Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Finale for 2015

T3X Endurance Triathlon Canberra

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.

ScottieT Photography

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Sunshine Coast 70.3

It was such a great feeling to be back out racing again. For me my goal was to enjoy going through the motions, and see what I had on the day.

When you go through a long time of not racing, and DNFing on the last two you went to do, mentally it's a struggle for confidence.

I found it hard to train through winter this year, especially on the bike. I managed to do 4 comptrainer sessions a week and sometimes 1 ride on the road. Thanks Phil Stanton for the computrainer, you are a saviour!

With 70.3 world championships being held in 2016 on the Sunshine Coast, there is no doubt a lot of Aussies will being trying to qualify for that, so I will race 70.3 to gain points for it.

It was so good to see such a high quality field of 20 women on the start line too.

Everything was smooth and relaxed leading into the race, and race day was also so enjoyable.

The women kicked off at 5.58am with a beach start. water temps were around 20 degrees and the water was quite smooth. I lined up next to Caroline Steffen who has been in great form, especially in terms of how much she has improved her swim.

We were off and I was one of the first to enter, but within 100m there was a line of us battling through the waves. I stuck with Steffen for a while. There were a whole heap of other girls. By the first turn though, Steffen was off with a pack.

I found it hard to find my rhythm and felt like a one pace all-day swimmer. I saw Andrea Forrest as she has the same colour suit as me and stuck with her.  Rebekah Keat was also there. The front girls were way ahead so I stayed with Andrea and Bek. I felt comfortable with my swim, exiting in 27minutes.

Once in T1, I moved fast. I was on my bike and got into my rhythm.  My heart rate settled quite quickly so I could easly get my nutrition in.

Photo: Australian Triathlete Magazine

The roads on the Sunshine Coast are imacculate making it easy to sit in a TT position for a long time. The only hills as such are at the beginning of the bike, the rest of the ride is basically flat with a few little minor inclines.

I was riding in a pack of about 5 or so. Andrea, Bek and I caught up to a couple of other girls. Within the first 30km we had the age group packs rolling through which got quite congested at times. I felt O for the whole bike. No particular ups or downs just stable and in control. It was like I was riding a flat line, just like the swim.

The group of us all came off the bike together, riding a 2.24 which was a good: 11min faster than last year. I was already happy.

I was the last one out of T2.  But that was OK. I was quite comfortable on the run, settled into a good pace from the beginning - even smiling and waving and talking to people. I was loving it.

The range of motion through my hips and glutes weren't allowing me to run any faster, but I wasn't slowing down too much either. I also started to get hot feet I think from the friction of my feet sliding in my sock.

I managed to average 4.20 pace during the run in a time of 1.31.

Overall I was 4:26 and 13th professional. It wasn't my best day and not certainly my worst, but overall I was happy.

I know now what I need to work on to get back to where I know I can be. I have a nice 5 week block of training to do now to take the next step. My favourite 70.3 in Oz, Port Macquarie.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Ironman Australia 2015

Choices not excuses.


After coming so close to winning in 2014, I was highly motivated and excited about racing this year. It was also the 30th anniversary of Ironman in Australia which made the race even more special to me. I competed in my first ironman back in 2003, when it was in Forster.

My prep for this race wasn't as good as last year but every year is different. You have your ups and downs. That said, I felt I was much fresher mentally and physically this year as I hadn't raced as much. The emotions I go through for an Ironman pre and post race are all over the place so I felt it was better to write my day out once I settled and absorbed last weekend.

I made the decision to stop, for a medical reason, shortly after starting to run. Until that point, I was having a really good day feeling "free" and in the zone. Coach Xavier Coppock always knows how to mentally prep me the day before and I thank him for placing my head in the right frame of mind.

Here is how my day unfolded.

In the days leading into the race, the weather gods were not playing so nicely. We had severe rain and wind but we were told race day would be fine. The WTC and Ironman Asia Pacific folks did a fantastic job in making the right decisions for safety.

The 3.8km swim 180km bike and 42km run were going ahead. Race morning brought clear skies,  not a breath of wind in the air and the temperatures were quite mild.


The morning went by so quickly that before I knew it I was in the water and swimming. The swim course is 1 loop, climbing over a weir at around the 2km mark. Water temperature was 17 degrees. (Sponsor note: I was really warm in my xterra vendetta suit. I couldn't really feel the cold.)

I was placed between Christie Sym and Michelle Gailey. Once we were off, it took me 300-400m to take the lead and there was no looking back. The water was very brown and I was lucky enough to have the paddle board guy leading me otherwise I would have swum an extra kilometre.

I found the swim quite tough and I was a fraction slower this year exiting in 51min, still enough time to get out on the bike and enjoy the hills.

Port Macquarie is a very honest bike course, with some rolling hills, some flat stretches and the well known "matthew flinders hill" which is my favourite. It really tests your strength. It is a 2 loop course.

photo: darrell nash

I was caught by Michelle Bremer quite early on in the bike and she was in attack mode. I sat behind legally watching her moves and how she was riding, building into my bike as I didn't feel so good for the 1st 60km. Once I hit that point something just came over me and I took off on one of the hills putting some time into her.

photo: darrell nash

photo: darrell nash

photo: jay luke

I was feeling great, getting my nutrition in, feeling relaxed and loving it. Heading back out for the 2nd loop the wind picked up a bit, giving us a tail wind towards transition. I was very happy with my bike split of 5.13 as it was very similar to last year.

I got into the change tents and was out onto the run fast. Knowing what my body was going through and everyone supporting also seeing what was going on I just kept going and tried to just focus on me.

photo: jay luke

The run course is 4 loops and crowds were everywhere. After the first couple of km I was looking towards the ground trying to avoid running through mud and my hair and head got caught onto a thorn bush. It pulled my head back and I started to bleed from my head.

I tried to keep cleaning myself  running through aid stations loving all the crowds going wild, I just didn't know what to do.

Questioning myself 'if I keep going is my health at risk?" I was also feeling very embarrassed as I was being told by people what was happening so I decided after 20min to stop and call it a day.

What I was going through was out of my control, but the choice I made to not continue was in my control. It is a very hard decision to make but I felt it was the best decision for the day.

I'm so grateful to all of those who support me and believe in me.

I do live to fight another day, and now it's about reseting and refocusing. And working too.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Challenge Melbourne - Podium!

What a great way to start my race season with a podium.


Starting the new year with a fresh mind and body, I did a short 3 day training camp in Jindabyne to kick start the fitness. Training had been going really well and the body was finally clear of the infection I developed for Ironman Western Australia.

It's always great to blow out the cobwebs at a race to see where you are at with your fitness, how your headspace is, and most of all what you gain from the race to improve for the next one. That's the reason I stay in this sport. Each race is a new experience, and I learn more about myself, and what I need to improve to get faster.

