After more than a few injuries and niggles I decided to race at Miami 70.3. I swam and ran well at the race with my first non wetsuit swim ever and my fastest run split yet (1.17) and was pleased to finish on the podium in 3rd. After that I returned to our base in Cozumel to prepare for Ironman Arizona. I picked up yet another niggle at Miami which was actually a biking problem so prep wasn't perfect but I headed in to the race and was ready to do what I could on the day. Arizona wasn't a great race for me, I swam well for the first 1900m then I went backwards and it wasn't until the last 21k of the marathon many hours later that I felt good again. Things were really not going my way especially on the bike. I made it to the end of the bike thinking I wouldn't be able to run at all and the plan was to get of and run as far as I could. I felt surprisingly OK on the run and my hip which was really bothering me on the bike wasn't a problem. At the 21k mark I felt I could up the pace so I just kept pushing and managed to run in to 6th place. I was a bit disappointed with my performance but I was happy to end my season there and to get off for a nice little holiday in the USA. It was really nice to relax at the end of a long season and I experienced my first proper Thanksgiving Day with Craig and Renne (our amazing homestay for Ironman Arizona) before returning home to the cold winter. I didn't do any proper training during the holiday but did manage to go on a little Thanksgiving Day mountain bike adventure which was rather eventful and included falling off, getting lost in the desert and getting part of a cactus stuck in my hand. Some of the cactus is still in there so I think it will be a while before I’m mountain biking again.
In early December I returned home and continued to take my rest period very seriously, I think it’s really important to take some time off at the end of the season to recharge the batteries and reset the mind in preparation for next season. Although I had had a month off I did manage to get roped in to a 3 mile x country race when I returned home, with no training it was actually pretty painful! After that I very gradually I started to get back in to training.
The past year has been quite an adventure for me. In January last year I joined team TBB and headed off for my first year as a full time athlete. I wasn’t sure what to expect, I had very little money and it was a risk to leave the security of having a job to fall back on. I went to Lanzarote where Bella and Stephen oversaw most of my training at Sands Beach resort. It was a really good introduction to the team and good preparation before heading to Switzerland to where Brett is based. Switzerland was another amazing place to train and a very convenient location for getting to races all over Europe. The training was tough and fun and it was great to have Brett there on poolside every morning and the squad to train with. I raced a lot over the summer in Europe before heading out to Cozumel, Mexico another team training base. I got back in to some training and did a couple more races in the USA before the end of my very long season.
I have had an excellent year with TeamTBB and am extremely grateful that I had the opportunity to be a part of the team and to work with Brett. When Brett decided to leave the team I was left with some decisions to make about how to move forward in 2014. I decided that the best option for me was to move on from the team and from Brett. There are a lot of changes happening right now and I will reveal more soon.