Ossola Sport

Irena Ossola – Dedication and Determination

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Fall in New Mexico

Get out and work hard and love life every day!!! Keep pushing and feeling better with a healthy lifestyle and lots of sunshine!!

 

Since my return from Europe, I focused my training for USA Xterra nationals in Beaver Creek, CO on August 26th, where I finished 10th.  Last year I was 6th, but because of the introduction of the World Cup Series in Xterra the competition was a lot higher and bigger expectations for this year.

Since nationals I’ve been exploring my life and seeing what direction I should go in next.  Training at a high level still as I’m thinking of going for 1 more big race this year….. maybe half-Ironman (#3 for me).  So for now, I enjoy my training and the steps where life takes me.

Getting out and having fun in the mountains at home!!

 

Focused training, putting in the miles and time to get stronger

So thankful for sponsors like Milagro Goat Farm for all your support and making the best soap out there!!

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Hiking the highest mountain in New Mexico, Wheeler peak at 13,161 ft

USA, Return to the Mountain Desert

Back 2 weeks now to New Mexico and it’s nice to be back and refocus on training toward USA Xterra Nationals in August.

I’ve had a mix of adventures being back.   Biking, running and swimming along with hang outs at the plaza, Santa Fe Brewing Co., and around town.

Training has really picked up to put me in top fitness- Abiquiu lake, Aspen Vista mountain trail, RailTrail Running trail.  This is my moment to give all I have to prepare and then race against the best.  The physical test of training and then racing brings a layer to the idea of what someone can pursue and achieve in athletics.

Pictures of these 2 weeks and what I can pack into my daily life.

 

First days back in recovery, going south to Truth or Consequences for hot springs and touristing

 

Going to see Very Large Array, South New Mexico – 27 satellites across the desert to watch space

Bats leaving a cave in southern New Mexico

 

Back in Santa Fe for music downtown at the plaza

Hiking in the mountains of Santa Fe , to Spirit Lake

 

Swimming at Abqiui Lake, The land of Georgia O’keeffe and her paintings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biking up Aspen Vista to the top of the Santa Fe Ski Area

Santa Fe Brewing Company hang out, GREAT sponsor and so much support!!

Pro Athlete Rule #1 – Adapt

A big part of being a top athlete is adapting and adjusting to change.  That is what has come about this week.

Last week, June 20, I came back to my Dad’s apartment in Italy from the month of traveling and racing around Europe, when the woman from the van rental company messaged me about the first month contact completing and asking if I wanted to renew for a second this got me thinking…. and thought maybe the universe is telling me it’s time for some change.

I decided to change plans and return to Santa Fe, NM – USA .  Instead of spending a 2nd month traveling and racing and not training at the focused level that I should be.

So I will shift my focus from travel, adventure and challenging races and into strong high level training and finish out the tri summer season on a positive note.  Because of very low winter base training, these races in Europe were not at my ability level and I did not have top results as I expect from myself.

So rather than continuing to dig deeper into struggle and frustration, I’ll return to the US and become stronger to race against the top.

Hang out with life long friends

 

 

A friend’s wedding this weekend, so glad I could make it work to be here for this.  So I clean up and can look nice sometimes 😉

Time for one last gelato and to pack up the bike for a long trip back to USA

6 Xterra Triathlon Races in 4 Weeks

6 Xterra Triathlon races in 4 weeks!!

2- Oak Mountain, USA

1- Garda, Italy

2- Namur, Belgium

1- Lausanne, Switzerland

 

After racing at Lake Garda, Italy and my training week in Italy I went to downhill mountain bike in La Bresse, France

La Bresse Bike Park was the best bike park I have ever downhilled.  I fell so many times and my legs were so roughed up, but all in the name of mountain biking fun!!

Then Race Race Belgium & Race Switzerland

Then to Namur, Belgium for my next 2 Xterra races, Full Course and Short Track, Saturday and Sunday.  The hardest triathlon course I’ve done yet.  All up and down and VERY steep, oh and stairs …. BIG steep stairs!!  The run had very steep sections also and cobble stones.  But so beautiful and in a park right in the city.  Such a high level racing with such big competition!!

