Grown up in a smaller Swedish town I was the typical horse girl who was good at sport. I rode my bike everywhere (most times quicker than the bus) and learnt about hard work and responsibility in the stable. I wanted to go places with my competing but with limited finances horseriding proved to be a difficult venue.
In the summer of 2000 I rode my bike to Italy together with my mum. The day she turned 40 we put our feet in the Mediterranean having been on the bike for 19 days, most of these in a heavy rain... I had an old steel bike 5 sizes to big, gears down on the frame and bags attached both front and back. It did the work, but I can't say I was sold on the sport.
The turnaround was a few weeks after the return to Sweden when I signed up for a local triathlon event in my hometown. I had to breastswim all the 400m in the pool and was 2nd last out of the water... With a solid bike base in my legs I managed to overtake a whole bunch of people and win my age group.
Another year down the road my horse got injured and I made the decision to learn to swim and put some more time into my own training. This paid off and in 2002 I won the Swedish Junior Champs, the Nordic Junior Champs and qualified for Europeans. FUN! Finally I found a sport where you get rewarded for your training and commitment , not by the size of your familys wallet. ]
I still have all my family and friends back in Sweden. The horses are swoped for dogs but my mum is still active and have done three IM's since the cycling trip to Italy.
I'm currently based in Australia training with Darren Smith, my coach since 2007. I'm living the dream, riding my bike and training hard day after day. My ultimate goal is to found out how good I can be and how fast I can get.
The challenge will be to time this with the day if the triathlon event in London 2012...
Sprint finish with a golden outcome in YokohamaOctober 1, 2012
Yokohama will forever remain a bit of magical place for me.
As a career first ITU World Series win in 2009 – and now today another successful race with a gold medal reward.
It seems to be the place where I take control of the outcome and make sure it goes down my way.
In 2009 I came off an impressive 3 silvers in the WCS (Madrid, Hamburg and London). I remember running out on the last lap thinking “please don’t let it be another silver, I take anything but a silver…”. I went early, way to early probably…but got away with it and turned that medal into a golden one.
Today we ran out on the last lap as quite a substantial group. Way to many girls for me to feel comfortable. Yet, I knew I had good legs and more and more, faith in my finish.
With about a kilometer to go the pace picked up and the line of girls dragged out single file. I could hear the strain on the breath around me, and figured I still was in a good position.
The coach had given me a few different alternatives to play with. One of them was to wait for the finish and go with a strong kick.
Still, passing that corner that was the decisive one in 2009 – I figured I should try to do a repeat.
It worked back then – so maybe it will work again.
It didn’t really go down they way I had hoped.
I kicked. I kicked hard.
Once that decision is made there is no turning back or easing off. The only option is to go hard and give it everything until that banner is broken and the clock is stopped.
The problem was that my friend and training parter Anne Haug decided to go with me. She hung on all the way through the blue carpet – and then came back at me.
I was under some serious pressure and the option of loosing out in another sprint flicked through my head. I did not want that to happen. I did not want to be that close – but missing out – once more this year. The Olympics was enough.
Somehow I found some hidden powers enough to carry me over that line in first.
Such a tremendous feeling of happiness and content.
I think the season of 2012 officially has turned from an injury prone one – to a career best!
A Huge Win at Home in the ITU Stockholm World Triathlon SeriesAugust 27, 2012
It was one of those days I’ll never forget.
I finally had my home race. I had a huge crowd. And I had an olympic silver medal to my name. What was missing was nine thousands of a second. In Stockholm I had the chance to turn things around. Silver to gold.
I could not picture a better place to hear my national anthem than in front of the castle in the capitol city Stockholm.
And to share this moment with so many of my family, friends and fans of the sport. It was absolutely magic! I had a very strong desire to do well this weekend. I dreamt of gold – and I was determined trying to make this dream reality. I pushed hard all the way, didn’t wait around for any tactics or let anyone else dictate the pace. And it worked. I started this sport watching the likes of Fernandes and Snowsill just running away at the front, dominating the races.I always wanted to race like that. And I’m incredible proud that I got to win a race in a similar style – at home – in Stockholm.
My new ShivJuly 9, 2012
Did I mention roller coaster in my last blog?
Somehow I've got the feeling I did. Unfortunately I haven't emptied the subject just yet.
I came back from Kitzbühel on a high - just to be pulled back straight back into reality.
No matter how good that feeling inside of me was, I still couldn't neglect the fact the tendon behind my knee was really sore.
Lets give it some days we said. We did. We gave it a week. And the happiness from Kitzbühel had quickly transformed into worries and dark clouds.
A trip to the hospital, a treatment and some days off my legs.
My swimming got stronger alongside with my urge to get back to riding and running.
So, about the same day the biking was reintroduced in my program my new SHIV arrived.
A red, bold and very beautiful thing promising of speed and brighter futures.
I now have a week to get somewhat ready for the Zürich 5i50.
Then another three before the big D-day in HydePark London.
The coach is fretting to hold me back for Zürich. It's a race I really just need to finish to confirm my place in the 5i50 grand final in Des Moines later this year. And I know he is a bit nervous of me reinjuring myself again. My body seems to be more fragile then a back-derailour in a bike bag these days... I'll of course negotiate, but we'll see how much effort I'll be able to give Zürich on saturday.
I might have to play it safe and be a bit careful with my body - three and a bit weeks to go and no use in turning up with only the one leg.
Exceeding Expectations - Second in Kitzbühel!June 26, 2012
Exceeding Expectations - Second in Kitzbühel!
So in my last post I said I wanted to test things,
to see were the body was at.
Apparently it is in a pretty good place.
I had way more running in my legs than what I had dared hoping for.
The race wasn't perfect by any means. It rarely is when I haven't raced for a while. Details gets rusty, and that bullet-proofness that arrives half way through the season is yet to be found. The swim was ok and the bike without remarks. I did quite a bit of work on the first two laps. Tried to encourage a nice work ethic in the group and get things going. In both Sydney and the Madrid race the second and third pack caught up with the leaders. I think that is very unnecessary and see no point in wasting a good swim like that. With great runners in the packs behind the run is going to be much harder - and the fight for the top positions more difficult.
