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…).

Some weeks are tougher than others, and June started with one of the more serious weeks of the year; Some creative scheduling made it possible to make it through a 30-hour training week, and I got through it… The final run of that week was the first run in a long time where I wasn’t motivated though, just tried to get it over with, counting down the steps… While the body coped perfectly well with the long week, the mind got slightly tired…

underestimated ‘short’-distance racing…

A week later I’m racing a small-scale triathlon race; it’s just 2,5km of swimming, 80km of cycling and a half marathon run, and I made two big rookie mistakes… First of all; I pushed too hard on the bike; there was a lot of wind, and after some really long training weeks those 80km’s just felt as a sprint… Combine that with a slightly underpowered nutrition plan (well, basically not much of a plan at all…) and you might guess how the run went… It was a tough day, and luckily there were some teammates on the course, and my sister and brother were cheering, so I made it to the finish line. A lesson learned; even if it feels like a sprint; a half-distance race is still a long race, so stay focussed, and never underestimate the distance!

a weekend of support…

Now it’s time to stop worrying about my own training and be part of a support-crew! My big brother is racing his first ever triathlon at IM70.3 Luxembourg (unfortunately it became a run-bike-run, because of unsafe swim conditions). It was stressful before the race; I don’t like to have my own pre-race stress, but seeing someone else experiencing the same stress is even harder, since you can’t really do something about it…

It’s always fun to cheer for a friend, but cheering for my big brother was extra special; he once (a long time ago) got me inspired to start travelling on my bike, and that was the start of my athletic ‘career’ (and a lot of great adventures!). So seeing him push hard and finishing his first triathlon was an amazing and proud moment!

a Scottish trainingweek, and and another support weekend…

Since I’ve had my final support-training-day in Luxembourg, I’m prepared for the next challenge; there’s no time to relax, I go straight to the next support-gig at a little race (which shall not be named here, let’s call it the C-man…) in northern-Scotland… My friend Maike is racing, and the week before the race there is more uncertainty than usual before an extreme triathlon. Might have something to do with the fact that she broke her hand three weeks before the race… It’s inspiring to have serious tough friends, since not starting was never an option… I could write a long story about the epic-ness of her race, which I shall not do, since this blog isn’t about that adventure; let’s just say that it was one of the most special races I’ve ever been a part of, and as a support-crew we worked like a well-oiled machine, our athlete raced the race of her life, and I had the honour to accompany her on the final 26km of the run course, which was an extremely hard and long part of the race… (a thing I learned; as a support-runner you should NOT fall down hard while taking pictures… There was a short moment of stress on the mountain…).

And while in Scotland I obviously did some training myself; mainly a lot of running, enjoying the beautiful sceneries, and I managed to do a short swim in Loch Ness (never found Nessie… That would’ve made for a great story…)

So now the support-duties are over, and it’s back to training hard myself again… The big Double-Brutal-Adventure is getting closer, and I’m looking forward to (and as always am slightly scared of) the next few hard weeks…

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