June 3rd – Finding my feet…

………..and…….breathe……….

I have been in Las Vegas for four weeks now, and so far, in no particular order, I have:

  • Started working Full-time as Physical Therapist
  • Opened a bank account (harder than it sounds!)
  • Taken out a lease on an apartment, collected keys and begun to move in (begun/began??)
  • Bought a car
  • Bought a bed, sofa and mattress….the essentials
  • Got a ‘cell phone’
  • Placed 2nd overall, 1st in age-group in local 5km running event
  • Placed 1st overall in Amica Lake Las Vegas Sprint Triathlon
  • Entered 70.3 Ironman Wisconsin, booked flights and hotel and started training plan
  • Become a Ninja/joined a running race team (Ninja Endurance Racing)
  • Met and just about have joined the Colavita Cycling team
  • Been abseiling (repelling), hiking and zip lining in the Nevada desert
  • Got heatstroke after said abseiling, hiking and zip lining
  • Learned that you say ‘sweater’ not ‘jumper’, you don’t ‘nip to the loo’ you ‘go to the restroom’ and ‘garage’ sounds more like ‘gar-aah-je’
  • Been mistaken for Irish, Australian, English, Swiss
  • Been complimented on ‘how good my english is’….awkward

All in all its been hectic but Im really starting to get used to my new life over here. I do miss my friends and family back home but I know they’re proud of me and want me to be follow my dreams and ambition. I also feel that training here in Vegas, with the altitude, extreme heat, high winds, 0% humidity, mountainous surroundings and brilliant facilities (for example, I live next door to a 50m outdoor training pool) I am hopeful that I can improve my athletic potential or at least begin my journey towards developing as an athlete.

So what’s next…..

After a successful Sprint Triathlon today at Lake Las Vegas, I can now focus 100% on the next BIG event:

Ironman 70.3 Racine, Wisconsin

1.2mile Swim/56mile Bike/13.1mile Run

The Goal: 1st in age category or achieve roll-down qualification for….

Ironman 70.3 World Championships Las Vegas, Nevada

The combination of ‘The Goal’ and the fact I have never competed at this distance before, coupled with unknown weather/water/air conditions in Racine, I know this challenge will be…. well…. challenging…

So here I am, psyched for the training and the challenge, scared of failure or the dreaded ‘DNF’ and filled with unknowns I need to try and turn into knowns in the next few weeks. Any tips on what to wear, what to eat, training tips, diet plans to lose those last few punds, what to aim for time wise, or words of wisdom from my athlete friends would be most appreciated (comments below please)

Lisa x

Training Quote of the Week:

You can quit and no one will care….. but you will always know…

May 7th – Viva Las Vegas

Well here is the first update from my new home in Henderson, Nevada. I use the term ‘home’ loosely as I’m actually just staying in a hotel for a month whilst finding my feet/looking for a house/starting to work and EARN MONEY!!!

Have already caught a bit of sun after day one…..my word what a difference cycling around the place in 40mph WITHOUT rain and sleet!! Talking of cycling, I put my bike together earlier today, and my wheel/tube properly blew up. Now maybe not a big deal back home but when you move somewhere where people are allowed to keep guns and a city where CSI murder investigation show features….well you can imagine the words and jumping flat to the floor action that accompanied. Strangely no-one actually came to my room. Concerning or????

Well apart from building bike, going to gym, cycling to supermarket, cycling to a potential house, getting a chest x-ray, getting a physical exam from Dr Pringle, doing a drug test (yup the pee in the cup kind) and meeting some of my new colleagues, I didn’t really get up to much else. Oh, I did try to set up an online bank account…. think I managed, but no confirmation yet. Might go and check out the hotel’s hot tub…..

Need to find new training clubs/people this week……..

 

February 22 – FOAM ROLLER WORKSHOP

Please see below for details of the upcoming Foam Roller Workshop. Spaces are limited so get in touch to reserve YOUR space.

FOAM ROLLER WORKSHOP

WORKSHOP 1: Sunday 4th March, 4.00pm-5.00pm
WORKSHOP 2: Thursday 8th March, 6.30pm-7.30pm

Recovery is an important part of any athlete’s routine. Whether you play a team, individual or multi-sport sport, the demand placed on your body and muscles is significant. To assist local athletes in self-management techniques for recovery and general maintenance, I am running a Foam Roller recovery workshop.
The workshop includes:
  • Blue Foam Roller (15x90cm)
  • Anatomy and Biomechanical review
  • Theories of Myofascial release and trigger point release including handout for your reference.
  • Instruction handout on the use of foam roller and techniques to adopt for certain muscles.
  • Interactive workshop on techniques with guidance, supervision and teaching points given.
The cost of the workshop is £32.50 including the foam roller.
As spaces for the workshop are limited, spaces will be given on a first come first served basis. To register for the course please email lisa.tri87@gmail.com to request a registration and PARQ form

February 9 – patiently waiting….

