Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Post-race report - Multisport Canada Barrelman Half-Ironman

All season leading up to this race, I was wondering what I'd gotten myself into. I only did my first Olympic distance race a few months ago, and here I was signed up for a half-Ironman. On the plus side of this there were absolutely no expectations, my goal was simply to finish, so race morning I was significantly less nervous than I usually am. The weather turned out to be perfect. Sunny, temperature in the mid-teens and only a bit of wind. And of course the Niagara region is gorgeous, especially this time of year.

My only disappointment with race day was that it was the same day as the 35th Annual Terry Fox Run. Terry is my athletic hero and I haven't missed a Run since I started them back in elementary school. So, I did the next best thing and ran with ribbons from previous Runs - one on my race top and one in my hair. I was thrilled to see at least two other athletes wearing Terry Fox Run shirts out on the run course, too!

My dad's signature line of encouragement when I'm racing: "Do it for Terry!"

The swim was the only discipline that I'd raced this distance before, but it still felt really long. Luckily it was in a man-made canal so it was warm (almost too warm actually!) and smooth. I started in the Pro wave (why I signed up as Pro I have no idea...) so most of my wave was out of sight right off the start. Luckily the next wave started only a minute back though and once they caught me I was able to get on some feet and draft pretty much the entire way. For a bit there I couldn't swim straight, not sure why, but the way the course was set up there were small buoys every few metres so once I realized this it helped me stay in a straight line. I was actually pretty happy with my pace throughout, and I never felt overly tired - but as always I was still very relieved to get to shore and get on with the better parts of the race!

In the background is the Welland Flatwater Centre where we did the swim.

The bike portion felt great! My goal was to hold an average pace of 30kph but since I wasn't even doing my long rides at 25kph leading up to it I thought that was a long shot. As it turned out, I averaged almost 32kph. The majority of the race was a slight downhill, but also into a bit of a headwind, so I'm not sure which contributed more but effort-wise I was really happy to have been able to hold the pace I did. I also fuelled better than I had in training (although I still probably need to double my caloric intake if I want to be competitive in these things in the future!) I felt tired by the end of course, but not nearly as much as I'd expected.

We did two loops on the run, going by the Falls twice. So pretty :)

I'm going to start with a disclaimer (not an excuse, a disclaimer :P ) - I've never run 21k before. Not even for an easy run. Coach Mark and I discussed beforehand that I would only do the full run if I felt pretty good, and not to push it and re-aggravate my shins. I actually started out feeling pretty good, and holding a decent pace but something I thought I might be able to hold for a while. But then I did hit a wall, as I expected to. Unfortunately that wall was at 15k, about as far out as I could have been on the course. So instead of dropping out I started walking, so I would at least finish. 500m later I got to an aid station, and realized how hungry I was (fuelling was good on the bike, but all I'd had on the run was energy drink - NOT smart). The volunteers asked what I wanted to eat: a banana, pretzels, grapes, orange slices, a gel ... and I said "one of everything!" Best food I'd ever had in my life. And amazingly, once I'd finished, I felt better and was able to run again. At a decent pace, too! After that, there were two more aid stations where I proceeded to stop and stuff my face, and then continue mostly running through the park, past the falls, and FINALLY to the finish line.


Overall, I was actually very happy with my debut half-Iron. I was pleased with how I did for the majority of it, and I know what I need to do to improve on the last 6k of the run for next time. And there will definitely be a next time - I really liked this distance!

I did still get 3rd in the Pro Female division (there were only 3 of us).

Thus concludes my 2015 season! It's been fun, rewarding, and a great learning experience. I've met lots of great athletes and supporters, tried my hand at longer race distances, and I'm coming away from these last few months a little older and wiser about this wonderful, crazy sport of triathlon. Huge thank you to my family, friends, teammates and supporters; Coach Mark and Billy (whose Barrelman experience strangely almost mirrored mine - check out his blog here). Thank you so much to Multisport Canada for accepting me onto their 2015 Ambassador Team - it's been a pleasure racing  the series this year! Thank you to TeamLPC for all of your dedication and support for myself and the rest of the Hurdle Project athletes. Thank you MainCycle Hamilton for keeping my beloved bike running smoothly :P   And thanks to you, for reading!