Triathlon to me isn't just about swimming biking and running. It's about pushing myself through tough times, and enjoying the good times, meeting new people and trying to inspire others.

Travelling to Melbourne, I almost missed my flight as a taxi driver didn't want to pick me up from home to get to the airport because I had a bike. The one driver that did take me said he felt sorry for me as he was a cricketer and an enthused sportsman.

I ended up catching my flight with a few minutes to spare. Having a swim, going to the press conference, getting a massage and building my bike made the day go by so quickly.

Saturday had come around already, doing my usual pre race training, registering and enjoying dinner watching the womens tennis final, I was ready for whatever we got for race day.

Waking to rain, wind and cooler weather is exactly what we got. I have raced in worse conditions than this before so I wasn't too worried.

Preparing my bike in transition, doing my ususal warm up run, I got the wetsuit on to keep warm and headed down to the swim start. Wow it was big surf.

I had a pre race swim and wasn't sure where I was going. Race start was delayed a bit as it was quite dark as well. I was kinda happy with the surf as I know im a strong swimmer. My eyes were set on  staying with Annabelle Luxford, and I did.

The course was an M shape with quite a lot of turning, throwing out the rhythm and swallowing litres of water. Once we got going it felt like an eternity to get to the first turning bouy. Being thrown in the air by waves and then slammed down under the water, I got a bit seasick at one point but managed tough it out.

Exiting the swim with Annabelle, with Georgia Stott just behind us, I surged out of T2 in front. Annabelle had seemed to have gotten a mechanical.

It was windy, cold and wet but I knew I was riding well. Not looking behind I was on my way for the first 30km of a 3 looped course. The wind was coming from every direction and at some points the rain was that hard hitting me in the eyes I had almost fallen asleep.

I got to the 15km mark and Christie Sym caught up to me. I rode for a bit with her and then a big gust of wind came from behind and she took off on me. She was in my sight for the majority of the bike, and then slowly drifted away.

Half way through the 2nd lap is where Mel Hauschildt flew past me. I was waiting for my bike legs to come but they just didn't seem to fire up. I threw up a couple of times on the bike from swallowing so much sea water.

I got off the bike in 3rd place.

With the rain still coming down and the wind howling I was on my first of the three 7km loops. The run was great.

We got to run past the ocean, on some sandy tracks, around an oval and then a few up and down hills. Then we headed back into the transition area along the bike course. People were cheering, bongos were playing and the 3rd place riding guy kept getting stuck on the stair section.

I laughed at him by the end but he had a good sense of humour as well. There were quite a few people out on course by the time I had run the 3rd loop which got quite congested. I wasn't sure how far behind I was or who was behind me I just kept running until I got to the finish line.

It wasn't the best day I've had nor the worst, just consistant. I feel lucky to be able to do what I do and appreciate every experience.

Thanks to Challenge and super sprint for organzing the event and giving us all the opportunity to do what we love. It is only new and I know it will keep growing.

Having a few days to reflect on this race, I'm already motivated and hungry for the next race. Bring on Huskisson Long course in Jervis Bay.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Race Results

2014 in review

  • Geelong - Feb 9th - 3rd
  • Huskisson - Feb - 2nd
  • Abu Dhabi March- 3rd
  • Port Mac Ironman - May - 2nd
  • Cairns 70.3 - June 8th-4th
  • Challenge Gold Coast-August-7th
  • Sunshine Coast 70.3-September 14th-11th
  • Port Macquarie 70.3-Oct-3rd
  • Nepean triathlon - October 26th-8th
  • Challenge Forster -Nov-2nd
  • Western Sydney 70.3 - Nov 30-3rd
  • Ironman WA - December - DNF .. crook .. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Ironman Western Australia

Preparing for an Ironman is a hard long journey that you make sacrifices, commitments and dedication to for months. It's not just the physical aspect of it, it's the mental preparation that goes with it too.

I have had a pretty long racing year and it's been a very consistent one for me.

Ironman Western Australia was my goal race for 2014. I was happy with my progression toward it, things started to fall into place at the right time. It taught me a lot of patience, and things started to feel right by the last couple of weeks.

I recovered considerably well from Western Sydney 70.3 the weekend before and I was feeling as ready as I could ever be. With a strong international field, I was excited to see how I would compare against multiple Ironman winners, and World championship athletes.

It was to be a race of patience, and would require me to be smart with tactics. I am known for being out front for the majority of a race, given my strength in the water and on the bike, but knowing who was racing this weekend, I had to play my cards right.

I had to swim with the swimmers who were as strong as me, ride with the riders, and believe in my running to carry me through until the end.

A couple of days ahead of the race I developed a little cough. It didn't affect me at all through the short race prep training sessions leading into the big day. I had slept a huge 10hrs on the Friday night, and then another 10 hrs on the Saturday night. I woke up mentally fresh but didn't quite have the buzz I normally do pre race.

I got down to T1 nice and early, set myself up and went for my warm up run. I wasn't feeling too crash hot and told my coach, he just told me to enjoy my day.

Race start for the women was 5.33am, 3min behind the pro men, with a beach start - my favourite as I could use my long legs to run in and porpoise dive to get ahead. I had Liz Blatchford in my sight as I knew I had to hang onto her for as long as possible.

Once we were off, the plan was working. I sat with Liz for about 500m. She then edged away from me and so I found someone else's feet to hang onto. It took me a long time to get into my swim rhythm. My breathing was great, I focused on my stroke rate and kept the lead paddle board guy in my sight.

We hit half way along the jetty and I found myself on my own. The pack in front slowly slipped away, but I could still follow the lead paddler. I felt pretty slow heading out and mentally started to drift off, but once we hit the turning bouy out past the jetty the conditions on the water started to get choppy.

Heading back in, I really struggled. I felt out of rhythm and I had to really concentrate on my stroke rate. At some points in the swim it felt like I was swimming on the spot as I could see the bottom so clearly and it didn't really move.

I finally got in swimming the same time as last year 54mins, not feeling as easy as it did then, and was told I was 2min down on the leader. I got in and out of T1 as quick as I could.

Patience was a big thing for me feeling the way I did, but I rode to what I had. I was solo for about the first 30km and Kate Bevilaqua caught up to me. I rode with her as her pace was quite comfortable for me at the time. The bike course had changed to a 2 loop bike course.

The wind was in your face but manageable to ride in. The pace was on for the girls as so many kept passing me, I was relaxed as I knew I was riding to where I wanted to be, and I trusted in the back half of my ride.

Keeping my fluids up as I was extremely thirsty, focusing on what I needed to do, and not what was happening in front or behind, I came through the first 90km in about 2.28. Sitting in the top 10, I started to come good heading back out for the 2nd loop. I started riding like I know I can and felt great, then I hit the 110km mark and my body just froze up, my energy was dropping and felt flat. It was almost like I was pedalling backwards.

