I remember going on my break last year in November and thinking I had ages till the big dance. Well that came around too fast... Before I knew it, the processes were in place and the work was done. I was exhausted after Mooloolaba World Cup and needed some down time to recuperate. In saying that, it's actually been a really progressive month with a lot of goals being ticked off and new ones to be set in place.
Gold Coast meant a lot for the Australians as the first Australian in the top 10 was an auto nomination for the Commonwealth Games. I stood on the start line on Saturday with a focus - being engaged and bold. With a low start number, I didn't have much choice of where I started on the pontoon and ending up far left was not ideal. The water was super choppy and we were swimming with the current to the first buoy. I had clear water for the first minute or so and that was the end of it. I have now experienced what it is like being caught up in the chaos of being mid pack. I was drowned, hit, pulled on and I actually thought I was dead last. When I did get some free space, I felt like everyone else was standing still and I was moving past them so fast. I am a little disappointed I didn't get to showcase how well I have been swimming but that's racing and you can't control the uncontrollable.
I was desperate out of T1 and knew I needed to ride hard for the first few kms to get on the front group. It was tougher than I am use to because I was coming from such an uncomfortable experience in the swim. Within the half of the first lap I had worked my way up to a comfortable position within the first group. Riding the course the day before, I had no qualms and knew I just had to ride confidently and smart. Simple. On the 2nd lap at the back u turn, I had two athletes crash in front of me and I was a couple of cm’s away from running over her head. That was a really critical moment for me because I could see the group just up the road and knew we had to get back on. I was saying my prayers. Unfortunately the chase group caught us with a lap to go which contained a lot of the runners within the field. I tried to keep up the front of the group and entered transition in a good position.
The previous weekend I did a 5km fun run in Wollongong as part of my preparation for the WTS Gold Coast. I really wanted to transfer what I did there under fatigue to race day. My run has come a long way and it's a work in progress but it's getting there. Cadence under fatigue has been my main task and focus and I think I executed that well. The girls were fast and I finished the day after a sprint finish in 20th place.
I am happy, healthy and ready to have a consistent year in 2017 at that top level of racing. Next up is WTS Yokohama at the start of May!