Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Noosa meltdown

Thank you Noosa!

Wow, you can take me back anytime you want.

After a week I'd rather forget, the flight to Noosa opened a different world far away from the troubles in Sydney, a world that I could have quite comfortably stayed in...

We arrived in Sunny (but not actually that warm) Brisbane Thursday morning, threw the bags in the back of the hire car and went off in search of food. The decision to fly to Brisbane was a good one as there was only one other bike on the flight so we had no issues (unlike some unlucky people who flew into the Sunny Coast...). Arriving in Noosa is always a wonderful feeling and that afternoon was no different, we pulled into our lush apartment in Little Cove and instantly knew that we had made a good decision!
Keeping low key the first night Aimee and I snuck off to a nice restaurant for dinner to try enjoy part of the weekend not related to triathlons :)

Our apartment for the week! Freaking awesome!

Friday morning was a beauty. So Reidy, Donkey and I headed out for a morning lap of the course. A 5:30am departure ensured that the sun was completely up before our ride started (QLD, seriously, daylight savings!).
The course was familiar as some of us were lucky enough to spend a week in Noosa only a few months ago on the Turbo Studio Noosa Camp (which was amazing!) so getting to reacquaint myself with Garmin hill was nice, besides a few over zealous locals in their cars almost killing us it was a nice morning ride and a great way to start the day! A quick coffee with some of the crew on the main street and it was back to the pad.

In Noosa you have such amazing places to train on your doorstep and it would be just rude to not take advantage of them. So Aimz and I got our gear on and went for a great run through the Noosa Heads National Park, I love that place so much I could move there just for that!

Enjoying our run through the beautiful National Park

Capping the day off watching the Eyeline Noosa 1000 Ocean Swim and getting seeing coach get a 3rd place (and bust a lung trying) and the rest of the crew all having a great race as well was great. Sid and I snuck off for a quick swim out around the point and back to stretch the arms mid-race as neither of us fancied the actual race.
Dinner at the surf club (for something different) with the crew and a few sneaky beers was a great way to finish off a great day!

It's all about the photo! Coach starting the Eyeline 1000

Bondi Fit dinner (and beers) Friday night

My old training buddy and partner in crime Tommy got into town on Friday night and it would have been rude to break our tradition of riding the course together the day before the race, so I joined him and Sid and headed off early again (and in full sunshine...) to ride the course. It was quite possibly the highlight of the trip getting back on the bike and riding with these two legends. Always such a pleasure.

Having a ride with these two legends: Tommy and Sid

Tommy departed and Sid and I carried on to meet the Bondi Fit team who were just getting started on their morning of mini-tri's around the island. Seems the Bondi Fit bus arrived the night before as the numbers had swelled dramatically overnight! So we joined in for a few swims and runs and had a good time before all heading off for a team breakfast (man I love breakfast!)

Mini-tri's Saturday morning

One of Sid's sponsors Shotz Nutrition was holding their SSNLRSNWBB Championships (long story) so we wandered down to see the crew and have a laugh while they attempted to body surf the swimming pool that was Noosa main beach... Was good to meet some of the team and also to meet Darryl from Shotz and put a face to a name finally.

The Shotz team debating the rules pre-SSNLRSNWBB Championships

After an afternoon of chilling out on the couch I headed down to rack the bike and hang around for the swim round the island with the team, felt good through the swim and was feeling very relaxed, which was a big change from a few days ago back in Sydney....
I also managed to rack my bike right next to Tommy which was a bit of a laugh :)

The amount of bikes in transition was unreal!

Just like old times. Parking up next to Tommy in transition

The SUBARU Australian Open Mens Criterium was on just after and local bike shop name and friend Ben Johnson was racing so we jostled for a spot to watch the action. Being the first Crit that I had watched it was an exciting race with Robbie McEwen coming through for the photo finish!
A quiet meal tonight and an early night to bed was in order before the big day tomorrow...

Mens Crit race, great to watch!

Sunday morning. Race morning.

Love & Hate relationship. But mainly Love.
Aimee got up (bless her) and helped stick the race numbers on and off I went to setup transition. My wave start wasn't until 8:45 (!!!) but I had to be done in transition by 6am like the rest of the field. Tommy and I were lucky that we found some empty racks on our row so we could move our bikes (shhhh) and space out a bit to make it easier in transition.
At first a start time of 8:45 had me doing back flips, although I soon realised that it would mean I could watch Sid in her first race as a Pro. So it all of a sudden became a great thing I had a late start!