The short track race was so fast and short laps with steep hills/steps again.   Another big competition day!

The river for the race

Van camping on the side of the river I would race in

The ancient stairs we road down many times in the races

THE RACE PICTURES

 

 

 

Straight from Namur, Belgium I drove 8 hours to Lausanne, Switzerland for the Xterra Switzerland the next weekend.  I took the week very light for rest and training, but I could tell in the morning of the race I was not recovered and should not be racing at this fatigue.  But I still started and thankful for no big problems or crashes or injuries… I was still pushing the line and not able to put a huge race effort as I normally expect of myself  … but simply completion and finishing safely.

 

I think its time for a break and some rest before the next set 🙂

 

Down Week

Arrived at my family house in Varese on Monday, and used these days for some settle, recharge, and big training.  4 days loaded and hard.  I will leave early Saturday morning TOWARD Belgium.  But since I’m living in this van ….. my plan is to drive to La Bresse, France and squat for a couple days of lift mountain biking to prep for the next world cup Xterra race in Namur, Belgium.

Here are some pictures from this week of life and training

A little Relax time with friends

 

  Training in the woods Open water lake training…. perfect!!Getting my Jetboil mini stove to work Gelato always necessary

 

Xterra Race & Dirtbag Adventure 1 Week

Xterra Lake Garda

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1 Week on the Road, in the Van, at the Race

 

This first week of van adventuring and racing also was a tough new challenge.  Organizing and balancing all the necessities of living in a van, plus getting the food, training, rest, prep for a race.  I loved the learning and figuring out small problems along the way, which I will be taking into my next van stretch next week.

Right now, I’ve got a little 5 day downtime where I’m settled in Varese, Italy at my families home base to get solid hard training in and get recharged.

Then Saturday, June 2, I will leave to head to France and then Belgium for my next race.  On to new adventures soon!!

 

 

Saturday- Full Course Elite Triathlon- 1.5km swim, 30km bike, 10km run

 

 

Podium – bummer NOT me on top, another blondie 🙂

 

SUNDAY- Open Water Swim “race”  – cool down effort

 

 

 

 

 

 

Course breakdown volunteer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Van life pics

Leg shaving happens in a bucket

Recovery shake is made bed side from all the packets

 

Van Renovation Remodel – Layed 4 wood pallets under the bed to create height and storage space

 

 

Next drive adventure across northern Italy from Lake Garda to Varese for some relax time with my Italian family

 

New van investments- Gas containers to attach for my mini jet boil stove- didnt know I needed the threaded top to screw on, and a camping chair to have extra hang out seats.

Dirtbag Racer Van Adventure

Dirtbag Racer Van Adventure

– Day #2-  

XTERRA Lago di Garda- Lake Garda
Parked at the race location venue 1 night

Ok so I’ve experienced 1 full night and day living in a van. A step up from tent camping, but a wildlife away from a house. I’m seeing this is slow living and the day drags long with small tasks that take 1 min at home, but 5 min here. Like collecting and duping trash, prepping and pulling food to eat, getting ready for training. It’s a longer and more lazy day of living in the moment and where I’m at. Not as much multi tasking or thinking of other stuff while getting things done. In a van, the other thinking is about what else to do IN THE VAN. But it’s a different life style that I like and appreciate and am so glad to experience.

My first night –
Last night it rained but was awesome cause I parked and met guys here at the race set up location and so went to dinner and stayed warm eating with them. Then this morning was still cold and rainy and windy and it’s not like “ok I’ll get up and have breakfast and relax and then go out” nope, just to stand up or pee I had to go outside !!!! That’s a whole other world of stalling lazy in bed

Lago di Garda- Lake Garda

Race Location- Parking Night 1

Run Course

 

 

 

 

2nd Night – Day #3
Parked- moved 200m to a side house parking yard. – more in nature

Second night was a bit more into a routine for teeth, bed fixing and prebed pee time. Was warmer and no rain, so cracked a door for more air and morning light (no windows in van) so was nice. Downside was that I slept wrong and woke up with tightness and knots in my neck… not so nice for triathlon with swim and head turns.
The day was soooo nice with warm day and sun!!! Did my morning prerace day training, then an amazing nap with doors all open and napping in nature. I like this new parking spot as it feels calmer and less “developed” as I’m right under a tree and in the grass. Not next to a stage and empty trash bins.

