Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wagga Wagga Olympic Triathlon

What a totally amazing place Wagga Wagga is. I have driven and ridden past it but never actually stopped there and I really loved it - even though I was there for just over a day. Its a really neat town and you can see that people really take pride in calling Wagga Wagga their home. Elite Energys Olympic Distance Triathlon was being held in such a great town.

Arriving there the day before allowed Stephen and I to settle in and to go buy a few things for dinner and brekkie. It also gave me time to go have a look at the race area and see where it will all be happening. Lake Albert is just beautiful. Nice and flat, like a big ol' swimming pool - for which I couldn't have been happier. And whilst the water is brown and cloudy it is quite clean and free of debris, and underfoot it is really soft.

The bike course would be an out and back x 4 loop which had you going past transition and crowds which would be great as everyone cheering always gives you a pep up. And the run was a 2 lap loop of Lake Albert. Now I knew race day was going to be hot but I didn't know how hot I was going to feel.


Nerves present - check, upset guts - check, checking over things a million times - check. Ready to race - a definite check. And as we arrived at the race area I started to get that dreaded sinking feeling in the pit of my belly that I always get that makes me question why I am there in the first place. Not because I don't love the sport but just that I never ever back myself to be able to think that I can do it. And I know I can, I just always have this horrific internal dialogue with myself before anything I do.

So it was time to get my stuff sorted into transition. And watch all the other people do the same to make sure I haven't missed anything. Because lo and behold I tried something a little different this time before I left home. I packed my stuff into my bag without doing the whole set up on the floor - quite a new adventure for this "compulsively organised" gal, but I thought it was time to shed the old me and run wild. Ok, well, maybe thats going a bit far but it was extremely liberating.

And then before I knew it, it was time to go to race briefing, have my gel, get my wettie on and then realise that BUGGER I needed to pee, take it off again - then put it back on again and get ready to race.

Heading into the water I met a really lovely lady but the name of Peggy. I think this was her first Olympic Distance race. We had a bit of a chuckle as to the number of women versus men who were doing the race but realised it was nice to not have to be squashed in amongst a multitude of arms and legs.

And before we knew it - the siren went off and it was time to race. I felt really great in water, not having alot of people meant I was about to find my nice long arm stroke early on and settle into a descent pace with 2 other women. We pretty much stuck around eachother for the whole 1500m with one lady who was the eventual winner taking the lead and coming out of the water about 1min or so ahead. I really enjoyed doing the 2 laps around the bouys and for once I was able to sight relatively well and keep a straight line. This is quite an unusual occurrence for this pool swimmer but for once I nailed it. And coming out of the water I was not exhausted at all - I felt great, it was just the run to T1 that always gets me.

Heading out onto the bike I thought I would try something different and leave my shoes on the bike and try this new concept. WRONG. Everytime I tried to spin the shoe so I could get my foot in I would miss it - I spun my damn shoe about 10 times. The eventual outcome - I had to stop, put one foot in and then scramble whilst I was rolling to get the other foot in. Hilarious really - something to practice. Anyway, out on the bike I felt great. Strong and fluent - but gees it was hot. The heat rising up off the bitumen and the air was so drying. My gatorade had turned into a hot orange tea in my aero bottle and it was making my guts churn, but I sipped it a few times for the electrolytes and then lived on the gels and my water bottle. I was able to hold a steady pace for me and return to T2 as the 2nd girl even though my time was 3 mins slower than other girls it was still cool to arrive 2nd. This has never happened before. I was so excited.

And then the run happened. Hmmmmm, tough tough tough. That is the only word I could find to describe it. It was hot and I had nothing. Legs felt heavy (something I am totally used to) and not being a great runner at all (for now) made this an extremely difficult task. So I walk/ran the whole way knowing full well I just wanted to get to that finish line happy. And that is what I did. And you know the other great thing - is that every girl who passed me gave me the best words of encouragement ever. As did the guys. I made friends again along the way - one whose name I dont know - but the other chaps name is - Alan. He is a friend of a friend and we crossed the finish line together. Thanks Alan and the other chap for helping me out there.

