Life’s A Beach

November 15, 2013

After a long race season, Emma-Kate Lidbury is ready to trade in sea swimming for sunbathing

By the time you’re reading this, my off-season will be in full swing. I’ll have raced my final race of the season (Ironman 70.3 Augusta) and will be enjoying some downtime with my family, who are heading Stateside for a holiday.
This year has been a big one for me, with a transatlantic move, a lot of racing, extensive travelling and time spent living out of bags, and it all started to take its toll in the closing weeks of the season. I realise I live a very privileged life, and this isn’t a “woe is me” style bleat, but I know I’m ready for a break.
I’ll be on tools-down from Halloween to Thanksgiving (the last Thursday in November) and aside from travelling to Ironman Arizona, where I’ll be supporting my Purplepatch teammate Sarah Piampiano, I plan to unplug from all things swim-bike-run. Here are some of the things you might find me doing.

1. Getting my bake on
I love to bake but don’t often have the time, so I’m looking forward to trying a few new recipes as well as some old favourites. First on the agenda are chocolate beetroot brownies. If they last long enough, I promise to post photos on Twitter and Facebook.

2. Writing
Tucked away inside this triathlete’s body is a writer who still loves to put pen to paper (or fingers to Mac). There’s at least one book in me, and I’ll enjoy kickstarting my creative juices.

3. Travelling
I already have a carbon footprint the size of Bigfoot’s so I’m in no rush to travel far, but there’s a lot of California I’ve still yet to see. A little roadtrip to Big Sur might be in order, or maybe some wine tasting in Santa Barbara.

4. Hitting the beach
I’ve spent a great deal of time training on the beach but not nearly enough time soaking up the sun there, so I might redress the balance and put my bikinis through their paces. After all, I need to make all you ghostly white people jealous with my SoCal tan!

5. Shopping
I’ll be flying back to the UK in December and would love to have all my Christmas shopping done so that (a) all my pressies are fun, funky American things that people wouldn’t find at home and (b) I can enjoy a relaxed festive break with no panic buying. We shall see!

6. Sorting out sponsorship
It’s that time of year when most pro athletes are renewing and/or renegotiating contracts for the season ahead. It can be an exciting yet challenging time.

7. Practising my Spanish
I used to speak French and Spanish fluently, and if I had a euro for every time I’ve said I’m going to brush up my very rusty Spanish, I wouldn’t need to worry about point 6.

8. Reading
I read all year round, but will use this time to stick my beak into some books I’ve been eyeing. I’ll start with The Casual Vacancy – it’s JK Rowling’s first ‘adult’ novel so I’m intrigued to see what she’s done post-Hogwarts. I’m also a huge fan of modern American literature and have been intending to read Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and Back to Blood for some time.

9. Feeding the addiction
My name’s EK and I’m a coffee addict. I intend to feed my habit by visiting my favourite haunts and discovering some new ones too. Santa Monica has more than its fair share of good coffee spots so this won’t be a struggle.

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