April in the Books


Looking forward to taking the MTB out over the coming weeks.

April is now officially in the books and along with it a good month of training. Getting back on track with my fitness has happened in stages. Whereas before I would take a ‘all or nothing’ approach, I have learned to be a lot more forgiving and a lot more gentle in how I manage my return to training. This past month even though I still have some things to iron out with my nutrition, I have managed to re-establish a good training routine which started initially with doing three TrainerRoad rides per week and then graduated to adding in two 30 minute high intensity sessions with my personal trainer. These have become invaluable for my confidence.

Two weeks ago I also began running again, a couch to 10K program, to again ease myself back into things rather than charge like a bull at a gate and risk further injury and/or frustration. The runs are short walk/run intervals, but they are moving the body in a positive direction and my muscles are beginning to work as they should once more. The most important thing of all however is that I am enjoying my workouts again. I am enjoying the sweat and the ‘feel good’ pain of burning lungs and burning muscles and I am enjoying the endorphins and the amazing feeling of accomplishment that comes from having given it your all during a hard workout.

With my therapist I have discussed a series of strategies which have also been put into place to help me reach my goals. One very important one is the ‘no end date’ strategy. I found with my nutrition in particular I would set a date and calculate my weight loss to that point. I would then tick off the days I was ‘good’ and would go along okay for a while, but when I hit a bad patch I would get so frustrated, instead of thinking “okay, well it’s back on the horse”, I would flog that horse into the ground of failure and me along with it. Once I recognised the ridiculous amount of expectation and pressure I was putting on myself it freed me to be ‘human’.

The ‘no end date’ is also becoming more apparent with my weight/fitness goals. I am learning that fitness is not a number but a degree of sustained effort. I am fitter now at 91 kgs than I was last winter at 78 kgs. I have begun to soften my approach and expectations for Ironman in that whether I toe the line at 55 kgs (my goal weight), 60 kgs or 70 kgs, the important factor is the fitness and the level of effort I can achieve on the day. Guaranteed I will be a more efficient rider and runner at a lighter weight, but in the end I am not going to allow my dream to be inhibited by a preconceived idea that I must ‘look’ like a chiseled athlete to be successful.

Challenge Melbourne/Ironman Australia Training Plan (cont.) – April 2014

Thursday 24th April 2014
PT Session (30 mins)
C210K program (30 mins/2.56 kms)
Gym bike (30 mins/13.1 kms)

Saturday 26th April 2014
TrainerRoad – Carson (60 mins/14.2 kms)

Sunday 27th April 2014
TrainerRoad – Tioga (90 mins/20.55 kms)

Wednesday 30th April 2014
PT Session (30 mins)
Gym bike (15 mins/6.3 kms)

April 2014 Totals
Bike • 15:23:00 • 222.05 kms
Run • 1:46:00 • 8.93 kms
PT Sessions • 3:15:00
Strength • 1:15:00

Best Training Day
Wednesday’s PT session with Sam, lots of strength and boxing, I was sweating buckets!

Hardest Training Day
The Tioga ride on TrainerRoad, made up of 9 minute under/over FTP intervals, they hurt!

Most Fun Day
Oddly enough the Tioga ride, it was really hard but I felt awesome once it was over!

Now that I have my bike, PT and run regime rolling again, the next step is smoothing out the edges of my nutrition to get the most out of those workouts. Of course I need to get back in the pool, which will happen in the coming weeks. I occasionally need to keep reminding myself that I do not need to do everything in one day. As long as I concentrate on my individual workout 100 percent as it happens on the timeline, the rest will take care of itself. Adopting that understanding with my nutrition will help also. With the ‘no end rule’ and a softer more forgiving approach to my weight/fitness goals I know I will accomplish all I set out to do.

Until next time, have a great weekend and happy training!

Today’s Power Song:
Holiday – Green Day

“Never say never because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.” – Michael Jordan


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Back on Track (Trainer)


Challenge Melbourne will be my first half iron distance triathlon.

With Easter in the rearview mirror and April almost gone, I thought it about time I updated my blog with some training details over the last several weeks. It has been quite some time since I have been in the right head space to want to knuckle down and get back into things, let alone share more of the journey with you, so it seems fitting now things are going along smoothly that I keep you apprised of my current training regime and plans for the coming months.