I was telling myself it will pass and to just go with the flow. I saw that I was at the 4hr mark into the race. I pressed on and yet had people constantly passing me. I kept my fluids and nutrition up, I even grabbed coke and sculled that down but it seemed to have no effect on me.

I looked at my clock and saw I was at the 5hr mark and my hips shoulders and legs had flu like symptoms. I couldn't sit up without being in extreme agony. My pedalling got slower, energy disappeared, I didn't even know what was going on around me, I just focused on riding until I got into T2.

I saw Jody Gilchrist (one of my coach's althetes and a coach herself, and my friend) cheering for me at the 150km mark and I just shook my head. Thanks Jody for your cheers I almost cried at that point. I made T2 and could barely walk into the change tent. I sat on one of the chairs and couldn't get up. I told the volunteers that I couldn't press on.

I was done. I had nothing left, could hardly talk and went to the medical tent where I was diagnosed with an infection.

It is disappointing not finishing something that I've worked so hard for. But for me I need to think of my health and trying to even get out on course for the run could have set me back even more.

Ironman is a race for me not just to finish or do a PB but to see what I can achieve by giving it my all. I gave everything I could on that day and my body stopped where it did.

I spent my last three days in Busselton in bed, and I now am slowly back on the mend. The thoughts you go through after not achieving what you wanted to, can play a huge role into your future.

I feel it was the best decision I had to make for that day, and I now need to reset my mind and get my body healthy again, for future races.

I can look at several positives for 2014, achieving 7 podiums in 11 races, including second at Ironman Port Macquarie.

I gained a huge sense of patience and belief in some of my races I came so close in for the podium to back myself especially in the run now. I've gained a huge understanding of how to race, how to prepare and what I need to do to improve myself every single time.

I've had so much support from so many people this year and I'm so happy to be forming and developing relationships with long term sponsors, and new ones. Thank you all for your support and belief in me.

I have to give a mention to Xaivier Coppock, my coach, who has helped me through so much this year. Thank you for everything, I couldn't have achieved what I have so far without you.

My focus for 2015 is still qualifying for the world championships on the Big Island next year.

Race schedule will be out soon.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Ironman 70.3 Western Sydney

I had decided to race Western Sydney 70.3 about 4 weeks ago as I knew my main focus was Ironman Western Australia, which is this coming weekend. There were several reasons why I did.

Firstly it is exciting to be a part of an inaugural event so close to home. It was also so great to share the course and event with the six-time ironman world champ Dave Scott who is one of the most down to earth guys you'll ever meet.

I knew my training was going well, I had no expectations, just wanted to see how fast I could race. Training is great , but there's nothing like practicing a swim/bike/run, especially with pacing and nutrition.

The field was very high quality and for me it was about building confidence against the best. For an Australian based race, the international status was fantastic.

Once again, Ironman Asia Pacific know how to make events runs smoothly, easy and they create such an unreal atmosphere. Congratulations on a job well done!

I travelled to Penrith known as the "Riff" where the world wide known PIS team are based on Friday for the press conference. The day before the race was the standard registration, bike check in and carbo loading.

Race start for us was 6.02am, in nice warm water temperatures of 26 degrees. The swim course was a rectangle shape and so easy to follow. My swim has been a hit or miss in training, which is still quite good overall.

My goal was to stay as close to Gina Crawford as possible as I knew she loved non wetsuit swims. I was successful for about 300m then she took off. I ended up side by side with a few other girls until the first turning bouy. It was about 50m to the next and then a straight line swim again.

I managed to sit on some feet for a while and the paced slowed up. So I went out wide to overtake but no luck. I was side by side again with three or four girls, then turning around the last bouy I was on feet again. A pack of 5 of us exited the water including Melanie McQuaid and Anja Beranek. I knew these girls could ride and I had to stay with them for as long as possible. Gina was out front for us to hunt down.

The bike was course was two flat loops with smooth roads, only 1 short climb which wasn't steep at all. Anja started to slowly put time into Melaniea and I and Gina was within sight. I worked with Melanie and we slowly closed the gap to Gina.

Photo: Firstoffthebike

I felt great on the way back into town and took the lead for our 2nd loop. most of my races have been solo riding so it was nice to be able to work with some girls. Coming back into town one of the TO pulled up and had showed me a yellow card. I asked what it was for and she said littering. I disputed the call as I know we are allowed to dispose of our gel wrappers at aid stations and she said she would get back to me.

It played with my head for a bit and I wasn't sure how to respond to the situation. She finally came back to me and said I was in the clear. I got over this quite quickly as, of course, I had a 21km run ahead of me.

I had cramps going on the bike and small ones on the start of the run. I led out of T2 and was in 2nd for about 3km until Gina passed me. I didn't know how far back Melanie was but I knew I had to keep my pace and stay strong until the end in order to hold third.

The run course was 2.5 loops out and back around  so you could see who was in front, and who was behind. Andrea Forrest was running fast and in 4th behind me. Gina was out of sight and Anja was so far ahead she could have jogged to the finish.

I really felt the heat during the 2nd half of the marathon and my legs were becoming really stiff. The crowds were awesome as I got so many cheers, the music was pumping so loud that you could hear it on the whole of the run course. I was hurting but safe in 3rd position in a time of 4.25.

Recovery is key this week for me and I'm excited for the last race of my year before a break.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Challenge Forster

Time is nearing to my final race of the season, still 2 to go, but the biggest of them all is in 4 weeks time in Western Australia.

Photo: Korupt Vision

We are pretty lucky these days as triathletes living in Australia as there are so many races to go to 11months of the year, thanks to Challenge Family for offering more races in Australia.

Raising a child on my own is pretty hard as it is, and if I didn't get these opportunities to do what I love in the sport of triathlon without having to travel very far,  I'd be looking at something else to do.

Forster is a 4 hour road trip for me, I enjoy road trips as it's time to myself. I enjoy the scenery and listen to the music I want to hear.

In addition, Forster is pretty special to me. It's where I began my journey in this sport, thanks to my friends from the Concord tri club back in 2002.

I had a pretty hard week of training ahead of this race so it was really an unknown as to how I would be feeling come race morning. I was nervous, which is a good sign that I'm ready to race, and I was excited.

We were lucky enough to have clear skies. It was a bit windy, but it was warm and sun rise came at 5.30am.

Photo: Korupt Vision

Our wave start was 2 mins after the men, which looked like a visible and pretty straight forward swim, 2 loops around a square shape with big red Challenge buoys for guidance.

I knew I had to try and stay with Liz Blatchford in the swim as I felt she was my main rival for this race. She was coming of a 10th place in Hawaii only a month ago and 4th place in Noosa a week ago, so she was in excellent form. I trusted and felt confident as to where I was at, having some solid good races leading into this one.

