Monday, July 8, 2013

Happiest Place ON Earth

M Duffield after IM Port Mac Pic by Katy Duffield

The second of the Interview series ...Michelle Duffied. To the many at Exceed she does not need any introduction . She is on her way to Kona in October ( her second time) with Katy her sister and she has just won the Geralton marathon on the weekend. If there is one trait/thread that is common to all champions it is consistency and doing. When it is 2 or 3 degrees it does get tough .

In a short piece in the Aussie Triathlon Magazine is a section on Psychology and a piece by sports psychologist Matt Ahberg .
He states: " If you are competing in Triathlon , you have signed up for pain .Like it or not , it is the nature of the beast .So when your mind and body are telling you how much pain they are in , how do you respond? To be successful , you must respond by doing."

Full Name : Michelle Duffield

Age Group : 25-29/open

Profession: Riverpark Operations Officer at the Swan River Trust

Years in Profession: 2 Months

Brief Background: I'm from the 'hills' (sawyers valley).  I grew up in Sawyers Valley until I was 18, when the family moved to Victoria Park.
I started athletics when I was six and competed in middle distance events for 12 years. I also competed in equestrian, and participated in ballet, basketball and netball until my later high school years. 

When did you realize you’d been bitten by the triathlon bug?
After my first one. It was the first time in many years I had competed in sport, finished towards the back of the field, and loved every minute of it. After so many years in athletics, I'd learnt to put pressure on myself and expect to do well. It was refreshing to have no pressure, no win, but still have so much fun - something I'd lost from athletics a few years earlier.

picking her up her Kona Ticket at IM Port Macquarie 2013.Pic by Katy Duffield

Triathlon experience :

  1. 2004 - first triathlon. Womens only enticer. I spent a couple of seasons racing enticers and sprint before eventually trying Olympic distance in 2006.
  2. 2007 - first half ironman
  3. 2009 - World Sprint Age Group champion
  4. 2010 - first Ironman
  5. 2011 - Kona (20th in age group)
  6. 2013 - Port Macquarie (and Kona to come)  
Walk us through your active lifestyle.  What is an average day when you are training for an ironman
  1. 4:30am wake up
  2. 4:45am training (Mon & Fri - 1 hour run. Tues, Thurs - 2 hour bike. Wed - 1.25hr windtrainer)
  3. 7am work
  4. 3:30pm finish work
  5. 4pm training (Mon, Wed Fri - gym and swim squad. Tues and Thurs - run). Most nights I'm home around 7:30pm - just in time to wash, eat, pack for the next day and get to bed by 8:30pm.
  6. Sat is a 3:30am wake up. Long ride (5-7 hours) and a run off the bike (45min - 1hour).
  7. Sunday is rest day. amen!  

When taking on such an event , how do you maintain 
your balance of work, life and family? 

That's a tough one, and my boyfriend would probably say I 
don't do a very good job of it. It involves a lot of support from 
your family and friends who suffer too. Social events become 
very few and far between, and 'quality time' is usually reduced
to a 10 - 15 minute conversation while dinner is being prepared 
and eaten (not very 'quality'). Time management and planning 
is critical though. Half of my rest day is spent preparing for the 
next week (pre-making meals, laying out clothes for each session) 
and the other half is dedicated to 'catching up' with friend/family

How does an active physical lifestyle tie in to your work ?
I usually go straight from training to work and straight from work 
to training. I shower at work before I start, and I change into my 
sports gear before I leave. 

How many years did you train before you qualified for Kona? 

Well I was training for triathlon for 7 years, but my dedicated 
IM program was for 6 months, which secured me my kona ticket 
at my first attempt. 

Tell us about the one or a few inspirational moments of your 
Triathlon career.Are there any standout moments or memories or accomplishments you are most proud of? 

To be honest, it was watching Katy (my sister) racing IM Melbourne. 
I could not hold back the tears watching her come down that finish 
chute in 9hours 5 minutes to win her hard earned ticket to Kona. 
She deserved that more than anyone that day!

( Part 2 --Next Blog)

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