I mentioned in a previous post that I have joined TrainerRoad and begun to sweat it out on the trainer in order to boost my strength & speed on the bike. I say this knowing full well it may come across as a negative slur on my abilities, however time has proven to me again and again that I just absolutely suck on the bike. I can swim reasonably middle of the pack, I can run reasonably middle to back of pack, but when it comes to the bike I am way, way back of pack!

It is my hope through using the various training plans and workouts on TrainerRoad to lift my bike, particularly given that it comprises over half of the race. You can either gain time or you can lose time and I plan to gain as much time as I can to take the pressure off my run leg. I am now on week 4 of the Intermediate Base I plan and already my average cadence has increased. I can also feel my fitness improving, so I am excited to see how I go once I hit the road again.

There is still a long way to go and once I finish the current plan I will take a week off the trainer to go mountain biking to get some fun back into my riding, not that I am not enjoying the challenge of TrainerRoad, but it is always good to mix things up and they recommend taking a week off between plans. The next plan which is also of a six-week duration will be, yes you guessed it, the Intermediate Base II plan. Once that six weeks is up I will reassess once more.

On the running front I initially wanted to wait till I had lost some more weight before stressing my legs, however I decided last week that I would begin a 14 week 10K running program which will bring me up very slowly from my current run fitness to a 10K distance. I have been running on the treadmill to limit the impact and will begin running on a grass track next week. So far my calf is holding up well, albeit a little tight, indicating more stretching and rolling is needed.

The other major change to my training routine has been a return to private PT sessions with my personal trainer twice a week. Sam is an amazing young man, very motivating and inspiring and with him in my corner I know I will be a lean, mean machine come Challenge Melbourne and Ironman Australia. The only things left for me to do now are to return to the pool in the coming weeks and tighten up my paleo nutrition in order to get the most out of my training.

Challenge Melbourne/Ironman Australia Training Plan – April 2014

Wednesday 2nd April 2014
TrainerRoad – FTP 8 minute test (60 mins/13.6 kms)

Friday 4th April 2014
TrainerRoad – Gayley (60 mins/13.7 kms)

Saturday 5th April 2014
TrainerRoad – Baxter (90 mins/19.5 kms)

Tuesday 8th April 2014
TrainerRoad – Ericsson (60 mins/13.0 kms)

Thursday 10th April 2014
TrainerRoad – Monitor (60 mins/13.5 kms)

Friday 11th April 2014
PT Session (45 mins)
Gym bike (25 mins/10.3 kms)
Strength (15 mins)

Saturday 12th April 2014
TrainerRoad – Eclipse (90 mins/18.15 kms)

Monday 14th April 2014
PT Session (30 mins)
C210K program (18 mins/1.4 kms)

Tuesday 15th April 2014
TrainerRoad – Tunnabora (60 mins/13.6 kms)

Wednesday 16th April 2014
PT Session (30 mins)
C210K program (30 mins/2.55 kms)
Gym bike (15 mins)

Thursday 17th April 2014
TrainerRoad – Geiger (60 mins/13.4 kms)

Saturday 19th April 2014
TrainerRoad – Antelope (90 mins/18.75 kms)

Tuesday 22nd April 2014
TrainerRoad – Thunder (60 mins/13.9 kms)

Wednesday 23rd April 2014
PT Session (30 mins)
C210K program (28 mins/2.42 kms)
Strength (15 mins)

Monthly Totals (thus far)
Bike • 12:08:00 • 167.90 kms
Run • 1:16:00 • 6.37 kms
PT Sessions • 2:15:00
Strength • 30:00

Best Training Day
Any day I have PT with Sam, I just absolutely love training with him. He gets the best out of me!

Hardest Training Days
Generally sprint days on TrainerRoad, my legs are pretty slow but I am getting there.

Most Fun Day
Whenever I can get out on the mountain bike!

As you can see above I have been putting in the hard yards this month and it is only going to get better. I am keen to get back into the pool to balance out my weekly sessions and I will incorporate some walking to and from the gym and pool as time permits, just to give my weight loss a bit more of a kick start. I am very happy with all of my progress so far on the bike and once the kilos start melting away again I know my confidence will grow even more.

There is still a long way to go till Challenge Melbourne and even longer to go till Ironman Australia, but I do not intend on putting added pressure on myself by leaving things till the last minute. Slow, steady consistent training is the key. As they say it is miles built up over time that get you across the line. Happy training everyone, have an awesome day!

This Week’s Training Milestone:
TrainerRoad (Thunder) – 8 x 4 min intervals with my cadence around 80-88 rpm, pumped!

