Roughing it in Yokohama

May 20th, 2015 by

Lisa Norden in Yokohama

It was not what I had hoped for. 

And it was worse than what I would have come up with if you asked me to create a “worst case scenario”. 

Yokohama has been good to me in the past but showed me that she wouldn’t do me any favours.

I had been training well, the shape ever improving since the first bunch of races in New Zeeland/Australia. I had a number of bike races behind me in Sweden, a win in a national road race and a couple of competitive crit races in Stockholm. There were some nice numbers coming out of the watt bike display and I was starting to feel quite confident on the pedals. The swimming kept in place by my club Polisen  in Stockholm who had pushed and challenged me through a number of fast, harder sessions. And the best of all, my running was returning and the rehab going smooth.

When the entry was confirmed for Yokohama I was over the moon.

Finally I was able to go to a race and hopefully make some good points. I wasn’t nervous for the swim and bike, I knew the level was where it needed to be. But I was seriously underdone on the run. It wasn’t going to be pretty – but I was sure that I could tough it out and hang in there somewhat.

But them hopes were quickly going down in the drains. 

In the past I have been pretty quick of the blocks and able to get a nice start. If you swim fast in the first 100m it means you get free water and don’t have to fight and shoulder your way together with a bunch of other girls. This time I just wasn’t fast enough. I ended up in the long row of girls all moving about the same pace in a space that got smaller for each stroke closer to the buoy.

Somewhere halfway to that buoy I got a hit to my head. My googles came off and there as a sharp flash infront of my eyes.

After that my race went backwards.

I struggled to navigate and get a grip of what was going on. At stages I swam of course, away from the group, realising what I was doing but not being able to correct it. One of my training partners, Jessica, was at that stage swimming beside me and told me afterwards she was wondering what the heck I was up to.

Somehow I managed to get up at the back of the second group, I had what my coach called “the slowest T1 in history” as I struggled to take off my wetsuit. No coordination or ability to tell my body what to do.

I got out on the bike thinking that I would ride myself back in the race. “You are strong Lisa, you can easily cover this. Just find your rhythm”. I couldn’t. I could barely hang on to the Belgian girl ahead of me who had the unfortune to crash out of the 2nd pack on the first lap. I bet she was surprised when I couldn’t come trough and help her chase…

Having suffered through the 9 laps and getting off the bike in T2 I realised my day was going to be over. Not only was I was behind the actual race – and out of any potential points. I was also out of legs, they wouldn’t carry me and my balance was actually not functioning properly. People standing in transition told me how I first veered left to then head over right and crash into the barricades. Legs folding. My day was over.

Probably suffering from a concussion in that first lap of the swim.

It was one of the worst* ever experiences I had in a race and I came back to my room deeply disappointed.

2014 was filled with disappointments and I had hoped to turn that all around in 2015. It started of good and I truly enjoyed being back into racing in NZ. I wasn’t far off great shape and a feeling that I could be competitive even in the WTS level of racing. The inflamed achilles came at the worst possible time and screwed up my plan to earn points and get back into the swing of racing.

Now I have no points – which means no starts in the WTS races – and I will have to do it the hard way.

Through earning points on a continental cup level.

But all of this basically comes down to one thing. 

A healthy body and a strong training block.

If that falls in place the points shouldn’t be such a big problem.


I flew straight from Yokohama to Morzine/Avoriaz.

The place where I hope to combine the health and the hard training part.

It’s france, it’s altitude, it’s all good stuff.

Next up is European Games in Baku. Then after that there will be a slightly revised racing schedule.

Lets get back to where things used to be.



*yup there has been a number of experiences worth telling not showing the finest side of my career, but they deserve a blog on their own