Crossing that finish line was by far the best thing ever. Never have I wanted to get into the shade and sit down as I did on that day. My brain felt like it was frying and thank goodness for the wonderful volunteers at the aid stations along the way who would hose me down and give me much needed water to cool me down. They really did great. As competitors we really wouldnt be able to race the way we do if if wasn't for the support of these wonderful volunteers and all the hard work they put in to making sure we are okay. Thankyou Elite Energy and volunteers.

And most importantly thank you to my wonderful husband Stephen for all your support, words of encouragement, photographic skills and love on the day. Thank you to my family at home and friends who sent me much needed words of encouragement to get me through the day and afterwards and to my trainer Jen - thankyou for helping me get to my goal and for listening to me. I appreciate it so much.

And to top it all off I came second in my age group too. How cool is that. Thankyou Ally for mailing out my medal to me. I really do appreciate it. I can't stop staring at it.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Nepean Triathlon Race Report 2012

Having participated in the Nepean Triathlon 2 years ago in a team event it was a real nice change of pace to actually take part in the full event this year. And for anyone who know's me well, it was nothing new to see my first picture come up in my FB album as this organised spread. OCD, anally retentive - I have come up with a new name for it - compulsively organised. It's quite funny actually to watch me sort it out - I walk around acting like I am doing the race and pretending to put things on and take things off so I know I have everything. I pretty much do the same when I am setting my stuff up in transition. Everything has to be just right and it helps me settle my nerves, not that I had an awful lot this time around. I was just happy to be getting out there and doing this awesome race which is such a part of Penrith's and Triathlon's history. To check it out - click HERE and HERE.

It was so great seeing everyone again having been a bit distant from club racing for a while and it was even better to be in amongst all the racing excitement. I had missed it so much. Walking up to the start was just how I had remembered it. I had chosen not to wear a wetsuit on this swim - I really struggle with it and was happy to forfeit my warmth for comfort and freedom in my swim.

And it was probably the best swim I have had in ages. I found a nice decent space in amongst it all and was really able just to do what I enjoy most - and that was swim. I could stretch out nice and long and really just get into a good 3 stroke breathing pattern which feels the most comfortable for this pool swimmer. And the water temp was just perfect - 21.8 I think I heard it was. So as I rounded the last bouy into land all I could do was smile cause I felt so good. Have a look for yourself as to how good I felt. Still had energy to goof around as usual.

Heading out on the bike was an absolute blast. I loved rounding the corner and going out on the back stretch to all the rest of the competitors waiting for their wave to start, yelling and screaming my name. It gave me such a buzz and made me peddle alot faster too. The Nepean bike course is a fast one with alot of cool swervy corners to take and a couple of tight turns, but I enjoyed them so much. I was like a BIG kid - I just couldn't stop smiling. However my smile came to abrupt holt when I got cautioned for drafting. I didn't mean to, I just didnt pull back quick enough to allow the other person to pass ooooppps. Won't happen again.

And then came the dreaded run. Uhhhh, it hurts so much but I stuck to a plan of 5min run 1min walk which soon decreased to a 30sec walk, but MY GOD being on land running feels like alot of hard work. But I am pleased to say I got it done and was just super proud of my accomplishment. All it will take is persistence and that I have a boatload of and I trust wholeheartedly my program from SPARTA - PT

If you get a chance to participate in this Triathlon I am sure you won't regret it. It is a great race, held in a great venue, supported and run by great people. Give it a go. And we got some cool race gifts as well. A shirt, a finishers towel and my most precious medal. Can't wait for next year :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Are you TOUGH enough?

Hmmmm, good question. Not sure if tough or stubborn was the word - but TOUGH MUDDER 2012 was completed.

I don't think I have ever done anything that was so hard and so much fun all rolled into one at the same time. And I am so thankful that I got to share it with a great group of friends. Sadly one of my friends who had trained ever so hard for this came down with a gastro bug in the wee hours of the morning and was unable to join us. I felt so sad for Jennie. But I promised her some awesome footage for the day with my GoPro so she could feel a part of the day with us all. 

