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Challenge Melbourne & Ironman NZ Triathlon

February 18th, 2014

I’m writing this with my four year old Amelia bouncing balls around my living room and asking me to watch her! Such is life! So, in the spirit of ‘mindfulness,’ I’ll watch her now, then wait for her to run downstairs and put her bathers on in preparation for her swimming lessons…..

Righteo. She has had my attention and is now happy…… I’m a little under two weeks away from racing Ironman New Zealand on March 1st and I’m feeling relaxed and good about it. I’m treating this as an adventure. I’ve never been to New Zealand before so its going to be fun and a great experience. This will be Ironman Number 6 for me.  I’ve never raced the same Ironman twice – so in other words – I like variety and I love using an Ironman as a brilliant bucket-list reason to see another country and expand my personal horizons.

I’ve managed to balance family commitments over the Summer and still get in good quality long rides and runs. Fortunately, that meant some beautiful rides on the Great Ocean Road over Xmas and New Year. I’ve especially loved the Saturday morning 7am Melbourne Liv Giant Rides that I’ve led. Another highlight is working with my Liv Giant ‘km banking partner,’ Georgie Camakaris, as we consistently deposit km’s in the bank! The beach road km trust fund is looking healthy Cama!



I’m feeling  satisfied that I have been swimming consistently and can see improvements there and as a result, I am fitter across three sports than I have ever been. Most of all though, I’m enjoying slowly making myself into a stronger, better, more powerful athlete and person. What I love about my sport of triathlon is that enables me to challenge myself and learn how to get the best out myself. I use my sport as a playground and apply what I learn in making myself a better athlete, to my life, to make myself a better person and serve other people to help them, ‘make the most of who they are.’



So, I raced Challenge Melbourne a few weeks ago. It was so good to have all the Giant and Liv Giant support out there! Great to see Witsup and Stef Hanson right behind all the chicks too! Usually this race would be 1.9km swim, 90km bike and 21km run – however with huge and hot temperatures predicted on race day the organisers gave people the option of cutting it short to a 1.9km swim, 60km bike and 14km run. After careful consideration and me knowing I wanted more cycling km’s in my legs and knowing I wanted to do a 165km long ride to Arthurs Seat on the Thursday after the race, coach Pete McKenzie and I decided to follow a suggestion of a good friend of mine Annie Martin – to ‘do my own plan.’ For me, that meant to do the long swim & bike (1.9km swim, 90km bike) and cut the run short at 7km. I did exactly that on race-day and felt fresh at the end so that is a good sign. Coach Pete and I were happy with swim, bike and run.  I recovered well so that the 165km long ride with the lovely Annie Martin four days later, felt good too.

So next up on March 1st is Ironman New Zealand which means a week away from my beautiful children. I’ll miss them but will enjoy it too! They will be in good hands of grandparents Deb and Danie and Aunty Alice so all is well. After Ironman New Zealand the next race will be Busselton 70.3 where I’ll race with 2 sisters Alice and Caroline, and we will take Amelia and baby Grace to see their little cousins for a fun family weekend.  I’ve signed up for Challenge Melbourne 2015 too – I loved the race. It was beautiful and so much fun racing on my regular hunting ground of Beach Road.

Balancing Triathlon is life is tricky and totally worth it! When people ask me how I manage it my answer is always the same – I love what I do. I love riding my bike, I love running and I love swimming. I’m following my passion and joy so its easy. I also realise that you don’t have to do everything at once. I’ve learnt to trust myself, so when I’m tired, I sleep in. If I need to drop or change a session I do, with the knowledge that I’ll do better quality training as a result and through later sessions. Improvement comes from absorbing hard training.

An attitude of gratitude:

Most of all I am grateful for the support I receive, especially from Jo Hall, Darren Rutherford, Giant and my Liv Giant community, CBD Cycles, Anthony & Dave and their team – who are my always there and awesome bike shop. For my super coach Pete McKenzie who is helping me more and more to believe in myself and make me a greater athlete, my swim coaches Dave Wilson and Buddy Portier and all my swimming buddies from lanes 1-6, the improvements speak for themselves and I love training!! Huge thanks to my training buddies, Annie, Georgie, Kristy, Alice, Boo, Stef, Vicki, Hayley, Paul, Simon, Michael, Carla, James, Amy and lots more! Thanks Brian Inspires for the cycling inspiration and guidance. My sister Alice and our Mum’s on The Run track squad. My earth Angels from Hay House, Angel Intuitive. My mum Janie, Billy and Amelia, my friend Deb Stevens – a hypnotherapist I’m working with, my sister Caroline for inspiring me by being the best she can be and to John who has been encouraging me along the way. Most of all and always, I thank creation, Mother Earth, Spirit, my angels and God for giving me the opportunity of living this wonderful life.
Love
Grace