Kirsty Graham

Ironwoman Kirsty shares why Port Macquarie was her best race ever, what keeps her motivated and even when life begins.

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How was your first Ironman in Port Macquarie?

Loved it. I had amazing friends and family who cheered me on and celebrated the finish.

There were so many MPers on the course doing 70.3 and the Ironman – the support was incredible. It was great to see so many doing their first Ironman event and hear the war stories afterwards.

My goal time was 12 hrs and I had talked myself out of being disappointed if I didn’t get 12 hrs during the race because I broke the breaks on my bike during T1 and spent what felt like eternity with Shimano whilst they fixed them. It wasn’t until I crossed the line that I was told that I had achieved my goal – 11 hrs and 59 mins and 57 secs.

What was your first tri? And how did your performance compare to now?

My first tri was Tri the Gong in 2012. I was so unprepared for the 300 metre swim. I could swim 1 km in the pool and went out hard knowing it was only 300 metres. I rounded the first buoy and all I could see were arms and legs everywhere. I had people on top of me and there was nowhere to go. This was nothing like a high school swim carnival. Whilst I was breast stroking to the second buoy I was wishing for lane ropes and the black line to provide some order to this chaos. I knew people on the beach watching so I pulled myself together and swam to the shore.

I still struggle with ocean swimming and I am very happy when I have ‘survived it’ and moved on to the bike.

What was your best race?

Port Mac Ironman. It’s hard to top that.

What do you put these significant improvements down to?

Seven months of training and surviving Melbourne Challenge – it was one tough race with a storm front that came through at the start of the race with gale force winds that cause messy choppy conditions in the swim and gust of wind that nearly pushed you off the bike.

Lessons learnt?:

Nutrition is important – as someone who can’t stomach gels and doesn’t enjoy eating on the bike or whilst running I have had to find ways to get nutrition in.

As Danny and Phil say – Consistent Training is Key.

What’s your favourite meal pre-race?

Banana, protein shake and paleo bar.

What are your nutrition tips during a race?

Try new things to determine what works and know how to adjust your nutrition for the different conditions. I started to cramp on the bike in Port Mac IM and I am so grateful to Amanda Clark (AC) who handed me some salt tablets just before the race.

How do you keep motivated to get up at 5am or finish a gruelling set?

The challenge of doing an Ironman got me out of bed. Having a coach and a training partner (AC) to be accountable to got me through the session and having AC and other MPers to train with made it enjoyable.

If it was gruelling I had AC and other MPers to kept me going.

Kirsty_AC

What is your favourite ride, run or swim?

I love the run. You have survived the swim, punched through the ride and you are so close to the end. You see your team mates on the course and get to high five the supporters.

Have you had to overcome any injuries and how did you do it?:

I struggled with fatigue and sore muscles. I had regular treatments form Paula to keep any niggles at bay and a great massage therapist Ross McNeil at Hunter Health to help with the tired and sore muscles.

Memorable quote/catchphrase:

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Why do you like training with Danny / Moore Performance squad?

It’s a great, fun group who motivate you to train and make it fun.

Which athletes inspire you?

It was Debi Hazelden who encouraged me to do my first Half Ironman and I am inspired by her achievements.

I am lucky to have a superstar training partner who motivates and inspires me with her dedication and commitment to training and makes it a lot of fun

I have met Chrissy Wellington and read her book. Chrissy is lovely and inspiring with what she has achieved including a 4th World Championship with injuries following an accident.

What you like to do for post-race celebrations?

I have had more time to catch up with family and friends.

I had to put sailing on the back burner whilst training for Port Mac Ironman so I have enjoyed getting involved in the Winter Series racing.

It’s been nice to sleep in and do coffee training.

What’s your ideal weekend?

To have brunch after a long ride, catch up with friends and then sail on a Sunday.

If you could be anywhere right now in the world where would that be?

I love my life in Sydney however if I wasn’t here I would be on a  beach in Tulum Mexico, Skiing at Meribel  or shopping in New York.

Kirsty_sailing

CategoryProfiled Athlete
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