​You know how it is leading up to a race, “are you ready?” “How has the training been?” “Are you nervous?” “How is the body feeling?” and for the first time in a very long time my answers weren’t, “ah we’ll see on the day won’t we,” “The training has been ok hey,” “Nnnaaaa not very nervous,” “Ya the body is fine thanks,” it was, “Yes, I am ready,” “The training has been really good thanks,” “Yes I am very nervous,” and “The body is feeling great!”

​The training was consistent and I was as ready as I could be, but an athlete’s worst nightmare before a big race is either getting sick or getting injured. On the Tuesday before the race I did my EASY indoor, you know how tapering is 😉 and as I started my EASY run my hamstring did something funny. Needless to say the next few days it was a continuous repetition of ice, heat, ice, heat, panic message to Lucie, ice, heat, ice, heat, transact patch, pray, ice, heat, ice, heat… well you get the picture!

Arriving in Durban is always very exciting, you start seeing all your training buddies at registration, nerves are flying sky high, the above questions are being thrown around, the wallets are shaking in the expo, the bike mechanics are fixing bikes (athlete’s worst nightmare), athletes are walking around wishing they had someone else’s bike and THEN, the Trifactri dinner arrives J
Always a fun night out with food getting mixed up, Trifactri shirts getting thrown around, peeps being all gangsta with their flat caps; THIS is definitely a great evening. Laughter was heard throughout the restaurant and amazing memories were being made.
We do our usual warm up on the Saturday, this time trying to muster up the courage to plunge into the Durban surf because, we all know what happened last year 😉 but this is all done to get us race ready for Sunday! We all make our way, in our own time, to the transitions to rack our bikes and hang up our bags. I finished doing everything I needed to do and then I saw coach!
This was a lecture I needed and I think it had been lingering for a while and Lucie finally gave that lecture to me (in a nice way of course). Too many races had passed where I had raced too comfortably, where I would only push the last 2/3km of the run, where I would ‘race’ and stay away from the hurt locker, but basically the summary of Lucie’s lecture was, “enough is enough.” I have trained too hard to just sit in the comfort zone, I have trained hard to sit in the ‘hurt locker.’ 
Race day arrived and I did something that was a bit unusual, I didn’t hang out with the Trifactri peeps before the race, which is what I usually do. I went onto the beach, had my music in my ears and zoned out. I did a 20 minute warm up run with drills and I was sweating before I even hit the start line. My mom said a prayer for me and it was time to push through the crowd to get to the front, where I started with Jade, Mark, Des, Guy and Chris. We saw Lucie on the side where she took a lekker photo of our big nervous smiles and then we were off!
​I haven’t had a good swim in a while but this one felt great, I came out the water in 29min, which I was super chuffed with, but no time to be happy just yet, it was the dreaded run on the beach to transition, oh yes and then the dreaded run to your bike, where you needed a bike to get to your bike. The bike was a lot harder than what I thought it would be, the head wind coming back was not so nice, but I stuck to my nutrition plan (which I don’t normally do) and it worked like a charm! A new feeling for me was coming off of the bike and starting the run where there were hardly any athletes on the run yet, most of the supporters were still on the road for the cyclists and it was quite a new feeling! Now the run is the reason why I was so nervous before the race. Luc had been working me hard in training for it, because now it was time to race! The hurt locker became a real thing when previously I would back off, but now I wasn’t allowed to. I went onto the run with a guy named Mike, we ran together, pacing off each other for the first lap, Mike unfortunately got cramp and told me to keep going, I slowed down a little bit, which was probably a good thing because the machine #Desi ran up next to me on the last 8km of the run. Now I had to run with her and boy did she push me! It was really starting to hurt now and wow it was a good feeling! I thought I was going to just collapse to the floor with 3km to go, I kept the same pace, but Desi just got faster and went on to dominate, what a champ. I can’t actually describe the feeling that I had in those last 3km, but the hurt locker was real and amazingly enough I could still push and finish strong! My last 3km were my fastest in the run and I crossed the line in a run time of 1:45 and an overall time of 5:09 (PB by 11 minutes). My legs we finished, I collapsed at the finish line, they put me onto a stretcher just to lie down for a bit. I had tears of happiness.
Looking back on the race, the support was beyond this world. Sorry guys that I showed no facial expression what so ever, but I promise you it helps like you can’t believe, knowing that your team mates, family and friends are cheering you and everyone else on is something we look forward to. You guys are incredible!! Watching all the Trifactri athletes race is amazing, seeing Audrey have the most fun ever, watching Robsie getting a sub 2 hour half marathon, seeing all my athletes push through the pain with smiles on their faces and watching every single Trifactri athlete support each other out there! Everyone has their own goal and is pushing their own limits. I couldn’t walk to save my life for the next 2/3 days, but man, it was worth every second! A massive thank you to Lucie for the amazing support and the tough love before the race to get my head in the game.
Yes hard work does pay off, but you have to believe that you are stronger than you are and that you can push your body a lot further than what you think! It took me a few years to figure this out, but it finally clicked and in the end, for me, it was all a mental game!  
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