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Giardia- my parasite

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

When I get to the end of this year and I look back at my results, I’ll definately say, that this was the worst year ever of my career…Most of the year has just been one, long struggle and now I finally know why. For the last 6 months, I’ve been sharing my body, or rather my small intestine, with a parasite called Giardia Lamblia.
I did a race in Abu Dhabi in March. When I came back from the race, I got really sick with diarrhea, I felt very nauseous, I lost my appetite, I was extremely tired and therefore had no motivating to go and train. I thought that it was all in my head, and still tried to get the training done but it was really a struggle and because I didn’t eat much, it all became a vicious circle.
In April, we came back to Europe after a few months in Australia. In the beginning, I was the only one from the squad who was here and I still struggled to train properly but I thought, it’s just because I’m a bit lonely and everything will get better when the squad comes back. By then, I’d lost 6 kg. I didn’t really need to loose any weight, I’ve always been a member of Doc’s cheese cake club, and not the salade one…But this just meant that my legs were even skinnier than before which meant no strength on the bike. It did help to have the squad here and I sort of got back into the training again. I did a few races and they all went terrible. My bike power was gone and I felt very tired whenever I was racing. At the end of Juin, I raced the European Champs where I came 6st, my worst result ever in an ITU Championship and I was so far behind the leader. This really got to me, I simply didn’t know what to do anymore.
Then a very smart friend of mine, Brennan, suggested that I have Giardia which I’ve never heard of. But i looked up a lot of information about it and I remember thinking, this is exactly what I have!!!
Giardia is a parasite that colonises and reproduces in the small intestine. Giardia can be found in water systems but fecal- oral transmission can also occur for example in day care centers. So parents with toddlers can be at risk!!
So I finally saw the doctor and had a sample done. AJ had had problems as well and already back in April, he had a few tests done but they all come up negative but he wasn’t tested for Giardia. So I got tested. My doctor went away on holiday, another doctor had to call to give me the results but I never talked to him and therefore I presumed that the result had been negative. Besides, my training finally started to go better, especially the running, probably because of the weight loss but also my swimming and biking got a lot better so I thought that things are finally going in the right direction.
Then I went up to Denmark to do The Challenge Copenhagen which I’d been excited about for 2 years and then flatted twice…It really brought me down, finally I was feeling fit and then I wasn’t even able to finish the race. So a quick, too quick decision was made about racing IM Louisville where it was stinking hot and humid!!! After the race, I got extremely bloated, like a very pregnant woman and I had the worst time travelling back home. When I came home, the bloating went away but I was so nauseaus, tired and couldn’t do much. After 5 days like this, I decided to see the doctor. She looked in my papers and asked my if I ever got my results from the Giardia test. They’d been positive.
So now I’m on antibiotics that make you nauseaus!! Not for much longer though and hopefully it’ll get rid off my parasite, the nausea and the tiredness, I can’t wait to feel better again.