As for what's next for me, I'm incredibly excited (and more than a little nervous!) to be starting a new job tomorrow as a Physiotherapy Resident for Eramosa Physiotherapy Associates. 3 days a week I'll be back at the very familiar Health and Performance Centre on Guelph campus, and the other 2 I'll be in downtown Guelph. And after a week or two of down time, it'll be back to the grind getting ready for the 2016 triathlon season!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Post-race report - MSC Wasaga Beach Olympic tri

Another great race put on by Multisport Canada this weekend! Wasaga Beach was my first tri 8 years ago, and always a favourite location because so many of my relatives live in the area. This year it served as Club Championships, and it was great to see so many teamLPC athletes out competing and cheering over the weekend.

This was easily the choppiest and most difficult swim I've done in a race. I'm glad I've done a bit of training in windy Kingston so I've at least encountered rough water before, but I wasn't prepared for how difficult drafting and sighting would be when I was also trying to hold a half-decent speed at the same time. Luckily there was a pretty big group of LPC athletes swimming about the same speed, so I did catch a draft occasionally, but I'm sure I was heading in the wrong direction half the time and I was feeling pretty seasick by the end. The feeling getting to shore was similar to how I'd expect to feel finally getting to port after a long, exhausting trip out to sea.

Thrown off by the swim and sitting further back in position than I was hoping for, I jumped on the bike and started pounding right away. A few minutes in I'd caught 2 girls but quickly realized I was going too fast and slowed down to a pace that was just comfortably uncomfortable. I think after that I was pretty consistent, a strong pace but something I could maintain, despite some uncomfortable false flats and some rough road.

After pushing the pace on the bike, my legs were feeling a bit heavy starting the run. I was very worried about starting out too fast, because that has ruined countless races in the past. The first k was right on target, 4:15, but the next few were a bit faster and by the turnaround I knew I wouldn't be able to maintain the speed the whole way. Just past the turn I saw Lauren behind me, barreling towards the halfway point looking much much stronger than I felt. I started fading right around 8k, and right about then she caught me, but luckily stayed right behind until the 500m-or-so homestretch. I tried making a move a few 100m from the finish but it was too far out, and I fell back. My dad was right there yelling "keep pushing!" and I'm pretty sure I yelled back "I can't!" (not my proudest moment...). Then, just before the finish, the small part of my brain that was still coherent quietly reminded me that the moment I crossed that line, it would be all over and I would instantly feel better. So I tried one last attempt at a full-out sprint. The result is below:

Not my worst pain-face ever. But close.

Overall I'm very happy with how the race went. I think I even handled those swim conditions okay, all things considered. Last step on the road to Barrelman, now less than 3 weeks away!

Thanks to everyone who has helped me along the way: family (so happy to have both of my parents and my Grandma there cheering me on!), friends, MainCycle Hamilton, teamLPC and the Hurdle Project, Multisport Canada/Recharge with Milk and the Ambassador team. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Post-race report - Multisport Canada Toronto Island sprint tri

Who knew you could fit an entire triathlon on a fairly small island? Granted, it was a sprint tri - which felt short after my recent adventures with long course racing - but it was still quite the feat. The bike was 2 loops and the run was 4, which made for a spectator-friendly and fun race course. Definitely one I want to do again!

"High" doesn't really relate to triathlon at all. So naturally this is the word we chose.

I came into this race feeling a bit unprepared. I'd been feeling tired and unmotivated the week leading up to the race, and the stress of waiting for the results of my physiotherapy board exam didn't help in the slightest. In the end though, a bit less training in that week gave me a bit of extra energy on race day and I ended up being very happy with my performance.

This was either right before or after Billy missed my attempted high-five. It's okay though, I'm sure all the spectators didn't notice :)

I've been used to starting the swim in deep water, so starting shallower threw me off a bit. The start was a bit chaotic and it took a while to get into a rhythm. I never did find anyone to draft either, so I swam alone and did my best to focus on good form. My arms felt tired by the end, which is probably a sign that I'm actually using them more, which is good! In the end the swim felt about average. I wasn't overly happy with my time but I never really am in the swim.

New Rudy Project helmet! I did like that giant golf ball but this one is much more aero :)

Rarely do I get the chance to bike with someone who is a similar speed to me - I'm usually all on my own with the occasional strong cyclist blowing by me as if I'm standing still. This time I was lucky enough that my MSC Ambassador teammate Lauren had a similar swim time and we were able to get out on the bike together and push each other. The course was very flat which felt great after all my recent training in hilly Peterborough, and I held a good pace and came into T2 in 3rd place overall right behind Lauren.

