Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Swedish Place on the Circuit

After not qualifying for Rio racing Stockholm was back on the list,
I had raced last year and it was a city I was happy I wouldn’t miss.
Flying into Sweden we were greeted with the most beautiful weather,
Which made the experience, the race and exploring that much better. 
New this year compared to last year’s race,
Was that it was Olympic distance with the swim in a new place.
I didn’t do the swim recon. on the Thursday before,
But on race day I found that it was conditions I adore.
A bit of chop and a ROKA wetsuit swim,
Had me feeling good when I got in.
When the gun went off I went for it right from away,
And I found my fastest swim that day.
Coming out Sarah, Carol and I had about a 20” gap,
Then on the bike Flora joined us after a lap.
Away the three of us tried to stay,
With Flora taking control and leading the way.
However, after about 5 laps we got caught,
And at this point I didn’t use the good positioning I’ve been taught. 
I ended up coming into T2 a few seconds back,
So I really had to push the start of the run to rejoin the pack.
I did just that but then Sarah and Andrea got a bit ahead,
At this point I was feeling quite tired and my legs a little dead.
But then I saw that Sarah had dropped Andrea a bit,
And I thought, “OK, Katie how bad do you want it”
I made a move to get back on Andrea’s butt,
Then once I did I was quite tired, and thought, “now what?”
I decided if I could just get to the hill a bit before,
Then I would give it my all once more.
The finish is right beyond a steep little hill,
So once I got to that I went, got 2nd and finished with nil!
 I was very proud of my hard fought race, 
And getting my 5th second place.
The next day Tommy and I changed our initial plans,
So that we can head back to California to work on our tans.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Rio Deal

After the Rio test event I must confess,
That I needed to take a few days to digest.
I finished not really knowing how to feel,
The disappointment in not qualifying was quite real.
The main event of the year had came and went,
When I finished 6th at my first Olympic qualifying event.
This was the Americans’ chance to qualify for the Olympics next year,
But they only took the first two Americans in the top 8 and I was the 3rd I fear.

As in every race there were things I wish I could go back and do again,
But I realized there were things I could be proud of-even if it wasn’t a perfect ten.
So onwards I will look for my chance to qualify at the event next year,
Hoping I will get to use all the things I learned while I was here.
As for the race itself, well at the start I came from the rear,
Because when the horn went off I didn't hear.
So I frolicked into the water second to last,
But the adrenaline of missing the start must have lit a fire under my ***.
Because actually entering the water I was right in the front of the group,
So I just worked to stay in position during our 1500 loop.

Finally I had good transitions this race,
And got onto the bike in a good place.
However this was a weird start to the ride,
From the beginning we were like three people wide.
No one really went for it and so we all settled,
For the next eight laps that together we pedaled.
The uphill was easier than I would have guessed,
The downhill was steep putting my skills to the test.
It was important to have a good T2 with a large pack,
The run was going to be important to try and attack.
I did what I could and put myself there at the beginning,
But unfortunately throughout the race I was no longer grinning.
I fell off the group and for a while kept the same gap,
Until I got real tired during the final lap.
 I finished the race in sixth but was third for USA,
So I didn’t end up qualifying for the Olympics that day.
 I played the what-if game, got disappointed and sad,
But then looked back at the race that I had.
No it wasn’t perfect and I didn’t reach my goal,
But this race for better or worse played an important role.
I’m happy with my swim and how I was able to recover from my start,
And that I had transitions that weren’t as foul as a fart.
I was proud of the way I was able to handle scary situations on the bike,
And having a chance to qualify next year is an opportunity I really like.
I’m excited that I can identify a lot of places to improve,
So now it’s time to just get back into the end of the season groove.

