Braveheart Bootcamp

Man its been the most rewarding and hardest thing I’ve ever done! Organizing and executing a camp like this is emotionally and physically draining….I give 110% to these guys at every session and then the prep begins for the next one.

Seeing the transformations of all these great athletes is nothing short of awe inspiring. I love that I can help them on this journey and have an impact on their lives!

I can’t thanks my sponsors enough for helping me make this happen: Kswiss, Trek, GU, CEP, Drymax, X-endurance, AquaSphere,Speedfil, Compex, GoPro Cameras, Slowstep Cycling, Rehab United, Final Fit, Fuel Factor, Performance and Nutrition Coaching.

For sure I’m gonna do another one in Feb to get folks motivated for the upcoming 2012 season…yeah!!!!



I’m Back!

After many months not blogging, I’m gonna make an effort to do so moving forward…

Its been a difficult but amazing year so far. After a 10 week running injury I came back to win 5 out of the last 7 races I’ve done since May 1st….with my first Xterra Championship win and first 70.3 championship win, I’m now enjoying a mid season break before building up for the second half!

In the meantime, bring on the pina coladas (actually that’s a total lie because anyone that really knows me, knows that I don’t drink!), so bring on the chocolate and lets chill!


Trek/K-Swiss Team

Well gang, I am super proud to announce that I have been selected to join the Trek/K-Swiss Team. I am currently out in Hawaii on their team camp and having a total blast.

Never before have I seen such camaraderie, professionalism, commitment to detail and passion for this sport…it has filled me with renewed motivation to know that I am representing the best brands in the business that truly do care about their athletes.

More gossip to follow but first, check out the press release below…

Press Release


Ian Stokell – His prep for Ironman Cancun 70.3

Ian Stokell (my writing-producing partner) and I first bonded not over films but over triathlons. We spend many a writing session on the bikes brainstorming so I’ve decided to post a great article (written by him) about his prep for the Ironman Cancun 70.3 in September:

July 16, 2010

There’s something enticing about the iconic, idyllic image of the Cancun Ironman 70.3: the pristine sandy white beaches, the world-class luxury hotels, the balmy weather with its powder blue skies, and the warm crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean.

Flash back to Southern California in April this year at the competitive California Oceanside 70.3 with its cold 60 degree harbor swim. The negative: Even with a swim skull cap and booties I only made it 100 yards into the swim before my cold water-induced asthma kicked in and I had to make an unceremonious exit to the dockside and a premature end to a race I’d been training for all winter. The positive: Rethink! Enter Cancun Ironman 70.3 with its alluring idealism and those 80 degree waters. No more coldwater wetsuit swims for me!

Even without difficulty breathing in cold conditions, Ironman training is fraught with dubious opportunities for setbacks and injuries because of its relentlessly long and demanding training sessions, day after day after day. And yet injuries are part of the training cycle. It’s how you physically and mentally cope with them that are the key to eventual success.

As I write this I am four days on from badly tweaking my right Achilles tendon again for the second time in six months by simply walking down stairs!

Flexibility in your training regime is not a luxury; it’s a fundamental requirement in getting to the start line.
I’m probably not much different from many long distance triathlon athletes with regards injuries. I can’t remember the last time I had two full months back-to-back where I didn’t have to deal with some injury or setback in training. In the last 18 months I’ve lost many weeks from a bad back (fused 4th vertebrae) which I still have, bad neck (related to the bad back), IT Band Syndrome in the left knee (three months run training lost), badly sprained ankle, crushed and lacerated right foot from a motorcycle accident, Achilles tendon strain (now twice), and a seemingly ongoing right hamstring strain that I can’t quite shake off. And that doesn’t even include the usual day-to-day muscle wear-and-tear that is actually normal for Ironman training. Sound familiar? Business as usual for Ironman training I guess.

There are really two choices for an Ironman athlete faced with training-induced injury. You can either give up Ironman training completely (unlikely with the triathlete mentality or you wouldn’t be Ironman training in the first place!), or adjust your training on the fly and keep going (with lots of pre-exercise stretching). If it’s the latter, it becomes doubly important to also set achievable short- and if necessary, medium-term goals to get you through to the other side of rehab – both physical and practical.
Can’t run for two weeks? Then do more biking. Got a bad back? Then wear a wet suit for support when you swim in the pool. You have to train! Water temperature too cold so you can’t breathe? Then find an Ironman 70.3 race where that’s not an issue.

Don’t look for excuses, look for answers.

Yet training flexibility and adapting your training regime to injuries is only half the battle. Ironman is a mental game. If your mind is not in the race, your body will soon crash and burn.