Once we were off, Liz disappeared. I don't think I even got any of her draft - unfortunately. Still, I felt great and had my normal feel for the water. We did have a current going with us to the first turn, then it was against us with some choppy water on the way back.

Photo: Korupt Vision

I felt great in 2nd place, not knowing who was behind me, and trying to keep Liz in my sight. It was a quick swim; I exited in 21 min down 1min 20sec to Liz.

My legs have finally come good on the Specialized Shiv bike I now am using and with the relatively smooth Forster roads, I was into a good rhythm straight away.

We had a nice tail wind behind us going out and a tough headwind back. The course was 2 loops with some flat fast sections, and some rolling hills. I really enjoyed the bike and rode solo the whole way.

Liz was riding really well and I couldn't catch her. Jess Fleming was also flying riding solo behind me I think 2 min down.

Photo: Korupt Vision

I was focused on the task ahead and felt strong the whole bike ride, maintaining 2nd to Liz. I was told she had a couple of mins on me, so I got straight into a comfortable rhythm on the run.  It also was a 2 loop course, running across the famous Tuncurry bridge out to a break wall, then returning past the finish shoot with another out and back on some off road with some beautiful ocean views.

It was starting to get hot as the morning progressed, and a little breezy but I was feeling great.

Jess was closing the gap on me during the first loop and Liz was putting more time into me. I had flashbacks of Port Macquarie 70.3 again where Jess caught me, then I dropped her, then I caught Anna Russell and had a sprint finish with her.

I wasn't too sure if I was up for another sprint but if I had to, I was preparing for a fight for 2nd.

By the 2nd loop I was running so consistently, feeling like I could run like this all day. Jess lost time on me, and Liz was too far down the road. So for the last 1/2 loop I stayed strong and enjoyed the rest of the run.

It was a nice feeling to be stepping up on the podium again, getting closer to that number 1 postion.

I have Western Sydney 70.3 in 3 weeks time as a real good test before the big race.

(*Awesome photos by Korupt Vision)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Port Macquarie 70.3

Moving in the right direction

After a rough few months of health issues I was back to my old self again in training and looking forward to racing. Going into Port Mac 70.3, I was the defending champion. The week leading into this race I started to get the nerves of butterflies back in the tummy, which for me is a good sign that I'm ready.

I really love racing in Port Macquarie for several reasons. First, it feels like home. I have been competing here since Ironman shifted here from Forster in 2005. Second, I know a lot of the locals, and the course gives you some honest racing. It really is good to see the women's field growing each year as well.

Thanks to Ironman Asia Pacific for organizing my wonderful accommodation at the Observatory Hotel, I felt like a princess at this place.

I drove to Port Macquarie on the Friday with my son Josh, and my Dad not too far behind. After attending to a few media commitments, there was time to relax. I had a wonderful night's sleep and was up early on Saturday to get in some short training before heading to Camden Haven to hand out medals for the ironkids race. I really like helping at these events. The kids really inspire me believe it or not, and it was so good to give Isaac Sanderson, who won it overall his winners medal.

Once I had finished this I had an really enjoyable swim at the local pool, registered, attended the pro briefing and headed back to my hotel to get my bike ready. Once it was racked I caught up with my dad and my son for an evening of fishing (yes Josh did catch a fish but it was only big enough for one person) and then it was home for an early night.

On race morning I was up and ready to go as planned, got to transition as soon as it opened and focused on the task ahead. I was feeling quite relaxed but excited,  how could you not with conditions almost near perfect.

Our wave start was 1min behind the pro men, a one loop swim course.

Photo: Peter Gleeson
I knew that Radka Vodickova could swim, so I started next to her with the objective being to stay as long as possible with her. I think that lasted about 800m and she slowly crept away. I was swimming well, my heart rate was up, and was thinking about my stroke rate. I could see Radka throughout the swim.

I exited in second place - 20sec behind her, with a pack of girls not that far behind me. I was excited about the bike as I have just changed over to a Specialized Shiv, thanks to Mark Newton from Jet Cycles who is a new sponsor of mine.

Photo: Rachael Paxton

The wind was low, temperature was nice,and there were hills; I love hills. The bike course is 2 loops out along the coast of beaches before heading along the freeway to Lake Cathie. This year they had extended the bike course (perhaps an extra 4kms).

I was chasing Radka but just couldn't get close to her. She was riding really well. I was feeling ordinary for the first 22km but found my groove for the next 40km. Heading back into town on the 2nd loop we ended up with a head wind, which threw me off a bit. I couldnt push any harder than I was.

The group of four girls riding together behind me was only a few minuted back. I was feeling good, trusted in my training to get off and run well. Radka was around 1.30 in front of me and I think the other girls were around 1-2min behind me.

I started out quite comfortable and held a good pace for 6km, then I started to fade. I kept fluids and nutrition up as it was quite a humid day out on the run.

Anna Russell and Madeline Oldfield passed me by about the 10km mark putting me back into 4th position. Behind me was Jess Fleming with Kym Coogan not too far behind her. Jess caught me at the 14km mark and I sat with her for a bit as I was determined not to let her get away. She was running well. I heard her breathing and we came to a section where she slowed a little so I went in front of her to control the pace. We ran for about 2km together, then we hit the small hill near the Observatory and I felt I could drop her and I did.

Photo: Rachael Paxton
I really started to push hard now and saw Anna up ahead. I was determined to catch her and I did with about 1km to go. But she wasn't about to let me get away and she jumped back in front of me. We ran together and I reminded myself that I used to be a sprinter: I'd managed 100m in 12.6 seconds at one point.

And so with about 30m to go, I took off. I managed to cross the line in third about 5 seconds ahead of Anna.

Photo: Darrell Nash

That made it one of the most challenging finishes I've ever had in a 70.3.

I was exhausted and very satisfied with my effort.

The most important thing for me was my dad was supporting me for this race as he hasn't seen me race since 2006.

Moving on from here is my build for Ironman Western Australia in December.

Friday, September 19, 2014

sunshine coast 70.3

Sometimes you need to suck up the bad with the good. That's what life is all about. It's all learning and moving forward. I am a very consistant racer , I train hard, am very motivated and positive. This race was a race to enjoy and move forwards to with the rest of the season.

Sunny coast sure lived up to its name.With the very wet winter in Sydney , I was almost as pale as a ghost , and I was excited for my skin to get some vitamin D.I flew from Sydney on Friday morning arriving late afternoon.It wasn't as hot as I expected but it was nice to walk around with a singlet on. I did my usual unpacking , getting the bike put together , and had a relaxing afternoon. I was in bed early to wake early the next morning, I did a short training session before heading to the ironkids triathlon to hand out medals to all the little champs of our future.I love supporting these and seeing all the kids aged from 7-13years  having fun! Finished by 9am I headed to the pool for a swim, had a catch up with my coach ,registered,had the pro briefing , racked the bike and before I knew it I was watching the football before going to bed. Wake up time for me was 3am for breakfast. race morning was stunning, with a bit of wind, flat water and really nice warm air temperatures.

