Next week its International Womens day, and a number of our lady members have recently been on the comeback trail after having little ones, so we thought we would catch up with two of our members and find out how they do it. Alison Keetly is our wonderful new member liaison committee member, fielding questions from new and potential new members and is doing an awesome job welcoming people to the club (Thanks Alison !). Dani Matthews has recently returned to full time work leaving coach Waino on Daddy Day care duties / full time triathlon training, Dani has some amazing insights to share here and on her blog.
BTC - So you are a BTC Super mum, how old are your kid(s) ?
Alison - Emma is now 6 months old
Dani - Why you're so kind :) Baby Ethan is now 10 months old
BTC - Are you back training and racing yet?
Alison - I do what I can. Husky sprint tri was my first “race". The aim was to enjoy the day and get to the finish line. I want Emma to grow up knowing that exercise is normal. Seeing both her Dad AND and her Mum race is important to me.
Dani - Yep I've raced two of the club races and Husky sprint.
BTC - How have you managed getting back into training after a baby?
Alison - The wind trainer is the best thing. It allows me to do some exercise whilst Emma is sleeping or on the floor next to me. I’m not sure what I will do when she can move! Maybe put me and the bike in a play pen?
Dani - Gradually not rushing into too much too soon. At the core of my training have been yoga and pilates to rebuild core strength. I call my training opportunistic and have been fortunate to have an awesome network of babysitters in the club including Ethan's girlfriend Bri. Now I'm back at work it's actually easier as I have lunchtimes when I can train uninterrupted :-)
BTC - Whats the most challenging part of managing triathlon training with family life ?
Alison - The challenge is juggling Rich’s training with mine. We used to really enjoy running and training together. Now it is a bit of a tag team or we alternate days running or on the trainer. I am very fortunate that Richard understands that running is important to me, so he goes to work a bit later on Tuesdays so I can have a run and he comes home from work on Thursdays in time for me to get to track.
Dani - The balance of quality time with the family and making time for yourself whilst choosing not to feel guilty as I wrote about in a blog
BTC - How have your sporting goals changed since having little ones?
Alison - don’t really have sporting goals, though I thoroughly enjoyed having achieved something for me.
Dani - My perspective now is more about having fun and enjoying every moment of racing. I feel grateful to get that time for myself and am smiling more out there on course.
BTC - You both raced in the Husky Sprint, how did you go ?
Alison - I was happy with my time - though it was 2 mins slower than last year when I was 12 weeks pregnant! I attribute that to the non wetsuit swim! I was so happy after the race - I didn’t expect the elated feeling as this wasn’t my first tri or a new distance.
Dani - Surprisingly well, I felt strong and finished 8th in my age group. I've heard you can come back stronger after childbirth and certainly feel that could be true:)
BTC - Do you have any other races planned this season ?
Alison - I am organising a group of Mums and Dads to do the Mosman Park run - that way we can take turns running and looking after the babies. I am also trying to organise things so we can get to club champs.
Dani - After enjoying a few hit outs I think I'll enter club champs and maybe do a couple of fun runs like the Mini Mos. I'm really enjoying the community events with 'embracing community' one of my lessons learnt on maternity leave
BTC - What drives you to keep training and racing despite having so much on your plate with a new bub?
Alison - I enjoy the time alone. The first time I went out for a run after having Emma was a bit strange as I was used to having her with me all day.
Dani - As an inspiration for Ethan, both Owain and I feel that if we give up what we love we're not the same people who brought little Ethan into the world, we want him to know us as our best, most fulfilled selves. Through the BTC community Ethan has a wonderful network of role models as he grows up.
BTC - Whats the best thing about being part of Balmoral Tri Club ?
Alison - I value the support and friendship, but also the advice from other Mums. As I am home by myself all day - I now really enjoy the track session on Thursday as I can have a chat.
Dani - An extended family. Having emigrated from the UK almost 5 years ago, the BTC community has been our home away from home. Watching how the community has embraced Ethan has been extremely humbling.
BTC - What tips and advice do you have for new mums that may be considering joining a tri club or getting back into racing ?
Alison - Do what you can squeeze in - I used to prefer to exercise in the morning, but I’ll take what I can get now. Have a bit of a training plan, as simple as run on Tuesday, windtrainer on Wednesday - but don’t stress if something out of your control prevents you training or having breaks to settle the baby.
Dani - Just do it! Don't over think things or take it too seriously, just jump in and have some fun racing, knowing your body and its limits.
BTC - Do you have some workouts/training tips where you incorporate training time and kid time ?
Alison - Living around our area is great. Emma and I are rarely in the car as we can walk everywhere. I have used the creche at North Sydney pool a few times and found an outdoor training group that allows babies to attend. As mentioned before - the windtrainer has been fabulous and Emma enjoys me doing some yoga on the floor next to her
Dani - Early on mums and bub's groups are great- I did yoga and circuits (with BTC's lovely Catherine Bethal). Now Ethan's more mobile we have a awesome pram patrol gang who tag team so both Owain and I can get to some sessions. Embrace community!
Both Dani and Alison are amazing members of our wonderful club, helping out, volunteering and welcoming new members. Thanks for everything you do ladies, and its great to see you both back training and racing.