The course in Kitzbühel is not easy. There is the hill, the cobbles, the tight turns and the fast tunnel. Even sitting on requires a fair bit of power. Just the way a good ITU course should be like. By the time we reached T2 we had built up a nice 2min lead on the chase group.
Coming off the bike I messed up my transition. A good part of 10 seconds was spent standing still trying to get my hands to undo my helmet. They were not working the way they should, and will probably get homework from coach.
Clipping and unclipping my helmet in front of the tv -every night until the Olympics…
I ran out in the back of the group and had to put the hammer down for the first 500meters. I knew that effort could potentially be costly for the later parts of the run, but there was also no point in running 20m behind the pack for the rest of the race. Once tucked in at the back - prepared to start to dig and hang on for dare life - I was surprised on how slow the pace was. Having seen lots of the race coverages, I was prepared for another super quick run.
The way we ran, I thought we almost would get caught from the runners in the second pack.
It turned out to an epic tactical battle. 6 went to 5 went to 4 on the last lap. Around the last U-turn ms Spirig put in a surge and the group got strung out. I found myself on her shoulder, still not struggling too much with the pace. I tried to counter attack her surge, but didn't quite have the horsepower to drop her. Instead I set het up on my shoulder running into the finishing chute. That was where she brought in her lethal kick and insanely high cadence. And I found myself left behind unable to respond. But, if you have a look at the last bit of the coverage - you'll find a very happy Lisa crossing the line in second.
Going back to the roller coaster and ups and downs over the past couple of years. A moment like that, when the body exceeds all expectations and everything (well..almost everything) falls into place. That moment makes all the downs worthwhile and quickly forgotten.
Next on the program is a big block of training. Morse speed, more running, more aggressive and dynamic cycling. Included in the block will be the 5i50 race in Zürich. Polishing off the block will be the Hamburg ITU World Series race - two weeks before the games.
Bring it on!
gearing up for KitzbühelJune 22, 2012
It's been some ups and downs in the Norden life lately.
Last years low was the inflammation in my flexor hallicus longus - that made me sit out a large chunk of racing mid season.
And saw me spend a lot of time with the Irish physical therapist and gury Gerard Hartmann.
That was then quickly forgotten after the win in Hy-Vee, LA and Dallas and the 4th place in the World Championship Series Finals. A HUGE up part.
I came back down to face a muscle tear in my right calf. Rehabbed and spent a lot of time reestablish the base I had missed out the previous year.
The form wasn't quite there and I came in a bit underdone to the first WC/WCS races in Mooloolaba and Sydney. Only to face another muscle tear a couple of days after the Sydney event.
The roller coaster of life I guess.
There will always be up and downs, and there is no way of telling how big they will be - or how long they will last.
But I have finally found myself in a happy place.
Where training has been un interrupted and the body is responding nicely.
I had to sit out the San Diego race due to my calf tear - but added Kitzbühel to the program instead.
Thats where I am right now, with my feet up happily resting my tired limbs.
The bike is once again shiny from an overhaul by Paddy and the specialized guys on site.
The 404's on and the tribars clipped on. The chain and cassette cleaner than the bathroom mirror.
I can't guarantee any fireworks for tomorrow - but I definitely think that there will be glimpses of "old lisa" out on the race course.
I'm thinking the bike will be solid... and lots of my competitors legs will feel the strain going out on the run....
Time to test where things are at.
Getting back at itAugust 18, 2011
It's been very quiet on the Norden front this year.
I know I haven't only been absent in the results list but also withdrawing from the world in terms of blogging...
I never got going this season. Early on in my off season training I started to get troubles with my running. A dull pain and sore legs, but no one really could put a finger on why. Various MRI's on my calf showed no explanation but I was told to keep on managing and doing what I could.
To be used to tick off 90k's week my milage reduced to about 30 on average, a good week.
Needless to say I was in deep trouble getting out on the racecourse. Hoping the problems eventually would fade and go away by themselves I kept trying to scramble together some points in the World Championship series. I managed a 9th (Sydney) and a 12th (Madrid) before I decided enough was enough. It's not possible to be competitive in this sport if your training is compromised.
Through Bobby I got in touch with the Irish physiotherapist Gerard Hartmann. He had a good look at me and then sent me on for more MRI scans in Dublin. I came back with a diagnose of a severe inflammation on my Flexor Hallucis Longus - treatment in form of an injection and a very solid rehab program.
I was also told to stay off my legs for three weeks.
Very painful for someone used to a solid amount of leg abuse each day.
To keep the story short; I have now finished my off time and slowly but surely started to introduce some running again.
I choose to do the London WCS race even if it meant coming in very underdone for it. I had a solid swim and cycle - but of course faded on the run. Knowing my main reason to race was to get a look at the course, I tried to keep the embarrassment finishing in 30th at bay...
Straight after the race I packed my bags and went to Ireland for another couple of days with Hartmann. He liked my progression and gave me thumbs up to increase my training.
Couldn't have left Ireland in a happier state!
So with Lausanne around the corner I have had one week of something that's a little bit faster than jogging.
I'm still far from fit, and defending my world title will be next to an impossible task.
But for me right now, it's like a little win just to be out there able to race.
I'm looking at Lausanne as a very good speed session with some of the best training sparring in the world present. My goal is a little bit further down the road with four weeks to Beijing WCS Final and Yokohama WC, followed by the LA triathlon and the US Open in Dallas.
I had to realize the 2011 season wouldn't be the best one for me. Instead I'm trying to give myself the best possible way to start the 2012.
But before then, I'd like to get a few nicer experiences from the race course!
So in Lausanne I'm hoping the crazy chica will be flying the Specialized flag. Couldn't think of a better person to take over the rainbow stripes.
Crash bang seven stitches and a World CupMarch 24, 2011
It's been an intersting week in the Norden life
Normally before a bigger race you'd like that nice week of freshening up. To do some faster harder sessions, get some more rest, experience that feeling of the body responding.
