SUPER EXCITED ABOUT THE OLYMPICS
Colin hasn’t caught the running bug. He’s very active and loves jiu-jitsu and rugby but doesn’t see the attraction of running.
This doesn’t stop him from being very supportive of my running career though. He’s excited for me and the prospect of going to the Olympics.
I think, of all people, my venture into running has been the biggest adjustment for him. We’ve had a whole other life together where racing at weekends and early morning/evening training didn’t feature.
I can completely understand how daunting this outlook was for him, just months after having our first child. It took us a while to figure out a routine that worked for us both, one that was balanced and not one-sided and most importantly maintainable.
I often get asked how I manage to juggle being a mum, working fulltime and an elite running career. It’s tough. Really tough.
Sometimes I’m not sure how we get through but I love it with all my heart, so we make it work. We’re a little unlucky in that both sets of grandparents live in Ireland so we can’t lean on them for support. But my sister Grainne is living in Melbourne and she is amazing.
The boys adore her and she is a wonderful, generous and kind person, so we’re extremely lucky to have her in our lives.
My priorities are my kids, they come first no matter what and I put everything else into running and work. Beyond that, there’s no room for anything else. For now, the rest of life is on hold.
Eddie and Dara are at an age where they’re showing a real interest in my running. They’re super excited at the thought of going to the Olympics.
They’re very proud of their mum and it’s so heartwarming to see.
Eddie has come running with me a few times. Initially it was just so he could get a pair of my Nikes and some running gear but he really started to enjoy it. Dara loves coming too but I usually end up carrying him after a few 100 metres so that hasn’t been as frequent! He’s only five though, so plenty of time.
I THOUGHT IT WAS MY LAST CHANCE
I started training with Nic Bideau’s Melbourne Track Club early last year and I’ve improved immensely since then.
Nic has set up a wonderful training environment that gives us every opportunity to succeed. A lot of his athletes are often overseas at training camps or racing but Melbourne is the base and there’s always a good group of us here.
I’ve really enjoyed becoming part of the group. Everyone is there for the right reasons. They are driven, focused and have a strong self-belief and it’s a privilege to be part of that.
Nic is a very experienced coach and arguably one of the best in the world. He has worked with many of our greatest athletes – Benita Willis, Cathy Freeman, Craig Mottram, Kerryn McCann.
To have someone like Nic and his wife Sonia believe in you is very motivating. I also really like Nic as a person. He’s direct, honest and doesn’t pander to anyone, so you always know where you stand. He loves a bit of banter too, so is a good laugh!
Making the Olympic team would be a dream come true for me. It may not have been a childhood one, but that doesn’t make it any less significant.
I missed out on an opportunity for Rio in 2016 because I was injured. It was devastating for me, especially because I thought it was my last chance.
For a moment, I believed the whispers that I was too old to make it. But here I am, almost four years later with the fastest qualified marathon time for the Aussie team and a real chance of making it to Tokyo.
If there’s anything I’ve learned from this experience, it’s that you should never let others decide your fate. Don’t be limited by the restrictions society places on you just because ‘this is the way it’s always been’. Challenge social norms.
Who knows better than you what you are capable of? No one. Back yourself.