April update – ‘Oner’ race report

My April update is a long one, and 95% of the post is a blog about a race that I (spoiler alert!) didn’t even finish… Well, it’s still a story worth sharing!

The Oner 2017

When a race is advertised with the line:

this is a serious tough event with only 50% of the runners normally making it to the finish line’

you know you’re in trouble… The Brutalevents ‘Oner’ had been on my list for a while, and this year it seemed to fit in perfectly; a nice, long, hard and hilly run in preparation for The Triple in September… So I signed up, did my training, packed my bags and headed over to the UK (sounds easy, right?).

When signing up for The Oner ultralegend James Page immediately invited me to stay with him and his family for a few days. So I spend most of Friday afternoon talking about various ultra-adventures, watching a rugby match (not that I really understood what was happening on that field…), and just relaxing, and enjoying the company. Friday-night Martyn joined us, he would be marshalling with James during the Oner, so they were also in for a long weekend… More stories about big adventures followed, and I think I was the quietest at the table, just trying not to think too much about the day(s) ahead… Continue reading “April update – ‘Oner’ race report”

March update

It’s late March, on a Monday night, when I try to walk into the physiotherapists office. The conversation might seem strange to a non-ultra-athlete:

me: ‘I ran 76km yesterday, and now everything hurts…’

PT: ‘that’s perfectly normal… Let’s try and patch you up again…’

With The Oner coming up in April, March has been all about running long. Just like the previous months there has been some swimming (mostly in the pool, some out in the still pretty cold open water), bike-sessions are getting longer (6 hour recovery rides now feel like relaxed training-days), but most of the time has been spend running… Continue reading “March update”

February update

Just as last month; the last weeks have been all about running… There’s some cycling and swimming as well, but those are not the long training-sessions (well, not yet anyway…).

So running it is… Short interval sessions, long runs, even longer runs, on the road, on the trail, it just goes on and on and on… The body is feeling good (although I’m writing this post a day after a 74km run, and the body is trying to tell me something about that…), the mind feels strong, so every week I’m feeling like I’m a step closer to the big goal in September! (and the ‘smaller’ goal in April, a little run called ‘The Oner’). Continue reading “February update”

the Double Brutal Extreme Triathlon – race report

Normally, a story about an extremely hard race ends with thanking the Support Crew involved. Unfortunately, most people skip those last lines of a race report, so this time, let’s start with The Crew… Let’s just say I could never, ever, ever have finished without the most awesome team I can imagine; both in Wales (Eline, Ido, Maike, Robert and Stijn) and back home (too many names to mention, but all those involved in my year of hard work, you all know who you are!). Seriously; racing an extreme race is a team sport, and although I’m the one who crossed the finish-line, in the end, it’s a huge team that made it to the finish!

So, back to the beginning… Although I might mention The Team again somewhere later…

Continue reading “the Double Brutal Extreme Triathlon – race report”

August update

Early August the big pre-race panic (or should I say ‘PANIC!!!!’) started to get to me… Although I am physically in great shape, the mind starts to play tricks on me. Self-doubt is a problem for me before every big race, but for a double, that feeling triples (or quadruples)… So, after a short search into the psyche of someone who thinks a double is a good idea (which should all-ready be reason enough to doubt ones sanity), the result is that I book a plane to Wales, and enter the Big Brutal Swim… Last year I did the 10km swim, and ran the ‘easy lap around the lake’ (I just keep calling it ‘easy’, let’s hope that helps with the pre-race-nerves…) and partially up Snowdon. I didn’t get a chance to ride the bike-course though, and that part of the unknown causes most of my current stress… Continue reading “August update”

June update

night riding…

I smile when I exit my street. It’s 2.30AM, and I just decided to add a small extra lap to my bike-training, just to make sure I reach the seven hours that were planned for today (well, for tonight, since it’s been about riding in the dark and dealing with tiredness on the bike…). The legs feel better than they ever felt after a long ride, and mentally I feel strong; I just did a hard and long session, mostly in the dark; it was one of those moments when you realise what you’re training for…

Finally, after 220 kilometers, I get home. Happy, and knowing I’ve got the same session planned two days later, I try and get some sleep, hoping that I can forget that tomorrow morning there is a hard interval running set planned… (sometimes I think that my Coach must really hate me…). Continue reading “June update”

May update

Just a short blog update, there’s been plenty of miles of swimming, cycling and running, but most of those miles have been quite boring… Well, from a blogging-point-of-view anyway, the actual miles weren’t boring at all, I really enjoyed most of those, but no-one would be interested in every inch of road that my bike rides… With race-season well under way, I hope all of you are doing well, in training and racing!

training, training, training and more training…

There comes a point during a hard interval that you just háve to check the watch, and see if you’re almost done. I’m on my bike, and I feel as if I’m about to pass out. Surely, I must be 90% done with this set? I check the watch, only 30 seconds remain. I feel lightheaded, but I make it through… Continue reading “May update”

February update

Februari has been the first month this winter that I didn’t do an open water swim… The last one in januari was so cold that it took me a long time to start to feel alive again, shivering so hard that even drinking hot chocolate was impossible… So the smart move was to move my swim-training back into the pool, focusing on my stroke, so that when the season starts I can work on the longer distances. I’ve got to say: I’m looking forward to it; I’m really a better swimmer on a steady 5km (with wetsuit) than on a 100 meter sprint…  Continue reading “February update”

January update

A nice Sunday morning in January… I’m running in a small-scale 10km cross-country run, and I’m doing well. Feels as if my heart is about to explode, legs hurt like hell, but there’s only a few laps to go. Then something starts to buzz on my wrist. I look at my watch, and see that my ‘recovery heart-rate is too high’. All I can think is: ‘recovery??? I’m running a race here!’. Then I realize that I must have pushed the ’stop’ button instead of the ‘lap’ button at the beginning of the lap. Well, better press start again… New goal for the months leading up to The Brutal: learn how my new watch works…

Continue reading “January update”

Challenge Denmark – race report

Op zoek naar een mooi avontuur voor 2015 vond ik afgelopen zomer de ‘Challenge Denmark’, een hele triathlon (3,8km zwemmen, 180km fietsen, 42km lopen) rondom Legoland. De wedstrijd wordt dit jaar voor de eerste keer georganiseerd, dus het is spannend hoe het er uit gaat zien, maar het parcours zou snel en vlak zijn, en vroeg in het seizoen pieken zou betekenen dat er eind van het seizoen ruimte is voor nog een groot doel (PR-ambities bij de marathon van Eindhoven).

Een paar dagen voor de wedstrijd fiets ik de laatste 50km van het parcours, en schrik van wat ik tegen kom; de wedstrijd wordt gepromoot als een ‘extreem vlak fietsparcours’, maar ik zie dat Denen toch een ander idee van vlak hebben dan de Nederlanders… Het is geen berg-etappe, maar ook zeker niet zo vlak als de flevopolder… Als ik die heuvels had voorzien had ik m’n training daarop aan kunnen passen, nu moeten we maar zien wat het wordt…

De wedstrijddag van alweer m’n derde hele triathlon begint traditioneel vroeg; om half 5 zit ik met zus (en topsupporter!) Marieke in de auto richting de start, daar aangekomen neem ik afscheid en ga de wisselzone in. In stilte worden daar de laatste voorbereidingen getroffen, bandjes oppompen, bidons vullen… 

Continue reading “Challenge Denmark – race report”