Next up for me is Stockholm coming up next week,
Until then I am in France climbing peak to peak.
Thanks for all the support as I chase my dream,
I wouldn’t be where I am without my awesome team.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

How To Train (with) Your Husband

When I first arrived in Clermont there was the reuniting bliss,
But as we started to train together a few things went amiss.
I’d forgotten what it was like to train with my spouse,
And it took a bit of time to bring order to the house.
I had forgotten a few critical things and would like to rewind,
Like the fact that quite often Tommy cannot read my mind.
I assumed he knew to stop talking when we picked up the pace,
But I quickly realized that this just was not the case.
I was reminded how critical it is to get enough sleep,
So that a toxic mood does not begin to seep.
 I was soon reminded he swims really fast,
And I mustn’t count the number of times he goes past.

I also remembered how communication is the key,
So I can get the most benefit from training with Tommy. 
I tell him when I’m grumpy and just don’t want to talk
I tell him that before we run sometime I like to walk.
 I tell him when he’s going too hard or if I want him to go faster,
And not to take too big of risks because that could be a disaster.
I tell him when he’s on pace and pushing me just right,
I tell him when I need him to protect me from an alligator bite.

So Tommy took over yet another role as training partner extraordinaire,
And I truly feel the partnership we’ve formed is really quite rare.
We are in each other’s company every waking minute,
He sees the best of me, but also the times when I’m at my limit.
He forces me to recover and not take on too much,
By binge watching The Blacklist, Netflix and such.
He’s the one pushing me to be my best and hold onto his wheel,
He’s also the one who’s telling me to trust in how I feel.
Each day he’s the one who gets me out the door,
And pushes me when he knows that I can give more.
I was reminded how when we work together how amazing it is,
And how it is possible for me to reach my goals while he reaches his.

So how do you train (with) your husband?
You talk to him no matter what the mood,
You tell him what’s on your mind before you turn rude.
You don’t assume he knows what you’re thinking in that brain,
Whether it’s about dinner or how you like to train.
You take away the stubbornness and input give and take,
Because not compromising could be your biggest mistake.
You make the important things known and let small things go,
And this is how you train (with) your husband like a pro.
This poem was written in collaboration with Mr. Tommy Zaferes

Thursday, April 30, 2015

WTS Cape Town

South Africa is one of those places you go and it takes your breath away,
So it was exciting that after Gold Coast we were there for a ten day stay!
Typical for Cape Town the water front is quite chilly,
I actually like the element the 12 degrees Celsius water adds…really!
So the day before the race I got in to test it out,
The initial freeze of the water making me want to shout.
But it wasn’t too surprising when on race day the swim got changed from two laps to one,
Not my preference, but at least it was better than none!
When we dove in and started swimming I quickly took the lead,
Never thinking about the sharks that may decide to feed.
Thanks Delly Carr for the sweet photo!
I led out of the water in my ROKA wetsuit,
But it wouldn’t be Cape Town if I didn’t end up on my boot.
I accidentally slipped when I was in transition,
But recovered well and got onto the bike in great position.
Whoopsies, chain of events caught by Liezel
We had a group of four and I truly thought we would stay away,
Until Nicola Spirig and crew put their strengths on the bike on display.
We were caught at the end of the second lap,
Consumed by pretty much every other athlete on the course map.
Our group of three captured by Jeff Ayliffe!
The course was technical with some bumps that made me a bit wary,
Going through with such a large group can sometimes be scary.
I continuously had to work to move up through the masses,
And then I found myself at the back as others made their passes.
Putting on my Brooks Racer STs. Thanks Chris Hitchcock!
But going into T2 I was in an alright position,
And excited to actually have a relatively good transition!
We ran with a group of about ten throughout much of the race,
And I was just waiting for someone to change the pace.
This photo brought to you by expert photographer and masseuse GeOh Photography!
Vicky Holland did this with about one lap to go,
And in a lapse of focus she put a gap on me…oh no.
I never did catch Vicky and finished the race in second,
But I did hold off the Olympic gold medalist which is pretty good I reckon.