Today’s Power Song:
Up the Wolves – The Mountain Goats

“What we actually learn, from any given set of circumstances, determines whether we become increasingly powerless or more powerful.” – Blaine Lee Pardoe


Help me raise awareness and funds to fight the Black Dog.
Please click on the banner above to donate. Thank you!

Team Black Dog Fundraising

Click here to enter/donate. Thank you!

Click on the banner above to enter/donate. Thank you!

As most of you are no doubt aware by now, I have decided to raise money for charity whilst training for Challenge Melbourne and Ironman Australia in 2015. My chosen charity is the Black Dog Institute, a not for profit organisation who conduct research and public awareness programs with regards to mental illness. It is a charity that is very close to my heart given my own personal experiences with bipolar disorder. I am hoping to raise over $2,500 and at the moment the tally stands at $382.50. As an incentive to gather more donations I have decided to offer some of my fine art landscape images through a series of ‘competitions’ which are open to anyone who can spare a $2 coin or two (or three, or four!) for a very worthy cause.

Entry is via my Everyday Hero page and you will find all of the details below. Please get your friends and family involved by sharing this post across Facebook and the blogosphere, and help me to raise awareness about mental health issues such as anxiety, bipolar and depression.


Duo – © Simone Byrne Photography 2014

Duo – Challenge Melbourne Finishing Time Competition

Entry fee: $2 donation
Enter via: Everyday Hero

I am offering one of my most popular images as an extra-large 30×30 inch signed Giclée art print (100% cotton rag, RRP $130) to anyone who can guess my finishing time at Challenge Melbourne, which will be held on the 1st of February 2015.

All you have to do to be eligible to win, is to help me raise funds for mental health research, by making a $2 donation to the Black Dog Institute via my Everyday Hero page. Then you simply nominate what time you think I will be crossing the finish line at Challenge Melbourne. I’ll give you a hint, given that I have to swim 1.9 kms, bike 90 kms & run 21.1 kms, it will be somewhere in the vicinity between 5 hrs 30 mins and 7 hrs 30 mins.

You can enter as often as you would like, but it is $2 a guess. Please message me your guess or alternately you can add it to the comments section of my Everyday Hero page and I will keep a running list of the nominated times posted here and on my Facebook page.

In the event that no-one guesses the exact finishing time the nearest person to it will win.

Thank you and good luck!

Bailed Up

Bailed Up – © Simone Byrne Photography 2014

Bailed Up – Positive ‘Power’ Phrase Competition

Entry fee: $2 donation
Enter via: Everyday Hero

My good friend Max Campbell from Southern Cross Printing has very graciously donated a 30×20 inch canvas print of my image Bailed Up (RRP $300) to be ‘auctioned’ during my Ironman journey with all proceeds going to the Black Dog Institute to aid in awareness campaigns and research into mental illness.

To be eligible to win this print, you need to visit my Everyday Hero page and make a donation of $2. You will then need to come up with a positive ‘power’ phrase which will help me to give my all during my Ironman event. I will write all of my ‘power’ phrases on a hanky which I will leave in my special needs bag to be collected halfway through the marathon leg of the race.

It goes without saying that the most inspired, motivating, positive and unique phrase will win this competition. You may enter more than once, but it is $2 per entry. The winning ‘power’ phrase will be chosen in the week leading up to Ironman Australia, 3rd of May 2015.

Please message me your ‘power’ phrase or add it to the comments section of my Everyday Hero page and I will keep a list of all submissions posted here and on my Facebook page.

Become a part of my journey and help me to reach the finishing line at Ironman!

Thank you and good luck!


Grounded – © Simone Byrne Photography 2014

Ironman Raffle

Entry fee: $2 donation (or more)
Enter via: Everyday Hero

Every person who donates to the Black Dog Institute via my Everyday Hero page (including entering one or both competitions) will go into the draw to win a 30×20 inch fine art metallic print of their choice from my extensive gallery (RRP $100). A second image will also be awarded to the person with the largest donation, this currently stands at $100.

To see a selection of my images, please visit my website, www.SimoneByrne.com.au.

The winners will be drawn after Ironman Australia, 3rd of May, 2015.

Thank you and good luck!

“Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.” – Khalil Gibran

Back From the Brink

The Orbster

The Orbster & Jet Black Z1 Fluid Trainer

Wow, I cannot believe it has been four and a half months since I last posted. The time seems to have flown, but also quite a lot has happened. Life was pretty ordinary there for a while. After pulling out of Shep 70.3 and Ironman Oz due to my torn calf (not once but twice!), I fell into a bloody great hole. One I honestly did not think I would climb back out of. The old black dog bit me fair and squarely in the butt and started dragging me back down into the abyss. I got to the point where I was so pissed off with the world, I figured why bother even trying anymore. The binge eating also reared its ugly head making matters a hundred times worse.

Thankfully after a few really good sessions with my new therapist and a lot of help from my pdoc (and some new meds) I am managing to claw my way out of the 95 kg hole I dug for myself. I have transitioned off the old med which made me tired and want to sleep all day and onto a new one which makes me feel more alert and less like a zombie, but without raising my anxiety levels. I am also now taking an antidepressant to help with the binge eating and thankfully that is working as well. For the last two weeks I have felt more social, motivated and inspired than I have since before I injured my calf. The difference is remarkable.

I always thought I was pretty satisfied with the meds I was on, but I guess I underestimated just how bad my illness can get at times and thankfully I saw the warning signs and also have an amazing pdoc who picked up on them as well and made the right adjustments to help me reach my inner zen once more. I have to say that although I am now on an antipsychotic, a mood stabilizer and an antidepressant, I have never felt more balanced or in control. It sucks at times to have to be reliant on chemical adjustments for happiness, but that is just the reality of life with bipolar disorder. It is a chronic mental illness and there is no cure.

The Orbster with personal branding.

The Orbster with personal branding.

All that being said, what it means for my training and my Ironman dream is that I can finally step back onto the path of least resistance and redirect all of my energies to working on my swim, bike and run, instead of trying to fight fatigue, anger and despair. I am so in control at the moment, you could kick the goggles off my face in the swim lane and I wouldn’t kick you in the head for it (much to my Taekwondo coach’s chagrin, he likes a bit of blood!). I am waking a lot earlier too which means I am also training a lot better. The nutrition is slowly getting back on track, as is the weight loss, so all in all, things are moving along nicely at the moment.

The other news is I have signed up for a half iron distance event. I was hoping it would be Shep 70.3, however that race is no longer so instead I signed up for Challenge Melbourne, which I think will be a totally awesome event. Not only that but it is the home city of my Taekwondo family, so I am hoping there will be a big cheer squad on hand (hint, hint!). The race is the 1st of February, 2015 so I have plenty of time. I am not running at the moment due to my weight, however I have started a new bike program called TrainerRoad.com, which a couple of friends used whilst training for their Ironman events. So far I have done 6 rides in 2 weeks and I love it.

The next phase is getting my swim back on track and I will begin running when my weight is back down. Tomorrow I begin to see my personal trainer again on a twice weekly basis and he flogs my butt so I know I will be fit in no time. He is also a huge inspiration to me and a great motivator. For me life is back to being all about living in the moment. One day at a time, one workout at a time, one meal at a time, one thought at a time, one breath at a time. It is the simplest way to live, but I think it is also the most rewarding. I am back enjoying the things I love to do, but I am also mindful that I need to be vigilent to keep the black dog at bay.

“I am not concerned that you have fallen; I am concerned that you arise.” – Abraham Lincoln


Help me raise awareness and funds to fight the Black Dog.
Please click on the banner above to donate. Thank you!

I’m Still Alive! Merry Christmas! :)


Merry Christmas to all of my friends and family from near and far!

I would like to take this time to wish everyone of my friends and followers in the blogosphere a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Again I apologise for my lack of presence over the past few months, but I am glad to report that I am still alive, back training again and looking forward to a really great 2014/15 season. I will endeavour to get back to my regular blogging updates with regards to my Ironman journey and training in the new year. For now however folks, be safe and enjoy the holidays and also remember, calories at Christmas don’t count!

“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” – Calvin Coolidge


Help me raise awareness and funds to fight the Black Dog.
Please click on the banner above to donate. Thank you!

Craig ‘Crowie’ Alexander’s Core Workout

I have just recently started to discover the awesome benefits of working the core. Here is a really great video I found on YouTube of Craig ‘Crowie’ Alexander working out with a swiss ball.

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” – Mahatma Gandhi


Help me raise awareness and funds to fight the Black Dog.
Please click on the banner above to donate. Thank you!

