Broke a Drought

I have not written an update in a while and about 2 weeks ago I began to feel a little guilty about this and started thinking of excuses as to why my posts had been vacant but I couldn’t think of a good enough reason so I just put off writing an update even longer. Although in the past 2 weeks a number of people have brought this to my attention and since I raced my first triathlon in over a year yesterday I thought it was timely to send something out. So what’s been happening in the past 2 months ?

  • Some of the Gong Wizards migrated back to Wollongong to train before their final events of the year such as Nepean, Noosa and the Xterra World Championships in Hawaii.
open water with bre

Open water with Brendan Sexton in our 2XU wetties

  • I attended the launch of the Liv Cycling’s special edition Avail road bike that is in support of Breast Cancer Australia. I also was lucky to meet founder of Liv cycling Bonnie Tu.

liv opening

  • Alex Price and his wife Megan gave birth to a beautiful little girl Ava. I have been going to their house to do my strength and conditioning session 3x per week for most of Megan’s pregnancy so this was a little exciting for me.
baby ava at gym

Ava taking part in one of our gym sessions

  • I said goodbye to my black and purple Giant Envie (a bike which sadly didn’t even get to take part in a race). On the same day, the awesome crew at Spearman Cycles set me up with a new Liv Envie Advanced Pro 0 which I love riding. Special thanks to Jess Simpson, Ryan Lennox and Dave Manton for organising this!
One of my final ride sessions on this bike on Mt Keira, Wollongong.

One of my final ride sessions on this bike on Mt Keira, Wollongong.

liv bike

Pretty happy walking out of Spearman Cycles with this new rig

  • I raced my first fun run since 2012 at Run Wollongong. This was a 5.5km run and with barely any quality run work under my belt, I was pretty pleased with how I ran.

run wollonong 3

  • And finally, I raced my first triathlon in over a year. It was so much fun to get back out there and compete after such an extended period of time. Another highlight of that day was my mum raced her first triathlon in a long time and dominated, coming away with a win herself!


As always, thank you to everyone who has continued to support me this year; family, coaches, friends, training partners, sponsors, (and everyone who likes my Instagram posts!). I’m racing the Hamilton Island triathlon next weekend which I’m really looking forward to!

Grace 🙂

What Went Down In May

I am not a huge fan of small talk and talking about the weather is the ultimate example of small talk but seriously, I hate winter! Anyone who knows me knows I like all things summer; the long days, fresh summer fruit, days on the beach and summer clothing. I didn’t foresee myself having to endure an Australian winter for a number of years, but I also didn’t foresee myself being injured at this time of the year. I don’t think my mum did either, she decided to throw out my electric blanket when we moved house over Christmas because it was taking up space! First world problems right?!

Final days of summer in the Gong

Final days of summer in the Gong

In saying this, so far everything has gone as well as it could have considering the circumstances. I have been up in the Southern Highlands living with my parents (we live on a boys boarding school for those who didn’t know) and this definitely has its advantages, not only for me but also my parents. I am reaping the benefits of having a heated 25m pool a 2 minute walk from my front door, a nice spacious kitchen to improve my cooking skills and my piano to satisfy my artistic desires. I don’t think my parents mind me being home either as they have been extremely busy with work (which has affirmed my decision to never become a school teacher) so after their long days they come home to a full fridge and pantry, the washing off the line and dinner being prepared. I am going to take this opportunity to gloat and say I have cooked some killer meals lately, the favourite being Slow Cooked Moroccan Lamb with Apricots and Toasted Almonds.

25m heated pool at home

25m heated pool at home

In terms of training, May was filled with swimming (mainly pull sets and not much wall contact), riding on the rollers, a few elliptical sessions and my favourite sessions of the week, gym with my physio Alex Price who has been a great support. The latter is now becoming a key aspect of my training for the long term to not only help prevent injuries but to re-invent ‘Grace the triathlete’ as a stronger athlete all round. So far I have really enjoyed hitting the gym and I am excited to see the results of this work in the future.


In this past week I have swapped the rollers for the road and have started my very gradual return to run. Everything is done with extreme caution and while this is frustrating, it is progress.