It was such a perfect day up at the Glenworth Valley. Sun was shining, birds were chirping, bugs were buzzing thanks to the gallons of mud and there were the faint yells of thousands of Mudders in the air. I must admit, whilst I knew this was all for fun I was nervous. Not because I viewed it as a race but because I really wanted to come out of it in one piece. No broken bones, no torn muscles but one heck of a sense of accomplishment with a bright orange headband.

I loved seeing everyone's faces - those that were going to start and those in the midst of it all. It was funny to see the change of expressions. And those who were in it had varying expressions too depending where in the 20km of Tough Mudder'stom they were in. It went from an "Oh yay, I got this" look, to a "Lord help me, Im exhausted" look.

The costumes were hilarious too. There were fairies, businessmen, bow ties and not much else, tutu's and groomsmen. But the one thing that tied them all together was the fact that at the end "They were muddy mudders".

I must admit to not completing all the obstacles, quite frankly the ones I skipped scared the living daylights out of me. I attempted the first lot of Berlin Walls but not the second as it was higher and scarier than the first. And the electrical shock obstacles were a definite no go. The boys gave it a go and I must admit to  thanking my lucky stars that I chose to give this a miss. I never hear these guys grimace in pain and all I could   hear were yelps and "Oh my gods" as they came through.

Sarah decided that she too wanted to do it "Touch Chik". I have never heard anyone laugh so much as she was getting shocked. All I could hear was "Eeee" "Ahhhh" "Oooo" and then as she got to the end Clair and I decided to help her out but got zapped in the process. We promptly dropped Sarah "sorry Sarah" and then continued to laugh.
I really enjoyed all the water crossings. It gave us a chance to cool down, refresh the aching muscles and wash off the extra kilos of mud we had accumulated from the last lot of obstacles.
Between every couple of obstacles were seemed to be 2kms of running. Normally not a big ask, but after the 10km mark I was definitely starting to feel it. Legs were very very heavy and achey and my feet were totally engulfed in mud inside the shoes. To know there was still about 10kms to go was definitely challenging mentally. But we forged together as a group and made every obstacle as much fun as we could.
The obstacles I really really enjoyed were the ones with all the mud - stacks and stacks of mud and water. Apart from the smell it was really quite soothing. We were joking around about how we should all look 20yrs younger after being submerged up to our eyeballs in mud. It was so warm and smooth - like a big bowl of chocolate fondue.

The tunnels were awesome. Stinky, sticky, squelchy and challenging but as long as there was mud and water Barb was as happy as a pig in mud - literally. 

We had one big injury in our group - poor Sarah busted her lip open trying to scale the last massive obstacle. Luckily she didnt need stitches and to top it off she ran through the last lot of electric shock cables. You should have seen the looks she was getting from the spectators.
The end result was a very happy, tired, cold, muddy bunch of Tough Mudders. Glad we worked as a team and accomplished a mammoth effort as a group and great bunch of friends, and glad to be going home to a hot shower and much needed rest and Voltaren.

Would I do this again? Well, my answer sways everytime I think about it. One thing I know for sure is that I wont be doing anything like this again until after Ironman next year. But it was definitely a great opportunity that I do not regret in the least bit. I had a blast.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bring it.

Wow, what a great few weeks. It has been awesome. I have not stopped smiling the whole time - well apart from the time that my muscles are screaming at me. And even then I am so stoked that I have finally gotten back to being ME again.

I have loved every minute of being back out training. I really look forward to opening up my program every morning from Sparta and seeing whats in store for me. I am even loving the sweat that dries on my brow - I know it sounds lame, but when that hasn't happened in over a year apart from my race at Yeppoon - I never realised how much I missed it.

Training has been coming along nicely. Each week has been gradually incremented and am loving the pace at which I am being trained. I also love the fact that I am still doing my personal training sessions and feeling myself moving forward. I've had a little hiccup with my glute muscle's for which I am seeing physio and getting Dry Needling done - however know that it was my little jaunt at a small race called Yeppoon 70.3. My body is just voicing it's dislike. I am focusing on good stretching techniques x3 daily at 15mins a go to try and loosen my quads, hammies, glutes and hip flexors. And am focusing super hard on training my deeper  core whilst trying to unlearn using my superficial abs in their place. A few things to work on but know it will all come good.

