Andrea talks us through her day At Ironman Busselton. (It might not have been the day Andrea had hoped for, but we're super impressed with the effort) Andrea had a massive year with a 4th at 70.3 Worlds and a 4th in Kona.... She's a machine. Congratulations on an amazing 12months Andrea!
Andrea's words below
Post Kona I was riding an Ironman high. In the immediate days following
when the opportunity came to race IM Busso I jumped at the chance. I
couldn't wait to race again and had hoped to be able to qualify again
for the following year. But as the days and weeks passed for the first
time all year I had many negative thoughts. I kind of knew that was not a
good sign. Positive thoughts breeds positivity. And likewise for
negativity. I hadn't had this before. I was tired. I was back to fitting
in working 5 days a week and trying to find the motivation to train
after the most amazing trip of a lifetime. Reality hit and so did the
post Ironman blues - big time! I skipped a couple of sessions, something
I never do. I cut a couple of sessions short. I didn't put in the
effort required. I always give my all. The tomorrow I'll start eating
better sort of never really came. I knew I couldn't maintain the exact
race fitness and weight I had from Kona for another 8 weeks but I still
hoped I was carrying enough from Kona to get me through. It was a roller
coaster ride for 8 weeks. Ups and downs and tears shed.
As much as I race and do triathlon because love it, I recognise I'm a
high achiever. I race to goals I set myself and I wanted to win my age
group and qualify again. I'm a competitive person. Competitive with
myself mostly. I like pushing my boundaries and limits.
Busselton was a tough day out there physically, but also mentally, knowing I wasn't going to achieve them.
As they say hindsight is a wonderful thing and I was probably being a
bit ambitious and asking a bit much of myself to pull off another good
race. I'd had an awesome 18+ months with no real "off season" since
starting this triathlon caper. I think it was worth the risk and
although I didn't get what I'd hoped for I'm proud to have stuck it out
and not giving up. I wanted to stop - A lot! But I didn't. I had some
great on course support, from family, friends and fellow competitors. My
niece and nephew were there watching too, and I didn't want to have to
explain why I quit and didn't get a finishers medal for my nephew to
take in for news just because I wasn't winning or having a good day.
During the race I was so angry/annoyed at myself for not having the race
I had hoped for. But I also I know I would have been more angry at
myself if I had given up. A lot of mental lessons learnt for me from
Anyway to the race itself...
Swim: I started way to the right. And that's where I stayed. Way too
far!! I had a lot of open water and no feet to swim on. I also had a
long swim to the first turning buoy but then made the same mistake
swimming back in. I always breathe to the left so could see the jetty
the whole way, but for some reason it was always so far away. I just
didn't put myself amongst it like I should have. I knew I wasn't haven't
a great swim. I just didn't "feel it".
I exited the water in 1:09:41. Only slightly slower than my Kona non
wetsuit swim. Not happy. I entered the transition tent and it was super
Bike: Out on to my bike. My favourite leg, probably because it is
normally my strongest. I spent the first hour being angry at myself for
having such a bad swim. The plan today was to hold back a bit and save
my legs a bit for the run. I still only work to perceived effort and was
trying to watch my speed a bit knowing what I've raced previously. I
knew I made a bit of ground on the bike but nowhere near what I normally
do. Again I just didn't "feel it" and felt something was lacking the
whole ride. Although I knew I wasn't going as fast I normally did, I
felt I didn't have the power. Not to worry I told myself. I've got the
run to go.
So 5 hours and 24 minutes later I was in to the next transition. A few
less people in the tent this time! The volunteers as always were
awesome. Sunscreen applied and off I trotted on to the run.
Run: And trotting I continued..sometimes I even strolled! I struggled
for the first out and back section with a pesky cough that wouldn't go
away. And then a toilet stop. One of my main goals for this Ironman had
been to run a time I was happy with. It's frustrating me a bit coming
from the running background and a sub 3hr marathon that I still can't
run in to even a 3:30
something time. Hence the idea to hold back a little on the bike. But
the theme of not "feeling it" continued and I now knew this day was well
and truly over for me. I started walking the aid stations early to get
nutrition in and just have a bit of a break. It kept me going seeing my
family each time. I stopped and had a quick chat them on one lap when my
niece and nephew weren't there. My sister went and got them for when I
came back from the short out and back. High fives to them and off I went
again. I saw one of the girls in my age group having a great race so I
just yelled out to her each lap. It was nice to see at least someone I
knew having a good day!! On my last lap I caught up to fellow GK
Endurance athlete Jarrad at an aid station. We ran together (and walked)
the last 8km. Sharing that last stretch with him would have been the
highlight of my day - thanks Jarrad! It was so awesome to see him finish
his first Ironman and achieve all his goals. I finished my run in
Next up....Well firstly a lot of rest and recovery for the body and
mind. It's been a big year. I'm under strict instructions to take the
rest. It's hard though!! The first week was easy as I was so busy in
Perth catching up with friends and family. But now back in Melbourne I'm
finding I'm getting itchy feet. I snuck in an easy run, then told the
coach after the run. I kind of knew I shouldn't have run. And as
confirmed the feedback from the coach came, more rest still to be
had...oops!! Take it while I can!
It's been a great journey this year and it's probably a good time to sit
back and reflect what I've done. So two weeks post race and I've done
just that. 2014 you were awesome!!! One bad race in my eyes isn't too
bad, and as many people have said, you've got to have the bad ones to
make the good ones good. My bike is unpacked now and I'm ready for an
easy unstructured week of exercising.
I'm looking forward to 2015 now!! Thanks to CEEPO I have been afforded a
great opportunity to race Strongman in Japan in April. Following that, I
will race IM Cairns in June. If anything, not getting the result I'd
hoped for in Busselton will give me a bit of extra motivation for my
next one. I'm already pumped!!
As always..lastly but by far not least thanks to everyone - family and
friends and coach Kate for your support and encouragement!!