So I guess quick introductions are in order, my name is Adele Richards, I’m 20 years old and have been dabbling in triathlon for 8 years now.. Sounds like I’m confessing to a group therapy class. I came across to triathlon from spending 7 years in surf lifesaving looking for something new and challenging.
I’ve been training under Team Break Your Limits which is owned and run by Ray Lampard and coached by Bill Scanlan based in Perth, WA for nearly a year now. I’ve had my fair share of injuries over the past two years; coming out the better end of it all now thanks to the help from Bill and Ray. Being an athlete you’re always exposed to injury, growing up in triathlon can be hard on your body when you’re not training right. I always understood how to train and work hard but underestimated the benefits of recovering with as much effort I put into training. Having had two stress reactions to both femurs I’ve had a lot of strength and building to do, it has definitely shaped and prepared me for what’s to come this season and further in the future. I began the first program for the season just three weeks ago. I had planned to race the Melbourne 10km at the Melbourne marathon festival on the 8th of October.
One week out from the race I was only in my second week of my program, after one hard and enjoyable week (that I had been waiting for so long to start) I was already on a taper for the race. This was painful, I never enjoy taper week; the one thing you want to be doing before a race is getting in any last work you can do – although we all know the work has to be done prior to this ‘taper’ period. So, I wasn’t feeling confident at all...with one week’s preparation. Feeling exhausted would have to be my favourite feeling, so having all this energy made me feel lazy! Jumping off a Red eye flight to Melbourne on the Thursday before the race, arriving at 7:30 local time I was excited to be off that plane! Feeling sleepy, heavy and stiff we spent the whole day walking around the city – being a girl…never having been to Melbourne I had plenty of shopping to be doing. Feeling surprisingly fresh after all the walking, we headed down to the botanical gardens for an easy run to get the legs moving, I’ve never seen so many runners/walkers in one place that hasn’t been a race…is there an event on here??
Day 3, the day before the race, I had decided that I was feeling terrible and if I didn’t run well the following day its ok because I’m only in the second week of the program and at least I got a holiday out of it! But of course, you don’t give up that easy…as much as you try to talk yourself out of something you know on the day you’ll go out and give 100%.
So here we are morning of the race, feeling sluggish after too much awesome Melbourne food the night before; now I’m really doubting a good race result. But nothing that caffeine gels can’t fix though right? After a fast warm up I was feeling pumped as always at a big event, now it was time to find a spot at the start line…or as close as I could get. Slipping past people as close as I could get to start I was sussing out the other runners, I don’t think you’ll see a wider range of people than at a running race – this can be quite entertaining…fake tan, Dunlop’s, headbands, short shorts…men in short shorts, hairy and shaved you see it all. Having found a spot fairly close to the start, still 50metres back I was happy enough; after all I didn’t have high expectations of myself. Two minutes before the horn goes, people get anxious, old ladies, old men and children start to push in front and I was thinking here we go again another slow start to a race.
So I spend the first 2kms passing all the people that pushed to the front that should have been back with my Nanna walking her dog. But that’s ok this just adds some extra adrenalin and motivation to get as close to the front as possible. The course was great, so much to look at and fast. I was feeling slow and discouraged as I look down at the Garmin and the average pace said a horrible 4.45 per km. surely not right? Definitely not…
I settled in, found a rhythm and held that max effort, I went through the first 5km in under 20 minutes. Which I was pretty happy and surprised with as I was not expecting to be feeling as comfortable as I was! It felt great to go out and smash 10kms, felt like such a long time since I had been able to do that. Two km’s from the finish running up toward the MCG I was chasing down a young boy, as I passed he said ‘C’mon lets go’ and pushed up the last hill leaving me in his tracks, I’ve always been a sucker on the hills. Determined to get him back again, passing on the downhill – my turn to share some encouragement, I left him behind ha-ha.
The last kilometre, the hardest of them all; after gaining some extra motivation I pick up the pace and put in everything I have. There is nothing I fear more than the feeling of regret from not putting in enough effort at the end of the race; I know well how much I would beat myself up for it. So in the last 400 metres I look down at my watch, I have never felt so happy and been in so much pain at the end of a race before. Pushing those legs to the finish line burnt like crazy but I couldn’t help but laugh out loud, I must have looked crazy… Achieving a time I never had expected at this stage of the year, I was so happy - I finished the race in 40 minutes and 55 seconds, 19th female overall. I couldn’t have hoped for a better result being in the second week of my program. This is great motivation for the season ahead, I’m ready for a lot of hard work and a terrible bike shorts/high socks tan.
In conclusion, thanks Bill and I will definitely trust you in the future – when your told to taper…you taper! Another thanks to Triathlon tribe for providing me with this opportunity!
Until next time, see you out there