There have already been some highlights in the pool for me. And I think it's remnants of my old sprinting days coming back. I was thrilled (really thrilled) to do a few 100m freestyle sprints on 1:10 - 1:12 this Monday. Gave me a bit of a buzz really to know I still had it in me even though I wanted to hurl chunks after every one that I did. I have a bit of a goal. I would ideally like to be able to hold consistent 1:20's/100m on a regular basis. And not just in the pool. I want to translate it into the open water and do a really good swim at Port IM. I want to feel brave in amongst that crowd too. So I will be looking to recruit people to bash me up in the swim on a regular basis like this - CLICK HERE.

I have also added another weapon to my training package - Billy the Mountain Goat - Im mean bike.

Here's to a few if not many trail rides. Need to get myself feeling strong on hills again. Im totally sucking at them at the moment. Not that Im complaining as I know I will get there in due course and with the necessary strength required not only in my legs but in my core as well. I need my core, glute, hammie, quads to all be in tip top shape - and it will happen with Sparta's training. Im excited.

I also had another swim at Bondi last Saturday. I had been doing so well until Saturday, until I saw the swell and then my brain went backwards. I bawked at every wave and felt super anxious. But thankfully Sarah, Spot and Paul helped me through it and I finally got to have some fun splashing in the smaller waves and even caught one all the way to shore. I was proud of me. Practice makes perfect. And I will keep practicing. Im stubborn that way.

This Saturday whilst I will miss going to BondiFit, I will also be having fun partaking in TOUGH MUDDER with my friends. Bring it on. Lets get dirty.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

I killed the damn monkey.

How do you put into words the elation you feel after conquering something which has pervaded your inner most mental recesses for the last year. It has taken me close to a week to be able to actually sit down and chronicle that day with enough detail that will give it justice. For me that day - a year and a week ago was quite possibly the hardest day ever for me. And I know it's only a race - but I had trained so hard for that day and for it to come crashing down in the swim, was such a bitter pill to swallow. 

Three hundred and sixty five days later + one week and I am PROUD to say that this years outcome was much much different. So different that it produced a finishers towel, a medal, lots of fond memories and a hoodie that I am proud to wear. It's funny how weird it feels wearing something that you have not accomplished. I mean really, it's just a piece of clothing after all - but it just feels wrong. And thats how I felt last year - but not this year.

Now Im going to confess something to you all - and it might be something you all already know. But I really didn't do alot of Tri training for this years Yeppoon 70.3. Why? Well many reasons. Surgery, depression, medication and a few other low moments forced me into feeling not so motivated. I knew I wanted to do Yeppoon 70.3 more than anything but I just couldn't get motivated to head out the door most days. And then when I did - it was very short. I think the max I had ridden was 50km and had done a few swims and next to no running whatsoever. But somewhere deep inside I knew I would do it. It was just going to be a long slow day. My body had already done it once before and I was relying on it implicitly to get me through on race day. However, I had been doing regular Strength and Conditioning classes as well as weekly PT sessions with Sparta Personal Training. I had asked Jen to help me get as strong as I could get physically so that my body could resist what I was going to put it through.


Thanks Jen for all your support and patience. I look forward to our future training together. Are you ready?

Heading up to Yeppoon was very different this year - we flew up. But funny thing is - Stephen and I really missed the driving. We loved seeing the ever changing countryside - however that being said - our bottoms really enjoyed only being seated for 2 hours. We also loved flying up with Sarah, Carolyn, Darryl, Bec and Jen. For me it was a really good bonding experience and one I will cherish forever. I was completely supported but my friends and I only hope to one day repay them for how great they made me feel.

Before race day was the usual pre-race registration and expo day. It was extremely exciting for me to have received my new hoodie. I knew this time I was going to earn it. And as I stared at my bright pink cap - I knew that this year - the only time I would be taking it off was when I was getting out of the water to run to T1. But before all of this Sarah, Darryl, Carolyn, Jen and I went for a quick ride of the bike course but not before Darryl thankfully re-constructed my bike. It was awesome trying to hold onto the back as we did a couple 1min efforts. I buckled myself in and held on for as long as I could and enjoyed the ride. That night we were treated to our very own pasta party care of Bec. Talk about delicious. I went in for seconds and made sure I savored every last morsel. Thanks Bec.

