The harsh reality of sport
I am not going to the Olympics. I prepared as best as I could for the Olympic selection races, and after a good first race, where I finished fifth in a world cup standard field and the second Australian, it was still wide open as to who would earn the single place on the Olympic team for a female canoe slalom athlete. Unfortunately I didn’t back that up to the same standard at the second weekend of selection races. Well done to Jess Fox who did. She will be going to the Olympics and will do a great job representing Australia, I’m sure. Having been through this disappointment before, four years ago, I think perhaps I will move on quicker this time. But right now it still feels like I’ve had my heart and soul ripped out and stomped on. Ah well, life goes on…
The latest scoop
The silly season is done and dusted. For me, it is a period to enjoy the time with friends and family as I am away for five to sixth months of the year racing abroad. I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Christmas and New Year too! I kicked back with a beer or two and had a more relaxed attitude with my training. I managed to gradually increase my volume of training after returning to running from my injury setbacks. At the end of 2011 I was able to join up with the NSWIS crew and spend 10 days down at Falls Creek, Victoria training at 1700m – getting some altitude benefits. I was there for another three weeks in January doing the same but increasing my volume again. January is just a great month. One reason is that it is my birthday! I didn’t do too much other than spending some quality time with my family/friends and a nice dinner. This was all good preparation for the annual Australia Day Aquathon held in the picturesque Wollongong Harbour the next day. I was not expecting anything much from the race other than having fun and getting back to racing after a terrible two years with injury. I could have come last in the race but still would have had a smile on my face! But that result didn’t happen… I was in a sprint finish for the win with my good mate and training partner Aaron Royle. He managed to out sprint me but I was very excited with my result, a massive positive for the upcoming season. The next day I was travelling 12 hours in the car headed for the Gold Coast. I am up here for four weeks as a training partner for pre-selected 2012 Olympic triathlete Brad Kahlefeldt. This was arranged between my coach Jamie Turner and Triathlon Australia. I absolutely love it up here training with Brad! I am supposed to be helping him but I think I am getting the better deal out of this one, learning so much off a very professional athlete. It has been a very solid two weeks with base miles and some speed work as well. This is all putting me in good shape for the Mooloolaba triathlon on March 25. Until next time!
Small change, good result
I spent the last week of January in the North Island of New Zealand, preparing for the first international race of the year, the New Zealand Open. The trip was a good chance to take a break from my home course in Penrith, while still being able to train and practice my race routine. Although I wasn’t very happy with my result in K1 and the field in C1 barely existed, I still learned some valuable lessons that will pay off over the next few weeks in the Australian domestic season.
New year, new blog
Normally Christmas for the Lawrence sisters means a nostalgic but irritating ten hour drive north to our parents’ farm in Old Bonalbo where we grew up. While I was growing up this drive was made frequently by the whole family; five of us packed into the car between Old Bon and Sydney for weekends, holidays and sometimes a bit of time off school spent training at the Penrith Whitewater Stadium. At home for a week over Christmas we would do chin ups on the clothesline and paddle in small circles on our dam. Dad would always try and convince us that fixing the fences on the farm was the best cross training possible, and that we should do that too. This year has been a break from tradition, as we decided to welcome a new member of the family into the world in Sydney. My oldest sister Jacqui and her husband Torsten, both Beijing Olympians, have just had a tiny, beautiful baby girl, for whom the drive north would not have been very appealing. We enjoyed a lovely Christmas with our Aunty, Uncle and family near Sydney, swimming at the beach, in the pool, and eating (healthy) Christmas delights. Staying in Sydney for Christmas has worked out well for training, letting me spend less time travelling and more time on the whitewater. Summer always brings a horde of international paddlers to Penrith for training who are keen to avoid the icy conditions in Europe. It’s always interesting to watch how other nations train differently; some are more focused on technique, others on strength and fitness. Of course everybody’s training also depends on how much time there is before their selection races. For us Australians it’s now 40 days until our first Olympic selection race, and the excitement is definitely mounting! If anyone is interested in coming to watch, the races will be held on the 10th-12th of February (Australian Open) and the 24th-26th of February (Oceania Championships). More info will be on the Australian Canoeing event website later, http://www.slalom.canoe.org.au/. I hope you all have a fantastic start to 2012. For me the New Year will start with a 10am flight on the first to Tasmania, where the nationals will be held. I’ll update you next year on how the racing goes!