A test for the Voice's Vanessa Ng
PREPARING mind and body has been a way of life for Vanessa Ng this year.
And both have culminated this weekend.
The 38-year-old Sunshine Coast podiatrist sat an exam yesterday for a graduate diploma in podiatric therapeutics at QUT.
Tomorrow she tackles the hardest one-day sporting event in Cairns to become an Ironman.
Vanessa joins fellow Ironman rookies Ruth D'Hennin, Janeene Mansey, Paula Free and Gaye Ottogalli who are part of the Atlas Multisports crew and a massive Coast contingent making the trek to Cairns for the annual event.
Training for the Ironman has been a measured approach for Vanessa who started triathlon about three years ago on the advice of her physio after previously focusing her energy on running.
She only took that up to understand her running clients better, but has quickly embraced the tri-sport.
Since then Vanessa has completed a range of sprint and Olympic-distance events, but over the past year stepped up to long-course racing.
"The last half in Cairns I was standing at the finish line watching all the fulls go over … it was just amazing," she said.
"The year before I did the 70.3 as part of a team.
"It was then I thought 'oh I want to do a half'.
"Because you are watching all your peers doing that you think 'it's so amazing I want to do that', and you just start stepping it up each year."
Training for up to 20 hours a week, Vanessa said like most athletes the greatest challenge had been finding time in her schedule.
Her preparation has included an intense eight-week training block after she fell off her bike leading up to the Mooloolaba triathlon and suffered some stomach muscle injuries.
With the support of her husband Adam Baker she has embraced the battles which come part-and-parcel with getting to the start line.
"You learn to be comfortable with yourself," Vanessa said.
"You have your six-hour rides and you have your mental ups and downs.
"It's about learning how to manage that because you won't be riding with your friends while you are racing.
"It definitely builds character.
"If I were to interview staff and I knew they had done an Ironman it would definitely give me a different view on the type of person they are."
Being her first Ironman, Vanessa said she was just looking forward to the experience and is not placing herself under pressure to meet a goal time.
What is Ironman?
A 3.8km swim, 180km ride and 42.2km run.
Monday: 1.5hr swim about 3.5km swim, possible afternoon run.
Tuesday: 2.5hr bike session and 30 min run.
Wednesday: 1hr swim and 1hr run.
Thursday: 1hr bike and afternoon run, afternoon run.
Friday: Swim 1.5hr swim about 3.5km swim.
Saturday: Ride up to 6hrs, 30min run. 2km swim.
Sunday: Long run, two hours.