Monday, 27 November 2017

Refreshed, Recharged, & Ready to Rip back in!


Refreshed, Recharged, & Ready to Rip back in!

Hi Team,

It’s been awhile but I have really enjoyed being home, & taking some time off last month on a solid break, before kicking back into it this month. Easing back into the training mileage, & trying not to get over excited early because it’s just the start!!! And the next solid break of No training ain’t coming around again until this time next year!




As Triathletes training up to 4 times a day most days it’s actually hard to just accept relaxing & not exercising, it’s so strange & I know for me, my body feels more tired & lethargic some days after sleeping in & not training than days where I’m up at 4.30am & have clocked a 2 hour swim, gym & run before 10am! So, to help this I love to pick a new completely different sport I’ve never tried & give it a go for this month, & this year was no different, giving Bikram Yoga a RED HOT go… literally! 2 x 90minute yoga classes in a hot room, I did have a few regrets when I came out looking like a tomato that had just jumped in the pool, but it was great to give it a go, & I had a few friends jump in too for a try!


This year in my break I took some time away with my family up the coast & enjoyed days by the beach & on the water! I had my beautiful cousins wedding with a weekend away in the Hunter Valley, headed to the Gold Coast to support my best mate complete the Long Course Coolangatta Gold Endurance Event & I had my 5 year school reunion which was great to catch up with everyone from my graduating class of 2012 at ST Luke’s Grammar School. October was a great month!







Of course, I Netflix binged- Getting into the Good Wife & Stranger Things S2, had plenty of naughty food dates … YUM! And enjoyed exploring my own backyard on the Northern Beaches after having so much time travelling & abroad this year!








It’s great to have a break but I always Love coming back to training, feeling super refreshed, recharged & motivated to rip in & start building the foundations for another year racing!
I must say though, it’s a bit scary those first few weeks back after a break, wondering where that fitness disappeared sooo quick & whether it will ever return?!?




Struggling to make a 1:30 cycle in the pool with dead arms or break under 5:00min/km running, something that was “easy” 4 weeks ago! But after a few weeks back now I can reassure you my old friend “fitness” came creeping back & I’m starting to feel like myself again! Although the old friend of mine, that 4.20am alarm wasn’t missed though, that was probably one of the harder readjustments after a break & coming off a few months in Europe where the first session isn’t till 8.30am!



This time of year is always perfect for some cross training, something my Coach Mick is big on including into my program to keep it interesting, break up the mileage, build skills & have fun! I’ve loved getting back on my mountain bike on the trails & similarly running! Also including more gym Strength & conditioning work to build functional strength, involving Pilates into this routine! For me I use KX Pilates, a franchise that is second to none, these guys are the best, they know how to make those little muscles you never knew existed BURN!



Now I don’t recommend hitting up a tough race after a break, but if it’s Hamilton Island then why would you say no! I have been an ambassador for the Hamilton Island Endurance Series Triathlon & Ocean Swim weekend for the past 3 years & always LOVE coming back for the racing up here in Paradise, returning with fellow triathletes Natalie Van Coevorden & Charlotte McShane, along with Luke Willan & Jake Birtwhistle for 2017! We were also joined by swimming superstars Mac Horton, Gregorio Paltrinieri, and legends of sport, Olympic champion Susie O’Neill, & Triathlon 1994/97 World Champion Emma Carney!



Racing Hamilton Island Triathlon on Saturday, with an early start at 6.15am! Treated to 4 seasons in a day- sunshine, showers & hail all in an action-packed morning! The course starts with a 750m ocean swim in the tropical water of Catseye beach, before jumping on the bike for a 20km ride UP & over Hamilton island, with the very unique feature of a zip down the runway! Yes that’s right they close the “International airport” and let triathletes race up & down the 2km runway strip over the 3 laps! After tackling the killer hills & fast downhills its off onto the 5km run with burning legs for more hilly action!!



On the day Nat & I swam stroke for stroke in the swim before Nat took off on TT bike, leaving Char & I to play cat & mouse in a bit of fun on the bike before my break got the better of me on that run! The final hill up from the marina to the chapel on the hill is a killer, & having taken the tape 2 years earlier when I was fit I sure appreciate how hard that felt out there unfit! Finishing on the soft sand of Catseye beach in 3rd overall behind Nat & Charlotte.



The action didn’t stop there, we headed over on the (VERY BUMPY) cruise ride to Whitehaven Beach Sunday Morning for the Whitehaven Ocean Swim. I count my lucky stars I don’t get sea sick & nursing has given me a strong stomach! Racing over the 2km Ocean Swim course in the glorious crystal blue water of Whitehaven beach, in the southern part of Australia’s famous Great Barrier Reef! Rallied up by the Great dynamic duo of Deano & Reidy on the Mic for one amazing day in the sun, perfect for a race, cheering on hundreds of other swimmers, & helping some kids tackle their first ocean swim! You can see how it earns its title as one of the best beaches in the world!






