A Look Back

It’s just over a week until my first race of the season – the half iron distance event at Challenge Melbourne on Sunday, 22 April 2018. I’ve officially hit taper (‘oh hi there, taper town!’) and I’m starting to get a little bit nervous and a whole lotta ancy but mostly excited – I’m excited about having a hit out and to see where all the training I’ve been doing has gotten me so far. This is the first race of a few I’ve got coming up (#wannabeprolyf) in the lead up to the big one – the Ironman 70.3 World Championships.

Officially arriving in taper town has also got me all nostalgic and thinking about the last few months that were. So here it is – a quick look back …

To start – since my last race (Ironman 70.3 WA) I haven’t really skipped a beat in training. Training has been my outlet – kind of like my escape from other things going on and for the first time since I started in this crazy sport (just over 8 years ago) I’ve been more consistent than ever.

My training focus has been fun – tick; consistency – tick; improvement – every day/week/month – tick. My goal has been to put in my best effort in training and to work hard, and to follow my program; to basically do as coach says. And for the most part, I think I’ve achieved everything I’ve set out to do so far.

Also, without jinxing myself, after all the issues with my skin in the lead up to Busso last year, my aim has also been to stay healthy – tick, so far. One of the things I changed up has been my diet. A few months ago I decided to jump on the plant-based, vegan train (I’d read that it helps with allergies/eczema etc.) and it seems to be holding me together so far. Although I will admit, this dietary regime has become more a part-time thing of late … so many ‘LOL’ moments with this lately (*insert face-palm*).

Good times and tan lines: I did my last long ride along the GOR.

To stay on track and motivated with training, I’ve done things a little differently. With full permission from coach, I’ve incorporated a couple of new things into my training schedule, including my very first Crit race last month (so much fun and a great way to see where improvements need to be made on the bike … also standing on the top spot of the podium is seriously good for the ego – ha!). I also decided (last minute – sorry, coach!) to participate in the 5km fun run at the Mooloolaba Multisport Festival last month (I was up there for work). And, unexpectedly, I walked away from that event with a massive 5km PB under my belt. Plus I came 4th… I’ve never had a Top 5 finish. Like, ever! Beyond stoked! And yes, there were more than four people in my age category – ha! 🙂

Along the way, I’ve juggled training with travel (for work and also for training recently – there is something pretty special about stomping along the Great Ocean Road on your TT). I’ve juggled crazy early starts, traffic jams (I kid you not, somebody just has to sneeze on that freeway and we’re all at a standstill!) and weekends spent looking after my grandma (she’s such a little legend!). And for the most part, I’ve taken it all in stride.

It’s amazing what happens when you set a big goal and you find your why. Roadblocks become minor detours. Excuses fade. The impossible becomes possible. My mantra over the last few months has been – ‘How bad do you want it?’ And I want it. And – this is the new bit – I’m starting to think I can get it. I’m starting to think that just maybe, Margy Margs can achieve all her goals.

Lastly, someone recently said to me that success in this sport requires patience. Along with that, I’ve also discovered that success also requires humility – going slower now to be faster later. Be patient. Be humble. So, outside of running like a lunatic off the bike during a recent training session (3min/km pace was never going to last longer than 300metres – so many laughs!) my focus in training has been patience and humility – patience and humility during my runs, with swimming and on the bike. And by doing so, the results are starting to peak through. I feel fitter, stronger than before… and I’m hungry. Literally, somebody pass me some more popcorn – I cannot stop eating! Ha! No, I’m kidding … I’m hungry for success, whatever that may be.

So, I don’t really know what to expect next weekend. I’m sure I’ll be seriously nervous until that start gun goes off. And then it’ll be all about pacing myself, giving it my best out there and having the time of my life. Beyond that, we will see. But for now, Challenge Melbourne – I’m coming for ya!

See you on the start line!

~ Margy Margs

P.S If any of you see me run out of T2 next weekend, like a crazy person – please, please yell at me to SLOW. DOWN! Because it’s a big NO DEAL to 3min/km pace – ha!


Margaret Mielczarek

Margaret Mielczarek is the deputy editor at Australian Triathlete Magazine and writes the web series 'Shenanigans of a Deputy 2.0'. She is a passionate age-group triathlete and four-time Ironman finisher - currently in training for Ironman number five!

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