Monday, 16 March 2015

Surfs Up in Mooloolaba



My fourth year back in Mooloolaba, it never disappoints with warm water, great views and sunshine. Leading into Mooloolaba World Cup, we had a perfect training race in Wollongong the week before to sharpen up with. It’s hard to believe that it’s nearly been a year since I had a hip arthroscopy already. I couldn’t be anymore grateful that I had a pretty easy but long recovery to get back on the circuit.


photo credit- eyes wide open


Photo credit- Taylor C






With the big surf, they had to move the start of the race to where the surf was smaller down the beach. Warming up, I was getting tossed, turned, flipped, a mouthful of saltwater and actually alittle scared of the waves. Walking back to line up, all I was thinking was, we do this every week in Wollongong. If I am scared, everyone else is just as scared as me, if not even more scared which I had to use to my advantage. I knew I needed to have fast start into the water, get over the breakers and get into a rhythm to the first buoy. I got in a good position and was 2nd around the first buoy. It never seems to amaze me though that people still want to drown you up the front.  I didn’t want to get drowned again so I moved myself to the front and got around the 2nd buoy without any problems. It was going to be luck of the draw and pure skill on catching a wave into shore. And I got no waves to assist me at all.  Coming out in the front, we had a long run that was going to be important in sorting out the race. I missed my box with my goggles and made that split second decision to put them back in and not get a penalty.
Photo Credit- Des Thureson




I rode pretty hard for the first section and climb making sure I got into that lead group. I didn’t have my feet in my shoes till over the first hill, where I felt I was comfortable in that lead group. The ride was very off and on. Into the tailwind it felt hard for sections and into the headwind, if you weren’t at the front, you could spin easier at the back. I made the mistake of taking the easy ride with no one working and I probably could have backed myself more and been abit more tactical. On a positive, I made sure I was in a good position leading into the narrow sections. By the end of the last lap with the little work our group was doing, we got caught by the chase group and we would enter transition together.




Photo credit- Taylor C
I had a pretty good T2 and I was fairly quick, hitting the pavement for a hot and fast run. Unfortunately, I know myself that I have missed some quality work with alittle niggle in my groin so I knew it wasn’t going to be on my fastest runs. My form felt good but I just had no speed to give. Ending up 18th wasn’t what I wanted but again it’s good to be back racing and continue gaining confidence in a bigger and stronger field. Next up is Auckland WTS on the 28th of March! 

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Wollongong OTU Race

Wollongong OTU Race
There is nothing more exciting than not having to pack up your bike up to go to a race. Wollongong has been my second home for the past four years and I couldn’t ask for a closer race to home with a 10 minute ride to race start. It didn’t even feel like I had to race. Being a local race, it was great to have so much local support from family and friends out on the course cheering us on. After Kinloch, I wasn’t happy at all with any part of the processes of that race so it was back to training and back to building up confidence in me, on what I knew I could do best.


I looked at Wollongong as a good training race leading into Mooloolaba and Auckland WTS, as I missed Devonport and a week or two of solid running with groin tightness. We have been training pretty hard over the past few weeks and the Saturday before the race was honestly a good physical and mental break to relax before the race.


It felt like another training day being surrounded by the other girls I train with on a day to day basis. I knew the swim would be fast with such strong swimmers in the field so it would be as important to get on good feet from the start to make sure I didn’t miss the group in such a small field. I got to the first buoy without anyone touching me and the pace was hard but comfortable. Coming back into the shore, the pace slowed alittle and I decided I didn’t want that to happen so I put a surge in and came up beside the girls ahead of me. We exited the water with a group of 6 of us and one girl up the road.



We ride over the course every day so I knew what to expect coming out of transition but I still had to be desperate. A small hill to sting the legs every lap coming out of transition, the pace was solid from the start. Within the first lap we caught Danielle and after that worked solidly as a group of 6, gaining time each lap. By the end of the bike, we had about 1 minute 20 over the chase group.  I was surprised how good I felt on the bike considering some hard sessions we had done during the week.






Coming into transition after the three laps, I knew I had to be near the front with the long run into transition. I mucked around alittle putting my shoes on and by the time we ran down to do a u turn before we ran out of transition, a gap had already formed. I have had some decent run sessions in the bank in my return to running and after a big week of training I didn’t know how I was going to feel. I found out pretty soon that I felt awful and just had no momentum especially on the grass sections of the run course. My run is still something I want to work on, stay injury free and get stronger throughout the year.


I ended up crossing the line in 4th place behind my training partners and Australian Sprint Champ. It was nice to get back into the swing of racing and make the most of having a OTU race on home soul. A big thank you for all the support and well run event by Elite Energy. Looking forward to Mooloolaba World Cup next weekend!

Monday, 2 March 2015

The best of both worlds


Wollongong. The place I call home for 6 of the 7 days of the week. Living 1km from the beach at my home in Wollongong with the John and Christine O’Connell, I couldn’t ask for a better environment to be around on a day to day basis. Nothing beats jumping into 25 degree water to end the day to relax after a hard days training. Or jumping out on the surf board with John and attempting to catch a few waves! A big thank you to them for letting me in their family home for the next few months. My favourite is Saturday mornings when I get spoiled rotten with pancakes when I walk in the door from a hard ride.