What a terrific weekend as always, the unique course, terrific staff, fabulous volunteers, & unreal organisation, I couldn’t recommend Hamilton Island Triathlon more to anyone looking for a destination race, little holiday or tough race! As ambassadors we got to be involved with all the competitors and really get behind the event!  With a ‘Swim with the stars,’ & Dinner with the Pro’s on Friday, the inaugural Women in Sport sunset cocktails Saturday evening, the Kids triathlon event on Sunday morning cheering on the next gen! Finishing off a great weekend with Sunset Yoga & dinner with our team of event ambassadors & the World class legend himself Steve Jackson, who took us through our paces Monday morning pre-flight with a group “recovery run.” Starting with a 2.5km climb up to passage peak, my legs & lungs were hurting on that one, but with 40 or so runners coming along it was great fun, finishing the 10km jog around the island with amazing views out over the Whitsundays!



A terrific weekend with an awesome group of friends who I’m lucky enough to share this fun work life with!


 #RACEHARDRECOVERHARDER

I’d like to think as a group of athletes us Aussie triathletes are quite humble, yes, we will probably talk your ear off about triathlon if given the chance but not about ourselves! So, it’s always nice to be recognised for your hard work & achievements & to take the time to appreciate the pretty cool accomplishments you’ve kicked! 


The NSWIS AWARDs night was a great example of this. Being recognised as Academic Athlete Award Nominee representative, for my 2017 Triathlon efforts & the (painfully close) completion of my Bachelor of Nursing at the University of Sydney. Something that would not have been possible had I of not been in the Elite Athlete Program-  a brilliant athlete centred model to make study achievable for busy juggling athletes. It was an awesome night recognising some incredible successes which don’t come without, dedication, consistent hard work, resilience & grit! Plus… OMG the dessert stands- Doughnut time, Messina & Adriano Zumbo, lucky were athletes & we could all work a little harder at training the next day!



I was also honoured to attend the St Luke’s Annual sporting awards night as a guest speaker to present to this group of up & coming sporting stars! What an AMAZING night, it was so surreal to go back, get up on stage & have the mic in a room where I had been sitting 5 years earlier waiting on every word of Pete Jacobs- Ironman World Champion, who was the guest speaker that night! Then here I was with a brilliant oppourtunity to talk to the next gen of potential professional athletes about the good, bad & reality of elite sport, & balancing study & life in the middle. Informing them about the whirlwind of what is involved for me in a year & a week as a triathlete, lessons I’ve learnt & advice I would give, before hitting the floor for a Q&A!



 It was great to catch up with all the teachers that helped get me here today, especially the 2 legend staff - Mr Baker & Mr Whickham, that were the first to encourage & push me towards giving triathlon a go, I was lucky enough to go to a school & be in an environment that allowed students to give everything & anything a go, be supported & earn a sense of belief in themselves! I would like to believe I followed the school motto, taking the oppourtunity to inspire a room full of kids to DREAM BIG, give 100%, work hard but always love what you do, & to get Dream chasing- “making a difference in the world.”



Finishing off November with a whole lot of fun at the Splash & Dash Event at Bondi Beach!! Run by Bondi Lifeguard local, Reidy, as part of his Splash Series! Competing in the Splash & Dash event- a 1km soft sand run, into a 1km ocean swim, back to a final 1 km soft sand run for the tape! 





I LOVED returning to the soft sand and the surf where I was ‘lucky’ enough in my time to earn 3 gold Aussie titles & one World title over 2km soft sand, & always grew up in the ocean every afternoon!! Taking the overall win in the Splash & Dash after a neat handicap over the men, winning myself a new Vivoactive 3 Garmin watch, FRESH! A pretty successful game of catch me if you can!



The serious event of the day though was the duck dash!! Not to be taken lightly, we had to put on big flippers…. and run 400m in soft sand- OUCH… I won’t lie, there may have been some walking … before waddling/tripping our way into the surf & making our way around a flying 400m ocean swim with my blow up yellow duck in hand before making it back to shore (with at least a 50% inflated blow up yellow duck) for a flipper sprint run up the beach to the  finish line for an overall cash prize winner of the duck dash! A hilarious twist on the dash for cash! Lining up with Defending Duck Dash & also (on the downlow) World Triathlon ITU Champion Non Stanford, & fellow triathletes Nat & Grace Musgrove it was one fierce lot of fun! If the next event is half as fun & well run, I’ll be back for the next Splash Series race! https://splashseries.events/



UP NEXT, Summer is here (Deja-vu for us triathletes seeing the 3rd summer cycle for the year, with no complaints) and the festive season is about to be into full swing!! I have a birthday soon approaching…  celebrating with the 3 Point challenge local race at Curl Curl Beach on my 23rd bday, looking to defend my title & kick off the celebrations!! I’m also signed up for the Callalla XTERRA TRI race in Jervis bay, my first Cross-Tri Race & I can’t wait to put the mountain biking & trail running skills to the test!!




Before we know it Christmas will be here & the wonderful summer time between Christmas & New years with family, friends & a few food bellies! It’s certainly my favourite time of year, & I can’t wait to get my new Catfish Christmas cossies out for swimming! I may be a year older but I’m still one of the biggest kids going around! Check them out, available online but they won’t last long! – https://catfishdesigns.com.au/product-category/christmas-cosie/




Thanks for the latest read & catch up on the busy antics of a professional triathlete!
Get out & enjoy the warmer home weather & daylight hours for a walk, swim, ride or run, you won’t regret it!

Em.
x





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