Survival in Louisville

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Yesterday, I raced my worst enemy, the heat and the humidity and I got beaten, really badly… I raced or maybe the word participating is better, in IM Louisville. This was my 3rd time in Louisville. I really like it here and I’ve got the best home stay. When I was here back in 2008, I ended up in medical. The doctor who looked after me,
Kelli, is an obstetrician and since I’d given birth just 8 months prior to the race we had a lot to talk about. She said to me to come back and stay with her and her husband, Jeff, the following year if I decided to race again. In 2008, I raced here again and so did Kelli!!
This year, I wasn’t really going to race because I had Challenge Copenhagen on my schedule. But since I flattet twice up there and therefore couldn’t finish, I made a quick decision to come and race Louisville again. I contacted Kelli and Jeff and they were very happy to have me staying again which has been great. And this year, Jeff raced while Kelli was on the side line, being almost 8 months pregnant!!
It was hot, when I got to Louisville on Thursday and day by day, it just got hotter and hotter. I remember from the other years, that it could be pretty chili in the mornings and then it would warm up. But this time, it was already hot early morning.
At 6.50 on Sunday morning, all the pros were off. And yes, the water was very hot too, 85 degrees fahrenheit which is 29.4 degrees celsius, I almost took my speed suit off!!! I didn’t have my best swim start and missed the group that I would have liked to be in but then found another group to swim with. I found it a bit hard to accelerate because of the warm water. Out of the water and onto the bike. I felt good on the bike, the first part of the bike course is flat and I tried to go as hard as I could. I was making up time on most of the girls. After a couple of hours on the bike, the heat really started to get to me. I’m a true viking and not a hot weather person and the lack of acclimatization started to pay it’s toll on me, I felt as if I was in a sauna or rather a steam bath because it got pretty humid too, 90 %. I’d been hoping to ride faster in 2008 where I rode 5.02 but yesterday, I was 20 min slower!! I felt pretty terrible and didn’t feel like running at all…I got into T2, put on my running shoes and had a lot of water!! Then I decided to give it a go and started running, just really slowly, step by step. The run course is a 2 lap course and somehow, I mad it to the turning point of the first lap. On my way back, I stopped for a toilet and I had quite a long break at one of the aid stations because I couldn’t stop vomiting…Well, after this little episode, I kept going, walked through all the aid stations to make sure to get enough fluid and somehow, I made it to half way. A lot of the age groupers were now on the course, i wasn’t the only one who was having a tough time so that motivated me to keep going and just to get from aid station to aid station. Finally, I got to the finish line. I ran my slowest marathon ever despite my running shape being better than ever!!
My legs were miserable and I someone put me in a wheel chair and took me to Medical where I’ve got a few friends now from the following years!!! A good thing about being a pro is that you finish earlier than most so Medical is never busy when you get in there!!! So I got the best treatment. I was hypothermic and my blood pressure was very low for a long time. I had 3 ladies trying to warm me up, I was just shaking and couldn’t get warm- after I’d been boiling for 10 hours out on the course!!! After 3 hours in Medical, the doctor wanted me to go to the hospital but I convinced her that I was ok and they let me go. What a day…So may people ended up here and there was big line of people waiting outside to get treatment.
I guess that IM Louisville wasn’t the greatest pick of a race for me this year but it was hard to know that it would be this hot!!
I think that this might have been my slowest ironman ever, even slower than when I race here in 2008, 8 months after Astrid was born!!!
I’ve had a great time with Jeff and Kelli, congratulations to Jeff for finishing his first ever Ironman, hopefully Kelli will be back racing again next year!!

Challenge Copenhagen

Monday, August 16th, 2010

It’s in the middle of the night and I can’t sleep. My mum and Astrid are asleep next door in a hoteln room so I’m sitting in the bath room writing my blog!
Today, I raced Challenge Copenhagen. I decided 1 year ago to do this race and I’ve been excited about it ever since. I lived in Copenhagen for almost 10 years and the race start took place almost where I used to live.
The day before race day was horrible!! It started to rain very, very heavily. I’ve never ever seen anything like it before in denmark even though we do get tons of rain here!!! It was the most that it had been raining within such a short time in 35 years!!! I meet one of the organisers around 21 pm at night and he had to go to transition 1 because a lot of the bikes were under water and 200 helmets were floating around!! Some of the main highways were closed for traffic the next day because there was so much water and a lot of the cars were under water.
A lot of water in Denmark means a lot of punctures!!! I thought, I better be well prepared. So instead of just on CO2 cylinder, I took 2. And I took my tyre leavers, in case the tyre was glued on to hard.
race day arrived, the horrible rain had stopped, or at least, it only rained a little bit. The roads were still wet though.
I had a great swim and excited the water with 3 other girls, Hillary, Rebekah and Belinda. Onto the bike, I felt good and enjoyed the ride of my beautiful white P3!! I stayed within sight of Belinda, Rebekah was a bit further up the road. I really felt good on the bike and I was very excited to get off the bike as well to run because I’m probably running the best that I ever have. But around the 80 km mark, we had to go over a few cobble stones. I thought that my bike felt a bit bit strange and rightly so, I had a flat. I stopped to fix it. I knew that I was a long way in front of the next few girls and I was still pretty confident that I could still have a very good day. So I started hammering away, the best that i could. Another 30 km, and I got a flat again!! Looking back, I wished that I’d brought a second spare but I didn’t and I normally never do!!! There was no wheel stop or any cars on the course with extra wheels so that was the end of that race. I am so very dissapointed…I really, really wanted to do well. Besides, the run took place in the heart of Copenhagen, all my family is here and lots of my friend and I know that I would have seen a lot of familar faces out there on the run, it just wasn’t meant to be. I’m finally feeling really fit and then a mechanical problem stops me, bummer!!! I wasn’t the only one though. Lots of my danish friend had punctures like me, 2-3 of them…When it rains in Denmark, we get a lot of little flint stones on the roads and they just kill the tyres!!!
It’s such a shame…The organisers put on a great race and I just really wished that I could have finished it, I felt so good out there and it’s always nice to be on home soil. I can recommend this race to every one for next year. Copenhagen is my favorite city in the world and it’s the best place to have a race.

