To be honest, since the middle of 2014 my racing had spiralled downhill. I had plenty of doubts as to why I was still hanging in, and what was the reason I wanted to continue.
I'm not one for excuses as they don't really get you anywhere. An excuse just keeps you in the same spot. So I had to find myself again, and find the reason why I wanted to keep on going.
This year has especially been a tough racing year for me. I had been sick several times, wasn't mentally in it, I just tried to believe that I was. I've had a lot to deal with in my personal life, especially with my son.
I thought I could continue to perform at a high level and still get the results I wanted. That was until Ironman 70.3 Port Macquarie this year. I went to the doctor thinking my iron was low or I had some other health issue.
Results came in and the doctor said that my liver function was a bit high but the rest of me was perfect. He then explained to me that I was suffering from depression. My mental juices were on empty hence why I couldn't train, perfom or think normally. It was devastating to hear that but it also was easily fixed as I accepted what he said and was on the mend instantly.
I have had tremendous support from my family, friends and my partner and it took about 3 weeks after Port in October to start feeling "normal"again. I was enjoying training I was feeling positive and happy every day that past. I started to get that mental edge back. I then had a race in western Sydney and i was sooooo happy to know I was going to swim, bike and run competitively again. While I placed 6th, mentally I had won.
I was fortunate enough to be an ambassador for the T3X Endurance long course event held in Canberra on the weekend. Brad Allen did such an amazing job of looking after all of us and his team also did a great job in conducting a new event, a 4km swim 120km bike and a 30km run. I was excited to see how I went at this distance and I highly recommend it to those who have completed a half iron distance but are yet not sure of taking on an Ironman.
The course was spectacular: a 2 loop swim in Lake Burley, a 4 loop bike course on great roads, with a small hill that really only gets your legs on the last loop, and a really enjoyable challenging run which takes you around parliament, with a small incline out and downhill back (by the last 5km you are grateful for the downhill).
My race wasn't the best I've ever had. But the day was far more about seeing how I would cope mentally with racing long again. From that perspective, it was a huge success.
We had a 7am mass swim start, water temperature was perfect, but cool enough to wear a wetsuit. 4km sounds like a long way but if you break it into 2 loops, it felt a whole lot easier. I exited the water in 56min, first female, and held that spot all day.
I had to stop once at the beginning of the bike as I got a rock stuck in my front wheel but had no other issues after that. My plan was to just ride the first loop to get a feel of the course so I could plan to make my last 60km my best.
I could see Michelle Wu gaining time on me each turn but I was in control and trusted in what I had to do. By the 4th loop on the bike, the wind picked up and the day started to warm up. I could see that I was putting some time into her.
I got off the bike with a 3-4min lead knowing full well that Michelle could run fast. Onto the 3 looped run course, I got into a rhythm and felt strong for the first 10km. I was told I had 9min lead but I know from experience that a race isn't over until you cross that finish line.
I started to feel the pinch in my legs on the 2nd loop, still running very solid until I hit the turning point to run the last loop. My glutes just locked up. Every step I took was painful but mentally I was determined to just hang in there.
I was so grateful on my last 5km that I had the lead mountain bike guy to have a good chat. I started losing my voice as I think I was a bit dehydrated. Iwas still quite pleased with my run as I hadn't run 30km since last year sometime. It was painful but so satisfying be the first across the finish line.
Now it's time to enjoy Christmas and reset my mind and body for a better 2016.