It is not Basque Country, but it is home and it's alright.

It is not Basque Country, but it is home and it’s alright.

I have also had the opportunity to spend a night at the Australian Institute of Sport to have some tests done. I had a great night meeting some athletes from other sports including Chloe Esposito an Olympic modern pent athlete, Siann Glanney a track athlete, Brittany Cox an Olympic mogul Skier and two rowers; David Watts and Max McQueeny. These guys made my stay really enjoyable and I was very tempted to stay in Canberra for a little longer to spend some time with them!

I am very appreciative of the continual support of Triathlon Australia especially in giving me a plan because a lack of direction is one of my worst nightmares! I hate the fact I am not out there racing in my green and gold suit but trust me, I am working just as hard, it’s just not nearly as glamorous as racing. Thank you again to Jamie, my parents and all my sponsors for the support over the past month.

My last race – Tongyeong World Cup, October 2013 Excited to get back to this.

My last race – Tongyeong World Cup, October 2013
Excited to get back to this.

I turn 22 this week and for those of you who are familiar with Taylor Swift, I am not embarrassed to say I have tragically listened to her song ‘22’ a number of times already. I have had these lyrics replaying in my head for a few days now and as relevant as they are, it’s really starting to get annoying!
‘I don’t know about you
But I’m feeling 22
Everything will be alright’

Here is the link to the song if you are at all interested:

Until next time,
Grace ☺

A pretty awful April.

April started off really well. I was basically back in to full training in preparation for my first race of the year, Chengdu World Cup until everything came crashing down…literally. 1km from home after a bike session on the velodrome, I was riding on some dirt/mud due to bike path construction and next minute I was on the ground thinking, “I really hope no one saw that”. It wasn’t just my ego that needed damage control but I had split the webbing between two of my fingers. 4 stitches worth of splitting. A huge thanks to Dr Trevor Kemper who fixed me up within hours although there was strict instruction to not swim for a week. So another little hurdle, nothing worth stressing over as my swim was in pretty good form. To be honest I quite enjoyed a little break from the water!

I left out the slightly more graphic image

I left out the slightly more graphic image

Fast-forward a week to the Easter Long Weekend and the hand was healing nicely but a small pain in my lower back turned up. I immediately took a few days off running, chucked in some double swim days to get the feel of the water back. I was religious with treatment daily but this was starting to stress me out and I was hit with a head cold. Seriously?! The next week included some extreme down time, physio treatment, failed attempts at running, frustration and an MRI.

I did get the chance to enjoy a swim at North Sydney Olympic Pool on the day we went to collect our Chinese Visa. I sure am glad I organised that one!

I did get the chance to enjoy a swim at North Sydney Olympic Pool on the day we went to collect our Chinese Visa. I sure am glad I organised that one!

*&%$#&(_)(&$@$%%* insert any words that you think I may have said when I found out I had a small fracture in my pelvis. Be creative. I sure was. 5 days out from beginning an adventure I had been looking forward to for months and everything came crashing down (metaphorically this time). A few more of these *()*%^#$^&()(* in the following days and I have slowly started to accept this.
I am sure people who know me from a far would know this is my second fracture this year. “Another know it all young athlete who came back too quickly”. Not that I care what people think but to clear things up I had a very slow, at times painfully slow return to running after my previous fracture. More often than not, I would be the one to cut runs short or slow paces down because I wasn’t 100% confident in my body’s ability to handle it. The fact that all my hard work and patience over the past 5 months came to this is probably the most heartbreaking part of it all.

So where to from here? Well not one of my favourite places in the world, Vitoria-Gasteiz (that is the next most disappointing aspect). Triathlon Australia have been amazing in creating a plan for me to return to the start line as a stronger, faster and better athlete. This is a multiple phase plan that will hopefully allow me to rejoin the ‘Wollongong Wizards’ (ideally in Spain) at some point. But there is a lot more I need to focus on before I start thinking about that. A huge thanks to the Triathlon Australia High Performance Team; Bernard Savage, Mark Young, Greg Cox, and my physio Alex Price. I have complete confidence in them and am very grateful to have the support of such a high quality federation.