Finally!!! my run is coming back :) After almost 3 months off and a very slow and painful return to running (and a few disappointing run splits) it seems all the patience has paid off and I managed a comfortable 20:02 5k off the bike. This is great motivation to keep working on it, and hopefully pull out some solid sub-20s next season.

Overall podium - lots of MSC Ambassador representation! :)

Overall I was happy with the race, and now I'm feeling a lot more motivated going into two of my biggest races of the season: next weekend's MSC Wasaga Beach Olympic tri (also Provincial Club Championships!) and of course the MSC Barrelman half Ironman- less than a month away! Thanks so much to my family, friends and supporters: Multisport Canada/Recharge with Milk and my fellow Ambassadors, team LPC and the Hurdle Project, and MainCycle Hamilton. And thank you for reading :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Post-race report: MSC K-Town Long Course

On Sunday I raced my first long course triathlon, at my hometown course in Kingston. I have done the K-Town Tri short course before but this year I decided to try my hand at the longer distance (the Barrelman half Ironman is now less than 2 months away!)

I think it being a very familiar course was a huge advantage, because there was nowhere on the course that I didn't know where I was and how much further I had to go. It certainly made the 3 1/2 hours a bit more bearable - even enjoyable! And it was the perfect weather for it too - very little wind, blue skies but not too hot until the very end.

The 2k swim was certainly the most daunting of the increased distances, but when I was in the water it surprisingly didn't feel much longer than the other swims I've done this year. I caught a draft right off the start as I always try to, but recognized after a few 100m that I could go faster so passed by and ventured out of my own for a bit. I found another pair of feet about halfway through, but these feet weren't thrilled about being drafted and, after dodging a bit, the attached swimmer just stopped swimming completely and moved out of the way so I'd go by. So I was back to swimming on my own. The whole swim I could see a decent-sized lead pack way out ahead, and realized how badly I need to work on my swim over this coming winter! But I got out of this swim feeling pretty fresh, which was the most important thing for the time being.

I'm not sure how I feel about that bike. The majority of it felt really good, I felt strong off the start for the first half, and finished feeling strong as well, but somewhere in the middle I got a fairly bad leg cramp and felt like I slowed down a lot. I wasn't being passed though, so maybe that was just that part of the course (going into a bit of a headwind - and maybe going a bit uphill? I can never actually tell these kinds of things unless they're really obvious!) Anyway, the cramp went away and I starting feeling stronger again in the last 10-15k and again this 56k course didn't feel quite as long as I expected it would.

Repeat after me: DON'T try something new for race day. Just DON'T.
... In my case this was a different, more effective type of carb-loading than the typical night-before pasta dinner. I tried increasing my carb intake significantly the two days prior to the race (including pasta lunch AND pasta dinner on Saturday!). Maybe it did help to some extent, because I didn't hit a wall or anything during the run, I just spent the entire 15k feeling very bloated and nauseous. In the end though, that forced me to start out slow, and I was able to maintain my pace and even pick it up a bit for the last 2k. I averaged 4:34/km and, when counting the two outhouse breaks, was probably closer to 4:30s, which I'm really happy with. And the best part of the run was running the last 100m with the friendly neighbourhood Pac-Man and two ghosts who looked remarkably similar to three of my Queen's Triathlon teammates - you guys are awesome!!

Overall, I'm very pleased with my first long course tri. I finished in 6th place in what turned out to be a very competitive field. There are certainly things I now know I need to work on (I didn't really need nutrition in the shorter races!) but having done the first one I now know I can do it, and it's all uphill from here (yes there's a double meaning there). 

I missed the overall podium but - slightly embarrassingly - was the only one registered as Pro rather than AG Elite. So I did get a podium pic!

Big thanks to Multisport Canada/Recharge with Milk (another race well organized and very successful!), MainCycle Hamilton, teamLPC and the Hurdle Project, and all my wonderful and supportive friends and family for all that you do. Thanks for reading! Depending on how I recover this week, my next one will either be MSC Bracebridge this coming Sunday or MSC Toronto Island three weekends later.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Importance of a Strong Core

As a physiotherapy student, one of my goals for this blog is to pass along some general training and injury prevention tips to my followers. I’ll start with a disclaimer though – every body is different and if you ARE injured, the best thing to do is to seek advice from a healthcare provider who can assess and treat your specific concern. These tips are meant as general prevention strategies for healthy athletes wanting to avoid injury down the road.