Bike Course

Van Life Relaxing

 

 

 

Note sent to friend

I’m excited to be able to travel wherever I want, and not have to book Airbnb‘s or look for hotels or places to stay or rental cars…, all in one, boom!!

Spring …. EURO VAN RACE LIVING

So far my spring has started not with a gradual cruise from training into racing, but with a giant jump from Santa Fe, NM into Euro VAN LIFE!!!

1- Santa Fe to Oak Mountain, Alabama on May 15 to race the Xterra Triathlon  (pics below)

2- Alabama to Milan, Italy on May 23 to start Euro Van Adventure, May 24- August 7

 

I will be posting about my adventures and difficulties of van living an all the stories along the way… so check in for updates!!

 

I will be traveling all around Europe for different Xterra Races and living out of a van.

Race list-

Garda, Italy

Namur, Belgium

Vallee de la Brevine / Lausanna, Switzerland

(back to Italy for friends wedding)

Xonrupt, France

Scanno, Italy

FLY- Prachatice, Czech Republic

FLY- Zittau, Germany

FLY- Beaver Creek, USA

 

OAK MOUNTAIN, Alabama

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ITALIA Day #1

VAN PREP , Day 1 Travel

Winter 2023

Since October, I have been in Santa Fe, NM to build up training and I had a surgery on my nose to repair damage from when I was hit by the car in 2017.

In February I traveled to Argentina for 1 week to visit a friend and experience the summer season during an unexpected time.

For the remainder of the winter I was in Santa Fe for training and working through a hip flexor injury.  It’s been a difficult time to keep building and getting stronger while also taking it easy on my body to heal.

 

Pictures from my adventure in Argentina:::

Triathlon October 2022

XTERRA Long Distance- Sardegna, Italy, 16 October 2022

2 km swim, 60 km mountain bike, 12 km trail run

This was the longest race I have ever competed in.  Finishing in 5 hours and 50 minutes.  Even the Half Ironman races I have done, I was able to complete them in roughly 5 hours.

This was a beautiful race and well organized and completed, but I do have criticism as I was disqualified in the run because I was told that I cut the course on the first of 3 laps.  Which I don’t remember.   My lap times were- 14min, 30min, 31min which I did not know.  Somewhere I cut across on the course and so instead of giving me a penalty of even 25 min they disqualified me from the race.  So I finished in 3rd place, and even with a penalty of 25min I still would have maintained 3rd place.  I am quite disappointing in this.  But I still feel that I finished 3rd and this was an enormous situation from where I learned so much!!

 

 

 

 

 

XTERRA World Championships- Molveno, Italy, 1 October 2022

I’ve been in Italy 2 weeks, and now in Molveno ready to race this Saturday!!  In the mountains so the bike and run courses are challenging and will be even more of a test if it rains.  This is the 2nd time I race the Xterra World Championships, last year they were in Maui, Hawaii.

UpdateRACE COMPLETE– Yesterday I raced against some of the top triathletes in the world.  I wanted to have a good race, but am just happy to have finished with no injuries or major bike mechanicals.
I felt good on the first quarter of the bike with all steep uphill, but because it rained continuous two days previous to the race, the course ended up having more mud than I have ever raced or experienced.  I was off my bike and fixing it countless times and so far behind that at a certain point I just went to survival mode to complete the race without hurting myself.  So I completed the bike section, and then into the run.  No big issues here, but I was just working to complete it.  I’m sorry to not be announcing a win or large achievements, but small steps toward a larger goal.