Your mind has to reach the finish line before your body. Once your mind gets there, your body will follow.
So all touchy feely, New Age hocus pocus aside, it struck me recently that there is a roundabout fundamental truth in the notion of the Law of Attraction, but with a slight twist: think positive thoughts and you’ll get a positive outcome, think negative thoughts and you’re pretty much screwed!

And yet that’s really just Coaching 101. Because negative thoughts are an inevitable self-fulfilling prophesy, while positive thoughts will lead to success.
Why mention it in reference to Ironman 70.3? Well, Ironman racing and training have a pretty discerning mental palette. If you bring negative thoughts to the daily mileage table that you have to commit to, just to get to the start line, the filet minion you see on the distant finish line menu will turn into a fatty fast food cheeseburger long before you’ve had time to order a glass of water – vitamin enhanced of course!

Positive thoughts are needed to drive an Ironman athlete in those dark, early morning training days in winter when it’s cold and raining outside and, cocooned within the comforting sanctuary of warm bed clothes, the snooze button has been hit for the third time but it keeps coming back like an annoying mosquito five minutes later. Positive thoughts are needed to drive you to keep going at the end of a 15 mile training run when it feels like needles are being jabbed in to your quads with every step.

So, as seems to be the norm, my training emphasis has changed again. Now I have to settle on a delicate balance between obtaining the fastest time in the race as possible and making sure my body can even reach the finish line in an Ironman 70.3 at whatever turns out to be my race pace on the day.

Training-wise, I’m now focused on a methodical, yet simple approach to my weekly regime. Swim – two or three 2.5km swims to hopefully improve my bad technique while building endurance. Cycling – three or four two-hour “increasing resistance every 15 minute” turbos indoors to promote a steady bike leg in the race (turbo training offers a safe, predictable environment). Run – three 6-13 mile “contained speed” runs to encourage an injury free half marathon finish (with occasional interval training segments to increase such fundamentals as VO2 max).
No doubt all will soon be adjusted for whatever problem turns up tomorrow.

The bottom line? Adapt and continue. Lead with a positive mental attitude and the body will follow. In other words, be prepared to overcome whatever setback or injury presents itself with a positive mental attitude and flexibility in training. And just keep going.


Frazer Cartmell Wins Ironman UK

Its been a long time since I’ve posted but this is the right way to start back up again. My boy Frazer Cartmell Just won the UK ironman Champs. Hawaii here we come…



What does your coach cook for you?

Vincent FicheraSlowstep Cycling . He’s my coach and he rocks!

Last night I went round to his house and he cooked me up some great nosh! Buffalo steaks with pan fried carrots, sauteed potatoes and garlic spicy bread…who else has a coach like that?!

We have gone on quite a journey together. He has developed into an amazing artist, a warm and caring guy and has really opened up my eyes to different ways of training and of seeing myself. I’d like to think I’ve had a hand in teaching him the ways of us women. Ultimately we have grown together.

It really is amazing when you find a coach that’s first and foremost a friend and secondly, someone who you really trust to take you to the top.

He believes in me and I believe in him. Simple as that really.


Wildflower – Tough Day at the Office

Wildflower 1/2. That is one tough race. Unfortunately it was a tough race for all the wrong reasons. I haven’t had a race like this for a while but I genuinely wanted to quit and I had to muster up all my mental energy just to finish the darn thing.

It’s been a tough month since the highs of Oceanside 70.3.

It all started from falling off my mountain bike AGAIN, about 2 weeks before Oceanside! I broke a rib and thought here we go…what a great start to the season. However, after some bio-laser therapy (thanks Jane!), I was up and going after only 5 days. Of course I decided to do a mountain bike race and in protecting my broken rib, I managed to hit my knee very very hard when sliding through some sand. No big deal I thought. It’s just a bruise! Well let me tell you, a bruised patella is THE most painful thing.

In the week leading up to Oceanside, the knee did not heal, in fact it got worse. I figured how bad can it get from the race? I’ve trained hard for this, so lets give it a shot. The race went great, but the knee was agony the whole time. In fact, after the race, I actually wondered if I was going to be able to get up on stage to get my award! How embarrassing would that have been?

Needless to say that walking was a challenge for the next few days. I was in total despair. With all the publicity I was getting from this race, I felt the pressure fall down on my shoulders. What’s your next race? When can I train with you? Wanna come out on the bike tomorrow? Ahhhhhhh!

And so for the next 3 weeks I couldn’t bike or run. I really had to delve into my emotional well and get some perspective. I focused on what I love about this sport and why it’s important to me. I focused on gratefulness at being given the work ethic and talent and for having the opportunities in my life to realize them.