I have had uncountable conversations with people I respect over the past few days and it has made me realise this obstacle is something I will gain tremendously from if I approach it the right way. I am surrounded by and have accessibility to some of the best triathletes in the world past and present who are willing to have a chat. Also everyone in the ‘Gong Wizards’, whether they are Australian, Canadian, American, Chilean, Hungarian or Irish have been great support. My coach Jamie Turner always knows what is best for the athlete and it is his guidance I trust more than anyone. Most importantly my family who are my biggest supporters are the best people to rely on and I’m very lucky to have them close by.

Highlight of the summer is the compulsory Wizard Diggies Café brew/milkshake post tough ride sessions

Highlight of the summer is the compulsory Wizard Diggies Café brew/milkshake post tough ride sessions

So, this is not the end of the world. There is a plan that on paper appears to have a positive end goal. Very different to the plan I had in my head a month ago but I will just get on with it and keep you updated along the way.

Grace ☺

February 2014

February 2014 has been very different to February 2013 in that I am yet to race although this is not such a bad thing. This gives me an opportunity to strengthen my weaknesses that were exposed in 2013 which will allow me to have a more successful European season!

Training with the Wollongong Wizards has really picked up over the last month with my new favourite session being the bike session on the velodrome. The session varies weekly with the most recent being some four minute Team Pursuit races which are a great way to get competitive, work hard and go fast!

Sunday morning ride – photography by Tamsyn Moana-­‐Veale

Sunday morning ride – photography by Tamsyn Moana-­‐Veale

A definite highlight of this month was spending a week on the Gold Coast for rehab purposes. Thanks to Triathlon Australia, I was given the opportunity to use the Alter-­‐G treadmill at the Gold Coast base and meet the lively and welcoming staff up north. Ashleigh Gentle and her family kindly allowed me in to their home for a week and were really accommodating, making my stay easy and enjoyable! In the short period Ashleigh influenced me with a few of her ways particularly her baking skills, and Easiyo yoghurt making abilities! I have brought both of these habits back to the Gong, which led me to thinking about my most frequently purchased grocery items. This is my permanent shopping list. I don’t think there is anything too out of the ordinary but a lifetime supply of these items would be greatly appreciated!


  • Milk
  • Easiyo Greek yogurt powder
  • Eggs
  • Cottage/Ricotta Cheese
  • Frozen Blueberries


  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Grapes
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Red onion
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach leaves
  • Sweet Potato


  • Either beef/kangaroo/fish or chicken. (I like variety)

Shelf Items:

  • Soda water
  • Tinned tuna/salmon
  • Raw almonds (roasted at home)
  • Sultanas
  • Dates
  • Walnuts
  • Balsamic vinegar
I have also been trying my hand at baking so watch this space and be nice to me because I often bring baked goods!
Homemade banana bread

Homemade banana bread

In other news, I am very happy to be rocking out in my new Zealous Swimmers on pool deck these days. The beautiful designs and great fit makes swim sessions that little bit more enjoyable, even the tough heart rate sets!

Zealous Swimwear

Zealous Swimwear

I am looking forward to updating you on my progress over the next month when my first race should be in sight!

Grace 🙂

January 2014

I have been a little slow coming out of the starting blocks for 2014 due to an injury that has stopped me from running. It isn’t the nicest feeling watching your training group leave for an altitude camp but I quickly got onto to recovery and rehab (thank you to Mark Young and Alex Price) so I could be back on my feet as soon as possible. I decided to go back home to Moss Vale particularly because we moved house and everything I needed for training was at my doorstep.

25m pool at home

25m pool at home

I’m now back in Wollongong with the ‘Wizards’ and Head Wizard Jamie and things are slowly coming together. Thanks to Triathlon Australia’s National Talent Academy program, Giant Bikes Aus and Spearman Cycles, I am now hitting the roads on a brand new Giant Envie, which like every new bike, I have fallen in love with!