Beach starts are my favourite. I utilise my childhood talents of being a 100m sprinter to good use by entering the water in front. I porpoised for a few metres then im off swimming. I had caroline stefffan and radka in sight on my right  and got to the first turning bouy with them.I hung on there feet until the next bouy and a paddle board guy stopped me ,then they were out of sight. Once swimming again I had Gina Crawford to pace with.I felt great swimming and really enjoyed the whole way.I was a little bit slower than last year but every year will always be different , I exited in 4th 30 sec behind gina.I felt great and stumbled a bit in T1 but was off still within 30 sec.I had no idea how far steffan and vidickova were , but mentally I had to be in the moment and put to good use the "don't think,just do" moto.Sarah Crowley was only seconds behind me and once on the highway, gina was out of sight , I rode with sarah for a short way.My heart rate was quite low and it took me a while to get going on the bike.I am riding a different bike to my trek , im trialling a specialised that mark newton from jet cycles had lent me.We had a tail wind out and headwind back where I lost quite a lot of time. My legs were at the limit of pushing but I stayed patient as I knew I would come good. Sarah took off on me and I was out solo on the awesome flat smooth freeway. Then bike  course was 2 loop of 50km then a shorter loop of 40km.I had kym jeneke catch me and take off, then I caught her back coming back into town on the first loop. She would put time into me on the flat sections then id catch back on the short roller hills.It was kinda fun (:

Coming back into town I started to feel really good.I wasn't sure by that stage what I was coming but my running in training had been great.i trusted in it. I felt relaxed but a bit slow to start with and felt like I just kept plotting along.I had a lot of people cheering and I was actually saying hello back and smiling.I was enjoying myself a little too much I the 2nd loop ,the 10km mark I had no extra gear to move forward.By the turning point at the 15km mark my legs started to turn over a bit quicker. It was too hard to see who was in front or behind but at that point I was thinking to just finish and get the job done.As I hit the 19km before the big hill I saw another professional.tineke stewart.I ended up catching her and putting on some speed on the down hill,she decided to run with me so I had to keep the pace up.I never thought I would have had to do a sprint to finish the last 500m off but I did.I ended up placing in 11th.

Not my best result , but I never look at it as a negative. I feel pretty lucky to be able to do what I am with so many other people. I am competitive and I always like to get the best out of myself.But for this race, I had to take the day as it came , learn from it, and refocus on the next.

Im looking forward to some consistant training now to head to port macquaire 70.3 in 4 weeks to defend my title from last year.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Challenge Gold Coast

I originally was planning to race in Japan this weekend to do the Ironman but life circumstances change, I have to remember I am a mum too so I decided to head to the Gold Coast to race in the Inaugural Challenge Gold Coast.

It was my first Challenge experience and a very welcoming one indeed.

Every race I go to I am always treated well. The event crew had arranged for me to stay with the author of "the foundations of triathlon in Australia "Jane Hunt, her husband Shane, daughter Jassie and puppy Bella, who all made me feel welcome and looked after me very well.

After Sydney's wet weather I was happy escape to Queensland, the sunny state. However the big black clouds followed me and stuck around for the whole weekend.

Due to this bad weather, race day was altered to a 1.9km swim, 40km bike and 21km run.

Safety does come first, even though it was a hard decision for these guys to make, they made the best choice.

I was a little bummed about the shortened bike leg but made do with what it was and altered my race plan.

On race morning it was bucketing down. I quickly got my bike and gear sorted in transition and headed for shelter to try to stay dry. With 30 minutes until race start the rain stopped and there was some blue sky trying to come through.

I did my warm up and was ready to go.

It was an in-water start, we were 1 min behind the men and age group guys were 2 min behind us. I didn't have the greatest of starts, getting hit in the head, ribs, swum over, but this only lasted for about 300m and I found some feet.

Amelia Watkinson, who won, was holding a pace I could keep up with. I had no idea who was in front but followed Ameila on the T shaped swim course. Before I knew it I was exiting out of the water in the quickest time I've ever swum that distance: 22min.

We were told that Annabelle luxford was on 30 sec in front.

I went into the muddy transition and I then was out on the bike. The roads were wet and it was a little cool, I always ride cautiously on wet roads, especially on a course new to me.

Photo by

It was a 20km out and back. There was a nasty headwind heading out and I felt like I was going backwards. A whole heap of age men flew past me. For a moment, I thought I had a flat. Nope, it was just my legs.

It was a beautiful course with windy roads and a few undulations, some hair pin turns.

Photo by
It took a while for me to get into the cycle leg, and finally by the end I felt great. I got off the bike onto the run in third place with Madeline Oldfield heading out of T2 with me.

My legs didn't feel the greatest, my feet were also a bit numb, but once I got moving I felt great.

I really enjoyed the run, felt comfortable and held fourth place until the 14km mark when a few other girls passed me.

Overall, I had a solid day feeling like I could have kept going. I finished in 7th place. Knowing where I'm at in terms of my fitness and training and what I want to achieve for this season I'm really happy.

Onwards and upwards for my next race on the Sunshine coast (:

Sunday, August 17, 2014

RunLab - A new partner

I have begun working with RunLab and I will be coaching one session a week from Cronulla. It's the 5:45pm session meeting at Tonkin Park. I also will be available for run analysis and one-on-one sessions too.

Here is RunLab's mission statement:

Runlab was born out of a desire to enable runners of all abilities the chance to better understand their running, be challenged and over time improve and become a faster runner. For those who are relatively new to running or who are trying to improve their running, the task of understanding what to do and who to ask is overwhelming in itself, so Runlab was created and is fast becoming-The resource for runners.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ironman Cairns 70.3

Racing with no expectations

I love racing.

I had never raced in Cairns before so it was nice to race at a new venue and go into the unknown. Training after Port Macquaire Ironman was more about freshening up and getting to the start line uninjured or without any illness.

When I train I like to commit, dedicate and give everything. Having a coach like Xavier Coppock, guides me in the right way to make sure that I don't overdo anything.

First I 'd like to say a huge thank you to Lianne and Shannon from Flight Centre Active Travel for looking after me with my flgihts, and Tammy Barker From Ironman Asia Pacific who does an incredible job looking after all the professionals, for finding me a homestay with an amazing family, Nathan Sandford (who raced in the Ironman and had an awesome result), his wife Rachael Smith and their two cute little boys who were so clever, Jet and Ollie.

Sydney's weather for the week leading in was rain, rain and more rain, so heading North was going to be nice to escape - I'd hoped. I arrived on Friday it was windy but nice and warm. Race day was a different story.

I woke up to rain and wind; it was still about 18 degrees so it wasn't too cold. I caught the early shuttle (4.15am) to the start as there were 2 transitions.

