This Canadian born female thinks the longer the race the better. She is coached by fellow Canadian Clint Lien and is looking to prove her running ability in Ironman distances. Ladies and Gentlemen please take a moment to get to get to know: Miranda Alldritt
KK: Miranda, please tell our readers a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up?
MA: I was born here in Vancouver and then grew up half here and half in England. My father was an English professor, specializing in 20th Century British Literature so he spent all of the time that he wasn't actively teaching in England doing research. My mom was also a writer so that worked out great. We also got to spend quite a bit of time in France and Italy chasing after people who had known various writers.
KK: What was your athletic background as a youth?
MA: I always laugh when people ask me that. I really didn't have one. I took red cross swim lessons and played in the ocean and at the Vancouver Aquatic Centre as a kid and I dabbled in floor hockey a little (I was AWFUL!!) but I really didn't start doing any of the three sports seriously before I started triathlon.
MA: I took this scuba diving class with GUE in 2002 and I was just terrified that I had to swim 300yd in less than 8 minutes. That got me in the pool to practice and I started swimming a bit more after that. Running, I decided that I needed to do to stay in shape so I picked out this trail near my office and decided to run around it every day. 11km ... Obviously, I had absolutely no clue on how you were SUPPOSED to go about learning to run!
MA: My better half taught me how to ride a bike when I was in my early 20's. It was quite funny. When he was pushing me down the alley and I was wiping out all the time, my neighbor's kid just laughed and laughed. I got my revenge eventually, though!!
KK: What is your academic background?
MA: I studied engineering physics at UBC. After that, I worked in the software industry for about 15yrs.
KK: How did you get involved with the sport of triathlon?
MA: Before triathlon, I was really into scuba diving. I loved diving the deep wrecks around Seattle and was getting into cave diving some. You need to be fit to do demanding dives well but doing them doesn't get you fit. I also had this crazy work and travel schedule and wasn't really happy with the level of fitness that I was managing to sustain. So ... I decided that I needed to pick a goal. After a little surfing, I found this really cool-sounding event called the Vancouver triathlon. I downloaded a training schedule from trinewbies.com, followed that for a while and then showed up at the race with a 3mm diving wetsuit and this bike that I'd bought from the second hand store for $50. I got some looks! Truth be told, I felt a little intimidated. I was almost last out of the water and then, when I got on the bike, I was a little nervous about passing anyone. I thought they would be mad when they had to pass me back! I got over that pretty quickly, though and I had such a blast! After that, I was hooked.
KK: What was your first Ironman race? How was that experience?
MA: My first IM race was Coeur d'Alene in 2005. I had a great day. I had trained really solidly since January and I took the whole day very conservatively as I really didn't know what to expect. My goal was to break 12hrs and I went 11:42. Six weeks later, I raced Ironman Canada, pushed harder, took a few more risks, went 11:19 on a tough day and qualified for Kona. That was an awesome season!
KK: 2008 you did a lot of long course races, is this you preferred distance? Why?
MA: Yes. I really love longer races. The longer and tougher the better!
KK: When training for an Ironman, do you train specifically for the race course?
MA: I think that you really need to do a good mix. Training in the hills makes you strong even for a race like Arizona which is totally flat but you have to work on time trialing some as well. I've never done an IM that didn't have a significant component of flat TTing.
KK: Where is your favorite place to train?
MA: I trained in Boulder Colorado last summer and absolutely loved it! The roads and trails there are just incredible and the whole community is so active and involved. It was very inspiring and not just from an athletic point of view ... it was also wonderful to meet so many socially and environmentally conscious people concentrated in one place.
KK: What is your favorite training session?
MA: Anything that involves running fast! I love doing intervals on the track or on the treadmill. It's like flying!
KK: What has been your favorite race? Why?
MA: I've had so many great, memorable races for so many different reasons. IronMan Arizona 2007 still stands out as the biggest breakthrough race for me, though. It's hard to describe the feeling of having it all come together ... all that hard work, all those early mornings, all the times that you got out there and rode in the rain for five hours or dragged your sorry butt through yet another late night run. When you can really put it together on race day, it is SO worth it.
KK: Have you ever had to overcome any major injuries?
MA: So far, I've been really lucky about that.
MA: The only bad thing that I've had happen is that I crashed my bike really badly in a race at the beginning of the 2006 season and tore up my shoulder very badly.
That was frustrating but at least it only really hindered me in my swimming. I can only imagine how grump I would be if I couldn't run!
KK: Please tell us about your 2007 Kona experience.
MA: Oh boy ...
MA: There are some races that go badly where you come away with a checklist of things to improve on, lessons to learn. And then there are some where you just throw your hands up in the air and wonder why THAT happened. Kona 2007 was one of the latter kind of races.
MA: I showed up in the best biking shape of my life and I just couldn't ride my way out of a paper bag. To this day, I have no clue why. I went to Hawaii hoping to place well and came off the bike so far back that I didn't even want to bother running. It was just devastating after all the work that I'd put in. I saw a good friend out there cheering for me, though, so I just couldn't bail ;) and I ended up having a decent run ... a PR in fact. Go figure.
MA: I guess the one thing that I really did learn from that whole experience is that life goes on when you have a really bad race... my dog still loved me when I got home! Dave, my friends, all the people that I felt so badly about "disappointing" were sorry that it didn't work out the way that I wanted but none of them were unhappy with me or ready to give up or anything like that.
KK: If you would, what are some tips that you would give to someone starting off in triathlon?
MA: I think that the biggest thing is just to have fun. Work hard and love doing it. WHAT you do matters way less than just getting out there consistently and doing something. There is so much information and technology out there. It can be helpful but it's also so easy to get bogged down in it all. Enjoy the progress that you make in your first couple years. It is so incredible to explore what your body can do for you.
KK: Who are some of your sponsors this season?
MA: I really appreciate the support of my friends here in Vancouver at JuicePlus+ http://www.juiceplus.com and Cheeky Penguin www.cheekypenguin.com.
We also have some great sponsors CeraSport, Powercranks and Gu in particular have been great to me.
KK: What motivates you during a tough training day or race?
MA: I want to win an Ironman. That's what I focus on when I am struggling or when I just don't want to get out of the door.
KK: What are some of your goals for 2010?
MA: One big thing that I want to do this year is to finally run in a race the way that I know that I can. I've gotten SO much faster at running in training but every IM that I did last year, I managed to do something wrong and I never really demonstrated that improvement in a race. That's the big challenge of IronMan.
Race: Ironman Canada
Movie: Thelma and Louise
Book: La Condition Humaine
Food: We are very spoiled with all the awesome Asian food on offer in Vancouver ... picking a favourite is hard. Malaysian food ranks way up there, though ... roti canai and ayam goreng. Thai noodles (pad see eiw) and green papaya salad... and of course sushi !!
TV Show: I really don't watch TV often enough to have a favourite.
Bike, Road or Tri: I ride my tri bike 99% of the time.
Fresh water or salt water swims: I love the Ocean!
Hilly or flat bike courses: I used to be all about flat. I've been working very hard on hills for the last year, though and at this point, I'm really happy to race either.
Place to run: Along the Pacific Coast Highway through Oceanside, Carlsbad, etc north of San Diego. Such a beautiful place and the ocean is so inspiring!
Person you would like most to meet: Hugo Chavez