I have been clocking up the km’s on the bike with the wizards girls and sometimes you even get a free mud bath to come with a long ride. People pay big bucks to get what we got off wheel sucking when it rains. ;) This ride is also one of my favourite and hardest rides of the week which is a 100km loop that involves QOM, some pace line efforts and mad mile to end the ride before some recovery on the way home. One of my favourite rides when I come home to Campbelltown is out to Burragong Lookout. No matter the weather or the off the chart elevation it is to get there, the view is always worth it at the top and so is the descent home. We have also started riding fixed gear bikes on the velodrome. It’s been a few years since I have ridden on one but once the nerves let go after a few laps, I am actually really enjoying having no brakes and do some fast pace sprints.
That one out of the 7 days of the week that I come home, I love having time to myself. Normally Sunday’s, I like doing some solo training or doing some specific strength work at home. Home is where the heart is and I love seeing my family, my dog and my friends when I come home. I couldn’t be any luckier that my home is only 40 mins away from Wollongong and I can drop by anytime I like to say hello and catch up with Mum and Dad.







My next race is this weekend in my home town of Wollongong for the Oceania Cup, then Mooloolaba World Cup and I am super excited to get a start in Auckland WTS!  It’s crazy how time flies as this time last year, I was planning my surgery on my hip. The biggest thing I learnt last year was that a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.  Time to get the 2015 started!! J

Monday, 8 December 2014

A different start to 2015




A different start to 2015
                        There are far better things ahead of us, than any we leave behind.
Normally I would be writing to you about my season overview or me sitting 1600m above sea level in the clouds in Falls Creek. But this year has been different from the start.  Post surgery was about rebuilding me as a better and stronger athlete and now 8 months post, I can say we have been pretty successful at that. In saying that though, we haven’t finished yet. It has given me time too mentally and physically refresh, being in my home environment and focus solely on myself; what I needed to do, to get better.


Putting all three disciplines together, meant working on each individually to build up strength and confidence to get back and do my first triathlon after 7 months. And you know what, it felt awful! I have done three triathlons since then and thankfully, it has felt better everytime. Being able to do local club races, I have come back with no pressure to perform and concentrate on focus areas. These are all perfect build up races to start my season fresh in 2015. Thank you to Macarthur Triathlon Club for once again putting on a great presentation evening a few  weekends back, showcasing the local talent especially with the juniors within our club. Great to be part of the progression of the club and can’t wait to continue to see it grow over the years.  

Two great run and organised events, the Bondi Splash n Dash and the 3 points Challenge at North Curl Curl are both great days out from the beginners to the elites. I was happy to be involved in both and take out a wee win. I am pretty stoked that we don’t run on soft sand in triathlons as it is ridiculously hard! They were both events that I am sure will grow over the years to come as the word gets out and a big thank you to all the volunteers, supporters and sponsors that give 100 percent to these events.


With the opportunity of being home, I have taken the chance to do things I normally wouldn’t do or get to do. I came out of swimming retirement and I have completed one 5km open water at Penrith regatta centre. The burning feeling of my lats after 5km, I couldn’t lift my arms above my head to dive back into the water to cool down. I have always loved open water, even getting massive numbers burnt in my arms! I must have loved it so much, I have entered two more in the coming month including NSW state championships. I was about 1 minute off my best ever time as a 16 year old so I am looking to keep improving on that over the next two. Yeah, I think I am alittle crazy.  I have also got to do our local Fishers Ghost fun run that has been running for the past 40 years. It’s one of the hardest 10km going around. The hills surprise me everytime I come back. It is also great supporting our local community and being 10 minute run from home is hard to beat.


Racing is the best training you can do and over the past few months, I have been getting into handicap road racing and bike crits. Handicap racing is my favourite as I just get so determined to stay away. Sorry to all the people I have yelled at to roll through! It is always great when you have a great bunch of people to work with and show some of the boys, that girls can ride a bike ;) Crits are also one of my favourite sessions of the week. I have been travelling around to a few different purpose built crit circuits and my favourite so far is Heffron Park on Tuesday nights or what I call Tuesday night worlds. It is also a solid 45 minutes of racing and even better is the looks I get when I start running off the bike. Starting fresh in 2015, I want to say thank you to Anthony Cook and Neil Pryde bikes for new Nazare2.  I have only had a few rides on it but I already love it! Can’t wait to race on it next year!


Triathlon is swim, bike and run but a fourth component that I have been working hard on is strength and conditioning. I have been up at NSWIS 3- 4 times a week, focusing on weights, exercises and core work that will be help grow stronger and work on key areas that I am weak in. I actually really enjoy gym and just like anything you do, it is always a positive seeing improvements over the past 5 weeks even on small, simple things like push ups. Thanks to Jamie, Bernard and NSWIS to have the opportunity and the coaching to do this.




Triathlons 5th component is to do something that isn’t triathlon. I have had an awesome time catching up with old friends and making new ones. From having coffee, to going to the noodle markets in Sydney or just hanging out in the pool at home, its always nice to take your mind off what takes up a major part of everyday. December always is a great time to kick back with family and friends and I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I’m abit old to get a photo with Santa but my dog is never is ;)