Swim start was at Palm Cove which is about 23km away from the finish line. With a muddy transition I later regretted having worn white. Not a good look when it splashes up all over your white tri shorts.

It was still dark at 6.30am and race start for us was at 6.36am. I really wasn't sure how I was feeling for this race. I was just blank. However Coach Coppock reassured me, telling me to enjoy my race and smile for once on the run.

The water was muddy and choppy and we had been told about the 4m croc that was hungry for some bait, so I wanted to swim as fast as I could to get out there. Once we were off I did what I could to get out in front with Caroline Steffen and Naomi Kamakasi just putting some time into me.

Steffen took off by the first turning buoy with the water choppy (it reminded me of Geelong earlier this year); I had Naomi next to me bashing into me, so I decided to drop back and sit on her feet. I didn't have the best swim but exiting out of the water with Kiyomi and with Steffen 30 sec ahead I was confident but cautious to hit the roads on my bike.

We had a few speed humps at the start where I lost a few of my gels and had my drink mix wash all over my face, but with the rain I didn't have to worry about cleaning it off. aWe headed out along some windy undulating roads with a few hair pin turns. I felt like I was riding like a grandma being so careful not to come off.

I passed Kiyomi but wasn't sure how far Steffen was in front. It took me quite a while to wake my legs up. They had nothing. Once we hit the furthest turning point Steffen had put 2 min into me and about a pack of 7 girls were only a minute behind.

I knew I had to trust in my body and my bike and that I would come good, I just had to be patient. I was also trying to work out how I would make up for my lost 2 gels for the bike. We passed an aid station that had coke so I decided to grab that to make up for my calories.

With the rain pelting down, hitting my eyes and making me feel sleepy, my legs started to come good and I hit a really good rhythm heading back. We had a headwind but it was flat so keeping a high cadence against the wind allowed me to not overwork my legs and prepare to have a high turn over for the run.

Suddenly I saw Steffen on the side of the road and I was just as suddenly in the lead. I didn't know how far back the other girls were but wasn't too worried as thinking about that is just energy wasted. I know enough to focus on what I'm doing and that's all.

I got into T2 in front feeling ok, and actually smiled at people cheering me. I just had one pace and legs felt like elephant legs. I again had to keep my mind free and trust that I would come good.

Candice Hammond flew past me within the first kilometre and Anna Russell and Kym Jaenke weren't too far behind. By staying positive and focusing on my nutrition, I started to feel better.  Anna went past me and I slid into third place.

The run course was flat with winding turns and huge puddles, at some points my shoes were just slipping and I wasn't moving forward. I got to around the 12km mark and Kiyomi flew past. I was in fourth place and then started to feel really good.

I picked up my turnover and I started to run strong. My objective was to catch Anna back. I couldn't see her but was determined enough to chase. Unfortunately, it was too late as she had already crossed the line.

Overall I stayed strong all day. My mind was free and even though it was hard to not have the GO I was pretty happy with how I performed.

Not the best race for me but sometimes we have to remember the real reasons we do this to ourselves. Growing as an athlete and a person is all I want to do and to never stop learning. Being in this sport since 2002 has taught me so much about myself and I continue to do it. I love it.

Congratulations to everyone who finished.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

2014 Ironman Australia - I believe!

Well what can I say .... I gave it my all .... finished exhausted, but absolutely over the moon. This was my best Ironman race so far.

Photo: Delly Carr - Ironman

Back in 2002 I watched a few of my mates from Concord Triathlon Club race in this crazy event called Ironman. After being inspired and wanting to see what is was all about, I decided to try it in 2003.

Ironman Australia, which was in Forster at the time, was my first Ironman race and so it holds a special place in my heart. I have been hooked since then.

Eleven years down the track I am racing still, as a professional, and racing as a different athlete each time I compete. I grow and learn and take so much away from each race.

The training build for this race was something I gained so much from. I finally grew to believe in myself and believed that anything was possible. Thanks Xavier Coppock for your belief in me too. I believed that having Melissa Hauschildt, 70.3 world champion competing in her first Ironman, would challenge me. It did.

I had no fear, put it all on the line holding the lead for most of the day, to finishing in a close second place.

This is how my day unfolded.

With six female starters on the line, on a 1 loop swim course, having a 1min gap to the professional men, I was confident that I would either be on my own or close to Hillary Biscay, who raced in Taiwan only 2 weeks ago. Impressive effort to back up.

I took off and held the lead until we got to the weir. As we climbed over the steps, Hillary was with me and then took the lead. I trailed her until the turning point and on the return back to the weir, had the sun in my eyes (clear goggles, big mistake, lesson learnt) and she slowly started to edge away.

Heading back into the final stretch solo, I kinda felt like I was going backwards. Into the final turning point I exited out in 49min (best swim to date) trailing 20 sec to Hilary.

I know the Port Macquarie course well and love the hills (could almost get that tattooed into my quads).

Temperatures were chilly and for the first time I raced in a bike jersey. It was great, kept me warm and I had extra pocket to store my nutrition. I passed Hillary within the first 5km and was feeling amazing.


Loved the team PIS guys, especially Andrew Vicary cheering at that point in his smugglers! It made me laugh.

Heading out I focused on finding my rhythm, getting comfy and keeping on top of my nutrition. I wasn't sure how far back the others were but really, I didn't care. I trusted and believed in myself and had no worries at all.

The bike course consisted of rolling hills at the beginning and then a nice flat section, then some small rolling hills before heading back. It was a 2 loop course.

On the first loop conditions were pretty good until coming back into town where a tough head wind felt like you were riding into a brick wall. At that point I had 1-2min lead on Mel. I know she can ride; she won the long course in Abu Dhabi, which includes a 200km bike ride, only 4 weeks back.
However, I felt amazing and really just focused on myself. I didn't want to waste energy worrying.


Heading back out for the 2nd loop the winds really picked up. It was like the wind didn't know which way it wanted to go. However I rode how I felt and practised the high cadence I had been working on at Turbo Studio, on the computrainer, and when I hit the 120km mark, was feeling the strongest so far.


I was getting splits that showed I was extending my lead on Mel. Heading back into town with all the crowds roaring (I loved it), I got off the bike with a 7min lead. (In one interview I had said I'd need a 10 minute gap; Mel was going to prove that point.)

I had confidence in my run and slowly started to build into to it to find my legs. The first part of the run was great; once you reached the break wall there was a nasty head wind. My coach Xavier was at that point supporting me to keep in control and trust in my run.

There was also a nasty headwind after the turning point and settlement point. I got blown into a witches hat and almost fell over it, whoever was behind me at that point had a chuckle. I ran my first 10km in 45min which was what I was targeting.

Photo: Delly Carr - Ironman

I was starting to wind my run up and kept a good, comfortable  rhythm. Once I hit the 20km mark, time was still on my side. But Mel was narrowing my advantage, I started to feel sick, almost throwing up, and dizzy too. Then Mel came flying past me.

