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Angela Naeth's Blog

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Onward and Upward…

November 30th, 2009 by angelanaeth

It’s now the new year for me: time to reflect on 2009 and focus on 2010! This year has been one of the best years of my life – in both a negative and positive way. Last year (2008) I had a great season as a first-year newbie pro: 3rd Muskoka 70.3, 1st Boulder Peak, 7th Wildflower, and 8th 70.3 Worlds (top Canadian!). I was ready to have a great 2009 season. In February I flew overseas to meet my new coach, Brett Sutton and teammates on TeamTBB. Here I was, 26 at the time, eager to work hard and become a real pro. I was on my way to my first adventure of 2009!

Team TBB Camp. I arrived in Manila, PI in pants and a long sleeve shirt. I knew it was going to be hot but not this hot! It was a wonderful training climate and the energy of the team took over on the days where you felt you couldn’t do anymore. And I can’t explain the Doc, he is smart he is. Yoda-like. He could read me inside and out with one glance. Naive, boggled in the mind, a scattered mess. I was going to be shown the tough way…


And so, I pushed myself to limits I shouldn’t have. I wanted to prove myself everyday and I got shattered in the process. I’d come home on hard training days literally not able to walk. Actually on some days, everyone came home like this! I remember walking home one night from a training run because my quads and calves seized up so much. That 1-mile took me 40-minutes!


The weeks rolled by and by the end of the 5th week I was still moving. I LOVED the team, the training and the focus of everyday. I learned a ton at this camp and got a taste of how hard one must train both in a mental and physical sense. Unfortunately, I crushed myself.

Chuckie V. knew that going with Brett and TeamTBB was the best thing for me at the time. I needed a kick in my own arse. Unfortunately I kicked my own arse a bit too hard and ended up fracturing my leg near the knee. I kept running on it and almost broke the tibia fully. I was literally walking on a fine line.

Back in the US, the doctor wanted to put me in a full leg cast. Instead, I opted for crutches and was diligent on not putting any weight on the leg. I managed OK but it was the hardest 4 months I’ve gone through. I broke my hip before in a bike crash but at the time, I was in school and was too busy to do anything else. With this fracture, I twiddled my thumbs and let my mind get the best of me at times. It was a long 4 months of no riding or running, and swimming very cautiously (even the water flow on my leg for the first 6 weeks caused me stabbing pains if I moved funny).

Wounds heal though, and I was ready to be back in battle (at least train for battle) by early July. I started running again, albeit slowly and putting some easy miles on the bike. I still remember my first ride outside again. I was like the new kid on the block with her first bike! I was smiling from ear to ear.

We thought it was best I stay in the USA and train, staying close to those I loved. I wasn’t ready for the Swiss Team TBB Camp. Instead, Chuckie and I headed to Park City, UT for a change of pace (and mostly because we found super cheap rent!) for the remainder of the summer.


Training was going well. I started pushing the bike and run again. My mind however was running a different show. Worry… all I did was worry. I felt like I wasn’t getting in shape fast enough to race, I worried that my Achilles problem that I had at the time (lasted a few weeks) would be another big injury, and I worried about worrying… It was all $%!T! Worry kills…

Hard-work. You would think I would have this down pat. I know hard-work, I THRIVE on hard work. But I’m like a horse that needs reigns and guidance. I went too hard, too fast and didn’t fully commit to the hard-work that is needed with recovery, and most importantly, my mental game. I hadn’t competed for ¾ of the year and my mind started worrying more about financial woes and my future in the sport. My savings account from last years’ winnings was dwindling to the triple digits – the low ones. I found myself in debt before I knew it and realized I couldn’t survive any longer on my Visa.

So, it was at this time, I realized it was best for me to head home to the Great White North. As it was, my visa was expiring for visiting the USA and I had to deal with some immigration papers. But more importantly, I needed to re-focus my un-focused mind. I went home and thanks to some amazing parents, I’ve been able to live in their house for the past couple months so that I could get out of debt.

