Yes I know it has been a while…..and I am way over due for an update….so here it is!
This weekend marks the official back to racing for 2017! This year has been very different to every other. Normally at this time of the year I would say I am in pretty good shape, if not peak condition and would have been racing quite a bit over the last few months.
With a Wedding, Honeymoon and getting quite sick in May….I took the entire month off. Eventually early in June after arriving in Boise for the summer I got back into some regular training. I am not going to lie, it was tough! Just ask Guy!! I wasn’t motivated, would struggle to get up in the morning and found it even more frustrating because I was so unfit!! I kept telling myself “it can only get better, it can only get better!”
I felt like I was in a bit of a zombie mode for the first 4 weeks just going through the motions. I started to make some plans….some local running events, a Half Marathon, a couple of Olympic Distance events and further down the track 70’3’s. This definitely help with these goals in mind and eventually the tide turned. I was training with more determination and focus and my heart and head was in a much better space. I was excited!
Last weekend Guy and I returned to one of our local favourites in Idaho for Emmetts Most Excellent Triathlon. It’s been so much fun to race this event every year and share the event with our second family in the USA. It was also the beginning of our 3 races in 3 weeks and I am excited to be back!
Currently we are laying in our room watching the torrential down pour outside on the Island of Bintan getting ready for the 70.3 on Sunday! I have such great memories of this event last year, not just because I won, but the atmosphere, the organisation, the location, the great course…..all things that make you want to come back for more!! So here we are!!
I am not injured and not sick (YAH!!) am I as fit as I would like to be …..no way……but this is all part of the process and race fitness comes from racing! So Bring It On!!
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!!