At the beginning of a new year there seems to be an abundance of questionnaires to be filled out, so here are a few of my favourite questions:

Favourite food: Poached eggs

Least favourite food: Probably something like sardines

Favourite Drink: Coffee frappe from Diggies Café on North Wollongong Beach

Favourite TV show: The Real Housewives of New York City

Favourite person: I am going to go group here and say the ‘Wollongong Wizards’ Least favourite person: Anyone who walks slowly around the supermarket Favourite training session: Open water

Least favourite training session: Open water (with tsunamis)

Open Water in the 'Gong'

Open Water in the ‘Gong’

Favourite place: I’m enjoying Wollongong (the ‘Gong’) at the moment

Least favourite place: Airports

Favourite accessory: My snapback

Favourite training clothes: 2XU singlet

Favourite swimmers: Zealous (Some of my fastest swimming done in these swimmers!)

photo 2

Newest piece of training equipment: 2014 Giant Envie (with a recent RETUL fitting by Aaron Lean, thank you!)


Oldest piece of training equipment: My swimming gear bag, I have probably owned that since I was 11!

Inspired by: Sally Fitzgibbons, she is doing some great things at the moment.

sally fitz

Looking forward to: Getting back in to full training and my first race for the year!

Taken a Break

Five weeks have passed since I touched down on Australian soil, greeted by the familiar face of my mum who felt the need to photograph me following a 12 hour flight and a battle in the congested customs area of Sydney airport with way too many bags for me to handle. Thanks Mum, much appreciated, it’s definitely a keeper!

airport arrival 1

airport arrival 2

So what do you do exactly on a break? It’s pretty easy, anything you want unless on the odd occasion the athlete in you is forced to hang around. The latter was the case for me as within four days of being home I was sporting a brand spankin’ new ‘Ortholife’ boot. I had been having a little bit of trouble with the arch of my foot so decided to have a scan which showed a little tear in my plantar fascia. No running or riding for the next 3 weeks, this may come as a surprise to a few people but I was fine with this, a break was planned anyway so if there was ever a suitable time to have an injury, out of competition is favourable.

boot - pg

Since joining a ‘Flash dance’ group in my month off was now ruled out, I had a long hard think as to what else I could do resulting in trying to improve my cooking skills. I have added a few dishes to my small repertoire; homemade granola, bircher muesli, ratatouille and various salads. I can already feel people judging the simplicity of these dishes but trust me, they were of the highest quality! I quickly got over slaving away in the kitchen and saw that I could be of better use helping my parents by marking their school student’s exams. Definitely not going to be a school teacher anytime soon either.

Homemade Granola

Homemade Granola

Salad Concotion

Salad Concoction

I am very happy to say my support from Graham Marcolin and McDonalds Sutton Forest will be continuing in 2014 and I am exceptionally grateful for his ongoing support and interest in my passion. It is always nice to be able to give back to the people who look after you and when Graham invited me to help out on the 23rd annual McHappy Day (Saturday 9th November), I was more than happy to put on my apron and raise money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities although working behind the counter was way to overwhelming for me so I stuck to working the floor, another job to cross off my list!

Here are a few interesting facts about RMHC:

–       Over 3 million dollars was raised in 2013 on McHappy Day alone

–       In the last 30 years over 100 000 families have been helped

–       85 000 families have been provided with a ‘home-away-from-home’ while their child/brother/sister undergoes treatment

mchappy day copy

Amongst my personal development activities I still managed to find the time to meet up with school and Uni friends for lunches and coffee dates. Three of my friends I started Uni with in 2011 have finished their degree and are now moving on to bigger and better things; a medical degree, a physiotherapy degree and paramedic training. I have never thought twice about choosing triathlon over my Bachelor of Medical and Health Science but if I hadn’t made the move, I would have had some phenomenal company and useful intellectual support in my group of friends!

rosie 2

Speaking of keeping the brain functioning, there were times during the 2013 season I found myself brain dead and wanting to focus on something other than triathlon, Tetris (which I think I have nearly mastered) or Spider Solitaire.

