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can!

- Walter D. Wintle

 

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Vail Colorado

Photos from Curt Gowdy Xterra

Race report coming soon – but thought we would share these.  Didn’t get any of Brett out with his Gemini Lights.  He loves those things!  I had to stay in to “prepare”.

I love to tell my mother-in-law that I am one of Vail’s top 50 things to do…

This is taken from Vail BEaver Creek Magazine, please check out the whole article here.

Take a Spin with Brett and Tam

Calling the Donelsons’ workouts “exercise classes” is like calling Dom Perignon a “beverage.” These cycling-focused sessions command a cultlike following, thanks to the extraordinary charisma and expertise this pair exudes. Ever since the Athletic Club at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa (athleticclubwestin.com) opened five years ago, Brett and Tam have taught their wildly popular CycleFit classes; the addition of the Westin’s cycling studio (completed a year and a half ago) expanded their repertoire to include Computraining (in which participants pedal their own bikes and sometimes train outdoors). Bubbly and outgoing, Tam freely shares know-how developed through extensive race experience (she currently competes on international circuits), while Brett listens intently to students and gives the impression that their fitness concerns are his top priority. Even folks who aren’t gunning for a century or a gran fondo find the classes utterly worthwhile, because as the saying goes, “In Vail, you have to train hard to be average.”

Scoring: One point per class session; five points for donating to The Cycle Effect(thecycleeffect.org), a nonprofit Brett Donelson founded to help local girls develop confidence and self-esteem through cycling

Xterra West Champs race recap

 Saturday April 13

 Race start was 10:30am and the forecast was HOT with a Saudi Arabian Wind!

This year was a totally different race than other years in the past.  Some say they thought it was harder than Maui!  I think the heat caught a lot of us by surprise.

Last year was raining and freezing, this year was crazy hot and windy.  I was definitely aware I was in the desert, the heat was oppressive and you couldn’t tell how much you were sweating because the hot wind was so dry.  The wind was blowing you off course at times and out of your line on the higher peaks and open flats, it seemed like there was no where to hide.  It was a tough race to stay hydrated.

Swim   27:20

The water was 57 degrees and pretty comfortable with a wetsuit.  It was much warmer than last year, no frozen hands and cramped calves.  it was hard to believe that the temp was the same as last year, it seemed worlds apart!  I was trying to stay closer to the girls in the line up because drafting is just plain and simple faster than trying to fluff around on my own.  I did alright for the first 1/3 of the race and then I was lonely.  I felt really good (like everyone I am sure) swimming the first leg and heading across the lake but coming back was choppier.  We were also swimming against the current a little.  I have been working on an early high elbow on my catch and this was what I was trying to focus on.  The chop wasn’t horrible but there was a chance of getting a mouth full of water if you weren’t careful.

I felt pretty calm and happy about my swim but I can never tell if I went hard enough, which means if I am questioning it, i didn’t! I was a little too perfect with my stroke and technique…good thing it was a training race ;) live and learn.

In comparison to the fastest times posted last year to this times were a little slower this year by about 45 seconds.  So if I swam a 28:27 last year, it would workout out that I was almost 2 mins faster. I am not sure I completely trust my theory.

Our superstar of the group Croucher swam a 19:58!

 

Bike   1:42:29

“Smooth is fast”

I was stoked when we pre-rode that I was able to ride a section I have not ridden in the past.  Kyle Walker ripped through it like it was cake and it baffled me as I have always looked as this rocky platform I call “marshmallow rock” as a bit of a Rubix Cube.  I called him back so I could follow his line and bingo! It was that easy.  I had to get photographic evidence as the hubby would surely not believe this one.  Christy and I were pretty jazzed about this and I think the husbands were still skeptical we knew what we were doing when we called them later that night to tell them we rode it.  Brett & I had spent quite a bit of time trying to figure this one out in years past.  This year the exit was filled in and smoothed out so it was more rideable.  I have to say full suspension has been a lovely luxury especially when my ride is at 22lbs!  Needless to say we came back the next day and I dug my front wheel in the wrong line and sailed straight over the handlebars.  Croucher had front row tix to this one, my back wheel was a few feet above my head, I escaped unscathed, we nailed it the second time!

Race day I was pushing things but I didn’t kill myself on the bike.  I was sensible and calm through the sand and loose marble gravel, baby head rocks.