Highway to hell

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

Was the song that the organisers played just before the race start of the Alpe d’Huez Triathlon and now I konw why they played it!!!

Brett has never wanted me to do the Alpe d’Huez long distance triathlon because the race just didn’t suit me, the bike course is just not made for me, too steep climbs which also mean steep descentes which are not my cup of tea, people say that I go up faster than down and turning into a mum probably did’t help that issue!!!
But I needed a race. Besides, my mum had gone home and Astrid’s creche was closed for a couple of weeks, I was a bit stuck!! So coach saved me, he said we’ll go and do this race and my girls will help you out with Astrid. So off we went to Alpe d’Huez, Astrid and I. Fiona, Sophie and Zali were the best baby sitters and Astrid adores them and had the best time with them. Thanks so much!! 10 years ago, I did a little training camp in Alpe d’huez, actually 1 in the winter and 1 in the summer. So it was funny to be back again.
Race day arrived and we all descended from Alpe d’Huez down to the lake. The lake was a little cold but actually warmer than I expected so the shock when I got into the water wasn’t too big!! It was a 2 km swim, I felt really good and I got out of the water with James and Bek so I was very happy!! Onto the bike and off I went. I was fine until I hit the first climb, then these little tiny girls started to pass me, that’s when I really feel like a giant!! But I just kept doing my own pace, there wasn’t much else to do. Down the hill, I was going at my usual snail pace so got passed by a few people. Then it was flat for a while again and my legs were a lot more pleased and then suddenly there was this climb again that I didn’t expect. It’d been going uphill for a bit when on a sign it said “10 km to the top”!!! Oh no, not another climb, luckily this wasn’t as steep and I felt a bit better. I got to the top and did the same old “breaking non stop” down the hill…i finally got to the bottom and then the rest of the course was quite technical until I had the bottom of Alpe d’Huez. Going up this famous climb, I couldn’t really race it, I coulod just get into my 28-ring, luckily I had this, and get to the top bit by bit, corner by corner and finally I got there!!
I must admit that I wasn’t so much in the mood for running now!!! I’d lost so much time descending that i wasn’t in the best state of mind. But I knew that astrid was out there on the run course, waiting for mummy to come so i put on my running shoes and off I went. A little bit afterwards, I saw her with Fiona, Zali and Sophie and she was clapping and saying ” go mummy”, it was very special.
Earlier on, coach had said, you’ll be running at altitude, at 1800 meters which means that you can push hard and not blow up!! Well, I better push hard now and check out this theory!!
So I pushed as hard as I could all the way and felt great for the entire run, it was may best run ever. I ended up in 5th place, I was 3 sec. behind the 4th girl and almost caught her at the end. I had a very good day of training, that’s what I came for.
thanks again to Fiona, Zali and Sophie for looking after Astrid.

