Journey to Ironman

By Laura Canning

My Activity Tracking

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I did it!

I completed the Ironman on the 12th of June and it was the most incredible experience of my life. The swim (3.8km) was okay, low chop built up, took in a lot of water but treated it like a warm up knowing what was ahead. The ride (180km) was across stunning coast lines, it had some decent hills, but the wind was a real challenge, gruelling grind for some of it feeling like you're going no where battling the wind. I just settled in knowing the task ahead and got through it (it was from Palm Cove to Port Douglas and back twice, and then from Palm Cove into Cairns). The run/marathon (42km) was exhilarating. The crowd along the main streets and bars where electric. It was like you where a celebrity with anyone and everyone seeing your name and screaming for you and cheering you on. The run was in laps and as you got out of the bar scene and big crowds it was a lot tougher with less of a cheer squad and I would crave getting back into the city for another boost of energy from the crowds. Plenty of laughs at the crazy antics. As the night went on and I got to the last 10ish km’s and the last lap the pain really set in. I couldn’t believe how well prepared I was to be able to enjoy it so much - and not limp/crawl through. I faced a few incidents/challenges through the day but after what I had over come to even get to the start, the new heart condition, injuries, on top of balancing the insane training load with the hours/pressures of my career and lack of sleep – nothing mattered anymore. I hit that red carpet to the finishers chute and the tears came. I have never experienced anything like it and the pride was unexplainable. It wasn’t until later that night I found out I finished in 13 hr 38min – 2 hours quicker then I planned/thought I would.  

There are no words that will do the Ironman experience justice.

I am officially an Ironman and as the slogan goes ‘anything is possible’!! 

My Heart Journey to Ironman

I’ve taken on a challenge to ‘Do it for Heart’!

The goal is to complete a full distance Ironman (3.8km swim - 180km ride - 42km run)

With it being #heartweek2022 and recently discovering my own heart condition (story below), I wanted to use this opportunity to raise awareness that heart conditions can affect anyone.

My goal is to create awareness around Non-Obstructive Coronary Angina and with an aim to raise funds to support heart disease.

Heart disease remains Australia’s biggest killer, claiming 48 lives every day. Your donation will help the Heart Foundation to transform Australia’s heart health.

Please make a donation today. Every donation, big or small, will help me get closer to my goal.

All donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Thank you for your support.

My Story:

Last year I was recovering from (non related) surgery and had started back training to achieve my goal of finishing the Noosa Triathlon (my first full distance / Olympic triathlon). After doing a handful of Sprint Distance Tri’s I was excited to step up! 
After the excitement of spectating a friend’s Half Ironman event, myself and a few friends (with a nod of approval from our coach) signed up to a FULL IRONMAN. There was a staged plan to get there - do Noosa Olympic (Oct), Tweed Enduro Half Ironman (Feb), and the full Ironman in Cairns (Jun)! An Ironman consists of a 3.8 km swim, 180km ride, 42km run! 
We committed to this INSANE goal knowing we had a lot of work cut out for us and it would take a significant amount of commitment and sacrifices.

The very next day, on 14 September 2021 I went to see my doctor after suffering chest pain on and off for some weeks. Given my father (who is a very fit and healthy man) had not long had three stents, I was told to go to emergency to get the right tests done asap.
The emergency doctor was rather rude and seemingly uninterested, until he came back and abruptly said ‘your results are back, you’ve got elevated troponin which is a sign that you’ve had a heart attack! We have to admit you to the cardiac ward for more testing.’ That is all that was said, he walked out. I was left sitting there stunned so called my family to say I had just been told they think I had a heart attack, but I’m okay, and they want to do more tests. 
I was admitted to the cardiac ward where I underwent testing over the next few days with multiple suggestions of diagnosis being thrown around. It was an extremely scary and confusing time.
After a long road of discovery I’ve been diagnosed with ‘Non Obstructive Coronary Angina’. Whilst most people think chest pain comes from blocked arteries etc it can come from the micro vascular system, where your arteries can’t dilate properly and can constrict causing spasms that impact the blood flow to the heart.

I take medication twice a day to manage this, and have a GTN spray for when the attacks come on. I go through periods of no pain but angina attacks can trigger randomly from stress, the cold, exercise, and in turn create fatigue etc on top of the chest pain.

I signed up for the Ironman the day before this unfolded and whilst it took quite some time to figure out what was going on and get cardiologist clearance I’ve still been focused on achieving this goal and now on a rapid journey to Ironman Cairns! The 3:30am alarms are normal now and the training relentless. Things have not gone to plan; I never did get to that Olympic tri, or even the Half Ironman because of flooding, but I am still in training to cross that Ironman Finish Line, with a heart that will be no doubt be beating out of my chest! 

‘DO IT FOR HEART’ 

Event Information

Sunday 12th June
Cairns Ironman

Thank you to my Sponsors

$235.27

Anonymous

Such a wonderful cause and fantastic achievement. Well done!

$211

David Lidden

great job !!... very proud of you!!

$211

Laura Canning

$211

Lynn Canning

Go Laura! xoxo

$211

Ger

Hey, you may or may not remember me but this is an issue close to my heart (pun intended). Fascinating story, I hope you get to tick off that Ironman.

$150

Sarah Canning

You are such an inspiration to us all big sis, no matter how many set backs or things standing in your way you manage to push through. I’m so proud of you, sending you all of my energy and strength for Sunday whilst you push through another massive feat! Love you xxx

$105.50

Nathan

Go you good thing!!

$79.13

P. Pal

Get it Guuurl!

$52.75

Courts Lelay

Very inspirational Lau, I’m in awe of what you’ve overcome and achieved. I can’t wait to see what you’ll do next! Go girl!!

$52.75

Neill King

$52.75

Kerri Hansen

You’ve come so far and trained so hard for Carins Laura…. You’ll be AWESOME 🤩

$52.75

Chelsea

$52.75

Craig Simpson

Good luck Laura. I’ll be there cheering you guys on this year all the way to the end.

$52.75

Franny & Steve

Keep up all your hard work, you are amazing!

$52.75

Christine Morris

You go girl! Very worthy cause. Best of luck!!!

$52.75

Shayne, Katie, Philippa, Georgia & Abigail Berrell

All the very best this weekend Laura. Although we won't be there we will be cheering you on in spirit. We are so proud of your hard work and dedication x

$52.75

Alyce Kelly

$50

Paul Mckew

Go smash it LL! Best of luck!

$50

Gabby Copp

Amazing work lovely, you should be so proud of everything you’ve already achieved and overcome in training for IM. So excited for you to cross that finish line! Keep up the great work xx

$42.20

Von

You're amazing girl. All your hard work is so inspiring!

$42.20

Christine Rutgers

Good Luck Laura, An amazing effort to get here! All the very best. Chris

$30

Frankie

You've put in ALL the blood, sweat and tears through quite the rollercoaster of a year! Very best of luck for Sunday, here's to you absolutely crushing your fitness and fundraising / awareness goals 💪👏 xxx

$25

Cathy Sanders

You nailed it! What an inspiration!!

$21.10

Rebecca Purchase

$21.10

Anonymous

Great Job. Got my own heart issues that have required surgery and medication before 40. Keep pushing and remember you are not alone.

$21.10

Mat Smith

$21.10

Laura Talbott

Good luck Laura x

$21.10

Tayla L

Proud of you xx