On reflection of my recent trip to 2016 World Triathlon Championships in Mexico I have had a bit of time to process and reflect on my achievement there.
Getting to world championships was a three year dream for me. Making sure all the pieces were in the right place, kids, business, money, training, life. I had people telling me I wouldn’t make it, my own head doubting my ability, others seemingly doing much better than me, sickness close to the race, not quite enough money, guilt about spending the money on all that was required in the lead up as well as whilst there. And the training. Months of winter training well years really to lay the ground work to be in a place I felt confident and capable enough to go and do myself, my family and even my country proud. Most of my worlds campaign training was done on my own as winter is off season in Australia so my triathlon buddies weren’t keen to come out in the cold. Cold, early mornings riding or running on my own. Swim sessions at night when most normal people are at home in front of the heater. It was commitment 101 that’s for sure.
But there I was. Mexico. I could hardly believe it.
The morning of the race was quite a long one as my wave was second last starting at 8.10 after a 6.30 race start. I filled my time chatting to team mates, watching other waves swim and fare welling my friends one by one for their race. As my start approached and the waiting came to an end, I felt extremely emotional and suddenly quite overwhelmed.
Time was slow waiting for my start as I was second last wave staring just shy of two hours after the first wave. As my start crept closer I began to feel the emotion of what I had finally achieved. I didn’t have the words, just tears and a huge grin. Team mates were kindly checking I was ok, but I was more than ok. I was smiling and nodding and just taking it in (and hoping the tears would stop before the start so my goggles wouldn’t fog up!). I really tried to just go with the emotion, embrace it and enjoy it all.
Well those tears, the race experience, wearing the Australian Green and gold, my name on my uniform, pushing through the hottest most gruelling race I have ever competed in, finishing, the feeling of completion, elation, pride, amazement, achievement, exhaustion! The time of my life for sure. (so far!)
Three years – breaking down goals, ticking them off, just achieving one little thing at a time. But Mexico was always in my mind. Now obviously we all have different dreams, goals and motivations, and really if you don’t know me well or do but haven’t figured out yet, I am very strong willed. When I set my mind to something, well let’s just say it usually happens. So although World championships may have seemed like a big goal, especially to an old training buddy who laughed at me when I said I wanted to go. I set my sights, laid down a plan and I did it. I’m laughing now with happiness and an amazing sense of accomplishment and pride. That achievement is mine. I earnt it and I own it.
I really want you guys to start feeling that great sense of achievement. I want you to set your sights on something and tell me. I can help you reach it. The weather is better, easier to train, less excuses, more enjoyment, easier to do some homework and easier to enjoy the rewards of all your hard work.
Why do you train? What drives you to get out of bed, come to sessions and feel the burn. How do you feel after training? Are you still getting results? Is there something you have slow burning in the background that you “always thought you would like to do” but haven’t yet? What’ important to you?
Give it some thought, say it out loud. Make the dream small and achievable or big bold and bodacious. Nothing is too big or small. Anything is possible I promise. Just say it. Share it. Tell me and together let’s make it happen. Make it yours and make it now.
She could have stayed home.
She could have found excuses.
She could have put her babies first for all the hours of her day.
She could have spent the money on countless baby classes available that have little to no flexibility to accommodate the ups and downs of a mums life.
She could have stopped after her second child was born, I mean it is hard to wrangle two kids out the door. They do have different sleep times. The babies sleep time is right on class time.
She could have stayed home.
But she didn’t.
Felicity decided she was worth it. Felicity decided the little bit of organisation required to get her and two kids to class on time was well worth the energy gained from completing the class. Felicity decided the friends she made at class weren’t judging if her or her kids had an ordinary day. She knew they would all go home happier for the effort. Especially Felicity. With a nice shot of endorphins she is armed for all the hiccups, speed humps and energy required for her to be the patient, caring mum and active healthy role model that she wants to be. She thinks money spent on her health is an investment. An investment in her future and her babies. She also loves the way she feels, the way she looks and that she is stronger than she has ever been. She loves the feeling of lifting weight she hasn’t lifted before, running further than she has before and the feeling of power that gives her. She loves that she can share this with her husband as well as stories about the kids and their day. I love this pic of this fabulous woman. I love what she has done for herself and her kids. Love your work Felicity.
