Thursday night and Thanksgiving in the USA! I am watching the sunset from our Balcony and I am thankful for so much! My amazing friends and family….my very special support crew of Guy, Janine and Ruth. My parents, Peter and Chris being here in Kona. To Bella and her belief in me and making sure I am prepared and ready to go!! And off the course the opportunity I am going to have over the next 3 days to be part of something special, that I will never forget. The incredible GK Family that I am a part of and the amazing sponsors that have been part of my journey for so long!
The mini van is packed with everything we think we might need for the next 3 days on our adventure around the island. From the sun and surf of Kona…to 4000 feet in Volcano. The wind and rain through Hilo and the Kahala’s….finishing with a nice little run back from Hawi to Kona!
No matter what happens over the next few days….the journey has been worth it. From May last year through ULTRA520 Canada to finally make it to the big Island. I have been overwhelmed by all your encouragement and support! Thank you so much!! ….There will be plenty of updates over the next 3 days on my twitter and Facebook and hopefully (depending on what type of shape I am in!) I will be attempting a blog update at the end of each day!
LETS DO THIS!!!
The Tuesday night sun is dipping into the ocean and I am now 3 sleeps away!
The morning began with a ride on the Queen K with a few pick ups and efforts. I was actually enjoying the change of pace efforts after so much LONG steady riding. Although the 90min seemed to go by so quickly! Ruth came with me and had her first taste of the Ironman Bike Course.
It was then time to drop my bike into Bike works for the mandatory check over and approval for the race. The good news everything is in great working order and ready to go! It is so important to make sure my equipment is all ready to go, the less I have to deal with over the multiple days of competition the better! But things always happen!
From the bike store it was a quit trip to the airport to swap rental cars. Guy and I had been driving a small compact car since we arrived in Kona, but now it is time for the beast Town and Country to be parked in the driveway so we can load her up 3 days on the road.
Back to our accomodation for an hour for lunch and some quality time in the recovery boots. During this time I was also checking on our athletes, making sure programs are up to date! So many of them are racing in the next few weeks and it is exciting!!! I am looking forward to getting back to Perth and catching up with some many of them on the start line of IMWA and WA70.3
Then we took a drive down Alii so that Ruth could see where the 10km Swim would finish on Friday! Her and Janine will drop Guy and I at the start then hopefully a few hours later meet us here where I will quickly change and being the LONG ride to Volcano! From sea level to 4000 feet! Lucky I like to climb!
From there is was time for the daily dip in the ocean! Why wouldn’t you at such an incredible place! After last nights amazing experience swimming with the Manta Ray’s today we took Ruth to turtle beach!
Back to our accomodation….some more time in the Recovery Boots and that brings me to here:
An early dinner, a relaxing glass of wine and a good nights sleep!! Tomorrow will be the beginning of the “busy!” Plus multiple trips to the airport which I am very excited about !
It is Monday afternoon and Ultraman World Championships begins on Friday! I am a little bit overwhelmed that I am here and finally getting to do something I have wanted to do for a long time! The last few months have been a blur of swimming, biking, running, traveling, coaching but I wouldn’t have it any other way! I feel that no matter how much you train it is just human nature to question “have I done enough” “am I ready” leading into any race! We all do it!
What I do know is that I did the best I could over the last few months in preparing myself for this weekend. Sure…there were a few missed swims and a couple of sessions cut short because I was struggling. But then there were days I could have kept going and the confidence was sky high! They were all part of the journey and just like any other event I do, once I get started the body will go into automatic and I will be loving where I am and what I am doing! For the most part anyway 🙂
Guy and I have been in Kona since last Wednesday and Ruth arrived yesterday…the final member of my support crew Janine arrives on Wednesday. I am also so excited that my parents are making the trip along with great family friends Peter and Chris. I haven’t seen mum and dad for 6 months and it means a lot having them here.
I have spent some quality time swimming, biking and running since being here and Guy and I drove the day 2 Bike course on the weekend so I know exactly what I am in for! My new 2017 Ceepo Katana is working a treat thanks to Antonio at Tri Town Boise.
Over the next few days it will be about keeping the body moving, registration and other formalities. Plus organising everything for a 3 day adventure around the Big Island! Stay tuned for daily updates! The good and the bad!
They say everything happens for a reason. Sometimes it is hard to believe it when you are down in the dumps and questioning why, trying to find answers for things that are out of your control.
