Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 is a WRAP!

I can’t believe this season has already come and gone,
There were moments of learning, weakness and brawn.
There were times when I was stressed to the max,
And also splendid moments when I could relax.
Some of my favorites included competing in the Olympics for sure,
and winning Hamburg brought me happiness and beer showers galore.
I was pumped to finished fourth in the WTS series at the end, 
One of my goals is to continue my upward season ranking trend. 

Some of the things I learned this year,
is not to use a poison sumac leaf on my rear. 

[sparing you all the picture here]

And on a more serious note; that complications of the mind,
can impact my performance has been what I find.
From happiness in the day to day,
to how I deal with barriers in the way. 
When I stayed focused on the process and kept it simple,
I didn’t break out with a big stress pimple.
I learned to be confident in myself and the things I can do,
While making sure to respect my competitors and the challenges of the sport too. 
For next year I plan to talk and not hold thoughts inside my brain,
And to get out of my comfort zone more when I train. 
I’m excited to keep some things the same,
But also to make changes to up my game. 
I’m looking forward to continue with the JFT Crew,
And also have Tommy around to help me too.
I might dabble in some 70.3s mainly for fun,
but also to see how that longer stuff is done.

Thanks to all my sponsors who have been with me through this very special year,
For giving me the greatest support, relationships along with the best gear.
And thank you for all those who are coming along for the ride,
I really truly love having you all by my side!

At the moment I'm in Maryland enjoying being home and having some time,
to visit with family and friends and write this rhyme. 
I'm back into training more and more,
And looking forward to what 2017 has in store!

But here are some snapshots of what my off season looked like,
When I took a break from swimming, running and the bike. 
Got my first tattoo that I've ever had,
And really got into wearing plaid.
I legally changed my name and became a California resident,
And stretched my leg as far as it ever went. 
Some Ghiradadelli with triathlon friends,
Lots of stacking wood, that felt like it'd never end.
Tommy and my first time going to the movies together,
Watching another sunset in pretty nice weather.
We did Christmas in the Zaferes/Daddario way,
And went to the aquarium of the Monterey Bay. 
We also skated on the tiniest ice skating rink,
In Maryland we looked at lights in the biggest car I've ever been in I think.
One of the stops was on Baltimore's 34th Street,
As always Christmas in Maryland is such a special treat!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

WTS Hamburg: Believe to Achieve

Wahoo, I did it I won my first WTS race,
In Hamburg when I came in first place.
(I know this is an obvious statement I did it for the rhyme,
Try not to give me too hard of a time)
I have to say the start of the season I struggled a bit,
I was under performing though I was physically fit.
My coach, Joel Filliol asked me post race what made the difference on the day,
And I told him I think I just got sick of myself racing the other way. 
I had talked to many people to try and figure out why things were going wrong,
But really it was up to me to change the tune of my own song. 
I found this quote a few days ago,
and really identified with what is written below:
I had been really yearning to race like me,
and couldn't figure out why it wasn't easy.
But it's funny because ultimately it was myself that showed me the way,
When a thing on Facebook showed up... "Three years ago on this day"
It was the ITU story from my first World Cup win,
and reading my own words from then really sunk in.
At the time when I was asked about my race plan, 
It was basically just to go as hard as I can.
My win in Palamos 7/14/2013...ITU Write Up
For a bit I had lost that simple but aggressive attitude,
And had been racing in a cloud of a different mood.
I was letting my race be impacted by fears and doubts,
Rather than that I'm more skilled and having great workouts.
So I took a technique from Kate Grace and made an "Inner Strength Bank Account",
This simple exercise was really quite paramount. 
I wrote all the things that have prepared me to compete with the best,
And once seeing them written I believed in my ability to rise to the test.
So how did the race play out? Exactly as planned,
I swam, biked and ran as hard as I can.
Photo: Petko Beier
Of course I was fortunate to have others on the bike willing to work,
So that when we got off the bike with a 50 + second lead I had a little smirk.
When it came to the run my mantra was to believe,
And in doing that I was able to achieve!
I ran in fear that I was going to get caught,
But also ran thinking that I might have a shot.
Crossing the line I didn't let up,
Never counting out the other athletes who are tough.
Photo: Marco Bardella
Winning Hamburg was exciting because it was a goal I've been waiting to achieve,
If I have one takeaway message it is that you must believe.
Believe in yourself and that you know what to do,
as long as you race and compete like you!
Believe in your training and the hard work done every day,
And don't let you be the enemy who gets in your way.