I love going to a race being excited, and curios, of what I can do out there.
How fast can I run this time? Can I get the swim right, can I hang on to the superfish's and überbikers out there.
This time, well maybe not so much...
Over the past four years I got it right once. As in I managed to survive a really good base block and come out fitter than ever before. The past two years has been all about injury management and saving what saved can be.
To be fair this year hasn't been that bad. It's just been taking long for my body to respond to the training I've put it through.
The only niggle has been a sore calf that I've been forced to use the cotton gloves with. Sometimes it has been behaving -sometimes it's been struggling forcing me to pull the plug in some sessions.
So decided enough was enough last week.
My physio sent me to a sports doc who sent me to get an MRI on my right calf.
And yes, like anyone could have guessed there was an inflammation on the tibia.
“Ok, doesn't have to be the end of the world” I though bravely as I got my head around endless waterrunning sessions and a big swim block. It's only little over a week with no running. I can take that. I can still keep fit.
Then, as I was smashing out some major Watts and frustration on my Amira Tuesday morning the next set back came in to my life.
This time in terms of a just rained on roundabout slightly off chamber
Head first down on the ground.
I've been trying to work out how I managed to land as silly as I did. Any normal rider would take the biggest blow on the hip, maybe a bit of road rash on the elbow and probably some scratched up palms. Me, no...I landed chin first down on the tar. Had a big cut on my chest and good few scratches on the helmet. My Amira came out un-hurt with only a few marks on the right break leaver.
Me... I had to spend the morning at the local medical centre being cleaned up and stitched together. The chin required seven proper stitches and turned me in to a Frankenstein goes Pirate (and maybe a twist of russian triathlete...). Only eye pad and parrot missing. Asking the doctor how long they would have to stay in my face for he responded five days. “So, if I'm racing a World Cup in five days -should I take the stitches out before or after the race?”. “.... ehm, I would think maybe after” was his response...
So I'm not only a bit sore and battered, I'm also forced to stay out of the water for at least a couple of days due to infection risk. So this means my training program is reduced not only by running but also swimming and water running. That leaves... cycling... and core.
So here I am on the flight on my way to Mooloolaba. The first WC of the year and the season opener for most of the who is who in triathlon. Am I excited?! Hmmm, well it is a very pretty place with a very pretty beach. I will be able to get back in the water today. My stitches will come out on sunday. My body will probably stop feeling like it's been hit of a truck anytime soon.
Yes, I'm a little bit excited. But myabe not for the same reasons as back in 2008. When I was so keen to see how fast I would be able to run. When I later surprised everyone by running a low 34 and getting on the podium for the first time in my life. And sharing it with the two legends Snowsill and Fernandes. That was different.
I'll scrape my body together, make friends with Amira and make the most out of it on sunday!
I still do love racing...
The race debut for the 2011 season is done and dusted.February 28, 2011
It might not have been the world championships, or the Geelong sprint champs… it was the Kurnell Olympics.
Anyone living in training in Sydney would know this is one of the most important races of the year. Anyone else… probably never heard about it.
Kurnell is an age group non-drafting sprint race. You win moisturisers and towels. You might win a medal if you fast enough. But you compete for the love of the sport.
Guess you really have to love this sport to get up at 4.30 to have registered, checked in by 6:45 and start your race at 7:04…
Triathlon in Australia is something special. It has something I have never seen anywhere else before. The fact I bumped into Macca in the bag compound. Or got chased by Michellie Jones (who started in the wave 4mins back). Or got my moister-riser pack given to me by Craig Alexander. Where the heck else in the world would that happen?!
I guess only in the Kurnell Olympics?
The body was far from tip top and it felt I was stuck in the 3rd gear for most of it. I took a few wrong turns on the run (first lap only) and my transitions were average. But somewhere out there I really started to enjoy the process if racing again. It’s been a long time since last time. And I have gone through stages where I wonder if my body really can do all this again. Getting back into the race suit has felt very far away.
Because of this I was grateful to get to race in Kurnell with everyone else. To race just for the heck of it. For the post race coffee and a good day out. It was great.
And yes I did win. That kind of completed the day. Because after all, I’m in it to win it…
Crossbike adventures in KenyaNovember 29, 2010
This is my second time in kenya.
The land of the worlds best long distance runners in history. The Rift valley plateu.
Kiplagat, Kipkeino, Kiprop...
The news for this year is the presence of my new Crux.
My buddy out on the red dusty dirt road.
It does certainly not look so new anymore....
If we went to scout and experience Kenya last year -we are here to train this time.
That means I'm not only running but looking into getting some serious hours in the saddale as well.
We spent the first week at the IAAF high altitude training centre in Eldoret. It's a great centre based around a group of kenyan middle distance runners.
Food on set times, sleep in heaps and hard quality training.
The riding was quite tough as the roads are hard and VERY bumpy. The longer ride I did coach
Darren came with as company. A heavier MTB forced him to stay on my wheel as the Crux did well on both speed and bump negotiations. Half an hour on dirt took us out on one of the main roads leading down towards Nairobi. But well before then, to the edge of the great plateu and a look out over the valley. My garmin stopped at 2630m (above sea level) with a HR I barely dared to look at... Downhill we stopped for a coke and home made (two days ago?) doughnuts. Energy enough to take us back towards the centre, and the shortcut Darren was planning on. Across the railway tracks, a cow field...and a river.
It seemed a bit wide and a bit too strong so we had to cycle south a fair bit before finding a place where we could wade across. Sursprised locals washing clothtes in the river showed us the best stones, and the best lines to take to come across dry. Then it was only a short spin back to the centre and the awaiting afternoon tea.
Nothing washes dust away better from the mouth and sweet, kenyan tea.
US JackpotOctober 14, 2010
It's the third year in a row I finish my season in Dallas.
It's a great format. The money is good. The race is fun.
And I get to ride a TT bike!
This year I actually prepared specifically for these to races.
I came early some two weeks before. I had the BG fit done at the Specialized HQ in Morgan Hill.
And I have time to train on the bike prior the race.
