Since coming home from America at the end of June, I had a whole lot of changes happen. Not only in my personal life but also my training.
Ironman Yeppoon 70.3 was not a priority race, but it was key to test out how I was going with my training, with my nutrition plan and it simply was a chance to race because that's what I love to do!
Coach Maroney was setting my training around quality not quantity, and all about hitting certain numbers in all three disciplines.
Training at the Athlete Lab three times a week and also using my Wattbike at home was making it easier to cycle through winter.
My mind was on the my main goals, but I also had both daily and weekly goals to achieve. Some I met, others I missed. It is the ones I failed at that I learnt from - particularly to make sure I didn't make the same mistake twice.
Two weeks before Yeppoon, I set a new course record at the ATTA 43km Calga time trial (which was my own record from 2007) which gave me heaps of confidence about where I was at in terms of my fitness. It was a confirmation that my cycle training was working.
Leading into Yeppoon my taper was short because of my priority races overseas. I was however feeling very confident and physically and mentally good.I also wanted to break the course record. I had no doubts in myself and I was racing to win. I was very organised for this race and had no stresses with anything.
I did have a personal issue that almost sent me home on Friday night that I had to deal with, but fortunately enough it all got sorted by Saturday afternoon.
I watched my traditional pre-race show, 'Australia's funniest home videos' the night before and fell asleep watching the rest of 'Home Alone'.
I woke up fresh for race morning and knew at that point I was going to win!
Race start was at 8.02am for the women. The wind was up, the surf was a bit rough, the sun was shining -- I was pumped!
I had my race plan in my head and we were off. I knew I had to either out swim Nicole Barry or stay with her. She took off for the first turn but I swam hard to catch and not let her go. My rhythm was way out due to the rough water, but I felt strong and I focused on a quick turnover with my arms.
Nicole and I kept taking turns in the lead but she exited the water in front of me. I was so determined to catch her up the beach to transition and to exit in front of her on the bike. I was on my way and then realised I forgot my race number belt. So I turned back around to get it whilst she headed out onto the course to get it, then Iwas off. I was focused on catching her and I did within the first 10min. Passing and then never seeing her again.
It was a little windy on the bike but I felt so strong fast and relaxed. I kept to a high cadence and focused on my breathing and relaxing through my shoulders. My plan was to ride fast for the 1st lap stay consistent for the 2nd and 3rd, build the 4th and then finish strong on the last lap. At each turning point I monitored how far the next woman was to see where I was at.
As one point I though I had a rear flat tyre. Overnight my PSI dropped by 50 and it concerned me. With the rough roads and short smooth sections I was sure I felt it going down. I kept sitting up to check it and at the second turnaround I stopped and got off my bike to check. When i realised it was all in my head I got back into my groove and was riding solid.
I could see Sarah Crowley gaining on me with the pack of guys she was riding with. I came into T2 witha 3.5min lead. I felt so good getting off the bike straight away and started running 4min/km pace. I was focusing on my leg turn over, and keeping my shoulders relaxed.
By the first 7km loop I had run around 28.5min and was really comfortable. I still had my 3.5min lead on Sarah and kept a good rhythm. By the 10km mark I started to pick my speed up and my legs still felt really good. My breathing got heavier and I started to think of my little boy Josh. I got quicker and quicker and had Tim Reed - who was a lap ahead - run past, saying some kind words to me. Thanks Timmy. (Tim won the men's race.)
No race is ever really over until you cross the finish line. I was starting to hurt by the 19km mark and checked my watch to see that I was having a blinder of a race. As I came around to the finish chute, I had a smile on my face knowing that everything went to plan and I achieved what I wanted to ... I was number 1. I did get a bit emotional -- tears of joy and happiness.
I have so many people supporting me now and it makes my success a whole lot easier, but you only get out what you put in. I have really focused and trained hard to get this result and I will continue it going into the 5150 HyVee US Championships,as well and Ironman 70.3 World championships in Las Vegas.
I'm ready, I'm focused and I'm going to push myself beyond my limits to get the results I want ... and that is to win!