As the 4-week mark of my overseas adventure approaches, I took some time to reflect on all that I have managed to achieve in just one month; two races, three countries and a new ‘home’ to be exact.
This time last month, I boarded a plane bound for Chizhou, China to race in a Premium Asian Continental Cup. Chizhou was an amazing place and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, but, from a performance point of view, I left China extremely dissatisfied. I definitely didn’t have the day I wanted, finishing in 4th position. However, it was great to see two other Aussie girls in first and second on the podium. No matter how disappointed I was though, I knew that I had just one week until I got another opportunity to race.
Next stop was Dunkerque, France, to race for my French team, Tri St Amand-Dun 18. I knew it was going to be a long journey from China to France, but I didn’t quite realize that it would take 72 hours! Between the cancelled flights and weather delays, I quite possibly could have ridden my bike there faster! Thank goodness that when it comes to travel agents, I have the best in the business on my side, thanks a bunch Cam and Scott from Business Jet. I would probably be writing this blog from a Chinese airport if it weren’t for them. Anyway, after flying, training and bussing my way across countries and time zones, I arrived safely in Dunkerque with all my luggage in toe. For anyone who has ever travelled with a suitcase, backpack, bike bag and wheel bag, you would understand my relief. I was lucky enough to have 5 days in Dunkerque before the race, to settle in and get some training done. The 10 degree weather wasn’t all that appealing though and meant a lot of time sitting in my room in front of the heater. Unfortunately, two days before the race I came down with a chest infection. Two days isn’t exactly enough time for antibiotics to take their toll so I knew that the race was going to be a fight just to see the finish line. I obviously survived though, and did the best I could considering the situation. Our team ended up finishing in 10th place so we were rapt.
Next stop was Vitoria, Spain, my ‘second home’ I guess you could say. This is where I will be based for the next 4 months, coming and going depending upon my race schedule. Once I had settled in and made myself at home in my apartment, it was time to get into some decent swimming training. Before I could begin any cycling or running, I had to get a small niggle in my foot, resulting from my race in France, scanned and checked out. It was cleared of anything too serious though and some cortisone was injected into the joint. And that is where I pick up the story, currently sitting with my foot in a bucket of iced water, eagerly waiting to get back into training tomorrow. Having to rest my foot wasn’t completely terrible though as it meant I was able to head to Madrid to watch the World Triathlon Series race last weekend. Was such a great experience and I can’t wait to get out there myself very soon.
My next race will be St Jean de Mont, France on 22nd June. Until then, I will be getting stuck into training here in Vitoria and awaiting the arrival of coach Warwick and my teammates next week! For more photos and updates, be sure to check out my Facebook Fan Page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ellie-Salthouse/387421924634161?ref=hl. Stay tuned!!