The last two weeks have certainly been a whirlwind – Junior and I are back in New Zealand now for a little bit of R and R!
2 weeks ago I was down in Taupo for what was supposed to be Ironman NZ – what a wash out that unfortunately turned out to be! The organisers had asked me to go down and do some talking…which I absolutely jumped at! I hosted the ‘Women’s Breakfast’ the day prior to the race, and then went on to MC the Pro press conference before sipping non-alcoholic wine with the sponsors and VIP’s in the evening. I love doing that sort of stuff, talking with people from lots of different backgrounds…but I’d of much rather of been racing!
Due to the weather conditions, and an impending ‘weather bomb’ of predicted 160km winds and driving rain the event was cancelled on Saturday and replaced with a 70.3 on Sunday once the worst of the weather had passed.
I really felt for everybody involved. So much effort had gone into the event, both from an organisational perspective but also by the athletes themselves who had trained for months.
The organisers and all of the volunteers should be applauded under the circumstances – for managing to put on an event for the athletes.
Due to a prior speaking engagement I wasn’t able to stay for the rescheduled event – I was due in Brisbane at 7pm Saturday evening for another speaking engagement – this time to 200 dentists!
I’d agreed to the overseas engagement as it meant I’d get my travel expenses paid to Australia and I could piggy back the trip with 10 days at camp with Brett and the rest of Team TBB – my very first time with all the team, and am amazing opportunity to learn about how the team operates and how I’d fit into things!
I always knew going to camp that I wouldn’t be able to do everything that the team were doing – and quite frankly we didn’t want to anyway (me and junior). I’m really enjoying pregnancy – it’s a special time and I want to enjoy it for what it is. But I did want to meet everyone and learn about the sessions that I’d need to do once baby is born when I decide to get back into full training.
I had a really amazing time at camp. It was so much fun. If anything it reminded me of how I used to be and I actually felt like a real athlete again – I felt snippets of the old Sam, speed in my running, confidence in my swim and bike.
Despite not hammering me in training – Brett was able to give me things to do now that will improve my performance when I do come back – that is the focus. I’d be naïve to think anything I can do now will make me fitter….In fact one thing is for sure…no matter how much I train…I’m slowing down!
So what’s the point? Well the point is to find key aspects of what I’ve been doing…that isn’t working…and fix them. Because once I’m back then is the time to get my fitness back.
It’s fair to say when I’ve had my best races I’ve not worried about anyone or anything. And the opposite of that are all the times I’ve been frozen by analysing the form and actions of others – paralysis by analysis. Didn’t take Brett long to figure that one out – in fact I believe he knew that long before I arrived at camp!
So first session at camp – straight into the pool in the pouring rain. Queensland has had a severe front hanging over it all week so it felt like home away from home for me!
I arrived onto the pool deck feeling nervous and apprehensive to be honest. It was like being the new girl on her first day at school – I was about to meet not only my new class mates, but also my new teacher for the first time! My nervousness wasn’t helped by having to quickly get changed into my swimming togs, trying to hide my bump with a towel and out popped Junior to say hello too!
I did a track session with Xena and her partner Dave Dellow and had to giggle…
The sun was throwing beautiful silhouettes late in the afternoon. I was on the end and all you could see were two slim outlines and a pot sticking out on the end – I don’t think I was the only one to notice!
One thing’s for sure about being 20 weeks pregnant – there’s no confusing ambition with ability! I soon found my place at the back of lane and didn’t even try and swim my way out of it as I would have done in the past!
So I had a great time on camp with the rest of the team, it was great to hang out with Mary-Beth, Xena, Felicity and the rest of the team. I really enjoyed their company and learned a lot.
The last thing Stephen said to me before he dropped me off at the airport was, “now Sam this is a learning camp not a training camp.” And this really summed up my 10 days in Aussie.
I’ve shown Brett what he is dealing with (luckily it did not put him off!) and he has given me tips on what I need to work on.
Brett named me “Marty” after Marty McFly in the movie “Back to the future” That’s the goal for me- getting me back to my old self. The athlete who was consistent, strong in all 3 disciplines, confident and ran fast off the bike however tough the conditions.
It feels so good and I am so excited.
In the meantime I’m now home and preparing for Junior.
At 20 weeks Junior is now the size of a Mango and he’s moving a lot! People have assumed that I know the sex of Junior as I keep referring to him as ‘him’…but that’s not the case. I’ve read A LOT, from breast feeding protocols, athletes who have trained through pregnancy, and all things in between. And in the literature they always refer to baby as ‘him’, that’s confused a few people but I don’t know and don’t want to know until Junior arrives. Maybe we’re a little bit traditional but we both feel it’s nice not to find out!
So thanks to Brett for having me. And of course Mary-Beth for letting me stay with her – hopefully you now understand the difference between Rugby Union, AFL, and Rugby League MB?
And the rest of the team for making me feel so welcome!
Xena – your offer of training with a mango tucked in your shorts to simulate training pregnant was very kind of you! ☺