To start, think of your body as a chain of connected parts. Everything has to be working properly in order for you to function well as a whole. Someone with knee pain may have functional knees, but tight or weak muscles in their hips. Someone else coming off a shoulder injury may suddenly have problems with their opposite shoulder from overcompensating while the injury was recovering. In keeping with this theme, one of the best places to target for injury prevention is right in the middle of the body – your core.

“Core” is not the same as “abs”. Your core is essentially the muscles stabilizing your torso – including your abdominals, back muscles and pelvic floor muscles.

Generally there are two steps to strengthening muscles that aren’t used to working during a functional activity: first you isolate the muscle and strengthen it on its own, and then you add functional movements while still keeping the muscle active. Using the example of the deepest abdominal muscle, the transverse abdominis or TA:

Isolate: You’ll be able to feel the muscle just inside the front of your hip bone. Lying on your back, sink your fingers into your abdomen and start counting out loud without taking a breath. Around 10 or 15 you should start to feel a deep muscle tighten under your fingers. Once the muscle turns on, hold for a count of 10.

Add functional movement: Keeping your TA active and your torso still, slowly lift one leg off the floor at a time. Only add this step once you have had practice isolating the muscle and can keep it active during the movement. You can also activate the muscle during daily activities - even sitting at a desk at school or work - to get it used to being active.


Having a stable core is very important for both performance and injury prevention. If the core muscles are weak it will take more energy to try to maintain a good posture during a key workout or big race, taking away from energy that could be used towards a better performance. As endurance athletes this is particularly important because we are asking our muscles to perform for long periods of time.

Also, having weak core muscles predisposes your body to injuries because each muscle you use for each activity has an optimal position it should be in to perform at its best - so if your core can't hold your body in a correct posture there may be unnecessary strains on your muscles that, when a movement is done over and over for the length of a triathlon (or any other endurance-type sport), may lead to an overuse injury. Aside from muscle injury, a strong core also helps to protect the bones and ligaments of the spine from unnecessary forces during activity that may cause injury as well.

Often, endurance athletes neglect strengthening exercises when they should be an important part of any training program. (Myself included - I just got back to my regular gym routine a couple weeks ago after a very busy spring. It happens!) But, if nothing else, if you devote a small portion of your training time to core work every day or every other day, it will help you perform better and prevent injuries in the long run!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Post-race report - MSC Gravenhurst Olympic tri

Well, I've now officially finished my first full Olympic distance tri! And the 1.5k swim wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting. Again the conditions were great for this race. It got very hot for the rest of the weekend but luckily our race was pretty early so we missed most of the heat. Completely by chance, my mom had booked a hotel within 100m of the transition zone, which made for a stress-free race morning.

Luckily this wasn't Lake Ontario we were jumping into without a warmup!!

This was the most unique swim portion I've done. We were taken out to the start of the swim by boat, jumped off the boat and swam to the start buoys. The start signal was even the boat's horn! (may have missed that...) Once I started I was able to get a draft right away, and the swimmer ahead was just fast enough that it was comfortably uncomfortable to stay behind her. We may have been going off course a bit, but that was nothing compared to how much it happened at Woodstock! I focused on kicking as little as possible and sighting only when I really needed to, and got out of the water feeling like I'd done a good workout but my legs feeling fresh.

I don't think the elite guys were thrilled with the swim cap colour choice this time...

The bike was a nice combination of rolling hills and false flats (that I swear were going downhill both ways! It was great!) I maintained a good effort throughout, keeping my cadence high, and was happy to see that my speed was significantly faster than my other races this season even though I came off the bike still feeling fresh (ish) for the run.

The first half of the run felt great! The course was rolling hills but I was feeling good so they weren't overly tough. I'm not sure if it was the weather starting to heat up or the longer race distance, but I hit a wall at 5k and painfully slogged my way back over the same rolling course (which was suddenly REALLY hard) to finish in just under 2 hours 22 mins.

Overall I'm very happy with how my racing has been coming along this season, and there is still plenty to work on to keep me motivated. The swim, bike, and first half of the run felt strong and I look forward to what more experience at this distance will do.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support: Multisport Canada/Recharge with Milk and my fellow MSC Ambassadors, teamLPC and the Hurdle Project and my new sponsor MainCycle Hamilton (the bike's running great!).

Thanks Coach Mark, Billy and my family for everything you do. Thanks, Mom, for making the drive out, cheering and just generally making my weekend easier :) And, thanks to you for reading!