Completed Tetris Marathon

With the help of Krystle Stylianou, I enrolled in a Bachelor of Communications via Open Universities Australia. This allows me to choose how many subjects I compete each study period depending on training and racing as well as being able to continue studying anywhere in the world. When asked why do I want to do this degree, my answer is simple. “I want to be on Getaway”. For those of you who do not know ‘Getaway’, it is an Australian TV show that explores resorts and holiday destinations all over the world. Sounds pretty good to me!

textbook 2

For the past 2 weeks I have been easing back in to training with a carefully monitored program thanks to my physiotherapist Alex Price. I was very excited to try out my new 2XU training gear, multiplying myself on the ‘Jungle Gym’ at home (gymnastics, another profession tested and failed).


With a refreshed body and mind, I am very excited to be heading to Falls Creek, Victoria in just over a week to kick off the season with a 3 week altitude training camp. Although before then I have a few more things to do, including Christmas shopping which shouldn’t be too difficult as Christmas Carols have been playing in the shopping centres for the past 2 weeks!

Grace J

Pre-Worlds Update – August

While there have been no enormous festivities in the Basque country this month if I look back, there is at least one mildly exciting event each week. When your life consists of sleep, train, eat, train etc. many moments can often become foggy, merged or forgotten all together. With the main focus of August being the build up to the World Championships in early September in London, I think it is best for you and me to have these moments neatly ordered week by week…

Week One: Thursday 1st – Sunday 11th

I know this is over a week, ideally August would have started on a Monday for this update so this is my quick fix.  Following some short and sharp sessions, I was off on my first trip to Hungary which included an overnight stay in a quirky Budapest hotel that resembled ‘The Adam’s Family’, staff members, décor and all. A very different ITU race format with heats and finals on consecutive days. Definitely a race I would happily have on my calendar for 2014!


Week Two: Monday 12th August – Sunday 18th August

Familiar faces started to flock in to Vitoria to experience the great set up we have here with the Australian Junior team basing themselves here for a pre-worlds camp and a number of Canadian athletes as well. I really enjoy having a few extra people in open water sessions as it stimulates a race situation that little bit more. The highlight of this week was a team dinner organised by a kiwi long distance athlete AJ Thompson who has based himself in Vitoria to train the past two years. Even though the group sees each other day in and day out at training sessions, there never seems to be a lull in conversation and this may come as a surprise but it is not always ‘triathlon talk’!

Pre-London OW

Week Three: Monday 19th August – Sunday 25th August

While the majority of the ‘Wollongong Wizards’ were preparing for the upcoming World Series race in Stockholm, my head was down and bum was up continuing normal training. At times I felt like I was missing out but to be honest, I quite enjoyed some different company or no company at all. Luckily on my 3 hour solo hilly ride day I was more than content to hit the countryside and hills ‘el solo’. In saying this, I also made my way up to San Sebastian to race the local athletic club’s 3km Open Water swim. Coming from an open water swimming background I was really looking forward to the event and despite the choppy water enjoyed the event, coming home with a 2nd place behind an extremely quick 19 year old Basque athlete.


Week Four: Monday 26th – August – Sunday 1st September

It wasn’t long before we were back into some tough sessions as a training group again. One bike session in particular is labeled the ‘Hour of Power Loop’ or ‘HOP Loop’, this is a hard hitting session that I have love hate relationship with. If you are feeling good it’s great but if you are struggling just a little bit, it can be woeful. The worst part about this session this week was having to wash and pack my bike to travel to France to race a French Grand Prix in Sartrouville on the Sunday. A quick flight to Paris on Saturday, casual three hour wait for my team in Terminal 2G (one of my longest café sits ever), race around midday on Sunday then back in Bilbao by 7.55pm Sunday night. Coming off some tough training, I was fairly happy with my performance, finishing in 12th place, my best French GP position yet.


So here I am staring at an empty suitcase which is failing to pack itself for my week away in London to race my first World Championships. I have been eager to reach this week for a while now but when I break down the month like that I realise how quickly time is passing. I would only be worried about this if I felt like I was achieving nothing on a day-to-day basis although I am continuing to learn in the environment I’m in so I am content with this.

Time really does fly when you are having fun!

What Went On In July!

