It’s only been a month since I was training up a storm in Geelong, but Geelong camp seems as though it was years ago! Since then, I’ve been busy getting my butt handed to me on an AIS Women’s camp with the new 2011 squad in Canberra, working so that I can eat and live and doing summer semester and University because…well…to be honest, I have no idea. Maybe because I love the adrenalin rush and the sense of achievement you get when you have an assignment due at 12:00am, have 20min to finish referencing and are panicking, thinking ‘there is no way in hell I’m going to get this in on time’ – only to submit it at 11:56pm. Win. Or maybe because I’m like my sister and ‘love textbooks’? Nope. Not that either…:s All I know is that I’m getting an education…tick.
Fresh from being smashed by super coach Kim Howard and her TDT R.A.C.E girls, I had a few days to recover before yet more pain/eyeball-scratching-out/HTFU style training with the AIS girls. However, before that, there was a much needed Foreshore Summer Music festival to attend. AIS rider Lauren Kitchen traveled down early for camp from Port Macquarie to attend the festivities, and let’s just say, it was definitely a night to remember! I woke up 2 days later with DOMS from intense fist-pumping, but it was worth it - definitely a good way to start my run on the straight and narrow.
Lauren and I go way back - photo from the 2008 U19 National Road Title which Lauren won :)
I am no stranger to the AIS Women’s Canberra camps, in fact I’d probably consider myself a veteran tagalonger-er, so I knew it was going to be tuff. And I was stoked! I’m like that annoying little kid that you can’t get rid of – although luckily the girls learnt pretty quick that you can get me to shut up by making me do 10min SEs or sending me up Honeysuckle in filthy headwinds. Shy of that not working, there is always the classic halfwheel – guaranteed to work every time. For most of the duration of the camp, Canberra definitely but on its best weather – not. Many of the rides were done in the pouring rain where everything but your belly button was full of water. Oh well, at least it made for some much needed character building on my behalf! Towards the end of the camp, the girls were sent out bush with the final 6hr ride seeing them being directed to Wee Jasper – yup, I hadn’t heard of it either. The AIS team for 2011 is definitely a team to be reckoned with in up and coming races – I wish I wasn’t on the receiving end of their wrath! The team consists of full timers Lauren Kitchen, Alex Carle, Amanda Spratt, Shara Gillow, Ruth Corset as well as Megan Dunn and Carly Light who weren’t on the camp – look out for them in their new Jayco AIS kit! This camp was run similarly to previous camps I’ve been on, each day with its own unique way of making you hurt like never before, however what made it different this time for me was that I also had to balance work AND summer semester at Central Queensland University between 4hr rides, ice baths and stretching. Considering what happened exactly 12 months ago when I failed miserably at this particular task – I was nervous at what was going to happen. Although I have culled the number of pre run-myself-into-the-ground jobs from 4 to 2, now working only at A’Hern Fitness in Griffith and the BikeShed, I knew it was going to be a tuff challenge! I know a lot of people do it, balance work and training but I too dream of the day when I’ll be earning enough money riding my bike so I can sit at the coffee shop for hours sipping skinny lattes in the sun post ride. The work/cycling/uni balance is something I seem to struggle with everything I come home. Stuck between wanting to dedicate as much time to training and recovery pre nationals and our summer season, and the need to pay to live, short of pouring cement over my breakfast, I often end up on the phone to my coach whining about how tired I am. Finding jobs that allow for the perfect balance is the challenging part - I mean who doesn't want to hire a 20yr aspiring athlete who doesn't want to work 9-5, is studying part-time and wants a job where you can sit on your butt all day? Yeah, that's what I thought. But I’m very fortunate in my current circumstances where I love my jobs and have two very supportive bosses who recognize the importance of getting the balance right, and as a result – made it out of the camp ALIVE!! So what’s next? Well after a very quite and sober Christmas and New Year, as I said in my previous post – I’ll be riding for Kim Howard’s T.D.T RACE team at the Jayco Bay Criterium series and participating in the 2011 Australian Road Nationals. I am really looking forward to Bay Crits as I think we have a very strong team and hopefully we’ll be able to get in the mix at the pointy end of the bike race! I am also pleased to announce that I will also be joining Kim and her race team in the 2011 NZCT Women’s Tour of NZ! I rode this tour in 2009 and really enjoyed the racing, I am hoping to get a good result there as I believe the courses are well suited to me and I will have a little more training under my belt!
Photo from the TT at last year's Nationals
A busy couple of months ahead but I’m looking forward to it! Also I have been having conversations with a few teams in regards to 2011… fingers crossed things go well but will keep you posted ;)
Until the New Year
Stay safe and stay classy,