My first Ironman 70.3 race of the season is now just a week away, so the focus of my attention in training has turned solely to Texas next weekend.

The race takes place in Galveston, a small island about 50 miles southeast of Houston which sits in the Gulf of Mexico.

I’ll be flying to Houston next Wednesday ahead of the Sunday race, which gives me plenty of time to settle in to accommodation, prepare my kit and build my bike.

Travelling with a bike is probably one of my least favourite parts of this job – but I’m getting better at it all the time.

I have a bike bag which, when fully packed, usually weighs around 20kg.

I’ll take off both wheels, pedals, saddle and seatpost, and ensure the carbon fibre frame is well protected with bubble wrap and padding.

Airline baggage handlers aren’t famed for their care and attention when loading/unloading aircraft, so I tend to always say a little prayer each time I bid my bike farewell at check-in – and next week will be no different.

As it’s the first race of the season it’s exciting and nerve-wracking all at once.

No one really knows where their form or fitness will be at until the heat of battle, so it’ll be interesting for sure.

The professional women’s field looks like it’s shaping up nicely so it is definitely going to be a good season opener.

I’m feeling confident and well prepared.

I can take great strength from the training I have done in the past three months.

When I left Swindon on December 30 to return to LA I was in pretty poor shape after a few weeks off (all intended, fear not!) and so as I reflect on the first quarter of the year I can proudly say I have done a great job in arriving at the start of the race season ready to rock and roll.

Huge thanks to everyone back home for their continued support – it means a great deal.

I’ll have my auntie, uncle and cousin from Purton in Texas with me, so I can’t wait to see them and hear their cheers from the sidelines.

Thanks too to Morris Owen Accountants and Virtua UK, two of my longstanding sponsors from Swindon who continue to support me.

I’ll be sure to do you all proud and look forward to updating you on the race in two weeks’ time.