First of all, can’t even believe it’s February already! Where does the time go?! Anyway, amongst other things I am currently patiently waiting for a phone call or text or telegram or more appropriately stork, as my baby sister is expecting her first baby, making me nearly an aunty for the first time!!! Seeing as we’re now past her due date, I find myself twitching any time  the phone goes just in case! Wow what a nerve racking time…..praying that everything goes well and that mother and baby are safe and healthy 🙂

So….I am still patiently waiting on an exam date, however my time is more consumed by studying and the frantic panic that seems to accompany studying for such a big exam!! Hoping to get over in the next couple of months BUT IN THE MEAN TIME I have got fed up of not planning any races so have entered Stirling Duathlon (25th March) and contemplating Dambuster Duathlon (10th March with super Iron girl Laura Sarkis). Having to competed in Duathlon for a number of years due to my panic and dislike for running, I have overcome said issues and feel confident now more than ever in my running ability. Saying that I do feel it ironic that just as I decide to compete at 70.3 distance I enter a 3k race, and finish first female! Spanner in the works or what?!

Weather has been dire….I don’t think I’ve been out cycling with the team on a Sunday THIS YEAR!!! This is something I will definitely not miss when living in the USA! Hopefully as we progress into February and March the Ice will dissipate and due to our excessive Turbo training/watt bike training/ and spin classes Team Total Endurance will absolutely dominate the cycling scene!! If you don’t train with anyone just now or have been putting off going to that local group GO NOW!!! Training with other like-minded mental triathlon types motivates you like nothing else; the environment, the atmosphere (sweaty yes), the competition, the satisfaction and sense of achievement of absolute commitment to the set is a feeling like none other!

I have had some recent issues with food and training which I am going to create a poll about. For those who don’t know, I have coeliacs disease which limits me to a gluten free diet and leaves me with some symptoms of IBS also. This makes fuelling, recovery and race prep tricky at times. Even breakfast can turn into a constant struggle, so anyone out there with any GF tips or advice for athletes, I would welcome them warmly!!

Other than that, that’s all there is to say for this affa’ driech day in Aberdeen city!

Lisa x 

Friday 13 January – Happy New Year… here’s to 2012…

2012 …. a year to start again, to build on goals not yet accomplished and put aside the stresses and strains of 2011

2011 is going to be difficult to beat, graduating, excellent positions in triathlon european and world level events and making a comeback to the stage, however 2012 has the potential to be even bigger….

I am getting there with these american conversion exams, slowly but surely…. and I hope to be over there within the next couple months. Have stopped making deadlines and just working hard in the hope that hard work will indeed pay off!!

I am currently in a dilemma with triathlon. Olympic vs 70.3?!?!?

After meeting professional triathlete Bella Bayliss (yes I am name dropping!) at the Lumphanan Detox 10k (where I came 2nd senior TO Bella Bayliss) I am even more tempted to make the jump to 70.3 distance. I have always been ambitious and want to become the best I can be….can I become the best at Olympic distance – realistically without my swimming improve a LOT, probably not; can I become the best I can be at 70.3 or indeed Ironman? Why am I more confident about saying yes to this, a distance double or quadruple what I’m used to??! Anyway, time is ticking, it’s already nearly half through January and decision time must be now! The year is shaped around this decision so can’t be taken lightly. Just need to make a decision and believe it is what I am meant to do this year…… if anyone would like to give any tips advice to help me that would be great!

Life is about living, living for today, ‘no day but today’, but its also about dreaming and chasing your goals and ambitions…

So before going any further into this potentially incredible 2012 I WILL make a choice, just not sure which it’ll be yet. Maybe I’ll find out at the track tomorrow…..

Happy 2012 everyone 🙂 let’s make it amazing

Lisa x

Merry Christmas Everyone :)

Holiday’s are Coming 🙂 ’tis the season to be merry, enjoy the company of our family, friends and loved ones, eat until we are forced to lie down and be VERY still until the over eating feeling passes – maybe that’s just me?! – and to look back over this past year as we prepare for the next….2012 baby!!

