Hi! My name is Madeleine. Welcome to my triathlon blog that will document my journey as a Professional Triathlete competing across the globe. Enjoy :)

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Geelong 70.3

It’s never fun writing a race report when things haven’t gone to plan, however I know that for there to be good times, there also has to be a few down times. During yesterday’s Geelong 70.3 I had to make the tough decision to call it a day during the first 20km of the bike. This was my first ever withdrawal from a race, and while it was a frustrating decision to have to make, I know it was the right one.

I have been suffering from a nerve impingement issue in my lower back/gluteal region for quite a few months now that I have been able to manage. However, over the past few weeks it has become progressively more debilitating and has caused a few secondary issues relating to my hips, hamstrings and gluteal muscles.

After 5 years of competitive triathlon racing I know my body and I know the signs of ‘good’ pain and ‘bad’ pain. While some may say that the decision to withdraw would’ve been a really hard decision to make, it was actually fairly simple. The pain was impacting on my ability to race to my potential, it didn’t feel like a ‘good’ pain and I knew that if I tried to push through it would hinder my chances of a fast recovery. So as disappointing as it is, the decision to rest up was made.

I will now focus on rehab for the next few weeks, with the goal of getting back into a few races toward the end of the season.

Congratulations to all of the athletes out there yesterday, you all did an awesome job. Well done to good friend Alex for qualifying for her first ever World Champs after just a year in the sport…that really helped me turn a sucky day into an awesome day!

Thanks to everyone for the ongoing support and encouragement and I will see you out there again soon!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Murray Man and Ballart 70.3 Recap

Phew…it’s been a big few weeks of racing! Last Sunday I raced in the Murray Man Long Course Tri, followed by Ballarat 70.3 a week later. Ballarat was never part of my original race plan for 2014, however when the opportunity to race arose I knew I had to take it considering I was feeling fit and race ready. I was a bit apprehensive doing two long course races back-to-back since the last time I did this was three years ago and I swore I’d never do it again. However, I knew if I raced smart at Murray Man and did what I had to do and nothing more to make the podium, and then recover well and eat properly during the week, I would race well come Ballarat. It was a gamble…but luckily it paid off and I finished 2nd place Pro Female in both events.

A quick recap of Murray Man…the long course tri (2km swim/80km cycle/20km run) was held in the Riverland district, a short 2.5hr drive from Adelaide. Dad made the trip over from Tassie to watch me race which was great, and we drove up together on Saturday morning. Luckily the temperature on race day was a lot cooler than the 38 degrees we got in Adelaide on the Friday.

The 2km swim was held in the calm waters of Lake Barmera. I exited the swim in equal 1st place and set out on the 4 lap 80km cycle course. I rode fairly consistently, finishing the bike in 2nd place, about 3 minutes off the lead. I was hoping to put in a strong run to try and bridge across to 1st, however the legs were feeling super flat and I knew pretty early on that the goal would be to hold onto 2nd whilst minimizing any damage for next weeks race, which I managed to do.

The following few days I made sure I focused on eating a lot, sleeping well and kept training every day. The temptation post-race is to take a few days off training, however I recover so much better if I do a few light training sessions in the days following a race. By Thursday I was feeling sharp and ready to race again, so it was off to Ballarat!

I spent all of Friday driving across from Adelaide to Ballarat. Then Saturday morning I went down to the IronKids event to hand out medals at the finish line to all the young kids racing. It’s so great to see children at such a young age getting into triathlon and loving every minute of it! Saturday afternoon was then spent chilling out and getting everything prepped for Sunday.

Finally race morning rolled around and we were greeted by chilly temperatures, a bit of rain and some wind. The race start was moved 2hrs later due to the cold temps, so we had a leisurely start time of 8.30am. Two minutes after the Pro Males went off, the Pro Female field were sent on our way for the 1.9km swim in Lake Wendouree. Again, I had a good swim, exiting in equal 1st place. I had a quick transition and lead the bike for the 1st 10km, when Melanie (eventual winner) came rocketing by me. I remained focused and kept pushing hard, knowing that there were some strong cyclists and runners behind me. I was really pleased with my ride, and exited the 90km bike course in 2nd place. I wasn’t sure how my legs would feel after last week for the 21km run, however I felt pretty good and apart from a sluggish few kilometers from the 8-12km mark, I ran well and managed to hang onto that 2nd spot, which I was stoked with. 

It was so great to race in Victoria again and the support on course was incredible. It was an awesome event and I will definitely be back again next year! A big thank you to Alex and Laura for their race day support and to the race organisers and volunteers at both Murray Man and Ballarat 70.3 for putting on such great events. Also, shoutout to Jane from Vital Core Physiotherapy for keeping my body in shape these past few weeks!

