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Annah Watkinson - Kona Dreams

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Annah has been in a lot of pain pre and post surgery and obviously her recovery has taken priority. Her perseverence, determination and sheer will power is driving her forward and she will be on the side lines in Kona, cheering everyone else on and experiencing this amazing event. 

We have nothing but admiration and respect for you Annah -  Your goal has simply been moved forward, but you will still achieve it. 

Annah comments:

 "The last two weeks have been an extract of a nightmare for me...training for 'Kona' I have had my eye on this goal the whole year. Making certain sacrifices to not only get there but give myself the chance to be a contender. I couldn't wait (and also could) being so lucky having 4 of my best friends to come and support and be there for me. When I had my crash and broke my collar bone two weeks ago I was convinced it was not going to stop me and I would still get to race. Having many sleepless nights and still with pain (I keep wondering how there, for the life of me, can still be pain) I have made the difficult decision of pulling out of the race. To race in pain from start to finish and what would certainly be a dismal performance if I was even able to get to the end.

Reading all the post's of the various triathletes already in Kona or on their way has been inspiring - I hope all their dreams come true.

At this stage this has been a heart breaking decision for me but I hope to be able to go back and race the way I want to and the way it should be raced with everything I have!

Thank you to all the support along the way! To my friends who have backed me all these months, to coach who although we've just starting our relationship have had great success already, to concept cyclery - the beautiful black Betty will soon be shown off in the next up coming races thank you for putting her back together! ?#?TeamTissink? ?#?ithappensforareason?"

Annah's Pre -Accident blog:

"When Natalie requested that I write a blog for this newsletter I quickly responded "For sure” without giving too much thought as to what it would require. I am generally an outgoing person but when it comes to my personal goals for racing I prefer to fly under the radar and keep my mouth shut.

 An Ironman race is a long one. You plan for the race and (hopefully) for all eventualities. Hoping for the best day of your life you cannot wait for the last eight seconds, which is ultimately the reason I race. That being said, I still prefer training to racing. Racing is just far too scary.

 It was with this in mind that I pondered the answers to the following questions?

How is the training going?

·        What are your hopes for Kona?

·      What are your post Kona plans? (Weeeeell that’s an easy one – a couple of margaritas and beach baby!!)

How is the training going?

With such a short time to go until race day I am in the place where I interrogate every bit of training I am doing with the usual question: "Am I doing enough and have I done enough?”

In my last blog for Tissink Academy I said that I was putting my trust in Raynard completely. I want to reiterate that here. I am giving him and the plan all of my trust. While Raynard’s training plan is based entirely on my goals for the race it will ultimately come down to execution on the day.

As I said before I ‘heart’ training over racing – yes please! I love the fact that every morning we get to wake up and do what we choose to do. Not because we have to but because we love it. The other day I got half way down the road on my bike and, feeling the early morning wind in my hair, I realised that I’d forgotten my helmet at home and had to quickly turn back#rookieerror. The point is that getting up and training; training after work and being what I call an "urban ninja warrior” is tough but rewarding. The reward isn’t just for race day though. For me it’s every day. I walk into work with a spring in my step and a smile on my face knowing that I have already accomplished a ride, a swim or a run - whichever it may be.

Nevertheless, I have to admit that training has not always been executed exactly as I would have liked. While it is on track overall, that little devil on my shoulder keeps asking: "Am I doing enough and have I done enough?”

What are my hopes for Kona?

I have to start by saying that I am probably one of the luckiest people right now. Four (yes, four!!) of my best girlfriends will be coming to Kona to support me. Of course, the fact that the race is in Hawaii may have something to do with that and while I’m bleeding from my eyeballs they will probably be sipping Mai Tai’s, getting a tan and watching Faris Al Sultan in his speedo (I am sure)…

What are my hopes? Well this is always a conundrum for me. I for one feel the pressure to underplay my goals in order to manage expectations, and indeed perceptions. However, my goal is simple. I want to win (at least my age group). I want to win so badly that it’s always on my mind. I imagine crossing the line with the SA flag overhead and my friends shouting from the side. It gets me quite emotional and I am not an exceptionally emotional person so this is at odds with me.

 Having said all of this, and really putting myself out there, I am also realistic. I understand that the best of the best will be at Kona. I have seen the bodies, I have seen the times and I have heard the stories. I also know that my chosen career (Investment Banker at your service – interested in issuing a convertible bond? Maybe a little equity backed finance? No? Let’s hedge your ESOP scheme for you) demands long hours and on-going excellence with little patience for errors and even less time for rest. That’s not exactly conducive to a first-time win (or any-time win for that matter). BUT – this is my goal, this is what I want, this is what I am working towards and we will find out the result on 11 October 2014. Cross your fingers and hold thumbs for me…pretty please with a cherry on top.

Post Kona plans?

Well with the awesome foursome around the first thing I am planning after Kona is a little vacation. Some sun, a little tan and a lot of relaxing! However, I am sure most people are more interested in what my next races will be – far more interesting! So here they are:

 Double Century (Mixed Team)

·         Ironman 70.3 South Africa

·         Ironman Melbourne

·         Ironman South Africa

 A discussion with the coach man on what comes after that will no doubt take place after Kona. At this point Kona is all consuming!

 Last words

We have some awesome SA athletes going to Kona and knowing myself, and the little I know of them, they aren’t going there for a ‘box ticking’ exercise (cue my friend who tells me this is a little phrase I have become very fond of …sorry Kellski had to). So, good luck to all of you. May all your dreams come true on race day, unless those are to beat me J Otherwise, just go and SMASH it in its face!"

 

 

 

 

 

Annah Watkinson - Race Report IM Brazil 2017

After a great first year racing in the professional category in 2016, I was amped for the 2017 season. Feeling stronger and fitter and more in the "right head space" - I had done some great training over December spending many many many (and many more) hours on the bike - I loved it. My swim was starting to click, I was starting to understand the phrase "feel the water", and my running was strong

READ ONAnnah Watkinson - Race Report IM Brazil 2017
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