July update

long cycling…

It’s 9AM, and I’m only 500meters from my house. When I check my Garmin I smile, I’ve never cycled as much on a single day as I did today… When I realise there’s still 200km to go my smile gets bigger… This plan (both the training-session of today, and the Double Brutal) is insane… But definitely the good kind of insane!

I take part in ‘The Tour of 12’, a cycletour through all the 12 Dutch provinces. There’s a 2 and a 3 day event, but there’s about 30 crazy cyclists who plan to ride the Tour in one day… At one second past midnight we start riding for a 400+ km adventure… The group breaks into small parts, and after the first 15km I’m riding alone. Nicely following the gps-route, until I get the feeling that my gps is sending me the wrong way… That’s not really a good way to start the day!

At the first checkpoint my ‘coach of the day’ Stijn (who’s always first to volunteer for the job, it’s really nice to have some crazy friends…) makes sure I find a few other riders, and with a group of four we continue…

And then it’s just ride, ride, ride… No epic stories, no great adventures, just a lot of long roads, and enjoying the scenery… The last 2 hours are the hardest; the body feels fine (and I finally seem to have my nutrition-plan tweaked for the long distance!), the mind starts to wonder how long we have to go, and the rain didn’t help… At the finish line there is a hot shower, hot chocolate and pancakes, and I feel remarkably good after 440km on the timetrial-bike, with my average speed being way higher than I expected. So seems that I’m getting in good shape for september…

long running…

A week later, and I got a 4-hour run scheduled. Normally I would get into the car and drive to a nice place for a long trailrun, but today it’s about beng efficient; I’ve got a busy day ahead after training, so I don’t want to waste time by driving; it’s going to be a 4hour session on the road… And since I don’t know any running routes this long in my area, I just start to run my ‘short bike lap’… Funny to see these roads, where I’ve been riding for years, from a whole new perspective… At 42.2km I look at my watch (as one does, since the marathon mark is still a special moment for a newbie-ultrarunner), and see that I’m running a fairly fast marathon, and that during my easy run… Running form is great, and after a 50km run I get home, confidence boosted to a whole new level!

The end of this month the speed is a bit slower; Coach thought it would be a good idea to do some trailrunning in the dark… So I find myself in a dark German forest, following the path until my gps-watch tells me that I’m off course… The trail is technical; not only a lot of elevation, but the climbs are steep, the downhills are slippery, and navigation is, to say the least, ‘not too easy’… After 4,5hours of running in the pitch-black forrest I make it back to my car, and when I finally get to the campsite to get some sleep, I hear the birds wake up… Just another day (well, night that would be) at the office! 

not so long swimming…

Last month I tripped during my support at the Celtman, and unfortunately my shoulder took quite a big hit… After a few scary moments at the doctors office (would this be the end of my season??) it turned out that there’s nothing broken, no muscles are torn, but there will be pain for a while… So the first advice was ‘take some time of…’. When I told the doc that I was ‘training a lot’ it became a funny conversation; apparently not everyone has the same idea of what ‘a lot’ means…

Luckily, I’m now allowed to continue; the pain is there, but I’m not making the injury worse, so that means I should be able to manage the discomfort… My first swim session did hurt though, and I really wanted to reach the 1km mark (and I did), mostly to prove to myself that I could handle it, and to regain my confidence for the Double Brutal… Now we’re a few weeks later, the longest set was 4km, and the pain is still there, but it’s manageable… So just decided to sign up for the Big Brutal Swim, see if I can swim 10km this month…

a nice sunday brick-workout…

With all the long single-sports sessions, I sometimes almost forget that I’m training for a triathlon. Luckily; Coach has finally added a brick-workout on the schedule (a bike, directly followed by a run). But since it is ultra-triathlon-training, it’s obviously not a short one… So last Sunday I filled the day with a 210km bike-ride, followed by a 40km run… Halfway through the run I started to realise what everyone has been telling me al year; a Double-iron triathlon is kind of a crazy plan…

So all is great, a few more weeks of hard work to go, counting down to the big race!

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