I felt like it was a consistent effort and that I rode really smooth especially around the lake’s edge. I was able to stay off the breaks and carry my momentum and not power pedal out of the turns. I was happy with that, it is an improvement.  You gotta pay just as much respect to power as you do technique in mountain biking, and I am still very much a baby in the MTB world.

 

I have to say my bike performed beautifully on race day, the tune & bike fit John Phillips and Bud did at Venture Sports Avon was ace and my Giant Anthem is the best bike on the planet.

I only went though a single 24oz bottle of infinite and a half a bottle of water in 1 hr 40 mins which was not enough.  I was concerned about the run and the heat at this point as I pedaled into a head wind.  I want to work on increasing my threshold to capitalize on my climbing and keep getting out and working on my cornering… here we go short track!

 

Run  55:53

Heading out on the run the heat was relentless.  I started the run at about 12:40pm.  There was no shade on the course and it was arid.  I cannot say enough about the volunteers this year: they were on it, thanks guys.  Approaching every aid station they were always prepared with cups in their hands and calling out to ask what you needed, they were so well stocked with both water and gatorade and they were instrumental in a sufferably hot run.  I grabbed 3 cups at all 4 aid stations.

Mile 1 was an 8:30 min mile pace, I didn’t see the rest, but not crushing myself on the bike, played to my favor on the run.  There were a couple of tough climbs at mile 2.5 and 3.5 which reduced many to walking and the second sucked me in for a bit as I couldn’t find much of a solid footing.   Thanks coach for the hill repeats these climbs weren’t that horrible.

 To my surprise I passed a few pro girls in the run.   I felt strong. As I continued up the riverbed I saw Josiah and he said “Hey Tam, GO” when I saw Conrad a minute or 2 later I was pumped for him and knew he was headed to the finish line for the win!  Nice job Josa.

I passed Chris Jeffrey near the top of the first climb, mile 3 and then Brandi on the second bigger climb mile 3.7.  Since when is running my draw card, I was kind of surprised. I tend to race well in the heat… I must be Australian.

 

I guess saving a little gas for the run is not a bad idea after all.  Knowing that I walked though the aid stations to make sure I got the fluids in me and that I never felt like I was going to blow a gasket on the run, I am please with this effort.  It’s a solid start that is showing me glimpses of my run potential that I think I am starting to tap into.

This week was the most fun trip I have had at a race outside of Maui (hard to top that).  A huge shout out to my mates that I travelled with.  Jamie Gunion, Christy Geyer, Steve Croucher and I loaded 4 bikes onto Christy’s car (well Pete did actually, thanks Pete) and drove to Vegas on Wednesday morning.  We have had so many laughs on the way and we all got along seamlessly.  Croucher was surrounded by some pretty crazy women and he survived.

We all sang along to “Rock of Ages” at the Venetian after the race as a treat for Jamie’s Birthday that was on Wednesday April 10 and had a ball on Saturday night.  Great show if you haven’t seen it.

I am psyched if these guys will travel with me again, they made it so relaxed fun, perfect for abating race nerves.

 

I am proud to say Vail was heavily represented by:

Christy Geyer.               2nd in age

Amelia Van Dyke.         2nd in age

Steve Croucher.            3rd in age

Jamie Gunion

Kyle Walker

Tanya Walker

Mike Stephanek

Ezra Velez

James Ellis

Todd Foral

The Middaugh family had a spectacular weekend with Josiah winning the Championship race.  The boys and Ingrid ran the 5K Sunday where Porter and Sullivan took 1st and 2nd in the kids 5K and Ingrid a 2nd also.

In the car on the way home we are sunburnt, tired, sore and happy.  I am looking forward to seeing my boys, Brett & Zeke, who partied it up in Fruita for 3 days this weekend with Pete & Ellie.  We are not so thrilled to be driving back to 3 feet of snow…

but it will give the sunburn a chance to calm down.  What a great trip with insanely cool people, a trip I will remember, thanks Jamie, Christy & Steve-o for helping me keep it real.

 

Here is an article in SneakPeak Vail that I had a small part in.  If you want to read the whole article highlighting some of the Vail Valley’s top athletes, Click Here.  We are on page 4-5.