At that point I didn't mentally let that get to me. I believed that anything was possible. There was still about 20km to go. I did a bit of walking and running, stopping at aid stations to get coke and water into me, then around the 2hr 20 mark on my watch I had this extra burst of energy.

I started to run like I was doing a 10km event. I was slowly catching up to Mel, people were screaming. Yes I did love it even if I didnt look like it, and had moved to within about 1min of her.

At the turning point at Settlement Point I simply focused on running hard. I got a bit cold and my hamstrings had started to cramp. I was pushing through it, determined to catch Mel. I gave it all I had, but the finish line came just a little too fast.

I am so overwhelmed with everyone's support and kindness in my preparation for this race. It's also nice to know I have inspired many of you. Without my support network my racing wouldn't be where it is and I say a huge thank you to you all. I could go on with a list of people but you all know who you are. I really do appreciate all that you do for me.

Onwards and upwards from here, recovering and then heading to Cairns for the 70.3.

A huge thanks goes to Tammy Barker who helped me with my accommodation at the observatory. Josh and I really appreciated it.


A video of my thoughts post-race from


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Huskisson Long Course February 23rd

I always love this event at the beginning of my race season. Not only is it so close to home, the Elite Energy team always makes me feel welcome and thanks to Mel and Emo for sorting out my accommodation at the Bayside motel, they were so welcoming too.

I can also share the experience with all my friends and hear about their race, and Josh can have a great time with his fishing.

Since Geelong, I have had a pretty full on training schedule and tapering was only short for this race.
I was very positive on how I felt going in and coach Xavier Coppock had set me a race plan to execute. I did it with success (: Thanks coach!

I knew Liz Blatchford was going to be the one to beat, I for once had no fear or doubt about my ability to do that. I had the self confidence and belief that anything is possible. I trusted in my training and took some wise words from Xavier and I got to the start line - at peace and focused on the task ahead.

Race morning was beautiful, it always is at Huskisson. The water was clear and warm, the air temperature was perfect. I was ready to race.

Our wave start was 2 min behind the professional men and my goal was to stay with Liz. Every race, she has had a good amount of time out of the water on me. I decided that if I had to hurt to stay with her, I would.

My plan was successful and we exited out together in 26min. Heading out onto the bike I was to make her work to stay with me or break her. Liz rode impressively and attacked me a few times on the first and second loop and as I felt better she didn't attack anymore.

I was focused on getting nutrition in and staying positive to believe in my run. We got off the bike together after riding 2.15.

Liz is known for her swim and fast running, and my goal was to stay with her as long as I could. For the first loop she was within 100m of me and I felt great and comfortable in my pace keeping her in sight.

My pace did fade for the 2nd loop and Liz was out of my sight. Mentally though I was not giving up until I got to the finish line. There were so many supporters out on course cheering me on and boosting my energy at times, thanks so much guys!

Finishing strong in 2nd place by 90 sec this year in a time of 4.08, I couldn't be more happy with how my whole day went.

Moving forwards to my next race which will be a goal race for the start of this year is the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon in three weeks time.

Keeping a positive attitude and loving what you do makes life so much more enjoyable.Thanks to everyone who shared this race with me and Ill see you all out again soon.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Ironman 70.3 Geelong

What a way to start my 2014 season. These days for me racing isn't just about swimming, biking and running. It is all about the process to get to race day, the people you meet and share the experience with. I really understand now why they say "welcome to the family".

I began my year as I did the last one in Jindabyne at the 'BRAT training camp'. I was assisting with swimming at the camp, which was again well run by Danny Moore and Tony Golden. There were a lot more campers this year, new faces as well as familiar ones. For me it was a different experience as I coming off an Ironman and just getting over sickness.

This year we had to contend with extreme winds and cold temperatures. It was another successful camp. While I planned on staying longer, I headed home on the fourth day after falling ill again. It took four days before I started to feel better and two weeks for my energy levels to return to normal.

I recovered in time for another training camp, down in Melbourne with my coach and his TEAM athletes. It was a great test for my mind and body, and it was really enjoyable. I took so much from it; I was ready to race.

So to the race in Geelong.

I was very fortunate to be well looked after by USM events and Ironman Asia Pacific for this event. I stayed at the Mercure which was about a 10min walk to the race facilities. My coach also had chauffeured me around where he could as he also had 20 plus athletes racing.

The Saturday before the race was quite a busy one starting with the Iron Kids triathlon - more than 200 competitors. It  was so inspiring to watch. Amy, Taryn and the event crew really looked after me and were so helpful and friendly. Once this was over I walked to the pool, had a swim, walked to the pro brienfing, registered, then headed back to the Mercure to get all my gear ready.

For dinner I went to La Porchetta with all the TEAM athletes, had an enjoyable meal and laugh with everyone, and before I knew it,  I was in bed.

Temperatures and winds were expected to be up for race day, but we didn't know to what degree until the morning. Water temperatures were up and the decision for pros to have wetsuits were made late, unfortunately I didn't have a speed suit, didn't have time to find one and had to put up with my two-piece outfit. (Lesson learned.)

My body didn't feel the love in the water, being thrown about and soaking up the water in my pants. I personally had a terrible swim, exiting in fourth, 4min down from Emma Moffatt, with the rough surf, but knew I could rely on my bike to gain positions.

Winds were coming from everywhere. It didn't really phase me as I knew what gear was appropriate to use, and I had been doing a whole lot of cycling. Jo from Turbo studio had been getting me to keep a high cadence  in my computrainer sessions at her studio, which made a huge difference especially against the winds.

Still, it took a while for me to get into my rhythm and power, and by the second lap I was on fire. I did however run out of fluids as it was really dry and hot. I had to grab an extra 2 bottles on what I originally thought (another lesson learned).

Team coaching

I maintained third position until near the dismount line where Kym Janeke had hit a pedestrian who walked in front of her and came off (hope your ok Kym).

I had no idea how far Emma was in front and I had no idea who was behind me or how far. I knew I was in second. It took a while for me to get my legs going. I was drinking fluids at every aid station as I was so dehydrated.
Team coaching

The winds again were pretty tough to run against, but all I had to do was remember to trust in the training and keep putting one foot in front of the other. I was passed by a flying Bec Hoschke at the 10km point of the run. I dropped to third and maintained this position until the finish line.

I am so proud of Bec for having an amazing race and Emma is just a class above the rest.

I wanted to thank all the TEAM supporters and athletes for cheering me on, to my coach Xavier for all his support and my sponsors old and new.

Trek Bikes, Kask helmets, high 5 sports nutrition, rocket science, xosize, saucony, turbo studio, computrainer, ryders eyewear, skins, clarence street cyclery, bont cycling.

2014 is going to be an amazing year of learning, racing and succeeding.

