Everything hurts… and I’m dying.

I’m excited to report that I survived. That’s right. I survived my first official weekend as AT roving reporter/deputy editor at an Ironman event – Ironman Western Australia, set in the beautiful Busselton.

While athletes spent the better part of the day, and possibly the night, last Sunday in forward motion, I got to run around the course taking pictures and shadowing  AT mag editor Aimee. I even risked hay fever (so brave, right!) at one point, trying to be all pro taking ‘grass shots’. Yup! Total pro photographer now! Ha! … If only the photos weren’t blurry.

It was a fun weekend, and I learnt a lot! For example, I learnt that it’s hard and not quite ‘The Devil Wears Prada’-glamorous being media at an Ironman event.

The day starts in the early hours of the morning (normal) but doesn’t end (and this bit is new) until thousands of images are done, galleries posted and reports are written. This means we’re still working into the early hours of the next morning. You have major media #FOMO now, right?

There is no after-party or relaxing with a cold, happy drink by the pool the next day. There is no sleep in. It’s get the work done as fast as humanly possible. Then, it’s up early the next day to pack, drive to the airport, fly home to get to work the next day because there’s a print deadline looming. It’s actually a lot of hard work ‘taking pictures and writing stories’ – but I absolutely loved it, and I’m so thrilled I got to go!

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The kicker for me has been trying to fit last minute, pre-race, training in amidst the madness. And I’m not complaining because, I’ll be honest, getting to do my last long run before Ironman 70.3 Ballarat (on this Sunday! BRING IT!) along the beautiful coast of Busselton was pretty bloody brilliant. But the travel, mixed with race day/work stressors has been, well… challenging.

I came back to work this week pretending (wanting) to be perky while, really, feeling like a zombie.

Aimee: “Margs, you look so tired.”

Me: “Nah, I’m fresh!”

Little Miss Energiser Bunny was gone and replaced by Little Miss I’m-Losing-My-Sh*t! OK, OK…. I know what you’re thinking, a bit over dramatic, right? … But I was exhausted! Like, whole-body tired where everything hurts and it feels like you’re dying!

I felt so tired and emotional that I even sent my coach a message that goes a little something like this: “Hey coach! Feeling so exhausted post IMWA (*insert cross-eyes emoji here*) and a bit worried about Ballarat. Unless there’s a miracle, don’t think it’ll be pretty.” Yikes! Drama Queen much? Thankfully my coach is amazing and she got me back on track.

But all of this has meant that every training session this week has felt much harder than it normally would/should. For example, I felt like Stompy the Elephant during my taper runs this week. Did someone mysteriously insert lead into legs? And swimming has felt more like just trying not to drown. Actually, that bit is not unusual, that’s how I normally swim. When my swim coach asked me how I felt about Sunday, my response was:  “Oh geez, judging by your facial expression, I think I might drown!” Haha!

It’s been a bit of a battle getting through this taper week, with everything else I have going on. I’ve got no real expectations/goals for the race – except I don’t want to walk during the run. Permission to yell at me if you see me walking.

I’m looking forward to it. Inspired by everyone that raced last Sunday, I’m looking forward to being on the other side this weekend – I’m excited about being the one in forward motion!

So, BRING. IT. ON! Yeah, yeah, watch out F30-34 age group! Ha! Just kidding. I’m no threat … No, really. I’m not!

Ironman 70.3 Ballarat here we come.

Margy Margs x

Image credit: Rod Marton

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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