WordPress Family Award


The WordPress Family Award

I was recently nominated  for the WordPress Family Award by my good friend Paul from I Run Distance. Paul is a runner from South Africa, who cronicles his athletic life and adventures throughout his blog. Paul is an awesome athlete and writer, who has a big future ahead of him and I wish him all the very best in his endeavours. I encourage you all to stop by his blog and have a read through some of his posts. I guarantee you will hit the follow button!

As a nominee of this award it is now my job to pass the accolade onto ten other bloggers. This is never an easy task for me because each and every person I follow is in my opinion, worthy of a nomination. Unfortunately I cannot nominate everyone, so I have settled for the following ten. These people are the ones who have inspired me and continue to do so, with their unwavering acts of courage, kindness, determination and inspiration.

  1. Anne-Marie from Unsporty Women Can Run – I tell you this unsporty woman CAN RUN!
  2. Aaron from Chatter Does Fitness – Chatter has the biggest heart of anyone I know!
  3. Jim from Fit Recovery – A wonderful husband and father, and a bike riding machine!
  4. Angela from Mind Margins & Run Nature – A lady with an amazing amount of courage!
  5. Kecia from PushMyLimits – A great lady who supports, motivates and inspires others!
  6. Andrew from Transventure – A wonderful guy who gives of his time to help those in need!
  7. Cynthia from You Signed Up For What? – A busy mum of 3, who still finds time to race!
  8. Danielle from Live, Run, Grow – A marathon running, Disney loving, yoga instructor!
  9. Duane from Fat Guy to Try Guy – A man who inspires and never gives up, no matter what!
  10. Glenn from Glenn’s Road to Recovery – Tough and tenacious, Glenn is now an Ironman!

Until next time, have a wonderful week everyone!


Help me raise awareness and funds to fight the Black Dog.
Please click on the banner above to donate. Thank you!

Team Black Dog


Proud to be a member of Team Black Dog!

During my hiatus, it occurred to me to find a greater purpose for doing Ironman other than just my own personal goals. Not that my own journey was not meaningful enough, I just had this burning desire to make more of the adventure and help me to become accountable to more than just myself. I have always admired those who have used such events to raise money for charities and so I looked into a website called, Everyday Hero, to see if I could fundraise for a cause that was close to my heart. Among the list of charities I found the Black Dog Institute, a not for profit organisation that researches and raises awareness of mood disorders.

When I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2006, the Black Dog Institute‘s website was instrumental in helping to answer the many and varied questions I had about the illness, but more importantly it offered advice on how and where to seek help and support. With its continuing commitment to help raise awareness of mental health issues amongst the public, as well as conducting research into the many facets of mental illness, it seemed to be the perfect candidate for my fundraising efforts. And so I created my Everyday Hero page and began to announce to family and friends that I would be fundraising during my Ironman training.

A Message From the Black Dog Institute:

The money you raise is really important to us and will help:
• Expand clinical and research programs
• Deliver community education and awareness programs across regional and rural Australia
• Deliver youth education programs in schools for school counsellors, principals and staff across regional and rural Australia
• Deliver education and training for health professionals

I have set my sites high and hope to raise AU$2,500. As an incentive for those who donate, I am offering two large 30×20 inch metallic prints ($200 value) of my photography. The winners will get to choose which image they would like from my online gallery at SimoneByrne.com.au. Everyone who donates via my Everyday Hero page will go into the draw to win one of the prints. The winner will be drawn the day after Ironman Australia 2015. The second print will be given to the person who donates the largest amount of money. The competition is open to everyone, not just Australian residents and donations of more than $2 are tax-deductible.

If you would like to donate, you can do so by clicking on the banner below.


Click on the banner above to donate. Thank you!

Please let your friends and family know also where and how they can donate too. Thank you so much in advance for your generosity and support. I know the Black Dog Institute appreciates and gratefully receives every single donation, no matter how big or small. I too thank you personally for helping me to not only fundraise for such a worthy cause, but also to help raise awareness of mood disorders and in particular, depression and bipolar disorder. Together we can help break down the stereotypes and stigma that still plagues society about mental illness and prevents people from receiving the help that they so desperately need and deserve.

Today’s Power Song:
My Head is Turning Upside Down – Ramones

“The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they’re okay, then it’s you.” – Rita Mae Brown

Many Thanks


Thank you all!

