Wednesday, 24 May 2017

MAY Madness- The real world gig!

Hey guys! 

A busy month it's been this May! A little different to the usual #athletelife of swim, bike, run, gym, eat & sleep. This month it was more like morning Triathlete, evening nurse & coffee addict! 

I'm in the last stages of my Bachelor of Nursing Degree, advanced studies & I am super determined to finish this Degree & get working casually in the hospital as a Registered Nurse, when I can work it in around training blocks, racing & travel. And it will be wonderful to start getting paid for our work because as students in my degree at the University of Sydney we do 1000 hours of clinical placement in different hospital settings to be able to be accredited at the end of the degree. All hours unpaid full time work, in blocks of 2-4 weeks at a time. My last block has been in the Acute Neurosurgical ward at Royal North shore, all things to do with the brain & head! As you can imagine, some pretty impressive scares & stories, meeting plenty of inspirational individuals along the way! 

People always ask me what area of nursing I want to work in, for me, it's tricky as your meant to complete a full time new graduate year working in the hospital where you will move around on a few ward rotations or settings to get a feel for where you may want to apply to permanently work in your second year out of university, for me this isn't possible as I can't commit to full time work, as triathlon takes preference. So I will likely work as a permanent part time staff member sent where staff are needed (which is everywhere for nurses haha) on the days I nominate to work!
Long story short, in the future I would love to get into high dependency care, like the intensive care unit or the emergency scene, maybe considering paramedics! I love the challenge of thinking on your feet, the fast pace & the acute stages of care! 

On my placement I had the enormous pleasure to sit down with the incredible Lauren Parker, a true fighter and a testament to the mental will power of us triathletes! Lauren is a Newcastle girl & an impressive Professional long course Aussie Triathlete. Lauren had an accident 2 weeks out from Ironman OZ in Port Macquarie where she was in the last 2 mins of a 15 minute effort, a normal hard training ride on a road her group used to ride almost daily when both her tyres popped and Lauren hit the guard rail. Sustaining a list of injuries unimaginable to most but which Lauren will live and battle for the rest of her life! Including paraplegia from the belly button down, with no sensation of movement, only pain! A cruel and unjust reality for such a gorgeous human, Lauren, and her family, but she is tough as nails & has some serious resilience everyone can learn from!!

Working hard in rehab and getting out and about outside the hospital now. Lauren has a fundraiser page to help with the medical costs and the growing financial burden, and any small change helps. You can find out more information and how to donate on the link here! 

Now I know this is meant to be a blog about sport, so I'll pick up where I left off in April. I finished my last update at the Hong Kong International Qantas lounge on my way home from the World Triathlon Chengdu World Cup in China! Getting in some quality food before the night flight & avoiding that plane food…

Chengdu being a super sprint racing weekend was an exciting format of racing! Backing up over 2 days with some tactics in play to get into the Final of 30 elite Women and Men, hoping to have conserved as much energy as possible on the Saturday over the sprint distance before the super-fast Sunday finale of racing! 

This is exactly how my semi-final sprint event played out! I was in Semi 1, ranked as number 2, with some super fish British ladies of Lucy Hall, Jess Learmont, Sophie Coldwell and Kirsten Kasper from the USA. Us 5 girls got away early in the swim and established a gap on the chasing girls! Heading out onto the bike we worked relatively hard for the first lap of 3 on the 20km course and then backed it off when we had established a lead of over 90 seconds. 

We kept it tempo and communicated between us, riding smart and tidy! It was a nice change for racing & not something to get used to that's for sure! Getting off the bike with a dominant lead the group of us enjoyed a Saturday "stroll" run and were happily chatting and having a laugh between us as we brought it home over the 5km and keeping things very tempo paced to save those legs best we could for Sunday's final!

 I took a sneaky win if you could call it that in this tactical and friendly semi-final. But at this level, a win’s a win!

Heading into the final ranked number 2 again- winner winner, as I didn't have to change my race tattoos or bike stickers for the second day of racing! There was no friendly chat in the final that's for sure, "Ain't nobody got time for that Willis!!" Sunday's super sprint was as it sounds - fast!! Coming in under 30 mins for the 400m swim, 10km ride and 2.5km run. 
Again, the pace was on from the gun for the swim to establish any sort of lead we could up front out of the water- rewarded with some time & space onto the bike and the potential for a smaller group to get away! 

Getting out of the swim behind Jess Learmont leading, I had a strong transition to get out onto the ride in front. Putting my head down and powering away up the road, on the modified course of yesterday's semi-final with 3 shorter and more technical 3.3km loops. We had a lead pack of around 10 women with the big names all there of Stanford, Hall, Learmonth, Kasper, Coldwell, & Lindermann. 

The pack was less organised today & there were athletes racing with different plans of attack for their own race, some wanting to work on the bike, others looking to tuck in, hide & pounce on the run. Frustrating at times, but I was pleased to have the help of Sophie Coldwell up front to keep the pace up. On the last lap it looked like the chase pack would catch, an attach and surge left the chasers just off the back of our pack coming into T2 with the majority of the 30 women field all there for the run race! 

A 2.5km all out "sprint" to the tape! Non stamped her authority early and took a dominate lead over the field! My coach Mick had a chuckle telling me about the look on my face as we all headed out a few 100m into the run, it was a look of "ohhh shit this is going to hurt" and I was right. I need to work on my poker face haha. 

Pushing on that red line for the whole race meant everyone was stinging and it was a battle for who had the critical speed to bring it home. I was really pleased with how I pulled it together to run a strong race home off the back of no specific run training for this style of event. For where I'm at, I was proud of how I executed on process, & skills to give myself the best opportunity throughout that final race to perform!! Running home in 7th position, and my third Top 10 World Cup result, which I'm proud of!! 

Congratulations to the leading ladies who were super strong throughout the weekend- Non on top of the podium (GBR) Linderman in 2nd from German & Kasper 3rd from USA. An awesome weekend of racing and I really loved the short, sharp and furious style of triathlon with the super sprint Format and having to tactically, physically & mentally back up over 2 days!! Bringing to my attention how crucial it is to nail all those 1%er's in your skills out on course because they all add up to valuable seconds and that's the difference between  a win, podium or top 10 for this style of racing! 

Special shout out to Matt Hauser who took out the Elite men event in a super kick on the run, taking the tape & popping bottles in his first World Cup event! Wow! 

Up next, time to finish this Nursing placement into June, which will be my last month in Australia on this side of the world! Time to chase the sun, Yahoo!

Stay tuned for some quality training, & different types of racing that Sydney offers in winter as I get ready to join the Aussies again over in Vitoria Gasteiz, Basque Country! 

Thanks for the time to read legends!

Emma x 

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