Back at the start of the year I was training hard and really excited about the 2015 season with plans to do well in the World Triathlon Series and the main aim of earning the automatic Olympic selection spot in the Rio test event. I was going to do some of the early races and was especially looking forward to racing in Abu Dhabi and the almost hometown race on the Gold Coast. However these plans came unstuck January when I was diagnosed with a sacral stress fracture. This resulted in 12 weeks of recovery with no land running allowed. Partway through this recovery period I was given the ok by doctors to do some water running which kept me sane for a while. We gave the Alter G a couple of tries but both times resulted in a setback to recovery so water running it had to be. Being summer and having a pool in my backyard made things a little easier as I could jump in and do my run sessions whenever I wanted. I am not the most patient person and dealing with this injury proved to be quite difficult at times. However I did get to focus on a couple areas that I sometimes ignore when I am injury free and I thoroughly enjoyed these, especially my gym sessions with QAS strength and conditioning coach Chris. Chin ups I think will always be my nemesis but I can now not only do multiple sets of chin ups but actually weighted ones too! For my weak arms this is a big accomplishment!
Finally in April I was given the all clear to start land running again albeit with a very gradual build up over the next 4 weeks. With the goal for the year being to be fit and healthy for the Rio test event we didn’t want to rush the return to running and risk re-injury. Before I knew it and with a little running in the bank it was time to head off overseas to my home away from home at Aix Les Bains, France with a stopover in Yokohama for the WTS race.
I was looking forward to getting back to racing at Yokohama as it had now been over 6 months since I had last raced. I knew the run wasn’t going to be great due to my very limited running but thought I would be able to at least have a good swim and ride. Come race morning the nerves were really playing up and I wasn’t feeling the best but thought everything would be fine once I started the race. Well yes everything was going quite good at the start of the race up until just after the first swim buoy when things took a downturn. My energy deserted me and it was a struggle to finish the swim. On to the bike and I was hoping a miracle would occur and I would start to feel better but that wasn’t to be and I just kept dropping back and dropping back and you guessed it, dropping back. Maybe I was riding backwards. Anyway I think I was one of the last to enter T2 but was determined to finish the race. However once out on the run I knew that finishing was no longer an option so ended up with a big fat DNF for my first race back. Not the start I was hoping for. Kudos to Ash and Moffy though for having great races and getting on the podium.
There was only 2 weeks between Yokohama and the London WTS race so off I flew to France and settled into my training base at Aix Le Bains. I was able to get in a week of training before heading off to London, which was a good preparation for the race. A couple of days before the race I received my new wetsuit and had a practice swim in it and the all-important practice of getting out of the suit. The suit felt great and getting out of it was almost a breeze. The race wasn’t until 5:00pm so there was no rushing around on race day. I normally don’t like late races because you just spend your day waiting around and getting more nervous as the day goes on. By race time I was feeling good and had the nerves under control and was ready to race. It was only a sprint race so everything was going to be fast from the start. I had a relatively good swim, and I came into T1 in an ok position but no matter how hard I tried I could not get the zip of my wetsuit to come down! After 20 secs of struggling I finally got the zip down and wetsuit off however everyone else had flown out of transition ahead of me. I ended up riding in a group of about 8 but we couldn’t make any inroads into the deficit and entered T2 almost one and a half minutes behind the leaders and just over a minute behind the rest of the field that were in the second pack. My run wasn’t setting any records but I finished the race and that was the main goal. Of course I wasn’t happy with the result but was relieved to have completed it and finally say I have done a triathlon in 2015.
I am now back at Aix Les Bains getting in a good training block and hopefully getting my run back to top form in time for the Hamburg WTS race in July and the all-important Rio test event in August. It’s been great to finally complete some training weeks of normal run load which I haven’t been able to do since 2014. I will also hopefully be able to get some race practice in with a couple of French Grand Prix races before Hamburg.
My injury may have hindered my goals for this season’s World Triathlon Series but I am so grateful for all the support I have had to get back to full health and back to ‘Living the Dream’ and on the start line. Thanks Steve (coach), Drew (always supportive fiancé), Mum, Dr Mark Young, Shaun, Josh, Chris, Adam, sponsors and my MossSquad training buddies for making this happen.