I guarantee you, this makes a massive difference!
Training is Morgan Hill was fun and almost like a holiday compared to the swiss mountains. An outdoor swimming pool and great weather made the training easy. Add some nice training company in shape of Ms crazy chica Barbara and Irishman Gavin to the mix and the combination is a success.
Me made a roadtrip of the drive down to LA.
Stopped for lunch in a sleepy surfer town. Got pulled over by the cops for speeding. Spent hours in LA traffic coming into town...
Life is fun and never boring hanging out with Specialized...
The race itself was one of these rare perfect ones. Had a really good swim coming out of the water with Haskins and Bennet. I got on my Shiv and everything was going smooth. Great rhythm and lots of power in the legs. I overtook Sara McLarty at the 20k mark and had a whooping 2min+ lead into T2. In the end of the day I won it by 6mins(!) without having to kill myself.
Mission 1 of 2 completed...
The afternoon was spent driving around checking out Hollywood and Beverly Hills... Eating a nice dinner and saying good bye to the boys heading off to Kona the following day.
I had one additional day down the Santa Monica area before getting on the plane to Dallas. Unfortunately my beach/recovery day rained away and I was quite happy to get on the flight and get the heck out of LA.
The Dallas race was moved form a boring not so functional venue to a sweet place called Rockwall. We were put up at the Hilton and had everything within 2mins walking distance from the Lobby... Such a nice change to busy LA with traffic jam and big streets (remember I'm a girl from a small town in sweden..).
We had another early morning and a 4:30 breakfast. [Jeeze I'm glad to get rid of the early mornings in my upcoming break!]
It was still dark when we checked in the bikes. It was dark when we did the swim warm up. It was not far off dark when the gun went off and we dove into the lake...
The swim was similar to LA in the way McLarty took off at the front. I was nicely tucked into the pack of the main contenders. Daniela Ryf, Sarah Groff, Jodie Stimpson with Laura Bennet a few seconds up the road. Once on the bike Daniela started to hammer and I followed through. The course was a lot hillier and I had to work quite hard to stay in touch. Then as the pace settled in and the road turned to rollers I made a move and took the lead. We had caught McLarty at the 15k mark and my mission was to gap Daniela as much as I could before T2. Out on the run the gap was about 30 seconds. Big, but not big enough to relax out there...
I kept the pressure on and suffered through the ups and down out on the run course. I find the 10k out and back courses really hard as you spend most of the time alone having no clue whats going on behind you.
By the end the lead was almost 2mins and I could enjoy the finish chute to it's full extend. Being the last race of the year I made sure to really soak it up and store the feeling in the memory bank.
Mission 2 of 2 completed.
After completed drug test I was free to go and get my holiday started. It's a bit of a weird feeling not to having anything else to focus on. I lost my race shoes out there somewhere...but couldn't even be bothered to go and find them.
Both the head and the body are looking forward to some time off from triathlon.
Time to do these other things in life you don't really get to do while training 30 hours a week...
I'm a World Champion!August 23, 2010
The first female ITU Sprint World Champion in the World!
Wow, what a day!
Won the first ever sprint World Championship
I’m a WORLD CHAMPION!!!
On my bed next to me is a gold medal… need to look at it every once a while to belive it’s true.
I had a great day.
Swam exteremly well.
Got away on the bike.
Got two really strong girls with me. Emma Moffat and Daniela Ryf. Best possible scenario.
Got off the bike and ran hard.
Had Moffat with me at the half way point. Didn’t want to loose in the sprint. Did want to win the true way. The tough way. To run one off ones feet is the true way to do it.
I did it!
I managed to get a gap. I closed my eyes. I ran.
The headcoach put is hand out with a swedish flag. I had time to celebrate at the finish. My smile stretched from ear to ear.
It still does... a day later.
2nd in Kitzbühel WCS!August 17, 2010
It was the last race before the Grand Final in Budapest. The last chance to collect some valuable points and advance up in the rankings.
Opposite to fellow training partner and Specialized rider Barb I really struggled in the early stages of the season. With my injury and lack of a running base I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to catch up on lost ground.
But, the win in Hamburg put me back in the game again.
Coming down from Davos Kitzbühel is an easy drive. Ones you get over the switchbacks of Flüela pass and into Austria that is... The convenience of packing the bikes in the back of the car and arriving less than 4 hours after departure... priceless!
The Specialized boys were waiting for us, the tent set up and the coffee machine well warmed up. The bikes got some TLC while we checked in, unpacked got ready for the racebriefing.
Kitzbühel is a small little town mostly known for it's ski slopes. It's one of those places you struggle to find a "backside".
There are no piles of rubbish, no graffiti, no sad flowers to be seen anywhere!
Compared to races in places like Hamburg and London, it's a bit of a dream for us athletes. Great training around the venue, no traffic and easy access to everything.
After a morning of training and physio I decided to rest my legs and watch the men's race from my hotel room. As always it is very interesting and inspiring! Most notably was the amount of boys that got themselves penalty's in transition.
Gomez one again did a great job. Catching someone with a 2min gap out on the run is not an easy task. And he actually almost made it...
Last time I watched Gomez put down the hammer was in Hamburg. The day after I had the privilege of replicate his results to a specialized double. Up in my room at the Lebenberg Hotel in Kitzbühel I wondered if I could repeat the Gomez results once again...
Training had gone well and I was quite excited to head down to the course at race day. My main focus was to get through the swim with the main pack, and not get caught up around the first buoy and screw up my chances for a good race.
Not sure exactly how I managed to get on Bennett's feet... but the swim turned out to be my career's best ever! I was sitting in 3rd around the first buoy and re-entered for the 2nd lap in 4th!
Coming into T1 well within the front group meant I didn't have to kill myself on the bike but could easily settle in to the pack and start to look after myself.
With a technical and narrow bike course it was important to stay near the front to keep out of trouble. I really enjoyed the course, my legs were feeling strong, the crowd was cheering, the weather was great... What more to ask for? I made my way up towards the front of the pack and jumped off my bike in first coming into T2. This is quite important as it can save you plenty of seconds out on the run!