“Those who have never been to the edge and looked over will never understand that it is better to live one day as a lion than a lifetime as a sheep…”

–       British Royal Marines

I recently came across this quote through a new Twitter follower and it caught my eye immediately for a number of reasons. I promise I will become more insightful than this but speaking of lions, the circus is in town! During the latter part of July, the striped tent was pitched signifying the biggest event on Vitoria-Gasteiz’s annual calendar was about to kick of, ‘La Fiesta de la Virgin Blanca’. The fiesta officially opened last Sunday, the 4th of August and runs until the 9th, a great opportunity for the Basque population to have a few more public holidays! I am fully aware this is a July monthly report but I just couldn’t help myself, as it was so unbelievably astonishing!


fiesta crowd

We arrived into the centre of town just after 4pm and it was much busier than your usual Sunday afternoon during scheduled siesta time. Within the next hour, the crowds had quadrupled comprising of large groups of people with copious amounts of cheap champagne (Dubois) and vino tinto (red wine).  There were; garbage bins, shopping trolleys, 4L plastic containers and water guns , all filled with alcohol awaiting Celedón’s (a rag doll with an umbrella) arrival via a thin wire above the crowd.

It was definitely an experience that I strongly encourage everyone to attend if they get the chance even if you are the foreigner shying away from the central commotion holding a bottle of water.

fiesta lady

While the fiesta was electrifying, I also received some very exciting news during July. I was selected as part of the U23 World Championships team to race in London in September. Last year I watched as my training partners prepared for Worlds and while I knew I wasn’t up to meeting the demands of competition, I was still envious, promising myself I would do everything possible to be there in 2013.

Returning to my original quote which is very fitting as it originated from the British Royal Marines, I have learnt this year more than ever that in order to succeed you need to be your own person which involves being selfish and taking calculated risks and learning what works for you. Sure, it is easy to float along in a training group and be satisfied, completing the content of sessions and failing to deliver any intent but that is what the Marines would label as a sheep.

Following my recent races, I felt a little bit of complacency creeping in and a little bit is already too much! Over the past few weeks I have ensured I am acting as the lion and I definitely feel like my training and confidence has already picked up which I am looking forward to testing out in the Tiszaujvaros World Cup in Hungary this weekend.



Now I am not going to go and do anything crazy like canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah in a similar fashion to Aron Ralston (‘Between a Rock and Hard Place’, autobiography) but I am focused on performing to a high standard in London, constantly challenging myself to be my own athlete.

I would also like to say thank you to Amelia Tregear who has graced us with her presence here in Vitoria over the past month as our masseur. Not only has Amelia been treating us superbly and doing everything possible to help us out, her company is remarkable as well.

May 2013 – Monthly Report

“The start of May.” My answer to a question I was asked numerous times since January, “When are you heading off overseas again?” Before I knew it, it was the 1st of May and I was flying out in a week to live overseas for 5 months. I thought I had everything under control although anyone who has ever travelled knows very well this is never the case and something ALWAYS pops up. In my case a ‘quick’ check-up visit to the dentist at home in Bowral turned into another visit to get a hole in my tooth filled! My dentist did a huge favour squeezing me in the day before I left to reduce the risk of me having to visit a foreign dentist and I was very grateful although I still do not get how he thinks I can have a conversation with him and answer questions when I have his hand and a few tools in my mouth!

That afternoon all of us who are looked after by Giant Australia and Spearman Cycles had a little gathering to thank the crew at the bike shop and bid farewell for a few months.  We had the opportunity to test out some new bikes as well as some tasty treats, which my dentist would have loved to see post his hard work that morning!


The first few days were taken up by recovering from the travel, adjusting to the time zone and setting ourselves up in our apartments we are calling home.  Last year I arrived in Vitoria-Gasteiz and was overwhelmed for a while with everything from the enormous supermarket to sunlight at 9pm although this year nothing came as a surprise and I settled in pretty quickly.


The rest of our squad arrived a few days later after racing the World Series race in Yokohama, Japan where Gwen Jorgensen came away with another win! With everyone settled in and before people are off every weekend to race around Europe, Jamie took the opportunity to organise a ‘Menu Del Dia’ aka ‘Menu of the Day’, this is very popular in restaurants all over Spain. Basically, you are given a selection of entrees, mains and desserts and you pick one from each for a set price. It is a great and cheap way to try different dishes. In our case we didn’t have to choose just one dish, instead we all cooked something different and tried a bit of everything. All the plates were licked clean which is always a good sign!