For now it’s time to let the body recover before finishing off the year with a few local races in Adelaide. Thanks for reading J

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Port Macquarie 70.3- 2nd Place

I have just spent the weekend on the NSW coastal town of Port Macquarie racing in the Ironman Asia Pacific 70.3 champs (1.9km swim/90km cycle/21km run). I have fond memories of racing there, finishing 2nd place in 2011, and have been wanting to return ever since. 

Thankfully all the stars aligned this year and I managed to get on the start line fit, healthy and ready to race. I have had a consistent block of training since Challenge Gold Coast which was in August, and was looking forward to seeing where I was at. 

Arriving on Friday evening I was welcomed by my awesome home-stay hostsTehya, Sonia and Darrell Nash. They went above and beyond to make sure I was settled in and had everything I needed for the weekend. I honestly can't thank them enough 

The race kicked off for the pro women at 6.46m Sunday morning. I felt great during the swim, super relaxed and in control. I exited the water with the main pack of girls, with a few girls up the road. After putting in a solid winter of swim training & seeing improvements in the pool I was stoked to see my form transfer to the race course.

The 2 lap, 90km bike course had a bit of everything…rolling hills, short sharp climbs, flat sections and a bit of wind. It was a super solid ride and the hills sure sapped some of my energy. However, I managed to get in all of my nutrition and my Avanti Chrono Evo II TT rode like a dream, so all was good! 

I had a quick transition and exited T2 in 4th place, ready to tackle the 21km run. I felt pretty average for the first 8km or so and dropped back to 6th place at one stage. I had a brief thought that maybe today just wasn't my day. However I quickly got rid of any negative talk and worked through the rough patch. I started to feel better on the 2nd lap of the run and managed to work my way up to 2nd place. The main goal now was to stay strong and make sure I held on to that 2nd place, which thankfully I did. I was so happy to make the podium after narrowly missing out at Gold Coast a few months back. I even got to do my first podium Champagne shower!!  

Thanks once again to the Nash’s for their support and Nashyspix for race day photos. 

Thanks also to BrooksAvanti and Gav & the crew at AvantiPlus Salisburfor the ongoing support…you guys definitely take care of me!

Well done to all the athletes who raced, the organisers, volunteers, supporters and the town of Port Macquarie for putting on such a fantastic event…I will definitely be back!

*Images courtesy of Darrell Nash- www.nashyspix.com

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Challenge Gold Coast

Yesterday saw the running of the inaugural Challenge Gold Coast event. Due to consecutive days of pouring raining and resulting flooding on the bike course, the cycle leg was shortened by 50km, bringing the total race distance to 1.9km swim/40km ride/21.1km run. 

I was unsure how this race would pan out for me as I have had a bit of an inconsistent prep over the past few months. Low iron levels & subsequent fatigue, combined with a hectic study load at Uni has made it difficult to put together a solid block of training. However, I knew that if I kept a positive mind leading up to, and during the race then I would be able to get the best out of myself.

After having a pretty chilled out Saturday, race morning rolled around and we woke to yet again pouring rain. I’d much rather race in cooler, wet weather than stinking hot so I was pretty happy.

The 1.9km swim in chilly 16 degree water was pleasantly uneventful and I exited the water amongst the main bunch of girls, with a few girls up the road. The undulating out and back bike course was awesome. I loved being out there & my Avanti Chrono Evo TT rode like a dream. 

Coming into T2 I had no idea what placing I was in, but after a few km into the run I figured I was most likely sitting in 3rd. The first 14km felt great and I was holding about 4:05min/km and was feeling pretty decent. From then on though it started to become a battle of just making it to the finish. The lack of run miles in training was catching up with me and I was beginning to cramp up, which was frustrating considering I was mentally going strong. The last 500m was a bit of a blur. I felt like I was putting in the biggest sprint, but obviously my legs weren't taking me anywhere as I got passed in the last 100m. I would hate to have seen my form in those last 100m!

Fourth place is always a bitter-sweet result. However, I have to be happy considering this was far above my expectations leading into the race and I got every last bit out of myself & had fun (until the final km!), which was all I wanted to do.

Thanks to all the volunteers, supporters & the team at Challenge GC for putting on a great event & keeping us all safe out there is trying conditions. I will definitely be back next year.

Big thanks to Gav and the team at Avanti Plus Salisbury for prepping my Avanti bike for me & to Brooks for the ongoing support in keeping my feet happy. Also shout-out to Craig and the crew at Unley Swim Squad for taking me in this year, it’s been great to have a solid swim squad to train with while in SA; & to my cycling buddies for the rad times in the hills of Adelaide.

