Challenge Melbourne 2015
Its OK to think the year is only starting now right? Lets just say the past 6 weeks have been a warm up to what is now for us the 1st January. We never like to say we are busy, more our time is being used to the maximum and we have little time to focus on anything else other than the job at hand. Saying you are busy seems to be the ‘in’ thing to say, everyone one is busy but its how you control your state of mind that matters.
We hit the ground running towards the end of 2014 and only now feel as if we are slowing down to a normal, more manageable pace. The festive season was not so much one of long boozy lunches and relaxed afternoons on the beach, quite the opposite really. Champagne was replaced with Hydralyte and lazy days at the beach were replaced with early morning rides or runs in the Adelaide hills – training was in full swing and we had to be on the ball.
Our festive season was a little different this year, after packing up the car with wind trainers, trail shoes, bikes, a lot of lycra and our cat, Stan we headed to Adelaide to spend time with family and to enjoy a training camp for two (my husband Zac and I). Challenge Melbourne, my first 70.3 distance was looming on the 1st February and this being peak training time, I could not rest on my training morals, I needed to get out there and flog myself (in a controlled manner of course).
Most days we were up before the sun and immediately straight into terrain that had us chanting, hills are our friends, hills are our friends. When you are staying in the Adelaide Hills nothing is flat – its suck it up and ‘deal with it’ terrain and on reflection, we loved every minute of it despite a few tears along the way. We trained hard for 2 weeks; our families were patient and admired our dedication. On return from long rides, lunch was waiting – a nutrient dense patter of salad items & fruit pieces, there was no question, we were fuelling well for recovery. We soaked in pools, rolled on rollers and thanked nature for being kind to us with the weather and delaying the harshness of the summer heat.
When the 2 weeks were over, we returned back to Melbourne and I was straight into study mode but not forgetting about my fitness goal…. Challenge Melbourne was now only 3 weeks away.
January saw me complete 2 x 2 weeks blocks with the Matthew Kenney Academy successfully competing a certificate in Sports Nutrition and Elite Sports Nutrition. It was the course that was meant to be, everything I learnt I applied to my training and this saw me line up for my 70.3 race strong and well fuelled. Challenge Melbourne, what can I say about this race? The weather gods were cruel, the wind was strong, the seas were high and the roads were wet. I didn’t know whether to dig deep with a shovel or an ore.
The 1st February 2015 saw me step outside my comfort zone and have no choice but to be comfortable in the uncomfortable zone. When I saw the ocean at Sandringham I had to do all I could to stop myself crying – what were these waves? I have never swum in anything like this so how was I going to do it today?
Summary of race
The most difficult swim I HAVE EVER DONE but I DID IT! Complaining was not going to change the situation so I kept positive, I smiled, I laughed and I believed I could conquer those waves.
The last thing my husband Zac said to me before my wave start was ‘ride it like a roller coaster’. Those words stuck with me for the whole 1.9km (or 2.5km that I swam due to swimming off course because I could not see the buoys for the life of me). When I made it to the end, I jumped for joy and my smile couldn’t be wiped off my face, this was my biggest achievement and I was so proud of myself.
Wet and windy but I had trained in worse so once again, head down, turn full circles and ride – this was resistance training at its best. At times you could not see the road in front of you, the cross winds had me pushing down on the tri bars in order to stay up right and at the end of the 90km, I just hoped I was not frozen to the bike as now I had to get off and run.
I was enjoying myself so much I forget to race. All I kept thinking was, I am doing this, I am doing this and I am one of the luckiest people racing today. Plus I had my running mojo back.
Back in October I was diagnosed with low iron and having little to no energy to run after managing this condition for the past 3 months I was back to above normal iron levels and feeling strong. I paced myself, I ran within myself and no one could wipe the smile off my face – that day I was known as the smiling assassin.
Loved the 70.3 distance. I learnt a lot about myself during the race and as I was racing, I reflected on how far I had come in a year.
It was a year to the day that I took the bull by the horns and entered this race. The challenge was set and I must say, I worked bloody hard to get there but I got there.
In the past year I learnt
The only limitations you set yourself are the ones you keep telling yourself – there are NO limits
Train hard; race easy (well hard but the hard yards have been put in to understand how to deal with the pain)
Embrace the uncomfortable zone because this is where champions are made
Fill your mind with positives but don’t ignore the negatives, they are what you work on to see improvement
Trust in the process and be consistent – the coach is always right!
Hills are your friends…. a mantra used in our training group and one that took me about 8 months to truly understand
And last but not least, be thankful for what we can do and keep setting goals, for the sky really is the limit (or is it?)
Mixing personal with business
Tarian Pantry is a business that is close to my heart and what fuels me to train and race hard. This year will see some changes that will see the focus shift from pantry staples to essential pantry race fuel staples. I am proud to be powered by plants and wish for my tribe to tap into that power as well. 2015 is the year of change so welcome; lets enjoy this powered by plant journey together.
Eat well. Be well. Race hard.