Next up is the MSC K-Town tri on the long weekend. And, 7 weeks from then until Barrelman!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Post-race report - Garrison Long-course Triathlon


Yesterday I had the pleasure of racing the inaugural Garrison triathlon in Kingston - which also happened to be my inaugural Olympic distance tri! The Garrison tri was put on by Fort Henry National Historical Site and CFB Kingston, so a large proportion of the run course was through the Royal Military College and finished right inside Fort Henry (pictures are coming soon!).

I was very impressed by how well this event was run - the course was incredibly well-marked and the organizers and volunteers were very helpful. Special thanks to Rick's Bike Repair, a sponsor of the race, who did free pre-race bike safety checks and taught me a thing or two about bike mechanics the day before the race!

Also, whoever was in charge of the day's weather deserves a special thanks as well! On a day that had been shaping up to be absolutely miserable conditions (40kph winds, torrential downpour, 12-15 degrees C), it turned out to be close to ideal racing conditions. The wind and rain died down a bit throughout the morning, and without those nasty conditions 15 degrees wasn't half bad. This was especially lucky for me, because I'd only brought my disc wheel, which I wouldn't have been able to ride had the wind actually gone up to 40kph.

Because of the initial windy conditions, the race crew decided to shorten the swim from 1500m to 750m - which definitely played to my advantage. We had an in-water start off the dock at RMC. I was able to get on Billy's feet within the first 100m or so (ideal, since most of my drafting practice is with him) and hung on for the whole swim. He had a great swim, and my arms were burning by the end but I came out of the water in 4th with very fresh legs.

Since it was still cold, I took the extra time in T1 to throw on a shirt and bike shorts, which was very worth it! The bike course was a there-and-back route along highway 2, an open stretch of highway with lots of rolling hills - but pretty much the only road I ever ride on in Kingston so I was familiar with where the hills were. The way out was into a strong headwind, so it was quite a struggle but I kept my effort manageable and my cadence up and was only passed once. Turning around at 20k brought the huge relief of a strong tailwind for the 20k back. Never has that stretch of road seemed so short! I finished back at RMC in 7th place feeling pretty good but still dreading the 10k run.

This was a very tough run course, and I was lucky that I've run through most of it numerous times during cross-country season (2.5k of it was on our very own cross-country course). Rolling hills, even moreso than on the bike course, kept the speed in check throughout. I made a conscious effort to start off pretty slow so I didn't burn out partway through, but I couldn't seem to pick up the pace as I went. Luckily everyone around me must have been feeling the same way, and I maintained my position. All-in-all, my pace was much slower than I was hoping for, but getting through my first Olympic distance run gave me a mental boost more than anything else for races to come.

I finished in 7th overall, and 1st overall female. Overall I was happy with the swim and the bike, and hopefully the run will continue slowly coming back as the season progresses. It was a fun first Olympic distance race (although to be fair I have yet to do a 1500m swim so that will be the next challenge!) which will prepare me well for my next one, Multisport Canada's Gravenhurst Olympic tri, on July 18th. Hope to see you there!

Thank you so much to the organizers, volunteers and everyone who made this race a success - I definitely plan to race the Garrison tri for many years to come. Thanks to my coach Mark Linseman and my teammates at LPC and the Hurdle Project for all of your continuous support and camaraderie - I wouldn't be where I am without all of you. :)

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Post-race report - Multisport Canada Woodstock sprint tri

Well. First race of the season is now under my belt! I've heard the first race is often known as a "rust-buster", and that definitely applied here. My training has come a long way in the off-season, but putting it all together can sometimes be something else completely. On the other hand, it was great to be out on a race course again, seeing familiar faces and putting all the training to the test.

This was a much nicer swim than when I did the Woodstock course 2 years ago - the water was pleasantly warm this time! I got off to a good start, finding feet right away and sticking with a group for a decent part of the course. The water conditions were pretty choppy though and I went a bit off course, losing the pack and having to swim the last bit on my own, but the initial drafting advantage helped me get out of the water in a better spot than my relatively weak swim usually does - 7th woman overall.

The strong swim, however, took more of a toll on my body than I'd realized, getting onto the bike and struggling for a good 5 km to recover. Despite my efforts - and my brand-new Campi disc wheel - I couldn't make up positions as I'd hoped and rolled back to T2 still in 7th, having also lost significant time on all the women ahead of me.

I was happy with my run considering having just started back after injury - before the race this was the part I was really worried about. I started at a fairly conservative pace but was able to hold it all the way through. Woodstock is a great run course and I really enjoyed seeing part of the 3-way battle for second place on the men's side, as I was going out and they were coming back. At the end, my signature sprint finish just wasn't happening - which is a good thing, meaning I pushed pretty hard throughout the race and drained the tank already.