As I got back to the hotel room and started to organise my things for the next morning - it suddenly hit me. I was going to be doing a 70.3. Helllllooooooo, what did you think you were up here for numbskull???? I think because my training was extremely limited I didn't have the constant reminder of it. But suddenly as I was counting out gels to put in my bottles it hit me like a plank of 4by2 to the cranium. As I counted and recounted, checked and rechecked everything I started to get extremely nervous. What happened if I failed again? What happened if I just couldn't do it? Well, when I woke up the next day - I was going to find out. No use wasting precious sleep on the whatif's. Well, I didn't sleep and the 10lbs of luggage under my eyes the next morning were testament to the restless night I had.

Regardless of that - I was still up early and ready to go. This time I was able to tolerate breakfast and surprisingly I wasn't all that nervous. However that quickly changed as I started to set up my stuff in transition. I could see I wasn't the only one that was nervous and that everyone was there to race with their own agenda. The one thing I tried to keep replaying in my mind was that "I could do this". Stephen, Sarah, Carolyn, Darryl, Jen and Bec were all saying the same thing to me as well. And I believed it - albeit with slight trepidation. I also got to meet Stef Hansen before the race. I had first met Stef through An awesome website for women participating in Triathlons about women in Triathlon. It was an absolute honour to have her call my name in the darkness of race morning. 

Before too long race briefing was over and it was time to get a goodluck cuddle and positive words from Stephen and then make our way to the start line. A beautiful 1.7km walk down the beach. At this point was I nervous? Uh huh. Everytime I looked out to the ocean I kept reliving last years swim - but it was quickly overtaken but some words that Bec had had with me the previous days. At that was " you can do this Barb. However, if you do get out of the water before the finish, I am going to chase you back into the water and sit on your back and make you swim the entire distance". Hahahhhaha, and I believed it too. Thanks Bec. And whilst my friends were here to race their own race I had nothing but support. You guys rock - really you do.

Jen lined up first and was off and swimming 10mins before Carolyn, Sarah and I with Darryl following 20mins after. Before long it was my turn to hear the words I'd heard last year "you are in the hands of the starter". With that I hugged Sarah and Carolyn and clung tight to their words "I'll see you out on the bike" and took a deep deep breath. The starters gun went off and as I made my way into the water and felt the briskness of it on my face I knew, just knew that I was going to finish the swim. I had swum at Bondi and learnt skills from Spot that were going to help me - I had this. So as I settled in for the swim ahead - I focused on a nice long glide and really just enjoyed every stroke. The one thing I did hate was that my wetsuit was SUPER SNUG thanks to a few (many) extra kilos.

Each bouy that came and went was an extra notch on my Yeppoon belt. It told me that I was one step closer to overcoming my hurdle. As I rounded that last bouy to head home I just couldn't stop smiling. My smile was from ear to ear and I didn't care less that I had a mouthful of salt water. I screamed "I did it" into the water and if I had of blacked out then and there I could not have cared less. I conquered my swim demon. I wanted to stop everyone and tell them what I had just done and how important it was to me - but I think I may have been drowned. So as I exited the water and saw Stephen and Bec at the top of that sand dune yelling out my name and telling me congratulations - I got all choked up. I had done it. The hardest part was over, and now all I had to do was have fun. And that's what I did.

SWIM - 33:47

But first I had to make it out of transition. Anyone would have thought I was enjoying a cup of tea in there. After struggling to get my wetsuit off, sitting down on the ground, discussing with myself whether or not to wear socks with my bike shoes and making sure I had everything, I finally made my way out of transition some 2mins 59secs later. Lord almighty - thank goodness my life wasn't depending on it....hahahaha.

Out on the bike I had a blast. Gee's I like a good flat course. And whilst the road is a little bumpy it's nothing like our trusty Greendale/Cobbitty/Taylors roads. As I started out I kept saying to myself "Cadence cadence cadence - spin the legs Barb. Don't push anything too hard". I settled into a nice pace and then enjoyed the beginning of the ride. As I got halfway up the first lap I saw Sarah and her beautiful smile. She was so excited to see me as I was to see her She yelled "Barb". A few minutes later I spotted Carolyn and as she saw me she yelled "YES" with the biggest smile on her face. I then spotted Jen - another BIG smile greeted me. The second lap on the bike course I spotted Darryl - and he yelled "Yes Barb". Then when he passed me he gave me a few more words of encouragement. The excitement that I got from my friends seeing me out on my bike made me sooooo happy. I could have tackled anything - and I was.

