Sarah Carli spent the winter toiling away.
With the days short and the temperatures low, the 400 metres hurdler was hard at work on the track and, once they reopened, in the gym.
They're the sessions athletes love to hate. The work that has to be done to build fitness before you can even think about running fast.
Through the grind, however, is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Carli reached that light on Sunday, the Australian representative competing in her first official races of the season at the Illawarra Blue Stars meet.
Running in the 200m and 400m flat events, she was pleased to see the hard work translate to the track.
"I'm always a little bit scared entering winter," Carli said. "Winter's really rough.
"I'm really good in a routine and I've got a really nice training squad, which makes it a lot easier. It's almost a tick the box thing, it's one of the things I have to do. I've come out feeling really good.
"I've had a few Kembla Joggers time trials, but it was nice to actually do a proper race. I was really happy with how I ran, it's good to know the work we've been doing in the off-season can transition to a race."
This year has been unique for most athletes, COVID-19 leading to the postponement of the Olympics and forcing many into lockdown.
While she was set to travel to Tokyo, the Kembla Joggers athlete typically spends her Australian winter at home in a heavy block of training.
That meant the past few months have been business as usual for Carli, with social distancing thrown in of course, and she knows she's poised for a successful run to the rescheduled Olympics.
"A lot of athletes that are not normally home for winter struggled. I am, so it was just normal for me.
"Having that extra 12 months, I'm in such a better position than I was a year ago. I'm ready to run faster than what I would've last summer. For me, moving the Olympics is a good thing, as long as it goes ahead."
The domestic track and field season is starting to take shape, a calendar of elite meets in Australia and New Zealand unveiled earlier this month.
Carli plans on competing at a number of those races, the 26-year-old eager to test herself against her national teammates.
There she has one goal. Run an Olympic qualifying time.
Carli's personal best is just three-hundredths of a second short and she's confident it is within her grasp.
"I'd love to run an Olympic qualifier domestically, that's the goal for the summer.
"I'm 0.03 off, at the moment we're doing everything right, I just need to get into a good race. If we can get the girls from Victoria and Queensland all in one race, that's what will get me there."