Archive | February 2012

2012, New Beginnings and New Adventures!

Hey and welcome to my new website and blogsite, many thanks to Jose for your great help with developing it!

2012 brings an exciting year, a few big changes are in store! I’ve decided to head to the States to base myself for the year and train with Siri Lindley and her team. So from March I will be living and training in Santa Monica, of which I hear is awesome for riding and running….cant wait to get there!

So I started the year off by returning to New Zealand to my beautiful hometown of Mount Maunganui to catchup with my family and do my annual half ironman race of which I have done every year since I started doing triathlon. It is such a great event, so well organised and set in an amazing location! I wasn’t too sure on how I was feeling pre race, as I felt kind of ready, but also kind of fatigued from IMWA. Since IMWA was my first full distance I had no idea of how I was meant to be feeling and how quickly you recover from an ironman. So it was just a matter of really leaving it up to the day and seeing what happened! The conditions of the day were near perfect with little wind and just a light drizzle. I swum as I usually do and came out a couple of minutes down and quickly got to work on my favorite part! All was going well…..until 10kms in, the bike started to feel really bumpy, I was hoping it was just the road surface, but knowingly looked down to see the dreaded flat! Having never changed a tubular tyre, I can now say it certainly isn’t my forte! After about 10minutes on the side of the road and still struggling with getting the tyre off I contemplated pulling out, but those thoughts were quickly erased by the fact that I had so many people there watching me, my Nana from Hamilton had made the trip over, my proud Mum and Dad, my brother, friends from the Mount and Auckland were all there waiting for my arrival back into town… I couldn’t just not turn up! So 15minutes later I finally got back on the road, and managed to swing the mind back into positive thoughts, despite the pain of seeing how far ahead everyone was, as they went by in the opposite direction! The rest of the race went great, I rode strong and ran well, even though my quads were screaming at me…..I think I must’ve done a fair bit of damage during the Ironman, as that was my problem area for the last 10kms of the marathon, and having not done any speed runs since IMWA I thought the body was all good, but trying to run race pace I could tell my quads were still not quite recovered. But regardless of the pain I loved the run, and managed to claw back a couple of places, coming in 6th place at the end.

So performance wise I was stoked with how things went, just a matter of a flat holding me back from a great race! But hey, that’s part of racing, it happens to everyone at some point! So now part of my training is learning how to change a tubular quickly!! 15minutes is a little bit out of control!

The rest of January was spent in NZ between the Mount and Auckland. I managed to get all of my favorite rides done around NZ! The first was the annual Auckland to Coromandel ride done with a few of those training for IMNZ. I love that ride, its always a great feeling sitting on the ferry on the way back to Auckland knowing you have just cycled 200kms across beautiful countryside. We picked a forecasted clear/sunny day to do the ride, but as we set off the sky looked a bit gloomy and sure enough after 50kms the rain set in, and we were hit with a few showers and downpours along the way. I was frozen by the time we stopped in Thames for lunch, so Anna and I rushed into Farmers drenched and looking like Hobbos to buy a thermal top each, which was my saviour for the rest of the ride! Aside from the rain, it was an awesome ride, the wind played pretty nice to us along the coast out to Coromandel which I was grateful for, as its always a hard slog after 150kms finishing up into a strong headwind followed by the three massive hills that lead into the Coromandel township.

Back in Auckland, I was stoked to get some great NZ summer weather and get out and about in my old playground the Waitaks, did a few rides around Piha and Karekare and Scenic drive 🙂

Awesome west coast in the Waitaks! Love it!

The last weekend of Jan was spent up around Northland, organised by the wonderful Anna Ross! Friday night we road tripped up to Omapere, a small west coast town half way up Northland. The cycling adventures started from there, beginning with riding through the Waipoua Kauri forest- absolutely spectacular, I would have to say my alltime favorite ride! The ride gradually climbs for 20km or so through the amazing forest and reaches Tana Mahuta- the massive Kauri tree, before descending and climbing back up again. We rode on to Kai Iwi lakes for the night and camped lakeside, getting in a trail run around the lake that night and again the next morning, before embarking on our massive day of cycling bound to Mangawai Heads! Leon, Anna and I rode the

The Northland Crew

The Northland Crew

whole way, and the rest of the crew rode part way. This is a ride I’ve never done, so was exciting to be in new territory! After a long day in the saddle we rocked up to a glorious day in Mangawai heads for another night in the tent! The next morning we were greeted with another super day, and started the day off with a run out along the beach of Mangawai up to the clifftop trails. Wow, once again another beautiful part of NZ. The trail looks out upon the ocean and islands in the distance, down the cliff to the beach below, and on the picture perfect day that we had, it was stunning! The rest of the day was spent at the cafes, and relaxing on the beach! What a perfect end to my month in NZ!

So back to Australia, I’ve headed up to Noosa on the Sunshine Coast for February, and have started training with Siri and some of the Team Sirius crew. So far in my few days of being here, it’s been AWESOME!! A great place to train and a great bunch of people! Siri is amazing, so inspirational, provides out of this world motivation and is tonnes of fun! So Noosa it is for the month, then on to Abu Dhabi for my next race at the start of March, before hitting the States!

I’m excited about the upcoming adventures of 2012 in my first full year of training and racing full time! Thanks so much to my hubby Clay and the support from my Mum and Dad for helping to make this possible!, and to Hammer nutrition for keeping me fueled while training/racing and Ryders eyewear for the awesome sunnies!

Michelle 🙂

This entry was posted on February 9, 2012. 3 Comments