2011 has been an incredible year full of joy, sadness, successes, huge obstacles, incomprehensible stress levels, moving house too many times to count and I owe a lot of it to the wonderful people in my life, the people who have supported me and stood by me through thick and thin.

The financial climate has been dire yet again, but nevertheless with the support of the following companies, sponsorship enabled me to travel to China to compete in the AG World Triathlon Championships. For this I’d like to say a very special thank you to Freelance World, Run 4 It and to  McIntosh Plant Hire, I really appreciate your support and could not have made it there without you!!

Secondly, but by no means inferiorly, my thanks goes to all of my personal sponsors who contributed by sponsoring me and my Mum across the Lairig Ghru, by sending generous donations and believing in me also. Your kind words and support were taken with me to Beijing, and truly helped me through the actual event. 

I know I have previously said my thanks to all these people but I felt they were worthy of further recognition!

2011 was the year I also graduated from the Robert Gordon University with a 2.1 in Physiotherapy. I have since been working through various steps to allow me to travel stateside to employment in America – no mean feat by any account, and I still have a way to go but getting there slowly and surely. I also returned to the stage as a dancer in FAME and as the lead role of sell-out show Shhh… the Musical down in the Fringe in Edinburgh. Was good to be performing again!!

So, to round off a great year I am looking forward to spending Christmas with family, hopefully catching up with old friends, and enjoying the snow….whenever it comes….up in the hills.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a magical New Year!! 

I promise next post will be less reflective, and far more witty 🙂

Stay cool, 

Lisa xxx

Rain Rain Go Away

Miserable seems the most fitting way to describe today’s weather and general ambience. It is a Friday but I seem to have lost that ‘Friday Feeling’ in amongst the stress of trying to find another part time job to tide me by, stressing about these american exams and when they’ll be, stressing over a tax bill that I’m sure I’m not due but seeing as its taken 7months to reply to my last letter, it doesn’t appear to be settling any time soon! Stressing over months and months, years in fact, of working so hard, trying to be the best at everything I do, giving 100% commitment to various projects, and leaving little time for relaxing, all to be stuck in limbo. No way of planning ahead when I don’t know where I’ll be in 6months time – will I be here, will I be in America, will I have changed direction completely?! Being stuck in this limbo scares me and panics me, because I have absolutely no control over when things will happen. So what do I do?

I keep faith and believe. Believe that everything will work out if I continue to work hard towards my goals, keep focussed and have faith that things will fall into place. Faith and belief are so often associated with religion, dismissed by those who don’t follow any particular religion or cult, but faith and belief are what makes the world go round. We all need a little faith and belief, whether that be in ourselves, in our family, in our friends, in our work, in society, in humanity… not a lot, just enough to keep us going, keep me going. I’m not overly religious, but I believe that things will work out. I have faith that my hard work, commitment and sacrifice have all been worth it and that there’s a light at the end of this tunnel, a light that’s been waiting for me.

So on days like this, where the skies are grey, my shoes are wet, my finances are depressing, studying feels endless, I close my eyes….. remember that everything will be ok….. smile….. breathe….. and get on with it. 🙂

Back to Basics

Hello blogging world!

Well, it’s been a long time since my last post so apologies for that, but here I am, back to the drawing board, back to studying, back to basics.

BACK TO BASICS – this title I chose for this post as it kind of signifies where I am just now with training, studying, working, everything! Autumn/Winter is a familiar time for athlete’s to come back to the basics; a time to put all the recent months powerful and chaotic training to bed and physically and mentally re-group. A time to analyse, criticise and strutinise technique, to bring the intensity back down and increase the duration, and to ultimately bring the enjoyment back to training. With this comes the enjoyable ‘Sunday Group Ride’ with my interesting and wonderful teammates from Total Endurance. Hours and miles covered every sunday at a steady pace, with chat of last night’s x factor (mainly from me), goals and dreams for the season to come, memories and significant race stories from the season just passed, meandering through the most beautiful countryside of our beloved Scotland. I must say this attitude will probably change in the week’s to come as the temperature plummets, wind speed picks up and snow, sleet and rain darken the once vibrant surroundings….. aaahh good old Scotland!