I would just like to express my sincerest thanks to those of you who contacted me during my hiatus. A special thanks to Anne-Marie from Unsporty Women Can Run, Jim from Fit Recovery, Mike from Farm Your Training Day, Kecia from PushMyLimits, Danielle from Live Run Grow, Paul from I Run Distance, Duane from Fat Guy to Tri Guy and any others I have failed to mention (you know who you are!). It certainly was nice to know I was being missed and had you guys watching my back. It will take me a while to catch up on all the goss, but I will do my best over the coming weeks to do so. Until then I wish everyone a wonderful, inspiring week!

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop

The Pain of Withdrawal


Yes I will become an Ironman!

It seems like eons since I have blogged, but I am back now, in a kind of fashion. The past few months have been difficult. As I have mentioned in previous posts, Winter has always been a particularly hard time for me and I was hoping this one would be different now that I am on a good regime of medication, however it proved to rob me of my mojo yet again, just as it had in years past. After tearing my calf muscle and withdrawing from Ironman 70.3 Shepparton I fell into a big slump. I had all the intentions of keeping up with my riding and swimming, but truth be told, I completely lost focus. And when I lose focus I do it in the most spectacular of fashion.

Along with the disappointment of non achievement comes self-pity which quickly turns into self loathing. Add in with that the fear of humiliating defeat and you have a lovely cocktail that mixed with a bipolaric low, spirals downwards until it greets the black dog sharpening its teeth on the very nails you have driven into your own soul. When I am depressed, I feel the black dog gnawing on my bones like I have already been stripped of flesh by the world around me. Not a pleasant picture I agree, but the black dog is a cruel beast and once he has you in his jaws, it is very difficult to break free and near impossible to feel positive about anything in your life.

For me this Winter amounted to several months of binge eating, very little training and loads of bitterness and self-pity. That is neither something I am proud of nor ashamed of, it just is what it is. Subsequently I found myself about to begin my 30 week Ironman plan the heaviest I have been at 85.6 kgs and coming from a 10 week injury layoff. Regardless of the circumstances, I still felt at that stage that I had a chance to get my act together. I started back on the Whole30 and for the first week I concentrated on walking and riding. I knew I could not leap straight back into running, so I decided to do a C210K running plan which would bring me up slowly.

By the second week of training I started to feel better, emotionally and physically. My nutrition was working and I was losing weight and I was looking forward to my daily workouts. I was back in the pool and I had my first run, which was really a run/walk. Everything was going nicely until my second run on Friday of this week. The program I was following was very gentle. My first session was a 5 min warm up walk, followed by a 1 min run / 1.5 min walk done 6 times and then a 5 min cool down. The run on Friday was similar only with 8 splits instead of 6. The first split went okay, but on the second split I felt a shooting pain in my right calf muscle.

I instantly got angry and tried to run through the pain, which I did completing my run/walk and then walking another 6 kms home. By the time I got home I could hardly walk, and after sitting down at the computer to update my training log I could barely put any weight on my leg at all. It felt like my calf muscle had turned to stone it was so hard and sore. I had an aching feeling there and then that racing at Ironman Australia next year was in jeopardy. I applied RICE, then massaged it with some liniment and prayed that in the morning it would feel better and I could go for a walk or ride. Unfortunately it was just as sore the following morning.

Today, I weighed up the consequences of my injury and where my fitness currently lies. I also weighed up the finances of it all. I checked the withdrawal dates online and if I was to salvage as much of my entry fee as I could (50%), I would have two weeks to decide what I wanted to do. I already knew in my heart that I wanted to go into Ironman, lean, strong and fit, not plump, carrying an injury and unable to run a marathon. I also knew that if I stuck it out and ended up a DNF, I would berate myself endlessly for wasting over $1800 in fees and travel expenses. In the end, I decided to withdraw. I am quite simply, devastated.

Regardless of how I feel now, in the end, I know I have made the right decision, but that does not make withdrawing from two major events before you have even completed one, any easier. It has done nothing for my self-confidence or self-belief, but I also know that I cannot afford to give voice to those emotions if I am to attempt these races again. And I will attempt them again. I am not going to give up on a 20 year dream just because my calf muscle cannot get its shit together. In the end, Ironman is a journey, there are ups and downs and I know it is not the ups that define me, but how I handle the downs and this is just another to be conquered.

Today’s Reflective Song:
I Won’t Give Up – Jason Mraz

“The block of granite which was an obstacle in the path of the weak becomes a stepping stone in the path of the strong.” – Thomas Carlyle