Off season

It is just over 5 weeks since Xterra Worlds, but it seems longer than that. I can’t tell you how much time I have on my hands when I am not training. Riding your bike for a few hours can really eat into your day especially when you then feel like taking a nap. I am sleeping like a baby and feel so happy (most of the time) and rested. People have mentioned I look rested also. Does that mean I looked like crap before?

It is an interesting concept for an athlete who has been on a structure training program for 10 months to then go AWOL for a month or so. There have been off season’s where I have felt completely lost without a structure of workouts from my coach but this time I am really enjoying the time off. Of course there is always a little post season depression, it is inevitable after such a peaking of training and mental focus. I am coping much better this year knowing that this period would be visiting me sometime in Novemeber.

The last 5 weeks for me have involved a lot of reflection on my season. What did I do well. What would I do differently. What are my goals for next year. Hindsight is a beautiful thing. In the heat of moment it is difficult to be objective. I have now come to terms with the fact that I was overtrained for the last 6 weeks of the season.

The definition of overtraining is:
Overtraining is a physical, behavioral, and emotional condition that occurs when the volume and intensity of an individual’s exercise exceeds their recovery capacity. They cease making progress, and can even begin to lose strength and fitness.
If sufficient rest is not available, then complete regeneration cannot occur. If this imbalance between excess training and inadequate rest persists, then the individual’s performance will eventually plateau and decline. Mild over training may require several days of rest or reduced activity to fully restore an athlete’s fitness. If prompt attention is not given to the developing state and an athlete continues to train and accumulate fatigue, the condition may come to persist for weeks

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overtraining

I want to add that this is not my coaches doing. It is my job as an athlete to communicate with my coach how I am feeling and I did not do this.  I did not want to admit that I needed more recovery and I thought that I was weak by admitting that I was tired.  I thought I should be tougher than that.  There is no way that your coach can plan for you if you are not being honest with them let alone yourself.  This is the biggest lesson i learnt this year, admitting I needed a break was tougher than carrying on being fatigued.  I was doing myself and my coach injustice. 

I can now see that I was constantly complaining of being fatigued and tired. I had lost motivation and was going throughout the motions, like training was a job. The fun got sucked out of things. I was irritable and overly emotional. I had lost my competitive drive and my performance was decreasing. I think it would be unreasonable to think that i could have believed that i was overtrained at the time. I am stubborn. Brett has made me pretty aware of these indicators over the past few weeks also. God love him for putting up with me for the months prior to Maui. He must have needed to vacation more than I did.


3 months ago there was no way that you could reason with me that there may be a possibility that I was overtrained. If you have never been there you don’t quite know what it is like. Even now, I still doubt wether I really was overtrained. I struggle with the fact that it feels like a weakness in admitting that I was, but in fact, it is the other way around. I am not trying to toot my own horn, but, it takes courage and maturity to admit it and take ownership. But every now and then I wonder, was I just not mentally strong enough to push through the fatigue and dig deeper. I decided that, if I “keep going doen that road” I will kill all my confidence. Even still, if experience a similar effect in my training again, I imagine I will still be resistant to believing that I am overdoing things. Saying that i was overtrained for the last 6 weeks of my season is not a cop out (an excuse for my performance) because i still raced reasonably. It is a fact my swim split times were getting slower and my perceived exertion was higher, my track splits were close to the same but I was busting my ass to get hit them. I was struggling to do any threshold rides as my power dismally plummeted. Training adaptations only come from progressive overloads and to a certain point fatigue is part of the process, but not for 6 weeks!


Anyway, I have loved joining the yoga world and running with my best friend ZEKER. I pulled my bike out of the bike box and built it last week and cruised around Fruita with my inlaws and it was bliss.

I am swimming because I want to, and I get out when I feel like it. Lifting weights and playing around on TRX is a fun challenge and I have mastered standing on a Swiss ball.

I am stoked I have found a balance again and life is good. I am wary to jump into training to quickly so I am taking December off also. I am still doing about 12/13 hours a week of exercise just not solely swimming biking and running. The break has been so good for the sole and has reminded me of why I started racing in the first place: it’s so darn fun.

See you out there palyin’


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Race Report – 2012 Xterra Worlds

The only memories I have from racing in Kapalua were positive. Regardless, I was nervous. This was the last race of the season.

