So I'm going to back date to what's been going on over the last few months, starting on a high note with my Bussleton 70.3 Half Ironmnan win.
Busso is one of my favourite races. Why? because this is an iconic place at the beginning of where all things triathlon started for me and lead me to my life today.
Bussleton for us west aussies was always the pinnacle event of our local season. A chance to race, party and celebrate another successful season with training buddies and friends, and an excuse to get away "down south" for the weekend. I always went to Bussleton, racing or not, and nothing but fond memories here...apart from the one time I ended up being thrown in a green wheelie bin...but that's another story!
Busso then merged into a 70.3 Half Ironman race, and made it all the more prestigious to race, Busso has been good to me every time. I finished 2nd on my debut Half Ironman there, narrowly missing a win, which still holds to be the fastest Busso year ever that year! I then came back the following year and won, good memories and high expectations for 2015!
After missing 2 years with injury, this year I was ready to take on and defend my title, I was so excited, plus nervous, with a cracker line up and some of the best in the business racing it was going to be an honest race!
What can I say. It was just one of those days. It all came together, and came together nicely :)
After falling sick ten days out I was nervous about my lead up. Trying to balance maximising recovering time, time in bed, with maintaining key sessions, and what training and feel, I could. The eternal should I?, or shouldn't I do that? battle. I knew it would go one way or the other. I would feel awesome and rested come race day, or I would be sluggish and flat. Lucky for me I managed the balancing act well that week and just got my body recovered enough to perform. A few coughing fits the night before just to share the love with my roomy, I knew if I could keep the respiratory stuff under control, the body was rested and ready to go!
Well the rest is almost a fairy tale race. As an elite athlete racing round the globe, you don't often get the privilege to race a prestigious race at home. Usually the true tests of my hardest racing are never at home, and peak form is often not even close to be able to showcase to friends and family. So to have the opportunity to race high quality on home turf is always just amazing, and the local support makes my win so much more memorable.
Fairy tales....Simple. Race morning I was relaxed and ready to race. I always am relaxed at Busso, I don't know why, maybe because its partly just for fun for me, something a little different, and surrounded by so many people with your best interests at heart, either way I was calm, and just plain ready to race. Few little warm up jumps, and I knew, the legs were feeling good, real good. :)
Busso was soooo cold that morning. A chilly 4 deg. But flat calm and perfect conditions, apart from the freezing cold, made the swim seem so enticing and warm! Never thought i'd say that down there! I started off next to former WA girl, superstar Lizzy Blatchford. She was the best swimmer there and biggest threat to the race , so I was hoping to get away with her from the rest of the field, and stay as close to her as I could. We both had great swim starts and I felt really good in the water, and we did get away, Lizzy pulled ahead coming back into shore. With the freezing temp and Liz throwing on a few extra layers than me I was out of T1 first and out to trial this TT bike business (this was the first time I had ever raced on a TT bike for a half, and the Felt IA was just beautiful!)...Though funnily I never saw myself pass Liz in transition! Then I couldn't even see her up the road, I thought 'My God, she is monstering me on the bike!' Haha, so turns out for the 45 km I was "chasing" , I never realised I had passed her in T1 and she was actually still just behind me, until we got back into town and I heard the cheers. What a doofus! But from then on I could relax a little now I wasn't "chasing". The bike was tough, not the course, the course is flat and fast, but the cold was tough. So hard to get the legs pumping, and keep the hands warm. Times were slow because of this, and I know the other girls were struggling with the cold too. I was riding and thinking to myself "this is going to be so embarrassing, I'm going to have to run with my helmet on! There's no way these frozen hands can get it off!" Happily for my dignity, I did not have to follow through with such a scenario!
Come the end of the bike I was in a good position, exiting together with Liz, we were up on the rest of the field and hit the run together with numb feet. Tree stump running is never fun, but the blizzard of the ride was soon forgotten and the thoughts and realisation, that if I raced smart, I was going to defend my title started creeping in. I felt good and I had a gap now, and was able to enjoy the rest of the race. A memorable victory with some sponsors, family and friends there to help. It's a beautiful feeling and part of these fairy tale races that don't happen all that often. But on this day it did for me.
Thanks Bussleton, you did it again, great race, great organisation, great atmosphere, and if you have never done this race you should, maybe I am biased though ;) A WA swept podium of Myself Liz Blatchford, and Katey Gibb, kept the locals happy too.
And to my sponsors that patiently stood by me through my downtime, while I chomped at the bit on the sideline, I would like to say a big thankyou. I am glad to share this podium with you again.
Cyclemania North Perth
As well as some key help from the Coaches I guess! ;) Chris Pilone and Kris Gemmel, Brett at Cott sports Physio, Darryn at Peak Podiatry, Bernd at Subi Sports massage, and Wayno for the massage. - The best in the business! :)
A day worth cherishing.