My first triathlon was in Phuket in 2006. My first Ironman was in Western Australia in 2009.
At school I did mostly gymnastics and diving. I loved doing sport so I participated in many other sports—tennis, water skiing, track & field, netball. After leaving school, I continued some kind of fitness by doing a few weights at the gym and running 20 to 40 minutes twice a week. I had never done any endurance type of sport. The longest run I had pretty much done was 10km.
I started triathlons in mid-2006. This was after I found this email in my inbox saying “Thank you for entering Laguna Phuket triathlon…”
My husband had kindly entered me without my knowledge!
I had seen my husband doing triathlons over the past year, so I knew a little bit about what was involved. I was a little concerned as I had not swam since school sports classes and I did not have a bike. So the next day I went to the pool and swam the distance. My confidence grew.
I thought I will buy a bike and start training, then decide closer to the race if I will do it.
The triathlon came before I knew it; I thought why not give it a go, my husband is doing it.
I really had little idea at this stage, I don’t recall taking any nutrition, I just had a drink bottle. I completed the race with a reasonable place in my age group. This was the beginning of a new lifestyle. I could see there was room for improvement so I wanted to do more triathlons: I loved the idea of doing something healthy, it is a good way to make an excuse for a holiday, and it was also something my husband and I could do together.
Also, our dog loves the training: he swims alongside me when I am in open water. He runs with me outside, and on the treadmill next to me when I am biking on the Computrainer.
I did mostly local Olympic-distance triathlons in Japan for the first two years. At this stage I thought Ironman distance was totally amazing—I never thought it would be something I would ever do.
My husband was slowly getting more serious in his training and increasing the distance of his races—and entering me in these races as well so I was also increasing my distances.
Before I knew it, my husband was now thinking of giving the Ironman distance a go. It was around this stage we joined ironguides. ironguides certainly changed our training and improved our performances. I completed my first Ironman in Western Australia in 2009. It was a big day but not as hard as I imagined. Since then I have done at least half a dozen Ironmans around the world (Roth, Challenge Copenhagen, Ironman Austria, Ironman WA three times, Ironman Regensburg twice, Ironman Japan, Kona—wow that’s the first time I have actually put them down and counted, 10!).
I had a hiccup in 2011 when I had a bicycle accident the day before Ironman UK. I had to have a lot of teeth reconstruction work. My confidence to continue in the sport was crushed. I had lost confidence on the bike, I was worried about being hit in the mouth in the swim and I had lost fitness. My coach Woody slowly rebuilt my confidence. I returned to training pretty fast and decided that if I am going to return, I want to return to do well.