By Annabel Luxford.
There is a moment in every race that comes to mind first when recollecting the day. Running down Palani Drive, with less than a kilometer to the finish line of the Ironman World Championships in Kona, is that moment for me. I was on my way to completing the most challenging race of my career. There were times in the race where I thought that I couldn’t get the job done, but I did; and as I ran down that last descent, with the sun finally losing some of its bite, I knew I had achieved something I would always be proud of. I finished 12th– in my second IM and first time in Kona. I would have liked to finish top ten, but we don’t always get what we want. It means that I’ll be taking the lessons I learnt from 2015 back to the Big Island next year.
After Kona, I took a break. It took me about 6 weeks until I felt semi-human again. I ticked over with some easy aerobic work in that time. I didn’t have the motivation to push myself, nor did I feel like my body was ready to be pushed. So I was pleasantly surprised, when I turned up to 70.3 Western Sydney, 7 weeks post Kona, and took line honours, with a handy 5 minute margin over Caroline Steffen. I guess that Ironman fitness lurks in your body. I then backed it up with a win at 70.3 Ballarat two weeks later. I had planned to race right up until the end of the year and I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. Balancing corporate work in Melbourne with racing means that I take every opportunity to race close to home.
Whilst racing professionally can have its ups and its down, 2015 was a year to smile about. As with all things in life, many ingredients constitute the final result. For me, I had great training partners, a coach who is tireless in his belief in me (and patient), and sponsors who provide the best equipment to help me get the best out of myself. Whilst it’s only a tiny bit of plastic, the Turbine was one of those ingredients. I’ve used it for all my racing this year. It keeps my nose open and provides cues for me to breathe through my nose as well as my mouth- very helpful for an asthmatic.
I’m taking till Christmas off from training, before regrouping and starting racing again in late January. Bring on 2016 for new challenges and new adventures.