Thank you so much for everyone who is always there,
following my journey with so much care!
For all the support that continues to get me to the next level,
To get to be a part of the following groups is something I revel.
 Team PsychoSOS, thanks for helping make me...ME :)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Await the Fate

So here I sit and wait,
To learn my Olympic fate.
It's actually only been 7 days,
But has felt so long in many ways.
I raced in Yokohama last week,
but didn't get the podium I set out to seek.
I ended up in a sprint for fourth, fifth or sixth,
but sprinting too early meant the latter I picked.
I was the first American who hasn't already qualified,
Beating some stiff competition gave me pride.
But because of where I finished I didn't get auto selected,
So having a domestique for the Olympics is an option to be contested.
So here I sit and wait,
To learn my Olympic fate.
With people advocating for me left and right,
I realize how many people will put up a fight.
[Don't worry this is a joke it's not that bad, just taking advantage of a picture opportunity I had]
I watch the social media feeds feeling both amusement and love,
As people don't just push to have me there, they shove.
I have faith in the outcome though I don't know it yet,
And all the people who have been there for me, I will never forget.

So thank you for the patience during this time,
I hope to soon be writing a #Katie2Rio rhyme.
And to SRAM, Oakley and ROKA,
as well as Team Psycho, NYAC and HOKA,
Thank you for believing in me one hundred percent,
Through this mildly stressful event.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

A(Boo) Dhabi

After a great base training I was really excited to race,
Returning to Abu Dhabi which is quite a unique place.
As always I was nervous for the season's start,
But confidence in the work calmed my beating heart.
Well the race didn't go as I had hoped or planned,
Not finishing a race really doesn't feel grand.
I stopped at 5k on the run when I was going to crap,
Not literally, but I was falling further and further behind each lap.
My swim start was meh but I was able to move up,
Getting myself to the front pack was pretty tough.
I lasted in the front pack on the bike,
but didn't feel as strong as what I like. 
I often found myself at the back,
As we went around in a pack.
Finally the last two laps I got my butt in gear,
When I realized the next pack was drawing near.
I was proud that I was able to position myself better,
I'm going with the philosophy better late than never. 
This move not only allowed me to avoid getting crashed out,
But I was also near the front when T2 came about.
I got off onto the run and didn't feel quite right,
Not able to speed up my legs with any type of might.
I lasted two laps before Joel pulled me off the course,
And then I started trying to figure out the source. 
The whole race I just didn't feel like me,
But surely I should race better no matter what it be.
I knew the prep was there and that I was ready,
So I started looking at the week and things I thought were petty.
Of course maybe it was just an off day but I believe there's more,
There were times I spent extra energy that I should have put in store.
Little things like Thursday being go, go, go was rough,
And Friday I spent too much time doing certain stuff.
I spent so much time training to execute just right,
But the week of the race I should have sat more tight. 
As frustrating as it is I'll really never know,
Which is why it's time to move on and truly let it go.
Funny how a race can teach you quite a bit,
Even when you didn't actually finish it. 
Lessons I have learned and will carry on my way,
To keep me getting better each and every day.
We are now headed to Australia to train before Gold Coast,
The next stop on the circuit and the next city that will host. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Bienvenidos a Mars

Well, oops my bad it seems I haven’t written for a bit,
Off season has come and gone and now I’m getting back into it.
I guess as a recap; the 2015 season was my best so far,
But my finish at the Chicago Grand Final was sub par. 
In the rankings I ended up fifth,
Which I was mostly happy with.
So fast forward a few trips, visits with family and sunsets galore,
Our time at home has ended and I’m excited for what 2016 has in store!
Last year there were a lot of big changes that I went through,
I had a new husband, a new team and a new coach to name a few.
This year I’m excited to go into year two,
besides additions to our squad there’s not much new.
And my new teammates have brought such a positive vibe,
The satisfaction in knowing that you’re in the perfect place is hard to describe.
It’s my first time visiting Fuerteventura,
And I have no doubt that I’ve strengthened my pleura.
It’s been three weeks since we arrived,
Into the JFTCrew atmosphere we have dived.
I love being back with the group and into such a routine,
Getting into a rhythm like a well oiled machine. 
There’s not much to do here besides training and rest,
and of course eating which is what we do best.
I’m surrounded by such a strong and fun team,
Just being with them each day makes me beam.
As an added bonus Tommy is here with me,
Training and taking pictures for all the world to see. 
Speaking of pictures where we are looks quite like mars,
Everything looking the same just past your handlebars.
But the trails are plentiful and the riding is a breeze,
Especially when the wind comes to take away the ease.
The 50 meter pool temperatures at Las Playitas are just right,
so when getting into the water there isn’t the usual mental fight.
Then there’s the open water swimming in the ocean that is near,
You can see straight to the bottom because the water is so clear. 
It’s the perfect place to train and it makes you stronger still,
There is no ride or run without a decent hill.
And the wind that comes can blow you to the other side of the road,
So every now and again you have to turn on the beast mode.
I really can’t believe that our time here has gone by so fast,
Soon our days here will be some of our last. 
Next up we head to Mallorca where everyone will regroup,
Hopefully it’s not so chilly this year that we’ll all be craving soup.