I was happy with my race because it was different from the rest,
Coming off with a huge group really put my running to the test.
I came away from this race with the fastest swim and run,
And you know being the current World Triathlon Series leader is pretty fun.
Thanks Jeff Ayliffe for capturing this moment for me, as well the others posted above!
This race showed me I have all the elements that are going to get me to the top,
But for now I will go home and regroup until London, which is the next stop!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Auckland and Gold Coast Recap

Well since I last wrote both Auckland and Gold Coast have taken place,
And for different reasons I am quite happy with each race.
 I shall begin with Auckland since it came first,
Last year this race had been one of my worst.
This year I really knew what I was getting myself into,
And felt prepared for the steep hills we would do.
Race week it was nice our squad didn’t have a long way to go,
All we had to do was hop on a ferry with our bikes in tow.
Leading up to the race there was quite a bit of inclement weather,
But I don’t think our race conditions could have been better.
For the swim I had picked an end position to have clean water,
I got out with the front pack, keeping my legs in a constant flutter.
It was awesome knowing we’d found faster and made quite a gap,
Unfortunately, the chase pack still caught us the third lap.
Feeling really in control for the entire ride,
I felt this was a bike I raced smart and in that I took pride.
With my Brooks PureFlow I got out and onto the run with the front group,
To start doing 4 times the 2.5 kilometer run loop.
 I don’t really know when I knew I was going to be on the podium again,
I was just trying to keep the run easy for as long as I possibly can.
Knowing that girls were coming up behind me reeling in their bate,
It was awesome getting to high five Tommy as I came down the final straight!
And having my sister in law, Barbara was also really sweet,
Especially since it was her 30th birthday, it made it extra neat.
We celebrated by going to the Sky Tower for dinner,
Followed by Giapo’s ice cream, always a winner!
Then onward we went to Gold Coast to race,
Spoiler alert, I ended up in third place!
I was able to start all the way to the right,
Therefore I never had to be part of the fight.
Thank you Wybrand Du Toit for the awesome pictures!
 I got passed near the end of the first lap by a few,
So just got in position to stay on their feet during lap two.
I came out of the water with the leaders,
And together we began the 40 kilometers.
This bike was deceivingly hard and I didn’t feel great,
Sometimes finding myself in the dangling position I hate.
But throughout the ride I could #seehappy through my SPY glasses,
Holding on to put time on the athletes chasing in masses.
However I had a good spot coming into transition,
Unfortunately shoe application is not where I glistened.
I had a hard time putting on my shoes and came out of T2 a bit behind,
I tried to get into a groove but it was hard to find.
Wybrand Du Toit
This wasn’t a feel good race at all,
My goal was to hit the finish line before I hit the wall.
I tried to stay close to my teammate Sarah True,
So that I could finish on the podium too!
Thank you Korupt Vision for the photo!
Last year at London WTS Gwen and Sarah went 1-2,
And I knew if I had been healthy being on the podium was something I could also do.
I wanted to be a part of an all-American podium sweep,
The fact I got to be a part of it at this race makes me want to leap!
Such a cool experience to listen to our national anthem play,
With all three of us proud to be a part of the U.S.A.
My Off the Front Multisport and Team Psycho teammates also did quite well,
The women’s U.S. is on fire if you can’t tell.
And in other news my Coeur girls are dominating all over the place,

Now I am off to Cape Town, South Africa for the next race!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

KZ Team 2015

Introducing the Katie Zaferes team 2015,
All those people behind helping my season run like a well oiled machine.
Some are new relationships for me this year,
But most have been with me as I’ve reached each new tier.
Team Psycho and Off the Front Multisport supported me since I started tri,
The first triathlon teams I was a part of and how lucky was I?
They both believed in me before I even knew the sport,
And I can’t describe how wonderful these people are as a cohort.
I met Coeur two years ago at the Las Vegas Super Sprint,
Thinking they probably weren’t going to be interested during my injured stint.
Super excited when they contacted me out of the blue,
I couldn’t be more blessed to meet such an amazing crew,
Not only is Coeur women’s tri apparel the best in the realm,
They’re also not afraid to take issues in triathlon at the helm.
ROKA sports creates apparel that allows you to swim super fast,
With wetsuits that are not only speedy but are made to last.
The crew here also is quite close to my heart,
As they took care of Tommy when in Dallas he fell apart.
I can’t tell you how important it is to see a company the truly cares,
And is there for their athletes whenever they need them to be there.
Brooks was the first pair of running shoes that I ever wore to train and race,
A love for the Run Happy motto from which all my theories are based.
I train in the Ghosts and race in the PureFlow,
The perfect shoes for a gal always on the go.
I couldn't be more pumped to wear SPY optics on my face,
And be looking through happy lenses during each race.
This fun awesome company has athletes who do the extreme,
I feel very fortunate to get to be a part of the team.