Whilst it hasn’t been an ideal week falling pretty sick with a wretched flu and having 5 days off I am now getting back into training for the last week up to race day. Gee it feels good to sweat again after lying around for so long and getting puffed walking to the kitchen!
With the final countdown brings a mish-mash of emotions.
• Excitement, excitement, and more excitement – I’m going to Mexico baby! Wow.
• Eagerness to race and have a red hot crack. And hope to god all the training, planning and commitment I have given pay off! (not to mention quitting alcohol and chocolate)
• Stress trying to get all the tasks done that need doing before I leave. Leaving a business, two kids at different schools and your pets takes a bit of juggling.
• Anxiety about leaving the girls behind and getting on a plane. Since I raced off from my mum with a quick “See you Saturday” only to never see her again, I don’t get planes as easily as I once did.
• Anticipation of seeing a new country, new culture and eating loads of Mexican food.
• Disbelief as I keep pinching myself realising my dream of wearing the green and gold at last.
• Gratitude for having the opportunity to do it, and HUGE gratitude to Ruby for minding the kids and encouraging me to chase this dream in the first place.
• Elated at the idea of having a few kid free days and reconnecting with my hubby in a gorgeous, all-inclusive resort in Cancun.
• Thrilled at the thought of diving again after too many years not exploring the beauty that lies beneath the sea.
3 more sleeps.
Three weekends left till I leave for the World Championships in Mexico. This week’s training program is huge and I need to eat and rest well to fuel each session so I can get the best results from each session. When I’m training hard I need to have good food on hand to compliment my effort in the sessions.
Maybe the Mexico thing has sparked my recent love of black beans, but I love them. And nutritionally they are hard to beat. High in protein, magnesium, iron and cacium these little suckers have a lot of what you look for when replacing energy after training. So on the weekend I tried soaking and pressure cooking them myself and they worked out perfectly. I now have a big tub in the fridge to use to my heart’s content.
In view of the huge training workload ahead I took 5 minutes to whip up my big ‘go to’ salad for the next few days. I pretty much just throw in all my favourite things:
- Black beans
- Fresh corn off the cob
- Red onion
- Fresh tasty tomatoes
You can add or subtract to suit your taste. Now for lunch or snacks I can scoop out some yummo salad and I’m set to go. I will be getting some chicken to chuck in and some low fat cottage cheese or feta would be awesome as well.
Squeeze over some lemon or lime or a dash of light salad dressing and its delicious. Today I added some raw cauliflower and lettuce.
I am 6 weeks out from my race at World Champs in Mexico and I feel like training is going well. After the initial sickness and a couple of hiccups we have hunkered down and cracked into a solid few weeks of training. If you read my last blog you will know I was tired.
Well I enjoyed my rest week and tried to focus on eating well and refuelling my body for the next training block. To be honest I found myself scratching around to do some training but instead heeded the advice of my coach and just went through the motions on some easy-ish sets.
Friday night was a nice surprise when he sent though my analysis (see attached). That yellow line was my fatigue and as you can see it dropped quite low and stayed there for a bit. This showed I am quite good at working under fatigue but also screamed a rest was necessary before I hit a wall. But look how it kicks up again after a few days of taking it lightly! Getting back up to zero. This says I am rested, and ready to rumble!
Today kicked off well with a great set in the pool with steady, increasing and full steam efforts. It felt good to be swimming, I felt good in the water and after, buzzing even. When my training buddy asked how I felt, I replied “ready for a bike ride!”
The theory is the rest has refilled my tank, ready for me to hit my program with a renewed sense of energy and power. This means I will be stronger in the set and therefore gain more results from the set so it’s a win-win. And some of the sets this week are BIG so I’m looking forward to bringing it as well as I can.
This has been a good lesson for me to revisit. As a trainer I know the importance of rest and often chat to clients about it and incorporate it into their programs and training. But if you are of the mindset that every session has to be a beasting, maybe think again and listen to your body (or your coach!). Beasting is certainly necessary as part of a program for improvement but you cannot sustain this high intensity without some recovery sessions, or days depending on your intensity and training duration. Oftentimes when a bit tired, you will feel better for the workout but sometimes when you feel tired from your bones you need a rest. If this is how you feel, don’t ignore it, have an easy session or even a sleep in. Enjoy some recovery and be ready to come back harder after the rest.