European Champs in Spain

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

On Saturday, I raced the European Champs long distance in Vitoria in Spain. I flew into Bilbao on the Wednesday before and met up with my danish team mates. We stayed in a hotel a little outside of Vitoria. Vitoria is a beautiful city and it was a perfect place to have a race. The lake that we had to swim in, was a little outside of town. The lake was in an amazing area and the water was as clean as here in the lakes in Switzerland!! We got to swim in the lake a few times before the race and it was great. We also did a bit of riding on the bike course, the roads were great, a beautiful area and not much traffic, a perfect place for a training camp.
The race started at 9 on the Saturday morning. It was nice to start this late…that meant a good sleep and not too much rush in the morning!!
The swim was one 4 km loop. I didn’t have a fantastic swim but it was OK. The bouys were far apart and at times, it was very hard to know where to go!!! I got out of the water and felt very dizzy and had a hard time running to my bike and to get out of my wetsuit. I finally got on my bike and started riding. I didn’t feel to bad but I realized that I still haven’t got my old and fast bike legs back!!! I never caught the girls in front of me that I normally would have caught, had I been ridng like I used too. Well, what could I do, not so much, I just tried to stay focused and to keep going and to think of this race as a good day of training. So I kept going and somehow finished the 120 km. I got off my bike and started the 30 km. I felt alright and eventhough I knew I was far behind the leaders, I just kept going. I finally got to the finish line and ended up in 6th place. It wasn’t my greatest european champs but I still enjoyed it all. I had a very nice time, as always, with my danish team mates and our national coach Michael. Our danish guys did really well, Martin came 2nd and wasn’t far behind the winner, Eneko Llanos and Jimmy was 3rd, well done guys.

Challenge France

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Like my 2 team mates, Rebekah and James, I also raced in Alsace in France on the weekend. I really like the Alsace area, it’s beautiful so it was nice to be back again, only 2 weeks after my last visit. The swim took place in a river and half way through the swim, I thought, this can’t be half way already, I wonder if I’ve missed something and that we have to get out of the water and do one more lap!!! So when I got to the finish of the swim, I had to look up a few times to check that we didn’t have to swim around the course one more time. But we didn’t, that was it!!! The swim was a bit short though but I still had an ok swim and didn’t loose to much time to the leaders. I’ve been struggling a bit on my bike this year and this race was another struggle!!!I pushed the best that I could but felt a bit tired and weak but hopefully I’ll get my strength back again. I normally feel great on the bike and not so great on the run but on Sunday this was the opposite. I got off the bike and felt really good running. I just wished that I had a little more speed!!!But hopefully I’ll find that too!!I was very far behind Rebekah but so were we all!! She was on fire and did amazingly well. I feel sorry for James and his puncture but I’m sure that he’ll soon be on the top on the podium somewhere else.“““““““““““““““““““““““““

A little hit out in Obernai

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

On Sunday, I did a little race in Obernai, a lovely little town situated in Alsace. Astrid, my mum and I packed the car the day before and then we drove for close to 4 hours to get to the race. I actually won this race in 2000 and I’d always wanted to come back but it had just never fitted into my plans until this year. On race morning it was raining and I was a bit scared that the weather forecast would be as predicted, rain and cloudy. But we were lucky, suddenly the sun came out and even though is was a little cold, it never rained on us in the race which was great. I had a bit of a rusty swim, I was a bit slow in the beginning and swam next to some giant who kept hitting me in the head so when I finally got sick of this, I swam over his back to get away. I caught two girls at the end but another 2 girls were already 2 minutes up the road. On the bike, I chased as hard as I could. It was very windy and I actually had a hard time staying in my tri bars!! We rode the first 20 km on the flat and then we hit Mont d’Odile, Obernai’s little mountain. I remembered this mountain as not being very step and long. By the time when I though, this is it, the climb is over, it actually started…And it just kept going on. Finally, we got to the top. And then the descending could begin!!! Luckyly, I’d forgotten how long and step the descente was…then I would probably have stayed away. I’m just not a descender and I probably set a new record for this course in going down as slowly as possible!!! In my next life, I definately want to b a descender. At the age of 2, I’ll start practising descending on my bike and on skis!!!
Well, so I did loose quite a bit of time. I was happy to finally get off my bike and to start the run which was 10 km. The run was 500 on the flat, then 2 km up, then 2 km down and then agian 500 m on the flat before another lap. I felt great running and wished that it had been a bit longer.
It was good to finish and the best thing about racing in France is always the selection of food at the finish line!!! Cakes, bread, melons, amonds and a lot more!!!
The next day, we did a bit of seight seeing in Obernai before driving back to Leysin.
My race wasn’t the greatest but it was a good training day and I got very well looked after by the organisation and I can recommend this race to everyone.

Where’s everyone???