My family from Australia came over to watch and spend time with Brett and I. And there was a crew from Vail that were racing and supporting. It was so much fun knowing so many people out here.


The night before race day we got a Tsunami warning. There was an earthquake of the coast of Canada and there were elevated swells recorded. We were fine up on a hillside but there were many athletes that were evacuated to higher ground. Christy & Pete were staying in Kaanapali on a ground floor apartment, they had a slumber party with us.


Ingrid and Josiah were housing Kellie and Adam Wirth and Nico. The Tsunami warning definitely added a little drama but it was a ‘no show’.

The swim was rougher than last year but I wasn’t super concerned. I lined up close to Josiah on the far right, not anticipating swimming with him of course, but to follow his bubbles for a few seconds! We/ everyone got caught in the current last year and ended up waay to far left, so I was following the boss.


The swim course was in a ‘M’ shape this year. Starting from the beach it went out for 375m then back into the beach for a short beach run and then back in for the second buoy. The swim start this year was in waves, 1 minute apart.

1. Pro men & women
2. All age group men
3. All age group women


I was hoping to have lots of fast feet pass me so I could try and hang on for the ride. The first lap felt pretty good. Heading out for the second lap got confusing. There were people swimming in to me as I headed out to the 2nd buoy. People were drifting south. The 2nd lap was definitely choppier and tougher to sight the buoy with more swell. Swimming in from the last buoy was messy. I got climbed over a few times which is odd, this usually happens near the start. It really screwed up my rhythm and I got caught in a mosh pit. At least it was easier to sight the huge Xterra arch on shore coming back in. I was frustrated with loosing so much time on the second lap, I knew I was already behind.


Hitting the beach I ran the long transition to discover 1 bike left on the rack… this really sweet Ellsworth. Yup, my really sweet Ellsworth. I have to say this was pretty darn deflating. I wanted to scream ‘are you kidding me, can we start again?’ This was time to boogie. I head out of T1 with what felt like a pretty sluggish transition 2:42, this was possibly due to the fact that so many thoughts ran through my head in a matter or nano seconds. The fastest women’s transition was 1:54. I started drinking straight away. Drink early was what I had planned. I never usually race with a CamelBak but the bike was going to take almost 2 hours and when we pre-rode I was drenched with sweat a half mile into the course. The night before I almost changed my mind but ‘Murphy’s Law’.


The first mile is straight up the golf cart path and there are some pretty steep pitches (Sandy, think little ring, smallest gear possible, pedal or fall off) it made me think of the CompuTrainer when you can’t change gears.

I wanted to burn a few matches early to get past as many people as possible. The first few miles of the bike course have enough room to pass in places but I was finding that when I was coming up on people, it was where it was narrow or a little sketchy. Unfortunately I found myself having to settle and pass when I could. I was getting this heavy feeling in my legs and just felt flat. It was really hard to get any power from my legs. I honestly have never really had this feeling to this extent in a race before. I have maybe felt a little flat but this was no snap. They weren’t hurting and it was’t that lactic burn, it was weird.

I knew I was not on pace when a few girls I am on par with, blew by me in a matter of seconds, they were out of sight in 30. I tried to dig a little deeper. I rode as hard as I could manage that day. I was frustrated. I needed to put in the hardest effort possible or I wouldn’t be able to look myself in the eye after the race. If it wasn’t fast enough then I could live with that. I couldn’t live with giving up.


The last few miles were challenging as I couldn’t drop into my little ring. There was a bunch of dust and sand crunching around and gumming up my chain. I came in off the bike 5-10 mins behind where I thought I should have been, looking forward to the run (very unusual for me). I was hoping to have a better performance. I did.


Last year I ran 56:00, this year 52:47. I reminded myself of high cadence, keeping my hips forward and chest up. I passed Brett and he said “Tammy this is where you need to make a decision”. I knew exactly what he was talking about. Everyone always has their best intentions to race as hard as possible. It takes believing in yourself to trust that you will perform that game plan and not succumb to the evil voice in your head that is trying to sabotage you and slow down to a comfortable pace. I chose to ignore my internal room mate. Competitive racing and finding your limits is not about being comfortable. The thing is you can pushing your body further than the mind tells it. I was intent on trying to find another gear in the run. It doesn’t hurt that much to go faster, it’s never as bad as you imagine it may be. Try it.


