OSMO checked in with Pro Triathlete Emma-Kate Lidbury and got her to share some of what happened during her recent 20 days of world travel, racing and adventures……
It has been a fun and frantic time on Planet Eccles in the past few weeks, with two races in the space of a week plus some serious globetrotting. Us pro triathletes are almost as good at totting up airmiles as we are swim, bike, run miles!
I kicked off September with the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Mont Tremblant, Quebec. What a terrific venue for a race! This was always going to be a barnburner of a race and it did not disappoint.
As I’ve previously mentioned on the Osmo blog, this season has been a challenging one for me with injuries and illness sidelining me for longer than anyone would have liked, so in many ways I was simply proud to be on the start line at the Worlds. I prepared as best I could and was proud of my effort on the day. Finishing 17th was obviously not the result I am truly capable of or working towards, but if I’ve learned anything this year it’s that sometimes it’s the journey that counts, not the end result.
Less than 48 hours after racing in Quebec I was jetting to China for IMG’s Beijing International Triathlon. This was the third year the race had been held and each year IMG invites a dozen pros – six men, six women – to take part alongside the age group race.
Having spent plenty of time travelling in South East Asia in my twenties, I thought I had a fair idea of what to expect from China. This would be my first visit and I went with eyes wide open ready for a new adventure. Of course, the first part of the adventure was the epic journey in itself: a 90-minute drive from Mont Tremblant to Montreal, a 90-minute flight from Montreal to Toronto and then a 13-hour flight from Toronto to Beijing in which I would fast forward 12 hours due to time zone changes.
On arrival in Beijing I was a true space cadet and it must have said something about my level of fatigue that I was able to nod off during the hour-long taxi ride from the airport to our hotel. Perhaps the fact it was dark helped disguise the crazy driving that goes on here! Imagine Scaletrix at warp speed and you begin to get a grasp of the death-defying madness. It would only be in daylight in the ensuing days that I would begin to get a real taste for the anarchy on the roads. Red traffic light? That’s but a mere suggestion, no need to actually stop!
The longer we spent in Beijing the more I realized it is a place of controlled chaos – everything works, everything eventually unfolds as it should, but it all happens with a crazy, fierce and boisterous intensity. The gulf between rich and poor is vast, greater than in any other country I’ve visited and Westerners still intrigue and amaze the Chinese. I’ve never been in so many selfies or been gawped at quite so intensely while running or riding. I guess a 5ft 10 suntanned Westerner in run kit stands out a little!
The race itself was a fun affair – especially as I was the only long distance race surrounded by ITU specialists. My fast twitch muscle fibres have been AWOL for many years now, so it was definitely a two-hour pain management exercise! The bike and run courses were brutal and much of the bike course had been built specifically for this race. I finished 5th and definitely knew it was time for some R&R after an intense week of racing and travel.
Our final day saw us venture to the Great Wall of China – a place that has always been on my bucket list. It was a brutally hot day and we were all suffering with race-battered legs, which made all the Great Wall steps that much more intense! I was definitely grateful to be carrying plenty of Osmo Active Hydration sachets with me, because as the mercury climbed and there was nowhere to hide from the heat I could feel my body beginning to wither. Hydration is most definitely power!
I was very glad I consulted with Osmo boffin Dr Stacy Sims before flying back to LA as I was keen to mitigate the effects of jetlag on my return trip. I’m always very diligent about staying hydrated while flying, but she also had me eating almost only protein throughout the flight and drinking plenty of Osmo Acute Recovery (which is a 15g protein hit per scoop).
For the first 48 hours back home, I also kept my sunnies off and spent as long as possible in the sunshine to try to trick my body back into LA time. Given that I flew for 17 hours from Beijing back to LA and technically landed only one hour after taking off (!), I have to say the tips worked wonders. I hit the ground running on my return and am now gearing up for my final race of the season, Challenge Rancho Cordova in northern California on October 5.
I’ll be back with news from that race in a couple of weeks!