In other news, I have started up a physiotherapy clinic in Aberdeen, working a couple days per week, with room to expand with demand if necessary. This is another step in the ‘back to basics’ campaign. ‘Do what you know’. I have been studying for these American exams for some time now, but with paperwork and admin issues hindering progress, I realised that things were taking longer than initially projected.

So, in the mean time, I am Lisa Leonard BSc (Hons) MCSP, available for physiotherapy at Run4It. Please see my new page and feel free to contact for details! 🙂

With the end of season by, I’d like to take a quick moment to sum up this years’ achievements:

  • 5th AG World Championships, Beijing China
  • 5th AG European Championships, Pontevedra Spain
  • Ranked No1 overall for Standard Distance, STA Rankings
  • Ranked No2 overall for Sprint Distance North, STA Rankings
  • 1st Inverurie, Westhill and Huntly Triathlon in Aberdeenshire series
  • 6th Scottish TTT Championships with Laura Sarkis and Cathy Wyse
  • New PB for 10TT, 25TT
  • Won Glegg Trophy 🙂

Overall a fairly successful season with highs and lows as always – LOW point at Huntly Tri being directed the wrong way by local youth, getting lost and then having to find my way back and onto the right course! High point to that was still coming first but highlights goal for next season to make sure I know the course!!!!

 

Well, off to swim, run and study now! 🙂

September 14th – Beijing ‘the tour’

Wow!!! What an amazing past 3 days!! We left Changping on monday to begin 3 days of sightseeing around Beijing to finish off our trip in China. Having just raced, packed my bike up, watched the elite women, gone to closing ceremony all on the Sunday I was pretty flipping exhausted but China awaited and this was a once in a lifetime chance! We began our sightseeing in the Ming Tombs. We visited the tomb of one of the emperor’s from the Ming Dynasty, who had built his tomb in this area because of the good ‘Fung Shui’ when he was 19years old. He then celebrated his 24th birthday in the tomb….bit creepy but nevermind!

Next on our travels was the Great wall of China. I have to say this was probably the highlight for me of the whole trip. Now the great wall spans 5000miles across China but exists in different passes. We visited the Juyong pass and with two different ways to climb the wall, we began our ascent. Having completed this side in not too long a time and realising that the other way went higher and longer AND our tour bus leaving in less than an hour ….this seemed like a good challenge. With a bet of alcohol thrown in that we couldn’t climb the other side in 20mins this was all I needed to get going!! Now, if you have ever been to the great wall you will understand that’s it’s blooming steep steps of varying heights and they go on and on and on….. This was hard work but the view at the top was amazing!!! The scenery was just breathtaking. Unfortunately the weather let us down as it was really misty which kind of spoiled the view but it was something else! the way down was pretty precarious and outstretching both hands to steady myself with full concentration on controlling my legs I knew I was going to suffer later for this. As we made our way down carefully, a chinese man with 3 bin bags full of rubbish came running by….DOWN…the wall!! Fair enough he’s probably had a lot of practice but SACK THAT as a job! Very impressive!

I won’t go through everything else in quite so much detail but other things encountered in the past few days include:

Tiananmen Square

Forbidden City

Summer Palace (including a boat ride….vomit)

Temple of heaven

Lama Temple (not related to Temple of Heaven)

Jade Factory

Pearl Factory

Silk Factory (was really only a couple jars filled with preserved larvae)

Kong Fu Show

Silk Market

Rickshaw Tour

‘Genuine’ chinese man’s house….or basically a long tale

Downtown Beijing

now I think that’s it…. apart from the bus banter….karaoke tonight ‘chinese style’…

It’s been an amazing visit, and it really is a very interesting place with very strong culture. I won’t say too much about the politics about the place because that would be a whole other kettle of fish….plus the internet is restricted enough over here I wouldn’t want to be arrested for saying something out of line! It truly was a great experience, with a great race and fantastic end to the season.

Coming home tomorrow though and there is a TT on Sunday which I may just do for fun….then there’s Huntly triathlon next weekend….again, just for fun of course….THEN I’ll finish my season….maybe…..

Well, must get packed and find my passport which I actually seem to have misplaced at the moment! But it must be here somewhere….otherwise I may be here a little longer and to be honest I think Ive had enough of eating rice, breathing smog and squatting toilets so Ive got to find it!

Thanks for following my blogs over this visit. Please subscribe to my blog and I will continue to update with details of my next adventures….STATESIDE BABY 🙂

 

For the last time….Goodnight China, Goodafternoon Scotland and Goodmorning America

Lisa x