The first week of August my plans changed and by the end of the month I was on a plane to Bintan. I had never been to the race before, heard so much about it though and coached a number of athletes who had competed in it. Bintan was a popular event for those living in Perth as it was so close! And lets be honest who doesn’t love a hot, humid and hilly race!
I arrived in Singapore 2am Thursday morning and caught a taxi to Claire and Luke’s House. Friends and fellow GKEndurance athletes who were living in Singapore at the time. It was straight to sleep after the long travel from the USA, but unfortunately I was wide awake at 7am as the jet lag was well and truly set in. Luke took me for a ride around the streets of Singapore….lets just say that was an interesting experience and I was glad it was not something I had to do all the time! A quick dip in the complex pool and run on the treadmill and the body was moving again. By 5pm I was ready for bed and just wanted to sleep!
Friday it was another travel day which included taxi to the ferry terminal then a short trip to the island of Bintan. I was extremely lucky to be staying in the host hotel which was located right next to the transition area! Talk about awesome location!
Saturday was the usual pre race ritual of swim,bike, run plus a crazy kids autograph session. The kids were so excited, we couldn’t keep up with the demand! Great to see so many of them!
I was using the jet lag to my advantage and had dinner by 5pm, was in bed reading by 6.30pm and was sound asleep by 7pm (I wish I could do this all the time!)
Race morning I was up so early and ready to go, even had time to chat to Guy in the USA, have a stretch and sit in my recovery boots watching a bit of T.V.
It was a short walk to transition to make sure everything was all set up and ready to go then I was finally on the start line and anxious to get going! It was going to be a great day.
There was only a small women’s field, but quality! And getting through a half ironman is never easy! In today’s conditions nutrition and pacing were going to be even more important!
We were off!! My goal was to stick to Alise as long as possible! She is a great swimmer and had put quite a bit of time into me at Busso 70.3. First turn, second turn….third turn…..I was telling myself just hang on, just hang on!!! The last turn into shore she was able to put a little gap into me but I was extremely happy with how the swim went and now it was time to ride!!!
I loved the bike course in Bintan! There was only one out and back section at the beginning where you could see how you were going, but it was broken up with rolling hills, flat, then rolling hills again. About 5km into the ride I took the lead….from then on it was just me and a lead motor bike for 85km! I had no idea what was going on behind me! Was just focusing on my nutrition, my effort and staying in the moment! There was some stunning scenery to look at and was pretty cool to have lead police motorbike in front of me (had never experienced that before!)
A few age group men passed me after about 60km….but as I entered transition I felt pretty good. I had not over exerted myself, was in a great position and now had to be smart about getting through the run and staying hydrated!
The run is 3 laps around a lake. It is surprisingly harder than it looks and it was definitely heating up! I had no idea of my time gap and discovered there was one point of the lake where I could see across to the other side which is where I saw 2nd place. Okay….my goal was to keep that gap on the next lap!
I took the first lap out pretty solid and was already beginning to feel the pinch on the second lap. I was running through the aid stations, but then nearly choking as I tried to get the fluids in! Decided it was probably worth slowing down through the aid stations to make sure I got in what I needed so I could keep going and not completely bonk!!
At the same point as lap one I looked across the Lake and it appeared that I had maintained my lead. One lap to go and it was going to be all about survival! 1km at a time!! Although they seemed to be getting further and further apart!! Just keep moving, just keep moving! Everyone is suffering!
With 1.5km to go I looked across the lake and I still had the same gap on second place! I was going to do it! I would win! I slowed down the last few hundred metres to enjoy the finish chute, take it all in and high five those on the side! I learnt through my career that these days are so hard to come by that you must enjoy and celebrate it!! And I did!
Bintan 70.3 Champion – YEAH BABY!
Thanks everyone for all your support and well wishes! Jess and the team from Metasport put on a well organised race with a great atmosphere!
To all my sponsors It been a great year and incredible journey! Words will never be enough to thank you for all of your support! Rolf Prima Wheels, Ceepo, Coeur Sports, , Profile Design, BlueSeventy, ISM, Ryders Eyewear, Mizuno, Challenge Tyres, and SwimSmooth. Churchill Cycles, and Tri Town Boise plus Computrainer. Keeping me fueled GU and Upbeat Beetroot Juices, Recovery by Ruth Chang Physio
A special mention to Friend and GKEndurance Athlete Claire Davis who not only finished first female AG but was 2nd Overall!!