Sid's first Pro start!
Out of the water and starting her hunt on the bike
Most of the team were down at the swim start for the pro race, and we made sure that we gave Sid her tunnel into the water before her first pro race, much to the surprise of all the other pros and people who wandered what all the noise was about :)
It seemed her first race wasn't going to be without drama with a snake in the water scaring the life out of Moffy just before the buzzer went on the start line! We hung around and waited at the swim exit to make sure we gave her a good cheer before she got on the bike and started her hunt. And hunt she did! Tommy and I quickly ducked off to grab some breakie and got back in time to see Sid come back into T2 having ridden through half the field (into about 7th place) and with a smile on her face that you could see from miles away, super effort!
Starting the run we shouted support at her until she started shouting back something like "I thought it was only a swim and a bike?" when we stopped shouting support and started shouting abuse!

Aimz had wandered down by this stage and it was nice to see her before the race start. Proudly displaying her supporter sticker for the day :)

My biggest supporter! :)

We snuck away and started to prepare for our own race and headed to the swim start, ...like we wanted to race now having been watching people already finish.....! About to jump into the water for my own race I noticed Sid had just come through into the recovery area so I had the chance to go and give her a massive congratulations which gave me the boost I needed to get back into race mode.

My swim was alright. Although I instantly regretted the 2-piece tri suit choice to swim in. Muppet. The top became an instant float and I knew that was going to suck. Oh well. The buzzer went (no snake) and off we went. Pretty sure I threw my fair share of punches at the first can, but I received my fair share as well...
My wave (as usual) swam the most zig-zagged route through the swim, so I had to make the choice to chase feet or swim my own lines. I chose my own lines and pretty much swam solo the whole way again.

Out into T1 and Tommy's bike was still there (he started 3 mins behind) which was a good thing considering how I had been swimming lately. On to the bike (after pushing past countless people stopped on the mount line... Arrgghhh!!!) I heard the familiar voices of some of the team and of Aimee on the sidelines.
I wanted to push the bike pretty hard and set about trying to get into a rhythm. About 5km in Bacon moved past me and I paced off him for a little while before realising that I wasn't going to hold on for long and went back to my own race. Garmin hill came and went quite quickly and before I knew it I was at the turn around. Still no Tommy? or anyone else for that matter... The only person to pull past me had been Bacon which was a good feeling. The return trip down the hill I was lucky that the traffic cleared up lot and I was able to just put the head down and go, nudging 85km/h on the way down.
Back into town and the traffic got worse, I apologise to anyone I screamed at (especially on the bridge) but be stuffed if I was slowing down! Quick look at the watch and it was a 1:02 bike split which made me smile. Nice.
Into T2 I heard a familiar voice behind me. Tommy! Classic moment in T2 together getting our shoes on like rookies, we almost had a picnic... I gave him the news that Bacon was gone, but chase him anyway, turned him the right way around (you still owe me a beer) and off we went.

Data from the bike

Out the gates and the familiar voices were there again. Although this time it felt like my legs had been run over. There was nothing there. It was hot and it was not fun. The whole run I tried telling myself that I felt good and that I love running, but it didn't help, the legs just wouldn't turn over... I managed to hang on to what I could and run a 45min split which isn't what I had in mind. Although the last km was amazing and I would do it again and again no matter what the pain. The banners, the people, the grandstand. the big screen. Awesome. Coming down the chute and having the Bondi Fit alcoholic supporters along with Sid and Reidy hanging over giving the high fives was epic just before hitting the line. Loved it.
If you had asked me to sign up again right then I would have. What an awesome end to a race!

Party time!

Straight to the surf club (after a quick shower) and into the beers! We sank a handful of cold ones with the team there and inhaled a few bowls of food for good measure.

Although when the message came through to get to the Oakley house I didn't hesitate and we headed off for a great night with some great people and athletes. Will remember that one for a while!
Might have even given poor Ashleigh Gentle the freight of her life on the way to get pizza afterwards... Sorry Ash!


Monday started with a hangover and a craving for breakfast... Sid had mentioned the WITSUP girls were hosting a breakfast with a few of the top female athletes on a panel, so Tommy and I didn't think twice and tagged along for the fun. It was a great event with Liz Blatchford, Emma Snowsill, Emma Jackson and Charlotte McShane there to answer all sorts of great questions. It was one of the better panels I have listened to, led fearlessly by Snowy!

The rest of the day was dedicated to the fact that we had given up sugar for the last 6 months and this was the first cheat day we had! There was gelati, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, gelati.... It was amazing.
But also not that satisfying... Weird?

Did someone say chocolate?

Aimee and I snuck away for a quiet dinner at Noosa's newest restaurant which was lovely (besides not being capable of bringing me a drink for the entire meal.... again, long story) It was nice to have another dinner and enjoy some non-triathlon time...
We caught up with Sid for some more gelati afterwards and a quick drink to celebrate the trip and her first pro race (very proud!)

Tuesday I decided that I wanted my favourite breakfast that I haven't been able to have for months (sugar....) Eggs Benedict! So Aimz and I went out to a local cafe and sat there patiently waiting for the awesomeness... low and behold, it was rubbish... So I have put it back on the list of things I miss and will search out a better one later...

So until then...

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