In 2019, our Templestowe team all decided that we would aim to complete a physical goal that was way beyond our capabilities from that current point in time. The goal had to be something that both scared and excited us at the same time. A goal that was pushing us physically and mentally. We have called this our "Stretch Goal"
1. What is your Stretch Goal and why have you chosen this?
My stretch goal is to compete in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Nice, France this September and finish in the top 20% of my age group. I know this will be one of my greatest challenges to date as it combines endurance with speed. Pushing myself to work harder and go faster over the distance is going to push me out of my comfort zone not just on race day but during training also, making me become a better athlete. Only three years ago, I could hardly ride a bike and couldn't swim with any speed, so to have firstly qualified for such a big competition and be able to represent my country in the sport I love, and secondly, be able to race at such a high level is a great representation of how far I have come as an athlete and testament to the hard work I have put in since 2016. It will be the ultimate victory over my fears, doubts and inadequacies.
2. What are you going to do to ensure happens to achieve this goal and what does your training look like?
I have to work harder than ever before. I have always been a consistent athlete but sometimes I have backed off when the session plan is asking me to work at a higher intensity. I am working with my coach to ensure I am hitting prescribed intensities more often and putting myself "in the hurt locker" more often to be able to withstand the pain and pressure that comes from having to work at that level come race day. I also have to ensure that I remain consistent and disciplined. Every time I want to miss a session, I have to ask myself if that's what other competitors will be doing? That means getting to the pool in Melbourne winter when all I want to do is stay warm inside, running in the rain and getting up early on a Sunday morning to ride in the cold and dark winter! I am also very lucky to have been sponsored by some amazing practitioners to help me stay healthy and strong in the lead up to the event, so will be focussing on getting Myotherapy treatment from the incredible Emily at MJN Clinical Myotherapy and Chiro from Dr Andrew from Spine Health & Stability.
3. What scares you the most about your goal?
Beside the fact that I have no idea who my competition is and what level they are at until race day, the bike course scares me A LOT. Over the course of a 90km bike ride we gain 1367m in elevation. Most of that coming from a climb that goes for about 9km with an average gradient of 6%. I have never raced with such a big climb in the bike course before, and I have no idea what that will do to my legs for my favourite part of the race, the run, let alone how slow I will be on the climb in comparison to other athletes! I am OK at climbing but I know that I have to work hard on the bike over the coming months to be able to withstand the pressure this challenging course is going to put on me.
4. What are you most excited for?
Besides being in the French Riviera, wearing the green and gold, spending time with and being with some of my most loved friends and family and the incredible atmosphere I know the race will bring to the area? I am really excited to race in a female only event (the Ironman 70.3 world championships is held over two days with female athletes racing on Saturday and male athletes racing on Sunday) as this is the only event that does this in the world. It allows the female athletes to shine in their own right and will also help to level the playing field on race day. I am really excited to race in this format.
5. What difference is this going to make to you after you have achieved this goal?
I love developing as an athlete and constantly reflecting on how far I have come. I think this will be a really defining moment for me and will fill me with confidence for future races (I have another 70.3 event one month after this and another full Ironman in December). Triathlon is also a really selfish sport and I want to be able to achieve this to be able to show the people in my life that have had to make sacrifices for me to be able to pursue this that it was and has been worth it.
6. Do you have any tips/tricks for someone who is thinking about pushing their own comfort zone with health and fitness?
As the saying goes "Just Do It". It's clichéd but true. I was terrified of riding a bike and swimming in the ocean but I knew I would be better for making myself trying. When I started out in triathlon, I had no expectations of what I would achieve only that I wanted to be able to say I have had a go. I'm not going to say the road to where I am now (and where I want to go in the future) has been or will be easy, it's had many challenges and I have had to dig deep both physically and emotionally many times to be able to keep going but pushing myself outside my comfort zone and learning new skills has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. I have been to some amazing places to race and made a huge group of new friends and I know my life is richer for it all. If I had have stayed in my comfort zone, I would not be the person I am today.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.