sometimes your memory can play tricks on you…
It’s a sunny day on the bike, and I’m riding on the Brutal course. Somewhere during the terrible climb to Waunfawr I know the climb has to end after the next corner; I know from last year that it’s slightly longer than you would think, but this time, after that next corner, someone decided to move the little village even further uphill! I forgot; the climb isn’t ‘slightly’ longer, but it’s ‘a lot’ longer (and steeper!) than you would think, even if you know the course!
The Big Brutal Swim is always a good excuse to come to Wales and do some training, and enjoy the pre-Brutal nerves. A week of swimming, cycling and running around Snowdon it is, with all the variations in the weather that you can expect; it’s been cold, rainy and stormy, but also nice and sunny… Continue reading “August update…”
back to where it all began…
Sometimes I forget that it’s only been 4 years since my first irondistance-race… What once started as a ‘once in a lifetime’ thing turned out to be a serious addiction, and it kind of spiraled out of control from there…
So after my debut at the 2013 Challenge Roth I’m now back on that course again, but just to do an easy swim and bike (and run, although that was not on the actual course, and with the heat it surely isn’t ‘easy’) on te days before the race, so that I’m totally free to support some friends who are racing in Roth this year. It’s great to be back, the atmosphere is unlike any other race, and when the gun goes of on race-morning I feel kind of sad that I’m not in the water myself… Continue reading “July update…”
…a 1/6th triple…
I’m in the water at the start of a small-scale middle-distance triathlon. The speaker announces that the start signal will be a gunshot, and seconds later we hear a horn. A lot of swimmers decide that a horn and a gun sound alike, and they’re of, while most of us stay behind confused; will the marshals find a way to send the early starters back to the start, or will this now be the new ‘official’ start? After a few nervous moments all swimmers get lined up again, and we’re off for the actual start of the race…
Today the plan is simple: take it easy… It’s going to be a hot day, and I’m telling myself: ‘it’s not a race, it’s a training-day…’ So I swim as relaxed as I can, and I’m actually not too happy to be at the swim-exit after 2,5km. I am really having too much fun, and want to swim a bit further… And being as relaxed as I am, I’m actually swimming faster than expected! So this is going to be a good day…
On the bike I’m also just enjoying myself, trying not to make a race out of it. I just accept it when people overtake me, and I just ride at my own easy pace. During lap number 3 (of 4) I realise that I’m taking it a bit too easy, but I’m not really bothered by it… Continue reading “June update…”
It’s a weekend filled with good company, camping, talking about past and future adventures, and three days with three races… The campsite is packed with teammates, some who run one day, some two and I run for three days (well, that shouldn’t be a surprise…)
The first day is easy, it’s a small scale night-trail of about 17km, and it’s all about going slow and conserving energy. On day two I run 32km, and it’s getting hot… So things start to hurt a bit, but I’m still having fun! On day three there’s only a marathon to go, with quite some elevation on the course… Luckily my friend Jeroen, who has some fresh legs since he hasn’t been running the previous days, decides to stay with me, and we’re off for a nice long run. A beautiful but hard course follows, and my legs are trying to tell me that it’s been a long weekend… Jeroen speeds away from me at every climb, and I tell him that if he wants, he should run his own race, but he decides to stay with me. Until at a certain point I reach the top of the hill and he’s gone… So now I’m on my own, and I’m fighting my way through the race, hoping to see the final aidstation after every climb… When I finally reach the aidstation Jeroen is there waiting for me, telling me: ‘let’s go, I’ve been waiting forever…’. Continue reading “May update…”
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”
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”
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”
January seems to have passed without any epic stories (which sometimes is a good thing…). No races, just consistent training… and training… and training… It seems that the open-water season is finally over (although most swimmers would have said that a few months ago…) The first outdoor-swim of the year was a short one, and even with the full winter-kit on (gloves, booties) I didn’t stop shaking for quite a while… Turns out that 6 degree water does not make for a nice and relaxing swim… But I have to say: I do like those short, cold sessions! Unfortunately winter has started, and when there’s people ice-skating on the lakes where I usually swim, I know that it’s a good excuse to go to a nice and warm pool…
Continue reading “January update”
Early December I’m at the start-line of a small-scale crosscountry run. It’s only 9,5km, and I know it’s going to hurt… When the gun goes of I realise that the last race I did lasted nearly 36 hours, so how hard could this one be?
Well… Let’s say that on this multilap-course I went through all the stages that I went through during The Double Brutal; the first laps were fine, during the final laps I only wanted to sit down, sleep, vomit and cry (in no particular order…). But all I could do was keep on running, and at the finish-line I knew it: short distance racing is really hard!
Continue reading “December 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”