And so here I am… the end of November 2009. I had to tell you all this in order for you to understand what I’m about to write and for you to understand how thankful I am for these experiences in my life. I learned more about myself than I have any other year. And this is not to say, I’m learned everything there is to learn… Oh, do I have a lot more to learn! But 2010 is going to help me do that.

Commitment. Hard-work (SMART hard-work). Diligence. Focus. Be the Warrior. HERE NOW. – All the requirements for the start of the new year for me.

I’ve written a lot about my fears and worries that hold me back. I’m now ready to face them like a true warrior and take the steps to do so. My three biggest fears:

1. Injuries. This past year has provided me the knowledge of how to train properly. Because of my propensity for stress fractures. I’ll be doing lots of uphill running, running every 2nd day and focusing on recovery. HOWEVER, running isn’t what hinders me. It’s my mind. Worry and stress have just as much (if not more) injury potential than ‘dumb’ training. I don’t need to prove myself everyday. Warriors don’t do that, or they’d be dead in their next battle. Recover, train, recover, train, recover, Fight!

2. Debt and Financial worries. I’m now out of debt (but no savings). And I’ve realized that being in debt was just an excuse. Yes it’s a worry, but it shouldn’t hold me back. I’ve decided to take out a loan and get rid of any financial worries I may have in the next year. With this loan, I will be able to focus on the task at hand and not worry about what I’m going to do to survive 2010. Hopefully with a solid 2010 season, and help from future supporters, I’ll be able to travel, train, and race with a focused mind.

3. My Future. I’m sure everyone worries about their future and I need to remember this. One should look ahead but only as much as to not hinder today! HERE NOW. A new motto of mine provided to me by some long talks and thoughts with people that believe in me (including myself)! Future doesn’t exist. HERE NOW does.

Of course, this is not going to make each day a piece of cake. As I said, I have lots to learn. But now, I’m excited for the learning experiences! And those above fears, will continue needing a lot of work. Words are just that, words. I need to put it into action.

But I’m ready. 2010, here I come!

And last but not least, I have to say how fortunate I am to have the support network around me. Thanks to the sponsors that have continued to back the team (The Bike Boutique, Avia, Jeju, Cervelo, Oval Concepts, Blue Seventy, Scody, Nury Tec Inc., and ISM Saddles) and my own personal support from: Rudy Project, Standard Process, and Sable Water Optics. I’m grateful to have a family of supporters backing me in my efforts.

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Winter is here!

November 18th, 2009 by angelanaeth

Well Prince George is a winter town, that’s for sure. We just received a huge dump of snow from mother nature (about a foot and a half). I could hardly make it up the small hill on my road and thanks to my neighbors pushing my car from behind, I made it!

I have to say, it’s hard living in such a climate. The early days make you want to snuggle up into your PJ’s at 5pm!

I’m working up a storm to save up as much as I can for next season. My motivation is the fact that I know I’ll be in sunny weather soon! In fact, I was able to find a super cheap ticket to head south for 8 days mid-December. This will be a nice break for me and a chance to get outside on the bike!

Happy training! By the end of the week I hope to try some snow-shoeing!

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1 Month up North

November 7th, 2009 by angelanaeth

Wow, time sure flies by. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m so busy or because the days are so short. Most likely both. And now with this time change, it will be dark by 4pm! Before I know it, I’ll be back where the sun is!

I think I’m affected by lack of sunlight. I need ALL the lights on in the house to feel alive. When I’m riding indoors I hate when my surroundings are dark. A big screen to watch movies at my family’s house helps!

Speaking of family, my mom and dad have allowed me to live with them for these next few months. This helps in the saving money department – much needed for traveling and competing next year.

Training is going well. Indoor riding is the SH…!! I only ride a few times a week which keeps me fresh and able to go hard when needed. I’m already seeing the gains.

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Week 3 done… how many more to go?

