The Hotshots and the Eighth Wonder of the World

Growing up I spent my winter Saturday mornings at the local netball courts playing for my team the ‘Hotshots’. My mum was the volunteer coach and this occasionally frustrated me but looking back there were a few benefits. While mum was always fair I think she made sure I spent as little time on the sideline as possible and I genuinely believe this was so she didn’t have to put up with me complaining about being on the sideline. You see I prefer to be involved in everything competitive and have from a young age so it makes sense I have chosen to pursue triathlon. As a 12 year old netball player whinging probably had some benefits but as a 22 year old triathlete sidelined with injuries for the whole of 2014, moaning gets me no where! Yes there have been a few tears, minor break downs and screams under water (a technique Emma Snowsill once told me felt good) but I have tried to focus all my energy on the things I can do, the main one being getting my body 100% healthy and ready for 2015. Other than give up, this was the only option.

A complaining, competitive 12 year old.

A complaining, competitive 12 year old.

So what have I been up to over the (not so bad) Australian winter? I have still been swimming, riding and slowly building my run back up but all at base training effort. This is complimented by hitting the gym three times a week focusing on building skeletal strength. I feel like all I have been doing this year is base training so by the end of the year hopefully I have a base big enough to build the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’! I have used this opportunity to spend time purely enjoying training without the pressure of hitting time cycles or power targets. Don’t get me wrong, I have been craving a 1km reps session but I’ll leave that one for a little longer! Since my last blog, I have migrated back down to Wollongong, which has given me the opportunity to swim, ride and do gym with other people. Other than being 10 degrees warmer than where my parents live, there are so many people who are willing to train with me.

First and foremost my physio Alex Price has been amazing over the past few months. He has guided me in my training based around my return to run program and most importantly built my gym program that is a core part of my training right now. I have been introduced to his hard working and enjoyable AP10 squad and joined in on the occasional ride or swim session.

AP10 Saturday morning wind trainer session

AP10 Saturday morning wind trainer session

I have also been doing all my gym sessions with one of his pure running athletes/co AP10 coach/co physiotherapist Mel Witchard. I have loved hanging out with Mel because it’s not all triathlon talk, she works hard and we have fun! I’m in the process of convincing her to do a triathlon this summer, I think that is going well ☺

Gym with Mel and Alex

Gym with Mel and Alex

Then there are the numerous cyclists who have allowed me to join their rides. I have ridden with Jess, Ryan and Dave from Spearman Cycles, Scott Butler, Paul Oyston, (the latter two featuring in the new Spearman’s ad) and their crew, Jayden Ward, the Wollongong Liv Giant girls and my parents whenever I go home. The men’s coffee banter definitely entertains me even if sometimes their jokes fly straight over my head!

Spearman Cycle's newest models – Scott Butler and Paul Oyston

Spearman Cycle’s newest models – Scott Butler and Paul Oyston

Wollongong LIV Giant 100km ride

Wollongong LIV Giant 100km ride

Mum and Dad can still ride pretty well

Mum and Dad can still ride pretty well

Finally, there are my new friends at the local pool. I have changed it up a bit the past month and decided to swim at Corrimal Pool instead of the Wollongong University pool where the Wizards usually train. This outdoor 50m pool is just around the corner from my house and most days I get a lane to myself. I generally swim mid morning each day (so I get as much Vitamin D as possible) and as a result I have become friends with a few of the other regulars. There have been days my swims have been delayed half an hour because I have been talking about anything and everything with the Wollongong locals!

So that is my June/July/August in a nutshell. I have also been working on a few minor projects but I’ll save that for future posts. As always I want to thank all my sponsors supporting me throughout this tough year and always replying to my updates with positive and encouraging comments! Thank you to Triathlon Australia and my coach Jamie Turner for supporting me and giving me plenty of resources to help get my body right. Although no surprises, the biggest thanks has to go to my parents. They are there to support me through thick and thin and I am so grateful to have their support 100%.

Lastly I want to acknowledge my favourite athletes on the triathlon circuit the ‘Wollongong Wizards’. Even though I am on the other side of the world I can contact any of them at any time and I will get a response. I am so lucky to have the ability to reach out to some of the best triathletes for any advice. I can’t wait to see them in action in the final WTS of 2014 in Edmonton, Canada because I know they have been working hard and I am sure this will show next week!

The Gong Wizards :)

The Gong Wizards 🙂

I’m now saying good riddance to winter, a season I hope not to see for a long time.
Until next time,

Grace ☺

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