To the outside world, it may look as if I have everything together by working as a midwife three days a week, caring for Hayley and remaining happily married whilst training for a mountain bike 24-hour bike race. This has not come without its challenges and difficulties.
Since Hayley went into daycare a year ago we have both been sick with gastroenteritis (numerous times), colds, coughs, glandular fever (both), bronchitis, tonsillitis (currently I have this again and will most likely miss my mountain bike marathon race on Sunday), pharyngitis to name a few. I fractured T4 (upper spine) last July by crashing awkwardly luckily this appears to have healed with no ill effects. I also had a very lucky escape when a wallaby jumped out at me on a road descent on my mountain bike at 55km/hr. I managed to not knock myself out but had a mild concussion and I will always have the scars to show. The Rocky mountain bike showed it was indestructible. The poor Wallaby did not survive the ordeal.
I raced at a 24-hour mountain bike race at Hidden Vale (West of Ipswich QLD) in April - Tom cared for Hayley whilst I was racing I stopped for a couple of hours overnight and ended the race early. I won the race and this fuelled my passion for continuing with 24-hour mountain bike racing and to see where this may lead me. Incidentally, I raced the 24-hour mountain bike race the year previously when Hayley was 3 months old with no training and stopping every 2 hours to breastfeed Hayley I stopped overnight and did a couple of hours the next morning. I decided at this moment I would attend the National 24 hr mountain bike championships but I would do it properly as it's down in Canberra and enlist a coach.
A typical week for me in the run-up to the main 24-hour race kind of looks like this. It takes a massive amount of preparation, organisation and having a fantastic husband who supports my crazy ideas!
Monday: day off the bike - Tom drops Hayley at daycare at 7 am and I drive to work and collect at 3.30pm we then go home and walk the dog. Then its dinner, bath, and bed for Hayley we sit down for 30 minutes in the evening watching cartoons (Peter Rabbit and Fireman Sam) then tidy up. I do my yoga video and go to bed.
Tuesday: Start work in the city at 6 am so up at 4.20am drive to where I park my car then 20km cycle in doing efforts etc on the way. Cycle back to car pick Hayley up and home to walk the dog, the same routine as above.
Wednesday: Up at 3 am Gap Creek at 3.45am so 3-hour ride before Tom leaves for work at 7 am - if I'm lucky Hayley will nap so I can do the housework then we walk the dog and prepare for work on Thursday.
Thursday: same as Tuesday.
Friday: meet mountain bike group at 5.30am for an hour - may do some riding before. Then home by 7.15am to take Hayley so Tom can go to work.
Saturday: Road riding (up to 5 hours at a time) early start of 5 am to be back for Hayley swimming and family time. Also dependant on what is happening on Sunday.
Sunday: dependant on Saturday and If I chose to race or not.
Balancing work, family and training are challenging at the best of times but I love having another outlet for myself away from work and family life. The preparation and dedication to the sport are well worth it and I'm proud to be setting a good role model for Hayley. Hayley already shows an understanding of the sport and will regularly complain when she can't ride my bike. Hayley will pass me cycling clothes out my wardrobe and help me pump my bike tires. Tom brings Hayley to some of the longer races but is equally as happy to stay home and do father-daughter activities such going to the local koala sanctuary whilst I'm away for a couple of hours.