Monday, December 23, 2013

2013 Season Results

Finished on the podium in seven of nine races culminating with a 3rd in her return to Ironman in WA!

Huskisson long course February - 2nd place

Ironman Melbourne-March 24th-DNF

Ironman 70.3 Busselton-May 4th-4th

Ironman 70.3 Yeppoon August 18th-2nd

Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast Sept 15th-3rd

Ironman 70.3 Port Macquarie Oct 20th-1st

Murray Man Nov 10th-1st

Ironman 70.3 Shep Nov 17th-3rd

Ironman WA Dec 8th-3rd

Friday, December 20, 2013

Ironman Western Australia

I have given myself time to absorb this race as well as detox from the after party, Wonder Woman style, and catch up on my personal life (with Josh's broken arm putting me in and out of hospital for a few days as the focus was on him).

I decided to race in Western Australia a year ago when I watched the highlights from 2012. Being inspired by not only the professionals, but all those who do it just to take part of the challenge. At that time I had been out of "Ironman" action since 2010. My first Ironman of this year in Melbourne didn't go so well as it ended with a DNF.

After reflecting on my approach towards Ironman and being taken on board with TEAM tricoaching head coach, Xavier Coppock, my journey toward WA started after I raced in Yeppoon in August. Xavier's approach to my training got me starting with less, doing more aerobic training and  practicing my nutrition on my bigger sessions. It was like I had started all over again and trusted in  how he was coaching me, and with honest communication, as a team, we fulfilled my goal.

I also have a great team treating me to help keep my body in top condition for training, to get the best out of each session, as well as a recovery focus in between racing. I had Daryl Phillips from Performance Health treating me with chiro and ART, Paula Luke at Joint Health with physio, Ross McNeil with sports massage and John Kellet with Hypo2.

Also the sponsors - long term and new - kept my equipment up to date and provided me with the most current products available so I could  excel.

Most importantly, I'd like to acknowledge my family and close friends who were there for me in the times I really needed them emotionally. Lou Haynes you have been the most amazing friend through out this whole journey especially in the tough times. My training buddies from TSS (Danny Moore squad) and professional triathlete and dearest friend Todd Israel who made me so proud of his 4th place in the Ironman (:

So, here's what happened in WA...

I arrived in Busselton on the Wednesday before the race to adapt to the time change, not have any stress from my daily life and to give me time to relax, focus and enjoy the process.

It was a really nice feeling to know I have achieved everything that I had been guided to do by Xavier. I was healthy and injury-free: all for more reason to have a great race.

I also had a brief catch up with Xavier about the race plan, and reassurance on the process I have done to get this far to execute come race day.

Days leading into the race were great. Todd and I went to the South Bunbury sports centre to help Russell from the local triclub to guide young up and comers in a tystar challenge. I was also honoured to be a part of the pro press conference along side Kate Bevilaqua,Rebecca Hoschke, Andreas Raelert, Luke Bell and Jimmy Johnson.

Time was flying by and it was time to register, get a final massage, check the bike and gear in. Before I knew it, it was time to head to bed for race day.

I woke at 2.30am race morning to get breakfast in as we had a 5.30am start. Earliest I have ever started an ironman.With the time difference to Sydney, I had no problems with waking up. Todd and I headed down to transition and got there quite early. Got the bike sorted and was out of there.

Warm up was done, wetsuit was on, time to head down to the water. The ocean was quite flat, it was a beach start which suited me. Men and women were 5 min apart; all the age group athletes were 10 min later.

My tactic for the swim was to get a clean break and then have a comfortable swim. I hadn't raced Ironman for a while and it is a very long day. I was lonely from about 200m out, following the paddle board guy. I enjoyed seeing all the sea life swimming underneath me, feeling so comfortable, all on my own. I did have to stop a few times to check where I was going though, and exited in 54min. I felt great.

Now it was to get my nutrition going in T1, pop the helmet and sunnies on, and head out onto the 180km 3 looped course. Conditions were perfect. A little breeze, low 20s, over cast: I was loving it.

Credit: Firstoffthebike

I felt great riding and knew I had to build into my rhythm and race smart. It's not the fastest athlete who wins, it's the smartest. Timing my nutrition, keeping the legs turning and before I knew it 1 loop was done. I completed the first loop in 1.37, with Michelle Bremer 3-4min back.

The wind started to pick up a little towards the 90km mark on the bike and my time check was 2.25. I kept the nutrition in, I felt "free" in the mind and enjoyed the process and was living in each moment. Trusting, believing doing what I love.

Credit: Australian Triathlete Magazine

Liz Lyles was starting to catch up to me as well as Maureen, but it didn't bother me if they did. I was sticking to the race plan and being paitent, the race could be won or lost by one wrong decision. I hit the 135km mark and didn't feel well. My legs were heavy, I was uncomfortable on my seat and I ran out of my drink mix.

Maureen flew past me as if I was standing still. I decided not to go with her. I still had quite a while to go so I decided to start on coke and water, once I hit the 150km mark I started to feel good again. I was super happy with my bike time of 4.56 (pb to date) with Maureen 3min ahead.

My legs felt great once I started the run and I knew if I ran too hard too early it could be a very long day. I ran the 1st 10 km in 45min slowing gaining seconds on Maureen. I kept sipping on coke and water and getting a gel mix in every 15min. My stomach was great, I was moving really well.

All the cheers from spectators and volunteers were amazing (even if I didn't look like I was happy) and where Xavier had placed himself to boost my spirits was perfect. Once I got to the 20km mark my pacing was still on track. I ran through in 1hr 32 min, by the 23km I started to cramp in my calves. I slowed my pace and had to stop and have a stretch then my hamstrings cramped. I walked through an aid station getting in more fluids than normal and started to jog again.

I had hit a bad patch, but trusted I would come good again.

Keeping up the nutrition and fluids I held myself together and by the 36km mark I felt great. I was on the home stretch and all I needed to do was believe and dig deep. In other words, I simply had to put up with how my body was feeling.

I saw Kacey Willoughby who was cheering her lungs out at me, yes she did make me get a bit emotional. I had to snap myself out of it as I knew I had a few more kms to race before I was finished.

Holding third position and being first Aussie home: it was my best Australian Ironman placing to date, and my best time for an Ironman too.  I was overwhelmed and satisfied with how my whole day went.

Looking forward to 2014 I will step back into longer distance racing focusing on Abu Dhabi in March, Port Ironman in May, ITU long distance worlds in September, and then back to Western Australia in December.

I'm also very happy to have a few new sponsors on board: Phil Stanton with Computrainer and Bont cycling shoes. Thanks to my manager Phil Stoneman who has been a huge support in such a short period of time.

I am grateful to everyone who has been a part of my success towards my goals my whole life and I look forward to 2014.

Have a safe Christmas and see you in the new year.