The 2010 triathlon season seems like a blur. I had some really high times with a win at Pucon 70.3, being top 5 in a few 70.3′s, being on the cover of TRIATHLETE magazine with my husband Michael, and securing some pretty awesome sponsors. Along with those highs, came a few lows. I was sick several times during the year, unable to put a SOLID block of training in for more than 2 weeks at a time. Metabolically, I was falling apart. After the World Championship in Clearwater, racing while very sick, and then getting even more sick with a viral infection, I was forced to do some some serious thinking about how I would change my approach for 2011 and beyond. It was very apparent that my training program was not working for me.

At that point, I decided to press the “RESET” button.  Knowing that my previous training program wasn’t right anymore,  I needed to make a coaching change. This was a very hard decision. I had some of the best races of my career under Cliff, and my personal relationship with him is what I consider very good. Cliff is an awesome guy and a great coach who makes great programs, but the programs weren’t working for me anymore and the choice to change had to become a business decision.

I love having a coach and I love having a plan that is made for me specifically. I needed someone to help me make rational decisions regarding picking races. I needed someone who could look at my training objectively. I needed someone to guide me with sound decision making abilities. I needed a positive direction.  I wanted someone who had a science background that could help me with my paces and my power. I needed someone who is passionate about triathlon and who gets excited about MY training and MY progress. Lastly, I needed someone to tell me NO. :)

In these needs, I found Derick Williamson.  One day while shoe shopping in Austin, I bumped into a friend, who suggested that I talk to Derick. It was that fateful day that I decided to give him a call.  I interviewed him, he interviewed me. Derick met all of the criteria that I was looking for in a coach. Michael and I talked extensively about it and concluded that Derick  was a perfect fit.

Since pressing “RESET”, the last several weeks of training have been a struggle so far…sometimes physically, sometimes emotionally. Derick warned me that I would have to take two steps backwards in order to go 3 steps forward. When I started training with him, I could not believe how slow he made me go and how terrible I felt doing it…LOL! However, I am finally seeing the results of taking baby steps. One HUGE benefit that I have seen is that I have had 7 full weeks of uninterupted training (no getting sick!).  I do admit that I miss my hard treadmill sessions where I burn up the belt (and burn myself up…lol). But I know in the long run, that I want to be fit and ready at the end of the year.

A hard pill to swallow was my talk with Derick about defending my title at my favorite race, which happens to be this weekend in Pucon, Chile. Derick was able to take my emotional desire to race out of the equation. After our  ”come to Jesus” talk about it,  I decided to tell the race director that I would not be competing. I promised, however, to return in 2012.  :) And I can not wait!

My first race of the season will be the REV3 Olympic distance race in Costa Rica (!/costaRica/index.htm)  February 19th. While in Costa Rica,Michael, Richie Cunningham, and I are putting on a Tri camp! If you are going, sign up for our camp! Michael has been busy putting all of the details together and it’s going to be a really informative and FUN time! You can check out the clinic details here:!/blog/2010-12-28-costarica-race-clinic.html

Thanks to all of my supporters including SPLISH, Boulder Running Company, Kestrel Bikes, First Endurance, ISM Saddles, Norma Tec, AVIA, FSA~VISION, Jack and Adams, ZIPP wheels, Justin’s Nut Butter, TYR, REV3, TRAKKERS, CycleOPS, BettyDesigns, T3 Mattresses, Louis Garneau, Flatirons Athletic Club, Zinka, and OAKLEY!

See you at the races!