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

It’s been more than a month now that I’ve been back in Leysin in the swiss mountains. I knew that I would be the only one from the squad here for a while but I expected that someone from the squad would start to show up this week!! Where are you all??? Anyway, don’t hurry to get here right now because it’s been pretty cold and rainy for the last couple of weeks. April was amazing and it was almost summer and I did some really good training outside but then May came and it’s pretty horrible!!!
Lately, I’ve been watching some good movies on the turbo in front of the televison but I’ll much rather be riding outside unless it’s almost snowing like right now!!!
Last week, we did get lucky though. AJ and a good friend of ours, Thomas, decided that they were going to do a bike race. The weather was beautiful that day and perfect for racing. And they asked me, why don’t you come, so why not. I haven’t raced much in the last couple of months since I don’t have a time trial bike here and am waiting for my new bike. We drove for 1 1/2 hour to get to Lyss where the bike race was held. We were all very excited. The race consisted of 3*34 km. We got to the race, we registered, I went to the ladies room, walked down the stairs and saw someone familiar!! I turned my head once, then twice and then a third time, it was Cancelara!!! He’d decided to do this race as a little warm up for his race, the same distance, the next day.
AJ, Thomas and I got on our bikes to do a little warm up. After 15 min or so we decided to get to the start but then everything went wrong…None of the marshalls could really tell us where to go and we where sent in a wrong direction and when we finally got bak on track, we went as hard as we could to get to the start as it was getting a bit late…AJ heard the gun, 1 min before we actually got there!! Bummer, bummer. What to do then? We were all so dissapointed. The next start, which was 2*34 km was 15 min later. So we decided to race anyway but just to do this distance instead!! I raced the 2 laps as hard as I could and really enjoyed it. AJ and Thomas did 1 lap and then waited for Cancelara and his group to come around for his 3rd and last lap.
Even though we missed the start, we all had a really good time and I would love to do another bike race again soon.
I am getting a bit bored here training on my own so hopefully, dear squad, you will soon show up.

Back in the swiss mountains

Friday, April 16th, 2010

I think it’s about time that I write a blog!! It’s been a long time since the last one.
I’ve learnt a big lesson in the last 2 years. When you have kids, you get sick!! I used to have a health of steel but I must say that this has changed. Whenever Astrid gets sick, mummy gets sick…I think that almost half of my races int he last couple of years have been affected by sickness!! But that’s just life and there’s not so much to do about, having kids is still the most fantastic thing ever!!
And right now, Astrid is sick but hopefully mummy will be safe this time.
I raced Abu Dhabi in March and had a pretty average race but I was still happy to go there, then there was no regretting that I didn’t go!!! The distance suited me well and so did the course but it was too much travelling to get there and race day was much too hot for me, so Doc was, as always, right when he told me not to go. I did expect it to be 10 degrees cooler but unfortunately, I was wrong. So the great Dane suffered, as always in the heat and didn’t have a good race.
When I got back from Abu Dhabi, I was the one to bring a stomach bug to our little family and it’s taken forever to get rid off it.
We’re now back in my little paradise, Leysin so hopefully the fresh air here will help to fully recover. I always forget how beautiful it is here. It’s just wonderful and I love it.
Now I’m just waiting for the rest of the squad to come here to train with me, can’t wait.

A little hit out- Noosa Long Course

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Yesterday, I raced a little local race here in Noosa. It was a half Ironman. The Noosa Triathlon Club kindly gave me a 1 week license so that I could participate. It was an early start, 6 am. We swam in the river and I was very happy to get into the water as I was getting eaten alive by “mossies”!! We had to go around a little island twice. I was in 2nd place for the first lap but then I swam away from my little group and I was first out of the water!!! Luckily I didn’t get eaten by any sharks!!! I would never swim in the river on my own, I’ve heard a lot of stories about sharks but I might be too skinny for them…The ride was 2 laps and it was a great course, except for the cars. The roads were not closed and we had a few cars to share the road with. I felt great on the bike and had a good time. The run was a 4 lap course. I felt fine on the first lap but then the heat and the humidity really started to bother me but I wasn’t the only one. We had 2 aid stations on the run and one of the stations ran out of ice and water!!!
On the last lap, I felt better again and I was very happy to see my little support crew, Astrid, AJ and my brother just before the finish line.
It was a great little event put on by Noosa triathlon Club.