October 26th, 2009 by angelanaeth

Not that I’m counting down, but today is the first day of snow here at home. I’ve been here 3 weeks and thought it wouldn’t be until November that I would see the white, flaky stuff. I’m mistaken… It’s flying and doesn’t look like it will stop soon!

No worries however. I plan to relic in the white stuff as much as possible. I’m hoping to do a lot of snowshoeing and hopefully skate ski if I can find a used pair. Prince George is full of trails and parks so I won’t be bored anytime soon.

Training is going great. Riding indoors is the best motivator. You not only get to watch movies, but you get to practice a bit on the mental game. When the quads hurt, keep pedaling…

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Canada’s Oldest Person Dies at 113

October 24th, 2009 by angelanaeth

The Canadian Press…Oct 22, 2009

Moncton, New Brunswick – Margaret Fitzgerald, a New Brunswick woman whose family described as the oldest known person in Canada, has died at the age of 113.

Fitzgerald, who had celebrated her birthday last month, has died of natural causes at the Villar du Repos nursing home in Moncton.

She was born in 1896.

According to Guinness World Records, she was believed to be among the 15 oldest people on Earth.

A funeral mass will be held today at St. Bernard’s Roman Catholic Church.

Her nephew, Reg King, said he remembers her as a hard work who often thought about her days on a farm in Tankville, North of Moncton.

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ISM Saddle…THE BEST SEAT IN THE WORLD

October 21st, 2009 by angelanaeth

When I was first introduced to the ISM Saddle, I was skeptic. This was at the first training camp for Team TBB. Along with a new coach, and a new training venue, I was a bit hesitant to try something new. And as intimate as one gets to their saddle, I didn’t want to change something so drastic.

But thank-god I did! As soon as Brett saw me ride, he suggested I try the saddle. He said at that point, we’re not sponsored by them this year and you’ll have to purchase one, but I think you’ll like it. He must have seen my wiggles while riding. I could never get that perfect position on my previous seat because of the chafing, sore spots and overall pain I would suffer while riding! Every ride left me raw!

So, off I went to the Bike Boutique and purchased my new saddle. White, to match the painted ‘Avia’ Cervelo. I never looked back.

I loved my new ISM saddle the first time I sat on it. After riding it for a few days and others purchasing their own…the team was hooked! Everyone was riding them and TEAM TBB was sponsored by this awesome company once again!

It’s a weird looking seat that is for sure. But it’s the best seat in the world! Looks can be decieving! I’m able to get down low and I haven’t had any chafing problems. I’m comfortable 100% of the time. No joke.

And now that I’m riding indoors a lot while in Canada, I have to give praise to ISM once again. Riding on a turbo is a bit different than riding outside. You’re stuck in position with continued pedaling (no easy downhills, uphills and change). Prior to having an ISM saddle, indoor riding was not fun! I’d get off the bike in pain and I would stay away from the shower because of it!

ISM Saddles… if you haven’t tried one, you’re missing out!

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2 Weeks up North

October 20th, 2009 by angelanaeth

ALERT! Freezing weather will hinder outside running. Wear two pairs of socks, three tops and a wind breaker! Oh, and remember to wear your underwear under those fleece pants!

My first time outside, I must say, took my breathe away after arriving at the Prince George Airport. It was cold in Park City, but not bone-chilling! I used to love weather like this… I’m afraid I turned a bit soft. Time to HTFU!

But I have to say, over the last two weeks I’ve gone from freezing cold to actually enjoying the numbing feeling outside. Yesterday I ran on the track and helped a few local athletes. Cold weather makes you tough! I was shivering cold and bundled to the brim while one of the local ladies was in shorts! I look forward to helping more athletes in the PG area. They make me more determined than ever to get a move on!

My first week home was great! I’m working 30 hours a week and I had a great first week of training. I got in a lot of hours and felt awesome going into week 2. My enthusiasm slowed when I could hardly get out of bed mid-week. I’ve joined the local Swim group, PG Barracudas. Some of these swimmers (15 years younger!) are FAST and swim circles around me. I love it!