Heading out into town I was averaging about 28-29km/hr but on the way back the trusty tailwind helped me hit 34km/hr. As I got more and more tired these numbers obviously dropped but I couldn't care - I was up at Yeppoon doing the 70.3 - yeah baby. As I finally did the last lap and turned back into the resort my grin got even bigger. I had just completed 2/3rds and was on my way to that finish line. As I got off my bike and started making my way back into transition I knew that the next bit was going to hurt. Nevermind. I was in Yeppoon.

CYCLE - 3:04:42

Once again I got lost in transition - 2mins 19secs - no need to rush, I needed everything just right....hahahha. Only kidding, I was giving my legs as much time as they needed to be able to walk. Silly me thought I could make them run off the bike with no training, talk about lead legs - there was no way they were going to move in anything that remotely resembled  a run for atleast a kilometre. But, after a quick drink and a break at the first aid station, some 400m into the run I had to muster up a bit of a performance for the camera on the bridge and the crowd. Stephen sneakily busted me having a break and asked me how I was feeling and said how proud of me he was. And with that I was off running over the bridge to quickly stop within a few hundred metres. My legs were dead.

I had decided before race day that if I made it this far that I would run/walk the 21.1km. So I started with a 1min/1min for the first lap. It seemed to work well. I was having enough rest inbetween runs and my legs were slowly starting to realise that they were in it for the long haul. on the second lap it was time to up the run - 2mins to 1min walk. This went really well till stupid me stepped on a rock and rolled my left ankle. Immediate pain ensued and I was stopped dead in my tracks. Fellow competitors asked if I was ok - to which I said yes. Another guy seeing me hunched over thought I had a cramp and yelled out as he ran past "stretch it out, stretch it out" - I couldn't help but laugh. Then another gentleman walking past asked if I was ok - to which I replied "I twisted it but once it goes numb I can start again". This gentleman was later going to be my run companion. I told Jen as she passed me that I had twisted my ankle - I told her I was ok and as she ran past Stephen back at the resort she told him of my mishap.

Out on the run I saw all of my fellow PTC'ers who were smashing this course to bits. They are seriously talented and gifted individuals and they worked really hard. It was a real joy to see them compete. As I made my way into the trail area I could up with the gentleman again. His name is Phil. Phil and I did the remainder of the run together - keeping eachother in check on our 2min run 1min walk program. We did really well if I do say so myself. It helped ease the pain that our bodies were feeling by having company. We stopped at each aid station and fuelled up well so we could make it to the next. As I run passed Stephen he asked me if I was okay and I think he was shocked to see me running considering I had hurt myself - but he knows I am stubborn so he told me to keep going.

On the very last lap - with about 1km to go I said to Phil "how about we run this whole last kilometre" - he said "it's up to you coach". And with that we ran. Ran like we were being chased. And as we circled the bend I could see the finishers arch and could hear the screams of all my friends and Stephen. I heard Stef calling out my name and I was so excited. So so so excited I hugged Phil and we ran through the finish line with my arm as high in the air as I could get it. I never thought that the feeling was going to be so sweet. I really didn't want it to end. I wanted to keep running through the finishers arch.That feeling is something that is still really tangible. 

RUN - 2:34:02

Receiving the medal and finishers towel was so exciting. It was something I had waited a whole year for and now I had then around my neck. I hugged Stephen as hard as I could as he whispered in my ear "Barb, you did it, you did it. I am so proud of you". And then one by one I hugged each of my friends. How is this for a great set of friends - they were so interested and taken by what I had done that they put each of their accomplishments on the back burner. They totally smashed it.