#seehappy, heart and courage, run happy, find faster;
All things in my life that I want to always remember and master.
What better people to have behind you every day,
Than the ones that work to make you better in each every way.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Abu Dhabi Podium!

For me the first race of the season,
Always brings more jitters than there’s reason.
I don’t know why but I feel like I could forget how to tri,
With each week of the off season that goes by.
However, it doesn’t take much for me to get my butt in gear,
Only the sound of the gun going off in my ear.
And then it’s like “hey! I remember this feeling”
Now I better get moving because Carol Routier’s arms are reeling.
And so it was like this in Abu Dhabi too,
As soon as the race started I knew what to do. 
The swim for me was a little bit of an unknown,
There was a time during training were my swimming had slown.
However, during this race it all fell into place,
And seeing my teammate Sarah True, I tried to keep pace.
Coming out of the water I knew transition would need to be fast,
If there was any chance of creating a break in the bike that would last.
I put in some strong efforts whenever there was a break,
All the time feeling like it was definitely a chance I was willing to take.
We had a strong group of five going into the final lap,
But going through a technical section I fell off the back.
When I didn’t latch back on I used my heart and Coeurage to keep powering alone,
An all too familiar memory of when that happened to me in Stockholm.
But I kept pushing and made it to transition before getting caught,
Knowing that the next group was going to be coming in hot.

Pretty quick into the run I was happy to be feeling well,
My BrooksPureFlow had me gaining on the individuals ahead I could tell.
As I ran I just kept my eye on the girls up ahead,
Never looking back at what was behind me instead.
Ultimately I crossed the finish line in second place,
My best performance ever at a WTS race!
It was so awesome for me to achieve a goal I had set,
And standing on the podium for the first time is something I won’t forget.
Not to mention USA Gwen Jorgensen did an awesome job taking the win,
And Flora Duffy for getting 3rd after just getting back into ITU again!
I can’t thank all the people who have supported me in this endeavor,
To name each and everyone would take me forever.
Thank you to all the people who have been there for me through and through,
Always believing in me and what I do.
Of course thank you to my sponsors who are always there for me,
And have supported me with each dream I hope to achieve.
Thank you to ROKA, Brooks, Off the Front Multisport, TeamPsycho and Coeur,
You help me achieve all I dream and much more.

Thank you to my teammates and coach Joel Filliol who make race prep fun,
And all go out there and race hard, getting it done.
Now I’m heading to the Kiwi land,
Auckland is next up on my plan!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Name Changer

With a new year, new name and a new squad; a new blog was in store,
It just didn't seem fitting to have Giving It a Tri as a title anymore.
I've tried it and I quite like it a lot,
Now it's time to go after a Rio 2016 spot.
This year sure started off with a lot of excitement,
And being with JFT squad brought a lot of enlightenment.
In December Tommy and I joined the crew in Portugal for a bit,
It didn't take long for me to realize I'd found the perfect fit.
It's fun training with some of the best,
Each day feeling like the group makes me better, to that I can attest.
I went home super excited for the next camp coming our way,
But first Tommy and I got to celebrate a very special day.
Picture brought to you by Tera Tochio Productions
January 17th I said "I do" to being Tommy Zaferes' wife,
And with family and friends we celebrated the best day of our life.
We stopped off in Maryland to continue wedding fun,
Then headed to Mallorca where hard training had already begun.
For three awesome weeks we've been here now,
With a venue that continuously has you saying "wow".
 We've ridden to the snow and ran on the beach,
And I've achieved things I would have thought out of reach.
It's nice being with my husband each and everyday,
A good place to get prepped for Abu Dhabi that's two weeks away!