There are two questions on my mind as I sit down to write my first blog for Runners Tribe. Having just heard that outside temperature has reached 40 degrees and is expected to hit 44 tomorrow, I am trying to figure out the best time to train today and wondering WHY on earth I decided to settle back into a routine at home over the January period instead of going to Falls Creek? I now remember why we usually avoid the middle of Adelaide’s Summer!

This time last year marked a special time in my running career. Along with other members of my running team in Adelaide (Team Tempo), my coach (Adam Didyk) and my boyfriend (Matt), I made the journey to one of Australia’s best training camp destinations, Falls Creek. Over the past three Summers I have spent 2-3 weeks at Falls Creek and I have to say these have been some of my favourite experiences. Having opportunities to train in the company of other enthusiastic athletes every day, relax between training sessions away from the normal work routine, plunge (or reluctantly dip in my case) into the icy-cold aqueducts for recovery and to admire beautiful landscapes whilst on the run are unique and invaluable. Last January was particularly special for me because it marked the start of a new phase of training in preparation for my first marathon, planned for March. Whilst the higher mileage and some longer sessions left me feeling like a sloth on some days and the tin-man in need of oil on others, the training environment at Falls Creek helped me to adjust to the new progressions and I quickly learnt to really enjoy this type of training.

Following my marathon debut, I was honoured to gain selection in the Australian team to compete at the London Olympic Games for this event. Reflecting on this experience and last year as whole, I think I can safely say that I learnt more about myself and running in 2012 than I had in any other year before-hand. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to develop both physically and mentally to handle new pressures and competition standards, to have formed and strengthened support networks, to have witnessed some of the best sporting moments at the Olympics but also some of the disappointments and challenges of high-level sport and to have been inspired by so many people. Re-focussing after London was more challenging than I had anticipated and I was relieved to finally get back into a regular training routine and compete in my first race since August, the Zatopek 10,000m. This event is always one of my favourites and on the bright blue Lakeside track in December, last year’s Zatopek proved to be no different. I was happy to get back on the track and into racing again, ready for the Summer season ahead.

My aims going into this year are to develop my speed over the middle-distance on the track in the Summer and to continue gradually building my training whilst achieving consistency, quality and of course, enjoyment! I am hoping that this will lead to improvement in the longer distance events, such as the marathon and will take me closer towards achieving my ultimate running goals! On that note, best wishes for 2013, happy training and happy New Year!