The first mile was mostly climbing the second was a Rollercoaster of downhill across the hill and some shorter punch uphills. I was telling myself “I run quickly uphills”. Mile 3 to just past 4 definitely felt longer than I remember, it may be that there is not a tone of shade. In hindsight I didn’t hammered the downhills but over all I am stoked with my performance on the run. I was please I ran the nasty black road at mile 4.5 that reduced me to power walking last year. I saw Brett and my bro just before the techy dry creek bed and when I hit the beach Shane ran beside me in the sand.


If anyone has an older brother or siblings, you may relate. All my life, I have wanted to impress my brother and have him proud of me. In my mind he is good at everything. I guess we all secretly seek our siblings approval (if you like them). I know that he is proud of me, but it won’t stop me from seeking it. It was really cool that he stayed with me for a good 300 yards, thanks Shaneo.


I saw the clock and noticed 3:22, happy I was done. Everyone feels like crap when they finish so I sat down in the shade and let myself get a little emotional for a minute. There was a flood of relief that the race was over but this also meant the bitter sweet end to a season of hard work, it was over and I was disappointed that my last race went terrible wrong. After soaking it in, it is only 1 race and I know that it does not define me.


I have learnt many lessons this year and there are many more to be learnt. The more I race, the more races I will have that are not exactly the results I am capable of, but it is these that you gain the most from. Winning all the time would be fun, but the reward is so much greater when you have had to work you ass of to get there, I don’t want it handed to me (and I have discovered that that clearly won’t be happening). So bring on the struggles and hard work and test me to see if I can stick it out to the podium.


I need to thank my family and Brett for the incredible amount of support for this race. I know Brett calls it the “Tammy show” and it is, I appreciate his support more than he knows. I am also blessed to have Moontime take such incredible care of me and my bike this year. Frank Mitchell is an integral part of keeping things running smoothly, Frank is the best. Ellsworth will always be my favorite steed and Primal thanks for the sweet looking kits.

See you on snowshoes in a month!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Kapalua, Maui

Last little push

There is 1 week till worlds & thank god, the volume of training is dropping. It was either me or the training.

Wednesday’s track session was chilly & windy. It was 10 x 90 sec intervals.
4 x 400m on the track with a 200m jog/ walk between for recovery, followed by 4 x 90 sec hill repeats. Then it was back to the track for another 2 x 400′s.


This workout did not seem as daunting as the past few weeks, but not a walk in the park either, it ended up 7 miles.

I ticked one goal off the bathroom mirror this season. It was to be able to run my 400m track repeats at 1 min 25 seconds or under. Wednesday at the track was not quite a scorcher of a run but 1:27 for every single 400 was more than consistent.

I am beginning to believe that I am stronger than I give myself credit for. I know I am not alone here. We all doubt ourselves & our capabilities. Which reminds me of Michael Jordan’s quote “You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them”.


Today’s workout was redeeming. I had some really hard but shorter intervals on the bike followed by a run. I have been struggling with my running lately. I constantly feel fatigued, almost 20 hours of training a week will do that to you. I have been telling myself unconsciously “I am not a runner”, but not today, I told myself I weighed 5 pounds lighter than I do. Anyway I ran much faster than expected & it felt great. My legs didn’t feel heavy (excuse the pun) despite the VO2 max intervals. Finally a light at the end of the tunnel.


Brett & I decided to spend a long weekend in Fruita this weekend to get in a little technical riding & warmer weather. We rode yesterday/ Friday & I was
unsure of how my legs would fare, but we kept it on the easy side & re-rode some of the technical stuff till we got it. It was a great day, confidence building, nailed the nemesis, boo yah!

I am psyched to watch the Colorado High School MTB State Championships tomorrow. Heidi Livran & Rita Gutierrez are going to crush it. Go girls. Best of luck to all the Vail Composite Team. They are an amazing group of kids, watch out for them on any podium. Here they are training at Berry Creek last Tuesday.


So off to bed for a big day of cowbell & watching high school kids kick up some dust. Zeke is knackered, Prime Cut & Joe’s Ridge today burnt the little man out. Although I must say he is smart enough to work out that he can cut the corners!


We fly out to Maui on Wednesday morning 7am. Where I get to have a little Aussie family reunion. Can’t wait to see my Mum, Dad & big Bro. Sleep well.

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