March is always a busy time for Australian athletes and this year is no exception, which is strange because this is a post -Paralympic year where things are meant to be a little bit quieter, but sport has changed.
Due to racing in an international sport, Australian track athletes have two seasons. We have to race well during our summer to get the funding or team selection to be able to race internationally during our winter, in the lead up to major international events.
March started with a full calendar of four weekends straight, starting with two days at Victorian state championships.
Week two was a short trip to Sydney on Saturday afternoon for an 8pm 800m race at the Sydney track classic, followed by a 6am flight departure back to Melbourne in the attempt to make the start line for a 10km road race at 9am.
Week three saw a four day flying visit to the USA for the LA Marathon, which saw me arrive Thursday, racing Sunday morning, with a late Sunday night flight back home.
Week four saw a 14km fun run in Melbourne.
Life of an athlete! When things are busy they are super busy, but it’s a great life and so many great opportunities that I wouldn’t swap for anything.
I am very lucky to be in a wheelchair - as I believe I wouldn’t have had these opportunities otherwise.
But with such a hard schedule it does take a toll on the body, but the good news is that there is so much you can do to give yourself the very best chances.
When you have a schedule like this, you prepare fully for it. Do the correct training, full warm ups and cool downs, ice baths, which every athlete loves, but they do help and it’s worth the short term pain of 10 mins in the ice bath to be able to train hard the next day or recover from a tough marathon.
Athletes have to look at everything - not just on the track, but off it as well. They have to look at their nutrition and hydration, and to make sure they are sleeping correctly and are getting enough sleep to help the body recover.
All the little things make a huge difference, even if they seem like they don’t or don’t seem worth the effort. Just that one little thing can make the difference between winning and coming 8th.
So, til next time, keep chasing your dream as I continue the search around the world for the Dream Roll.