JD – This one is for you 🙂
After a relative slow start to the beginning of 2016….. March, April and the beginning of May flew by!
It began with Taiwan 70.3….I felt a little rusty, lacking race fitness and had just begun a new journey with coach Bella Bayliss. She had her hands full with my up coming schedule. There was no time like the present for a bit of a shake up to the body and mind.
It was strange competing in Taiwan so early in the year, with the race having previously been held in November. But the new location and course was awesome. I was able to get in a solid work out, even though I didn’t feel that great….and came away with 4th.
Even better…friend, physio and fellow triathlete Ruth Chang secured a spot to 70.3 World Champs on Sunshine Coast. She put together her best ever Half Ironman performance and it was so exciting to see what she was able to achieve knowing where she has come from.
We had a couple of days after the race in Taiwan with Ruth to explore but then we parted ways in Hong Kong as Guy and I continued the journey to KL and Putrajaya 70.3. In theory….one flight 2 x races. It seemed like a great idea!
Malaysia as we expected was extremely hot and humid. I have raced in those conditions many times before and know it would be more about a survival race than anything else. I would have to be smart.
The body was taking it’s time to come around…there was plenty of swim/bike/run happening….but I just had to trust the plan and do the best I could on race day!
The water was like a sauna!! Hot Hot Hot…I felt I had a bit of a sluggish start but came good half way through and was able to finish stronger than I started. Just like the weekend before Sarah and I exited together and it felt like dejevu’. It was going to have to be a smart ride as the heat and humidity was definitely going to play a part on the run. Surprisingly I felt so much better on the bike than I had the weekend before. It was fun to be riding with someone, swapping out the lead constantly and working together. I am used to a solo time trial most of the time, but women’s racing is changing and it is much more exciting as a competitor and a spectator.
Off the bike Sarah and I were out onto the run together and into the sauna! Coke, water, ice….everything at every aid station, then on to the next one! I knew that Sarah was in great shape after her win the weekend before at Taiwan 70.3, my goal was to hang on as long as I could!
Unfortunately leaving one of the aid stations the ground was super wet and slippery and Sarah went down! It looked painful. I came back to help her up and get her moving again! We were in the top 5 with a gap back to the rest. But I could tell there had been some damage from the fall.
The rest of the run was exactly as I expected! Tough!!! I just had to focus on one foot in front of the other and making it to the next aid station. I never knew what was going on behind or in front. But the last 4 – 5km I did feel myself really beginning to struggle. You know that feeling where you are tripping over your own feet! The finish line couldn’t come soon enough, with a speedy Beth crossing only seconds behind me! I was done!! But ecstatic to finish on the podium in 3rd place.
However I felt terrible!! I found Guy and told him but didn’t want to miss my chance to stand on the podium alongside Radka and Liz and spray my champagne. Deep breaths, red bull and water and I was able to enjoy the moment before heading to medical for a bit of a lay down!
After nearly 2 weeks away it was time to go home!
10 days back at Perth and we were off to Geraldton for the Batavia Olympic Distance Triathlon. A great race that attracts a stellar field and we always love having so many GKEndurance athletes there. Unfortunately race day for me was not great. I really struggled all day and was disappointed that I had seen better numbers in training during the week than in the race.
I then spent way too much time trying to work out why?? With the reality being when you race as much as we do, days like that are going to happen. There are always positives to take away and it was more important to move on and focus on the next one!
We were only home from Geraldton for 2 days before it was back into the car heading south to Margaret River for our Engagement Party. It was a fantastic weekend with family and friends and the beginning of an exciting 12 months!
From Margaret River it was a short drive to Busso for the end of season Busselton 70.3. The biggest in Australia! This years event did not disappoint! Conditions were perfect and fast times were the result!
The hardest part for Guy and I was getting our heads in the game. Mentally focusing on racing and being in the moment. He was sick and we were both tired from the previous month but it is an event that we would never miss. Race day…you never know what might happen!
I was extremely happy to come away with a 4th place finish. It was a rollercoaster day (as racing always is) but I felt strong on the bike and for 2 laps of the run. The last lap is always tough and I gave it the best that I could.
It is so nice to be settled at home now for a month. Focused on a good block of training and preparing for the US summer of racing.
A HUGE congrats to all our GKEndurance athletes who raced in Busso! There were so many awesome performances and we are so proud of every one of you!!