Overall, time-wise this was not a great race but for a first race of the season, I was happy with it. Getting back into racing does wonders for my motivation, and now I know what I need to work on. I'm so happy I was able to start the season with such a fun race, on such a great (and warm!!) day.

Big thanks to Multisport Canada/Recharge with Milk for your support this year and to my fellow MSC Ambassadors who all did so well! Big thanks also to everyone at teamLPC and my Hurdle Project teammates for all the encouragement, and endlessly pushing me in training :) And finally, big thanks to my dad for all the last-minute help with my bike 15 minutes before race start - I would probably have missed the race entirely otherwise!!

Thanks for reading! And if you, also, raced in Woodstock this weekend (or anywhere, for that matter) awesome job, and I hope you had fun!

Stay tuned - my next confirmed race is MSC Gravenhurst but I'm trying to schedule some in before that as well...

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Introduction - my first post!

My start in triathlon

I have been a triathlete for 9 years but was passionate about the sport long before then. 9-year-old me just happened to turn on the TV one day just in time for Simon Whitfield’s gold medal finish at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and I decided at that moment that one day I would be a triathlete too.

At age 9, I hadn’t heard of Kids of Steel or any other kids’ races, so I started by trying each of the sports separately. Coming from a small town there were limited opportunities, but my school did have a cross country team. I joined the team in grade 6 and discovered an immense love of running, and luckily a bit of natural talent as well. In grade 8 I joined the local swim team, and discovered quite the opposite was true for swimming. Win some, lose some I guess. To complete the package, for grade 8 graduation I got my first road bike, which I still have to this day. There was never a cycling team in the area, but my dad and his neighbourhood cycling buddies occasionally let me tag along on their slowest, shortest rides!

In high school I focused mainly on running. I joined the Brantford Track and Field Club in grade 11 which helped incredibly. I kept plugging away at the swimming, competing for 3 years, but never really enjoyed it as much. And I biked in the summers occasionally for fun, but nothing competitive. During that time I did two duathlons, both in Wasaga Beach (the first was a “give it a tri” turned du because of nasty water conditions).

I finally did my first “real” triathlon in Guelph Lake in 2009, on Move-In Day for the University of Guelph, where I was starting my undergrad in Bio-Medical Sciences. I absolutely loved it. Even the swim. I loved combining all the sports into one, it not only changed the racing scene up a bit but it was just more interesting.

As I got into school I got busy, and fell into a bit of a rut. I’d missed Guelph’s cross-country team’s standards by a full minute and a half in the 5k, and I clearly wasn’t going to make the swim team, so I just ran recreationally during the school year. I did some biking and swimming the summer of 2010, and a couple sprint triathlons relying mainly on my run fitness. The next year I met my boyfriend, an often-injured runner, and casually introduced him to triathlon. Luckily, he loved it too, and suddenly I had a training buddy. The summer of 2011 we both competed in several triathlons, and then decided to start looking for a coach.

In early 2012 in a stroke of good luck, I was talking to one of my profs and mentioned needing a coach, and that’s how I was introduced to Mark Linseman and the Loaring Personal Coaching team. The difference of having a good coach compared to training on your own is huge – I began to see results right away in all the sports. I tentatively started swimming more, and with structured workouts I actually started to enjoy going to the pool.

Where am I now?
Originally I was only triathlon training with teamLPC in the summer months, but with even those few months of training I was improving significantly so after the summer of 2014 I decided to stay on throughout the year. As a full-time LPC athlete, I was accepted onto the LPC Hurdle Project, a “not-for-profit fundraiser and support program for elite athletes, future elites, and young professionals who dedicate themselves to their work as well as their sport”.

I competed as an age group athlete the summers of 2012-2014 in only sprint races, and this year I am very excited to have gained elite status and also to be going up to the Standard distance.

I am also lucky enough to be on the 2015 Recharge with Milk Ambassador Team.  Multisport Canada has created this team as an athlete development initiative and also as a way to promote Canada’s largest triathlon series.

I made the Queen’s cross-country team when I started at Queen’s in 2013, and raced for 2 years. Immediately after the 2014 season I was off running with an injury, which for the first time allowed me to focus solely on biking and swimming (a blessing in disguise, I guess?). Both are now feeling stronger than ever going into the 2015 season, so I’m excited to see how this coming season goes!