All going to plan the next race for me is Port Mac 70.3 in October which is one of my faves so I'm looking forward to that. For now it's back to the books...as well as a bit of recovery time.



*images courtesy of witsup.com

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Silver Sands Multisport Festival- 1st Female

This weekend saw the running of the inaugural Silver Sands Multisport Festival. The weekend-long event was held in the coastal town of Aldinga, about an hours drive from Adelaide. After having a few weeks break after Challenge Melbourne, it was time to get back into some structured training, and this event fitted in perfectly. 

On paper the weekend looked fairly simple- 10km run on Saturday morning, 2km swim on Saturday afternoon and then an Olympic Distance Triathlon on Sunday. However come Sunday morning, I was definitely feeling the effects of the previous days racing and was wondering what I had got myself into! I managed to put together a good weekend of consistent racing though, finishing first place in all three events and took out the overall Festival award, jointly with the Male Open winner. The Adelaide Triathlon Club put on a great weekend of racing. The volunteers were amazing and the support out on course was great. I will definitely be back again next year!

I have been in Adelaide for 6 weeks now, and have been loving it so far. The riding is amazing...10 minutes from the front door and I'm in the heart of the Adelaide hills, 30 minutes the other direction and I'm riding along the foreshore. The running is great too...endless trails and paths to explore. I have also managed to hook up with some of the local run and bike groups, and have recently began a partnership with AvantiPlus Sailsbury. All in all, so far so good! 

The trusty stead- Avanti Chrono Evo II TT

Festival Podium 

Olympic Distance Podium

Perfect weather for racing

Mason (no. 1 cousin & supporter!) and I

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Challenge Melbourne- 4th place

Yesterday saw the running of the inaugural Challenge Melbourne event. The half distance (1.9/90/21) race was held in Brighton, Victoria. The talk leading up to the event was focused on the predicted 41 degree temperature. Supersprint did a fantastic job to inform all conpetitors of the contingencies that would be put in place on race day to cope with the extreme heat. Being a lover of cold weather and knowing that I don't have a great track record in the heat, I was a little apprehensive about the day but knew I just had to focus on what I could control.

The race kicked off at 6.30am when we entered the pristine bay water. The small but talented field provided fantastic competition for the day. To be lining up against the likes of Steffen and Luxford was exciting. I had a solid swim, exiting the water in 4th. I had a quick transition and got out onto the bike in 3rd. I managed to hold this position for the first 20km however I soon realised my bike legs weren't coming to the party. Unfortunately I dropped back a few places over the remaing 80km but tried to hold my focus and conserve as much energy as I could for the upcoming hot 21km run.

Going out onto the run course in 7th I knew it would be tough to reach my goal of a top 5 finish, however I managed to pace myself well and moved up into 4th in the closing 3km. Crossing the finish line in 4th was a relief and I was definitely happy to have that day over!

Congratulations to all the other competitors for toughing it out during a hard day of racing. Thank you to all the volunteers and supporters and to Supersrpint for putting on such a fantastic event.

For now it's time for a few weeks break. I have been racing since August so it is time to let the body recover before hitting a few races at the end of the season.

Thanks for reading.

Avanti | AvantiPlus Brunswick | Brooks | Giro | Selle SMP

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Gatorade Tri Series Race #2- 1st Place Elite Female

Yesterday saw the running of Race #2 of the 2013/14 Gatorade Triathlon Series. The Olympic Distance race was held for the first time in St Kilda. It was a great venue to host such an event, with a sheltered 1500m swim in the marina, 3 lap 40km bike course along Beach Rd and 2 lap 10km run along the Esplanade.

I have just come off a solid three weeks of training, involving many bike miles through the hills in Tassie, followed by some time up at Falls Creek. I have been feeling fitter and stronger each week, so I was keen to build on last month's 2nd at Canberra 70.3 and get in a solid hit-out before Challenge Melbourne which is in three weeks time.

My race went pretty much to plan. I was a little further down on the swim than I would've like, however with some solid bike km's in my legs and my new Avanti Corsa road bike, I managed to peg back the leaders within the first 5km of the cycle. From there we worked well together as a group of three and put some time into the chase girls. I had a quick bike to run transition and exited T2 in 1st place. I managed to build on my lead throughout the run, putting a little over three minutes into the chase girls, and crossed the finish line in 1st place Elite Female.

Congratulations to all of the other competitors and thank you to SuperSprint and the volunteers for putting on such a great event. 

Avanti | AvantiPlus Brunswick | Giro | Brooks Australia | Selle SMP

*Photo courtesy of Steve Lingard