The past weekend was a bit crappy when a bout of sickness hit me (food poisoning from home-made Kefir). I would highly recommend not making your own bacteria drink! I literally spent a whole day in bed holding my stomach, running to the bathroom and holding my cookies. :( I’m better now…

Next week – week numero 3 in the Great North. I’m having a great time meeting up with old friends and staying with my family. My mom’s cooking rocks, and having home cooked dinner’s never tasted so good! I’m used to opening a can of tuna, getting some veggies and dinner is done. Now I get gourmet dinners nightly! Thanks MOM!

Riding indoors has been great to keep the intensity and get rid of the junk miles. I have to give kudos to everyone here in Northern Canada who is a summer athlete. It takes a lot of diligence to ride indoors. I can’t complain though, my parents have the movie channel which helps a ton while riding! And for some insane reason, I LOVE riding indoors. I don’t have to think about anything and the work gets done. No cars, no traffic, no bothers! Just you, the bike and the effort,,,

Happy training….

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The Long Journey Home

October 8th, 2009 by angelanaeth

After a long, arduous trip, I made it back to my hometown, Prince George, in beautiful British Columbia. I decided to take the long route back not only to save money but to get in some extra training; it was a long hike, as the photos below show!

On my travels, I had to secure a few places to sleep and came across some great ones. Some were a bit cold at night but I had enough in my backpack to keep me cozy. I even found a plum tree and made sure to get my fill, both in the belly and for later.

Now that I’m home, I’m working hard both in training and as a physical therapist. By the time I head back to the US and training camp, I’ll be ready to go!

(In all truth I flew home and managed to be on the same flight as Simon Whitfield. We shared a few words before boarding. When it was time to board he stopped and sat in first class. I kept walking toward the back, where I sat sandwiched between two heavyset non athletes.)

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Back to O’Canada!

September 28th, 2009 by angelanaeth

Well this is my last week in the US. It’s been a nice visit but I’m ready to head back to my hometown, Prince George, BC. I’ll be training hard (albeit indoors!) and skiing when the snow falls (hopefully not for a long time)! I’m hoping to join or form a fast swim group to get ready for the 2010 season. Any takers? I’ll become a swimmer yet. At least that’s the plan! With Team TBB’s secrets, Chuckie’s expertise, and my diligence, I’m hoping to make some solid improvements in this area. They’re needed.

Winter training is just that – WINTER training! I’ll have to succumb to the cold and harden up. I’ve become used to the warm, cloud-free days of California and a moisture-free summer in Utah. This will be my motivation for the next few months though…that warm weather exists…and awaits! Unfortunately, I had to ship my bike home already because of the lofty charges on flights. At least I saved $75.

With my time in Prince George, I’m hoping to save up enough money to buy my own car. This will help a ton when I travel back and forth from the US. I’ll be working as a physiotherapist for a bit to help offset the negatives I’ve been seeing in my bank account lately!

Any ideas on winter training? I’d love to hear them! I plan to mix it up with some indoor riding, snowshoeing and skate-skiing.

I could say this past year was a total waste, but it wasn’t. Now I know I want this more than ever and know what I need to do it! Training throughout the winter up in northern BC will be extremely hard, but I’ll come back more determined than ever.

Patience. A long but lasting lesson in life.

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Bullet with Butterfly Wings

September 10th, 2009 by angelanaeth

dscn3906I’ve been nicknamed by a few people “bullet” because of my cycling ability. (If only this was the case for my swimming. Wait! Bullets sink. That would not be good.)

Well recently a butterfly decided to ride with me (for 30-minutes. No joke). I did as it requested and rode slow enough so that it could enjoy the views at a much faster pace than it could do on its own. A good friend of mine, Ernie Wyder, once nicknamed me: “Bullet with Butterfly Wings.” I think this is one for the record now! Here’s a song with the same title and one I rock out to on the bike: Smashing Pumpkins (unfortunately embedding was disabled!).

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