After a lap we had formed a lead group of five with Emma Moffat, Paula Findlay, Andrea Hewitt, Helen Jenkins and myself. It was a nice even pace that was kept high the whole way. So high that we managed to drop Moffat after the half way mark, and then Jenkins a little bit further up the road.
I knew being in the medals was great as I would climb in the overall rankings. But my mind was all focus on finding a way in how to beat the other two girls....
Going around the last turnaround it was Findlay who started to wind up the pace. I hang on knowing we had dropped Hewitt, hoping Findlay would have gone to early fading before the finish line. But no... she wasn't fading at all.
Instead she just kept winding it up little by little. I was hanging on for dear life really hurting. My lungs almost exploding and my legs suddenly hard to coordinate. Coming in to the blue carpet she had a gap I couldn't close.
It hurt a little not winning.
But the happiness of getting on the podium took over and a big grin covered my face by the time I crossed the line.
I was greeted my Pete and Bobby and cleaned up with a white specialized T-shirt before I was sent off to the host broadcaster. It is such a rush of emotions and joy to be in the medals. To have my mum and grandparents on the grand stands (mum of course crying..) at the medal ceremony was a very special feeling.
The headcoach Tomas had been straight to the calculator and could report I was now sitting in third in the overall rankings. 3rd! That meant I now had chance on a medal in Budapest. Maybe 2010 wasn't a completely wasted season after all...
By the time I had left some blood and urine to the doping control, had my shower and found a restaurant it was 8:30pm... Grandpa made sure a big Wiener schnitzel landed on my plate and I found myself in a very very happy place.
It's now 4 weeks left to the Grand Final in Budapest.
I have lots of work ahead of me.., confident I can take my fitness to another level before then!
Roller coaster weekAugust 2, 2010
It’s been an emotional roller coaster over the past week.
From a surprise win in Hamburg
I was going down to the two races thinking I’d be able to squeeze out two solid, but not exceptional results.
Wasn’t quite the outcome!
But looking back, I rather have my 1st and 26th instead of the two twelves that would make out the average.
To be on top of the podium is one of the best things in life. And the times when you don’t expect it are the best. Not that I do expect to get up there very often. But after great blocks of training when you know you are running well, thats where you do want to end up!
When I ran into the last couple of corners still being in the main pack I knew I was in contention. If I played my cards well, it could be a great outcome. I had two(!) of my training partners in the same pack, as well as Moffat, Hewitt and Bennet… So I also knew I could as well miss out. I didn’t. And I thank my lucky star for that! It hasn’t been a lot of sunshine on the Norden sky lately so it was well sought after.
On the contrary London was a messy experience.
It’s a busy city with lots of people and heavy traffic. The accommodation weren’t perfect but I had to share a mini room with Kate for the first night before moving all my stuff to another building. There was a few media things to do and the venues were spread out and going places was time consuming.
Training had gone well and I felt the best in the pool for quite a few months! But, it’s not necessary that reflects in the race results. A miss in the swim can cost you dare. Ask me… I know.
I had a position on the far right side, maybe 5-7 places in. As my speed is not bad I normaly manage to get a way just a little bit which saves me a little bit of fighting. I didn’t and I got stuck with the girl on my right side swimming all over me reducing my speed. Made me hit the buoy just a little bit too late, together with the big mass. And the carnage.
That was where my London race came to an end. 50 seconds behind in T2, stuck with a pack where very few girls wanted to work and frustration by loosing time by the lap.
I decided early on that I might as well turn it in to a good training session and get something out of it. Had a painful run and a reminder how it feels running 10k’s of a bike with smashed legs. It’s not fun.
It’s was so different and miles away from how it feels to run for medals at the front of the race.
Disappointment. Anger. Frustration.
But also fire.
What did I learn?
I know I have the capability to win a World Championship Series race
My training is going in the right direction.
I’m still far from top fitness.
I just need to keep working hard.
Being a part of the specialized team was once again an amazing experience. I think us triathletes are yet to discover the big benefits from having a team back up! We are used to do about 98% of everything our selves.
Having someone else too look after you [and the bike!] is somewhat a surreal experience that will take some time to get used to!
It is also great to see the guys doing so well! Javier's back to back win in Hamburg and London was above impressive and a great inspiration!
I want to be just like him when I grow up....
Victory in Hamburg!July 19, 2010
It has been a season of niggles and struggle. Not enough training. Interruptions.
I almost felt like writing it all off completely for a while.
Lucky I didn't!
Except that I got bashed around quite badly in the swim the race played out in my favor yesterday.
The bike was solid and the pace high all 8 laps through the streets of Hamburg. There are not many races where the girls are strung out on one line hanging... But hamburg is a course that easily makes people suffer. Cobbles, technical corners and plenty of drags. It's GREAT!
I came off in a good position but then struggles with my shoes some seconds too long. I found myself running out mid pack instead of near the front. "jeeze, I gonna get in so much trouble from coach darren now"... Knowing I could blow myself away with overdoing the chasing I tried to stay patient reeling them back in. By half way trough lap 1 I was there, on the heels of Emma Moffat. The very likely pace setter of the race.
And that was exactly what she did.
She stayed on the front while girl after girl dropped off the pack. Maybe not so many like I would have wished for, out on the last lap we were still a group of seven running together. Everything to make the race more interesting for the spectators eh...
I was waiting for someone to make the final move. And I was hoping my legs would be able to respond. It would be terrible if I could feel that good for 9,5k but then miss the podium in the final hundred meters..!
By the end it was Moffat who increased the pace. I went with her and we opened up a gap backwards. But it wasn't about the other girls anymore. It was all about getting to that banner under the finish shute as fast as possible. The crowd was going mental and my will was making my legs and arms move quicker. I didn't have much coordination left, I barely couldn't feel my limbs. I just tried to get them move over a little bit faster.
I won a sprint finish!
I beat Moffat for the first time ever.
I won my first World Cup Series race for 2010.
Do I need to say I am absolutely delighted?!
