A potential final athletics career push has begun for Dame Valerie Adams as she attempts to compete in the shot put at next year's Tokyo Olympics.
Adams turned 35 this month. She returned to train at the Millennium Institute on Auckland's North Shore in July after giving birth to her second child, son Kepaleli, in March.
Over the coming weeks, the three-time Olympic shot put medallist takes the next steps towards securing another title.
She takes her family to Darwin, Australia, and Magglingen, Switzerland, for a training block of up to six weeks before Christmas, working alongside former coach Jean-Pierre Egger and current coach Scott Goodman.
Adams intends to compete from January as she tailors her post-natal build-up.
She needs a put of 18.50m to qualify for Tokyo, a distance she's bettered every year since 2003.
If selected, Adams will join Barbara Kendall as the only other New Zealand woman to feature at five Games.
This season's women's shot put distances suggest Adams could earn a fourth Olympic medal next August.
Perhaps further steeling her determination is the fact a New Zealander has never won gold at three separate Games.
She was on the cusp of that hat-trick when she recorded 20.42m to take silver at Rio. American Michelle Carter unleashed what remains a personal best 20.63m to beat her in the final round.
The Herald visited Adams at training this week.
She watched the women's world championship final this month in Doha and was asked to assess the winning distance set by China's Lijiao Gong.
"19.55m is the lowest [winning] mark in a while at a world championships but never underestimate an Olympic year. Everyone goes crazy and comes back with better performances, and I'm intending to do the same," said Adams.
Gong's mark is the shortest winning distance in the event's 36-year history, although doping clouds leave a hazy past.
Irrespective, the triumphant put will have whetted the appetite for Olympic glory among the chasing pack, especially considering Gong's 20.31m at Zurich in August is the only distance beyond 20m this year.
Adams' precedent at the Commonwealth Games in April last year proves she can earn parity after giving birth. She took silver with 18.70m after the arrival of daughter Kimoana in October 2017.
"Six months later, I was at the Games, which was a rush build-up, whereas I can take more time the second time round. It is a case of so far, so good; I can't complain.
"I'm more motivated than ever heading to Tokyo. Having two kids is tough, but luckily I've got an amazing mother-in-law [Noma Price]. She's taken to looking after our little one during the night so I can sleep as much as I can, get the work done and bugger off and be a mum again.
"The key is planning and having a good support network. We meet every Monday so everyone knows what we're doing for the week. 'Mum' is a lifesaver."
Adams will take her whole family, including her mother-in-law, on the road.
"It'd be too long away from my babies otherwise. My heart couldn't handle it.
"But it'll be great to get in some technical training away from Auckland, because life can get in the way.
"Back here, I travel over an hour to training [from Ormiston] and the same to
go home. I'm looking forward to getting home in 10 minutes [in Switzerland] to
have a shower and a sleep and come back to training."
So will the Olympics provide the final chapter in what's already a 17-year professional career?
Adams is coy but no-one in her team underestimates the scale of the task ahead.
"Let's just get to Tokyo and enjoy the moment. We've got to do everything to get there first. That starts with getting back into competition."