Apart from the wet and cold weather, training has been going well and the running trails and riding routes are endless.  I raced my first French Grand Prix of the season as well as my first WTS race in Madrid. I won’t go into details as I think my race reports do a pretty good job of describing how I felt about those.


It has been a fun start to the European season and I am looking forward to some more racing and good results!


April Monthly Report

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t believe I had enough to fill this update as I haven’t left the state in the past month. Despite this, April proved to be filled with ups and downs, literally and figuratively.

I definitely started the month on a high with the release of the May issue of ‘Men’s Fitness Magazine’. Considering how much effort went in to putting together my article, I have a grown appreciation for magazine editors and their organisational skills.  Thank you to Simon Butler-White, editor of Men’s Fitness who showed interest in me and quickly sorted out a photoshoot to catch the eye of the reader. This has definitely raised my profile and I have felt the love through social media with 100+ Facebook friend requests and a substantial number of followers on Twitter. Now that I have more than my training partners and family following me on Twitter, I feel the need to thoroughly analyse my tweets to ensure they are quality!

Men's Fitness Cover

MF picture

In a more literal sense, I have been experiencing the ups and downs on the saddle of my bike. The focus of this training block has been my cycling strength and there is no surprise here when I say this involves a lot of riding. I have ridden up mountains that I have enjoyed and mountains that have nearly made me fall off my bike. Without a doubt, I have appreciated this a lot more since I received my brand spanking new Giant Bikes Australia, Envie! I would be lying to say it was easy to see my TCR from 2012 go, but it was an amicable separation and I am very happy with my Envie. A huge thank you to Jo Hall and Martin Clucas from Giant Australia, The National Talent Academy for building a first-rate relationship with Giant, Spearman Cycles for their mechanical assistance and support and Aaron Lean for setting me up nicely with ‘Cadence Performing Cycling’.

New Giant Envie at Sandon Point - Bulli

New Giant Envie at Sandon Point – Bulli


A popular route for my training partner Tamsyn and myself has been leaving the ‘Gong’ and riding up to the Southern Highlands, my hometown. On one occasion Tamsyn’s chain snapped in the first half of the ride, leaving me to complete 80km ‘el solo’. This day happened to be ANZAC day and my arrival to my hometown, Bowral happened to be at 10:30am, the start of the ANZAC day March. Feeling slightly patriotic, I took some time out and remembered the soldiers who fought for us.

My two older brothers; Thomas (24) and Andrew (22) teamed up to surprise me with an early 21st birthday present. As we will all be in different countries come the 18th of June, they organised a 20minute aerobatic flight with ‘Southern Biplane Adventures’ in Wollongong.

Pre Flight

Pre Flight

Post flight with pilot Chris

Post flight with pilot Chris

One Saturday morning, Andrew had faked a flat tyre on his car and me being the kind-hearted sister I am offered to drive him to work (at Southern Biplanes). Upon arrival I was shocked to find all my training partners as well as my parents waiting in the hanger to watch me experience the ‘G-Up’ flight. Words cannot even explain the sensation of hitting +6G’s above the coastline of beautiful Wollongong. I wanted the pilot to take me to the limit and that he did, via vertical rolls, tail slides and snap rolls. Despite feeling a little sick by the time landing came around, it was an awesome experience and recommend it to any thrill seeker. What I don’t recommend is attempting a swim session an hour later!

The 'G-Up'

The ‘G-Up’

So April wasn’t so boring after all, it was actually quite exciting!

I don’t want to end on a low point but I can’t go without mentioning my amazing friend and training partner, Ashlee Bailie. One afternoon we were out riding and she was the victim of some reckless driving, something as an athlete you never want to witness. Considering her impact, the resulting injuries proved that she is one very lucky girl. We could all learn a thing or two from her daily positive attitude and I can’t wait for her to be back in the full swing of things which I am sure will be very soon. Moral of this incident being; motorists, please watch out for cyclists and cyclists, ride with an exceedingly defensive attitude!

Until next time, when in Spain,