The beer showering on the podium was quite a party and I don't think I have ever smelled that bad before.
For you information beer gets extremely sticky when it dries.
Running shoes soaked in beer also smells extremely bad.
But at lest the bike was clean and shiny when I got it back after the drug test. I wish Specialized would clean me up and put me back in representable condition as quick as they do with my S-Works amira...
3 sleeps to go in HamburgJuly 16, 2010
I think this is one of my fav triathlons out there.
Number one reason is probably the streak of great races I had there. Not only great results, but races where I after the finishline was struck by the thought; "how the heck did I do that?".
My first Hamburg experience was as a young "nordo" brushing elbows with the big girls feeling totally out of league... I managed a decent run and broke into my first top 20!
My second time was when I ran away from the rest of the field and won the U23 World Champs. I think that was the day my career really took shape. I remember standing on the podium thinking "you better soak all this up and remember every bit, every smell, every feeling... cause you might never ever get back up here again" I think my smile was stuck on my face for days.
Third time was last year where I ended up in a break away with Moffat and Daniela. A great set up that ended up with a 2nd place and lots of beer in my hair (traditional hamburg podium cermony).
So Hamburg def brings on some great memories. But it is so much more to this race than the results. Most athletes loves it here. The organisation is great. The race course is brilliant and very spectator friendly. The spectators is a knowledgeable crowd and makes sure you never, ever slacks off out there. Even during the swim leg there are pacthes of the course where you eye ball the people on the side. Terrific!
I have now two days ahead of me of which I devide between some quality coffee sipping, a few main sessions, lazing around in my room and hanging at the specialized tent. The latter being one of the favorites as it's easy to combine with the coffee as my AMIRA get some TLC from Dylan.
Bronze medal at European ChampsJuly 6, 2010
After a winter with more down than ups it was nice to be back in the game again. I always care
more for my performance in the race then the final result. And in Athlone this weekend I managed to squeeze the most out of my body.
So I'm absolutely delighted.
Athlone was the perfect setting for a nice race. A small beautiful mediveal Irish town, a challenging course and friendly people. The run course didn't only take us up and down through town, but also past the oldest Pub in Europe! Guess the amount of support we had in that corner!
Training the past month had gone well and the only worrying factor was the small head cold I got the day before departure.
The big Specialized bus was set up down by the transition area for the whole weekend. My bike got a complete over haul by Benny and came back cleaner and shinier than ever before. Enough TLC for a whole year for sure! It was also a good place to catch up with the other Specialized riders and I managed see both Phil and Gavin the days before the race. The Nespresso machine by the couches also made the visits somewhat longer than maybe planned...
The race itself went much smoother than the first two this year.
The swim was undramatic and I came out tucked in to the front group. There was a danish girl off the front so the chase was on until we caught her on lap 2. The british girls made sure the pace was kept high and our group, of about 20, were moving quite nicely around the bike course. Even if most of the main contenders were in the group - there were still some runners stuck in the chase group. And it didn't seem like anyone wanted them to catch up.
I jumped off my bike in front running side by side with Nicola Spririg and Holly Avil towards my rack. Transition went good but not great and I exited in 3rd, just behind Carole Peon and Spririg.
Peon was pushing the pace really hard and my warning bells started to ring. "Don't go out too hard Lisa, you know what happenes..." Cramps in the breathing system or major blow ups wasn't on my wish list toady. I worked hard on finding a rhtyhm and speed - without pushing my body too hard.
The disc problem in my back has forced me to exclude any speed work from my training.
And this, unfortunately has some effect on my racing speed.
But I also knew the pace might drop off a bit at the front later on. And if I play my cards right I might just still be in the game...
After half a lap I managed to catch back up to the two front girls. This just to drop off again some 500m further up the road when Peopn upped the pace just a fraction. People later commented on my "on and off" running though out the race, while in fact I was probably the only one running at a constant speed...
On the 2nd lap I had more problems coming up. This time in shape of the fast moving spainyard Ainoa Murua. She not only caught me but aso ran away from me to establish a 30m gap. "Jeeze Lise, there is your podium. Get your self back up there or you are going to end as a very sad 4th placer..." My mind was racing trying to find some way to make the body move quicker. Luckily the early cramp warnings had gone away and I slowly started to feel comfortable with the pace. I managed to find another gear and got back up on Muruha's shoulder again. "Back in the game".
The 3rd lap was used for some recovery getting out of the wind and saving some energy. We still had Peon and Spririg within sight, but the distance looked a bit too long for a chance on the first two medals.
On the uphill towards the turnaround Murua tried on a change of pace. As I had some time to recover I started to feel pretty good and had no problems to go with her. We turned around, got the wind in out back and started to run out the slight downhill slope towards the little square.
I saw my chance and put on the turbo. It was a deep dig finding some power I wasn't quite sure if I possessed. The crowed went mental and people keept cheering me on telling me I had managed to establish a gap. But, I still had some 800m to run. And when you are starting to fatigue, 800m is a loooong way.
"This is your chance Lisa, here is your medal, just keep it going. It's not further then to the bus stop back home... you can do it".
Running on to the blue carpet towards the finishline was such a big relief.
I had done it. I won my medal and I avoided lasts years dissapointing 4th place.
I had overcome a difficult winter and training problems and managed to get myself back on the podium.
Color on the medal was of lesser value - the podium and the race I just ran meant so much more.
I still have more training to do before I'm in my best shape. But this is a great pointer and confidence boost for the next block of WCS races.
I now know I'm kinda in the game again!
Davos Specialized Concept StoreJune 25, 2010
I am very lucky that Davos not only is host to great mountains and fantastic cheese, - but also a Specialized Concept Store!
I got to know Ivan in 2007 which was my first trip to the mountains, and my very first camp with coach Darren...
Back then, in true Darren style, we stayed in a pretty old, very low budget place, near the train station. Ivan happened to have his little cycle shop in the building next to ours and he became our bike mechanic of choice.
Today the whole area is a big hole. A construction site and most probably the future foundation of new nice buildings and holiday accomodation.