Sarah - 5:22:27
Carolyn - 5:14:41
Jen - 5:25:44
Darryl - 4:49:00

I am so proud of them and thankful to have shared this day with them. Bec was such a great support person and source of laughs on the trip. She really helped distract my brain from straying too far with thoughts of last years mishap. And Stephen was as always my ROCK. I don't think he ever doubted the fact that I would do it - and if he did, he never said so. He let me do what I had to do to make my dream a reality and for that I am so thankful that he is my hubby.

So here I am. A proud owner of some new BLING. And I would wear it everywhere too if I wouldn't get strange stares.

I am proud of me. I not only got the monkey off my back - I left it out there to fend for itself. It was going to bother me no more.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Perfectly perfect

Well, since my last post alot has happened. Some worth mentioning - and some not. Everything I believe has happened for a reason - I am a firm believer in positivity breeding exuberant amounts of opportunities. AND that's exactly what has happened.

For those of you who know me well, you will know how hard it has been for me this last year. I am not ashamed of what I have had to work through. Living and overcoming anxiety and depression has been quite a battle. It is something that has made me question myself to the very core of my being, yet even though it has challenged me far more than anything else in my life - I BELIEVE I am coming out the other end a much stronger and resilient individual. I look at things a heck of a lot differently and understand that you are only given this one life - and why wouldn't you want to take every opportunity that comes your way and make the most of it, regardless of the judgements that some may wish to impose on you. After all, this is NOT something we wish on ourselves - Lord only knows this is not something we would wish on our worst enemy. And so because of the things I have learnt through this testing time, I have applied them to my daily life.

Anyway enough of that.

Life is amazing at the moment. With only 5 weeks to go till Yeppoon 70.3, although I don't feel anywhere near as fit as this time last year - I feel prepared to tackle the swim and kick it's arse (pardon the expression). After all, coming back to Yeppoon was all about settling the score with the ocean. ANd whilst this race will be very slow - I couldn't care less. I just want to finsih the swim. And I know I will - thanks to BondiFit's Spot and Sarah. You guys have made me so unafraid of the ocean and for that I am forever grateful. I love the fact that I don't get sea sick and I love the fact that I can open my eyes and see what is happening underneath the waves. I have you guys to thanks for that. If any of you guys reading this are looking for great Open Water mentors - then BondiFit is for you.

I have also tackled my first 10km run since last year. I entered the SunCorp Sydney Harbour 10km race and might I add - I think I did pretty well. Actually I am stoked with my time considering I was hoping to walk/run it in about 75mins. Are you ready to hear my time?


Thats about a 5:30 pace per km. How awesome is that? I remember when I first started running I was happing to be doing a 6:30 pace - and I think I may have even said to my best friend Susan that I was quite content to keep that pace. But now to say that, after a year my body has recognised a 5:30 pace as being something it is capable of starting back at - is really quite exciting to see what the future holds in terms of my running.

It was such an amazing run too. So beautiful and flat - just the way I like it. And my new Sir Lady Isaac's felt great to run in too. They make me fall into my run and consequently my pace improves too. So much so that I was pacing a young chap for the majority of the run.

My best friend Susan also did AMAZINGLY. She smashed her first 10km run in a whopping 49mins and is well on the way to reaching her goal of the accomplishing the City to Surf. You have this in the bag missy.

But nothing makes me excited as my new job - Media and PR for TriShave Australia. Want to know more about TriShave? Then click here. This product is unlike anything else on the market. It is something I have used for over 2yrs since my first TriShave Womens Triathlon event and have loved it ever since. Being out in the sun for training I have realised how important it is to take good care of your skin. And what I was looking for I found in TriShave. I found a great moisturiser and sunscreen in one without the greasiness and harshness that came with other SPF products. I have quite sensitive skin and TriShave ticked that box too. So why would I have turned away from such a fantastic product. So when I was asked by Larisa if I wanted to work for her - it seemed like the perfect fit and my answer of YES came naturally. 

I am so excited. TriShave rocks. Check out the website and check out where you can purchase it from. You won't look back - I promise you that. Every Australian should have this product in their bathroom. And if you don't - WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Your hard work will be rewarded.

"The path to a dream is paved with sacrifices and lined with determination. And though it has many stumbling blocks along the way, and may go in more than one direction, it is travelled by belief and courage and conquered with a willingness to face challenges and take chances" Barbara Cage