In reading the blog of my TT team member Dan Hugo (about his illness/fatigue), I could completely relate. When something like triathlon is so integral to your being, it’s incredibly difficult when you can’t experience the daily highs of the endorphins or the mind body connection journey that takes place every day…several times a day. I guess all you can do is focus on the positives. What can I learn about myself from this experience? How can I grow from it? It sounds sort of cheesy but it does work!

So an x-ray, an MRI and several therapy sessions later, I was able to get back on the saddle so to speak.

After 1 week of good training, I hit Vegas Xterra West Cup. I was so euphoric to be back in action, I believe that carried me through the race. However, Wildflower was a different kettle of fish. I tried to keep positive but I had nothing there.

The thing is…those girls out there were strong. Super strong. I hate to give excuses cos that’s not me. Those gals were just better than me on the day and there was nothing I could do about it. And Julie Dibens…no comment. She is a top chick with major talent. I had the pleasure of sharing a cabin with her and yes folks, she really is that nice!!!

Now that my knee is a good solid 95% better, I’m gonna be back on full training. Let’s hope my head catches up with my body at the same rate!!

So Wildflower…don’t think I’ll be back any time soon!!!!


Xterra West Cup

I had forgotten how darn hard Xterra’s are! After having a great build up to Oceanside 70.3 , I had a few troubled weeks leading into this race where I didn’t quite get the speed work in that I know you need for this style of racing.

So, off we went. The heart rate shot up and I plowed through what felt like a long choppy swim. I came out a good minute behind Mel which was not ideal but I quickly got through transition and onto the bike!

This course is a tough one. Steep climbs, pegged heart rate and a few technical descends. Still, I felt strong and kept plugging away. Shonny blew past me like I was standing still, about 3/4 of a lap into the bike. She dusted it and I never saw her again! Go girl!

I felt solid throughout, enjoying the scenery and being back on my mountain bike again – in fact my new Jamis which is super smooth by the way! I figured I would have time to catch up Mel and Shonny on the run but boy was I wrong. Shonny won it out the park and I got within a minute and a half of Mel.

A good start to the Xterra season but plenty of speed work needed on my end to get back to these girls!

Well done to my best pals Jess and Tam. Tams placed first in her age group and Jess was 2nd. Must have been those pre-race puddings and boy talk that did it!  If only you knew what goes on in our hotel bedrooms……

Hey and well done to team-mate Conrad Stolz – he rocked it out the park!

Off to Wildflower it is!


Road Trip

Today I set off with my 2 best friends, Tammy and Jess, to embark on our first Xterra race of the season.

We’re driving to the West Cup in Vegas. Jess (who is a chef), has prepared all our meals, Tammy has the entertainment and my role will be just to keep them relaxed about the race!

When I think about all the good times I’ve had in triathlon, it’s been because of the friends I have made along the way. Somehow, when you suffer together through the ups and downs of training and racing, you form a unique bond that is difficult to re-create with others.

Girls being girls, we’ll talk about everything and anything so low and behold anyone who gets in our way.

So here we go, our adventure begins!


Run Forrest Run – Oceanside 70.3

finish line oceanside

So, I decided this year that I would have a more calculated bash at the 70.3 distance. And I guess it’s paid off so far…

You know I really wasn’t nervous about this race going into it, even although everyone else was trying to put pressure on me. I’ve had a great winter of training with my awesome coach Vince Fichera and I picked up a great new sponsor for my bikes – Jamis Bicycles – so I was ready to rumble.

Surprisingly the water wasn’t too cold (for a change), and before I new it, we were off! The goggles fogged up immediately (never try a new pair out of the box on race day!), so I weaved in and out and ended up a little bit further down the pack than I had anticipated.

I jammed onto the bike, a little nervous that this was only my 4th time ever on this bike, and indeed my 4th time ever on a proper TT bike. Was it going to be my ass, my back or my hamstrings that would go first??!!

Neither actually! The bike was amazing and I gradually picked off a load of chicks to come in only 5 mins down on the leaders. All the hard work this winter was paying off!

I knew my running was going well so I stormed out of transition, ready to plow through the field.

I must admit, it was an amazing feeling with the crowds of San Diego cheering me on. A ton my own athletes were racing and then most of my training buddies were out to give me a shout so this kept me going through the tough times. Passing through the 3 mile mark at 17.15, I new I had a chance to get close to the top.

I picked them off until I got into 2nd place. At one point I was closing the gap on Mirinda but she is one strong mama so there was no catching her!

All in all, a wonderful experience, a home crowd, and a great way to start the season.

Thanks to hubby for being my main support of the day and again, thanks to all my peeps for being there to cheer me on. You all made it a special day!