Ivan's cycle shop has moved up the road and turned into a shiny stylish Specialized Concept store.
Apart from a shop filled with beautiful bikes he also have a great coffee machine. One of the reasons every trip to the bike shop tends to take a lot of time...
Earlier this week I took crazy chicka Barb into the shop to introduce her to Ivan. It's good to have her back at camp and exciting to get the inside stories from Madrid WCS and Des Moines WC.
Made it start to itch in my fingers...
I think it's starting to be time to get back in the race suit now.
The past weeks I have really been able to do some work. Link week after week together, recover from fatigue within the heavy training block. I really do like training at altitude. The constant fatigue, the two naps a day, the completely smashed feeling.
I have started to add some speed to the mixture and getting myself ready for Europeans next weekend. It's quite exciting really!
Some more days of work before it's time to go down to sea level and see what the body can do.
Getting the ball rolling...June 10, 2010
The last month has been different.
Normaly by this time I'm well into racing. I have had a couple of decent results and heading up to the mountains ready to take it to the next level.
Not this year. As I said. Different.
The race is Seoul was below par.
Much because I haven't been able to run as much as I needed to in training. Reason?
Something wrong with my left leg, or most likely the nerves controlling it.
Even with multiple weekly physio appoinments and various treatments nothing really seemed to help.
After Seoul I went back home for two nights before continuing down to Germany and my bundesliga team "Asics Team Witten". Two short very succsessfull team races with both individual wins and team wins. Training started to go a bit better, but still the fast running in the races seemed to take me back a few steps each time.
I had a decision to make.
Did I still want to race Madrid?
Or should I take my name off the list and go back and see the swedish physio team?
As I'm still in the early stages of the season so I decided to go back home. Instead of boarding a flight to Spain I spent a full day in Stockholm getting screened and sleeping myself through an MRI.
Lots of travel, but still not feeling much closer to a solution.
Still a lot of question marks and "try this and see if it gets better".
Nothing black or white, and the straight answers as I was hoping for.
Until the MRI results came in on the monday.
A slipped disc was causing me the troubles.
It was disturbing the nerves running down through my legs. Stopping me from running fast and doing the volym I needed to.
Might sound a bit funny but it was such a big relief! To know exactly what was going on.
Now nowing the cause of the problems it will be easier to work my way through it. Another good thing they could tell from the MRI was that it seemed to be on it's way to recovery. Which goes well in hand with the fact that I have been able to run more the past three weeks.
It is looking brighter for ms Norden!
I have now made my way down to the Swiss mountains and the tiny town of Davos. It's the third time I'm back here and it is starting to feel like a home away from home. Things normally goes well up here. Race results normally improves. Great fitness normally occur.
Lets hope I finally got the ball rolling.
And that the 2010 season will turn out like "normal"...
Race report Sydney WCSApril 15, 2010
You know that feeling of nervous excitement?! You don’t know if you want to smile or throw up in a nearby bush… That was exactly where I was coming into Sydney. Training had been interrupted by various niggles and I felt I needed another couple of good training blocks before taking on the girls in the big league.
Also a total lack of smaller races or hit outs left me question where my form really was at. But anyways, racing Sydney it was, and I realized I just had to make the most of whatever was to be found in the body.
We couldn’t have asked for a more scenic course or better weather. It was one of these perfect Sydney days with a clear high blue sky, yellow autumn leaved and lots of excitement in the air. The boys were on their last lap on the bike as I made my way into the athletes lounge positioned underneath the steps of the opera house. A light jog with some drills, some cheering for the boys and last advice from the coach before I made my way down to the water and a warm up. High 21 degrees with a clean clear/blue color –quite impressive for a being a major harbor with lots of traffic!
The world kind of stops when you hear the words “athletes take your marks!”… The mind clears everything out – the muscles tense up and the machinery is ready to go. The gun always comes close after and suddenly you are away in an ocean of arms, bubbles and bodies. It’s quite an experience and if it wasn’t for the effort of getting to the first buoy as fast as possible it probably would be quite a cool outlandish experience. For me it’s a matter of do or die. If I screw it up here I might find myself left behind for the remaining of the race.
I managed to find a flow in my swimming and even if I got tangled up a bit on the first buoy I was able to repair whatever damage was made and found myself nicely tucked into the pack. Unusual to WCS races the pace on the bike was never really high and already on the first lap I could tell everyone was going to end up together. Something that would not only be to my disadvantage but also quite dangerous on the Sydney course.
My main focus was to stay out of trouble, get the fluids down and make sure I had a good run into T2. Something I actually did manage very well! I was first into the tricky bit under the opera house which meant I would also be first off my bike and have a clear run into transition area. Reckon I scored some points from mr Coach there!
As running was a bit of an unknown chapter I just try to relax and follow my feet. They had a pretty good idea of what speed they wanted to keep and I found myself leading the pack up the first hill. Listening to the breathing behind me I knew I had a BIG pack on my heels. Coming up on the Cahill expressway we hit a big headwind and I slipped in behind Moffat and Bennet who took over at the front.
“Rhythm Lisa…relax and find your rhythm.”
My breathing started to feel strained and I had the early signs of a tight chest/stomach cramps that I get when I go out harder than what I am conditioned for. Eventually towards the 2nd half of the 2nd lap I was forced to take down the pace. It was either that or run myself into a breakdown a’la Washington last year. I dropped back in the field but my body had time to recover and I got back to breathing through my belly and relaxing the ribcage. Once I regained a nice rhythm I could pick up the pace again and catch up most places that I had lost. Unfortunately not the first four girls; Moffat, Riveros, Hewitt and Adashi who was too far up the road. Instead I found myself running with the next group consisting of Haskins, Harrison, Roberts and myself. Knowing Kate from training and her last race in Mooloolaba I knew she was in some good from and would be hard to beat. I also knew I had to try to go with her in the last downhill section to try and drop Haskins and Harrison. When she then put in a surge trough the last roundabout I didn’t have the legs to respond.
