Densham’s Diary: Hungover, but hungry for more

Welcome to my first blog for 220 Triathlon. Now that I think about it, this is not only my first blog for the magazine, but my first blog full stop. Daunting!

Looking back at 2012 I realise just how fortunate I was and what a year it turned out to be. I guess deep down I knew that if I could just get my body healthy and train without interruption that the very least I would be was competitive and push the girls who looked sure to take our Australian Olympic spots.

While most seemed to focus on training, we just focused on wellbeing, knowing that any training would do the job. Looking back now 12 months on I was stoked with the form I brought into Mooloolaba, Sydney and San Diego. I don’t think that this was me at my best, but for the first time in four years I was healthy and equally as hungry to put my heart issues and illness behind me.

It was surprising to realise how many people had forgotten what I could do when fit and healthy, but we never lost sight of this and crossing the finish line in Mooloolaba, and then Sydney, was a great reminder to myself and everyone around me that even if they had decided not to pick me for the Olympic team, I was at least showing everyone what was possible.

Last year was emotional, the relief of winning those early races, the stress of realising that they did not want me in the team, the stress of changing coaches, the relief of having a partner who did not coach, the excitement of winning in Hamburg a few weeks from the Olympics and then the bitter sweet feeling of achieving the bronze medal in what proved to be a historic race.

The year ended in a similar fashion to the four years leading up to that point, tired, mentally worn out and sick again. Trying to hang onto that world number one spot was something that has taken some time to get over. Pneumonia in October wrecked any chance of becoming World Champion in 2012 but I’m still here in 2013 and just getting ready to go again.

There is an Olympic hangover! It does exist. It is like a dark cloud or fog, which seems impossible to escape and just puts a dampener on everything, makes everything harder than it should be. It’s been slow work and again I have had to be patient, but I’m exploring a few different options in 2013 like many of my peers like off-road triathlon, Xterra, ITU and WTS. It’s time to enjoy triathlon again like I did when I first started in what seems a lifetime ago.

The people who have always supported me continue to do so, Giant, 2XU, ASICS, Oakley, the VIS and my friends and family. Their unconditional support is what makes me who I am today.

So the 2013 season is upon us, Mooloolaba has come and gone and it does feel odd to be just cruising at home waiting for my body and head to say ‘we are ready’. It is very close now and the time I have spent in Melbourne this summer has been a welcome relief from the ‘bubble’ that triathlon can become. I hope to provide an insight – or at least a view through my eyes – of the next 12 months of not only what it takes to get there, but also what it takes to stay there.

Erin Densham is a professional Australian triathlete and bronze medalist at the 2012 London Olympics. You can read her monthly blogs at or follow her on Twitter @erindensham.


What do you think is the best way to get over a post race hangover? Let us know in the comments below.