Coming in to the blue carpet I was still in contact and found her easing up a bit. Having lost so many sprints last year I really didn’t want to give away another one. Even if it “only” was for 5th place.
I sped up and the legs responded well, the momentum carried me past Kate and over the finish line.
5th place is not a podium but it is not a bad result. I love winning and I love podiums… So this was good for me in many ways. I know my fitness isn’t way off where it needs to be. And I’m now really hungry to move up in the results lists! Give me some more weeks of training and bring on Seoul!
Best thing is happiness doesn’t always have to come from your own succesees. Sometimes it is just as nice to share someone elses… like miss crazy chicka Barb’s…
THANK YOU to CATARINA AXELSSON for taking so beautiful photos!
Feeling the cold in CanberraMarch 17, 2010
I definitely didn’t do my home work well enough before I came down here. Being naïve and thinking I was going to Australia, the land of beaches, flip flops and skin cancer. I completely ignored packing any warmer gear and did not expect having to come off my bike with cold feet.
So guess my surprise when I had to start to pile on layers and get a light on my bike.
We have to leave the house a bit before seven for our early morning sessions. The sun has just made it up by then but Canberra is still sleeping. Being a notoriously well planned city we have lots of big parade style roads with big roundabouts to negotiate on our way out to Stromlo.
The hill of choice for any kind of hill reps and longer over gear work type of training. Tuesday mornings are all about grinding and power up the hill in a massive gear. It’s one of my favorite sessions as I tend to love gritting my teeth pushing big gears. It is also a very effective way of warming up cold toes!!!
I survived 4 hills this morning, 2x big gear and 2x build to hard (every two minutes). It takes just about 10mins to ride up, once done with the sessions we are allowed to head home towards breakfast.
The highlight of the day… the müsli bliss! And the always following post breakfast nap…
Weekend adventures...and hickups!March 8, 2010
It's been a quite eventful weekend this time. On top of the normal training [coach] Darren had managed to add a 3k track event for us on Saturday night. Track race. Jeeze. As the normal philosophy in our training sounds: offroad, trails and lots of hills...the smooth red surface of a track felt very foreign for me. Also the fact that I due to a cranky knee haven't done too much speed work yet this year, the 3k started to look pretty scary as Saturday night drew closer.
But, I should know by now pain is not a reason good enough to be scared.
Once into the run I realized I was quite enjoying myslef. Even with lactate up to my ears...
And it's comforting to know that the fitter I get the more enjoy the hurtfactor...
So, how did I go..? Well I got smashed by Vinnie [Vendula Frintova] is my squad who ran a 9:30something. But I'm proud to say that I went under 10mins off my limited running (I wont give you any times.. :)) And I keep reminding myself Vinnie is the current World Duathlon Champ... and she has alreaday proved to be fit and ready to tackle all sorts of races.
As the track race started at 7:40 it was late when I got back, even later after having spoken to my dad on the phone, showered and had dinner... Only hours until it was time to get on the bike and head out for the weekly long ride...
As everyone [in the squad] are in slightly different phases, down with colds or in taper mode, we were only 3 girls heading out for the long ride. I enjoyed a slight sleepin (thats what I call a 6:45 wakeup) and a very large übersized strong coffee before Jenna and Barbara rolled up to the house.
Pump, tube, Garmin Edge, coffee money -check.
Another 4 mins down the road Jennas tyre EXPLODED, a 5cm long cut which proved to be very unrideable (ofcourse she wasn't riding specialized tyres..) Phonecall, pick up and 2 girls were left for the long ride...
We managed to get trough another set of lights before Barb's bike started wheezing and she stopped to pull out the nail that was pointing out of the tyre...
I couldn't believe it! We hadn't even got 10mins into the ride and already had managed to get two punctures!
As bad turned to worse Barbara didn't have a spare with a long velve so we had to ride back to the start point again...
1 hour later we were finally on the way, spirits up high again but tummys aching to get back to breakfast...
It ended up being a really nice ride down and past Cotter followed by a post ride coffee in O'Connor. And the breakfast had sadly had turned into lunch before I got back home again...
So I’m quite excited..March 3, 2010
So I’m quite excited for this first ever I-am-specialized blog entry!
The big brown cardboard box arrived here in Canberra some 4 weeks ago. It was like Christmas all over and I felt like I was 8 years old. The Amira was slick and stylish where she was tucked in among bubblewrap and padding. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to ride such a beautiful creature out on the streets with risking scratching her or getting her dirty… But my fingers were itching and the bike shop just didn’t seem to be able to get it together fast enough. The afternoon she was going to be ready was timed well with an afternoon off. I spent some quality hours in the bikeshop watching as the seatpost got cut off and the handlebar tape came on. Wil (the mechanic and part owner of Velo Republic) was doing a great job getting everything 100% perfect. I especially like the detail of the Swedish colored tape that nicely finishes off the handlebar tape…
I was not disappointed the next day when I finally got to get out on my new wheels.
She is as beautiful to ride as to look at!
I’m racing triathlon over the Olympic distance, main focus is on the ITU World Championship Series race and further up the road the Olympic Games in London. Last year I was 2nd in the World Championship Series and of course, - I’m now looking for that little piece missing to the top place.
I’m currently based on Canberra due to my Australian coach Darren Smith. I train with a squad of 12 of whom pretty much all are girls (two boys only..) who races on the ITU WC circuit.
When u can win the “squad champs” – you know you have a good shot at the world title!
It’s an intense setup but it certainly works very well. And I don’t mind working hard. As a matter of fact I kind of really like being tired to exhaustion…
I’ll keep you posted on my adventures on and off the bike in my pursuit of physical perfection (and BIG GOLD MEDALS..!)
October 1, 2012
August 27, 2012
July 9, 2012
June 26, 2012
June 22, 2012
August 18, 2011
March 24, 2011
February 28, 2011
November 29, 2010
October 14, 2010
August 23, 2010
August 17, 2010
August 2, 2010
July 19, 2010
July 16, 2010
July 6, 2010
June 25, 2010
June 10, 2010
April 15, 2010
March 17, 2010
March 8, 2010
March 3, 2010