First of all I want to thank you for taking a visit on my brand new website. I hope you like it.
The season has already ended for me a little while back, but I still want to give you an overview of what I did this year and how it went. So, here it goes: I wasn’t starting the year really confident. The entire winter I struggled with a niggle in my foot which wasn’t bad enough to stop running entirely, but also was annoying enough to not be able to run as much as I wanted. With a lot of help from Lotte and Maarten from Chiromotion Maastricht I still managed to get some training in and eventually somewhere midway during the season, the niggle started to settle. So still in preparation mode and very careful with my foot, I started the year with some short duathlon races for the EDOsports team in March and April to get the body through the motions of racing again, followed by my first triathlon of the year: a team triathlon for my team Ferro Mosae in the Dutch Premier League, which we won. A few weeks after that, around mid-May, the triathlon season really got underway with 3 wins in a row: the 111 race in Bilzen and the Dutch championships half distance and Olympic distance. These were not easy races, because I was dealing with the foot issue, but managed to get through them without doing much extra damage, and winning all three of these races was really cool.
In June my boyfriend and I went to the Swiss Alps for some altitude training and some good cycling miles. We were very lucky with the weather, and I could really make some progress in my fitness. Also my foot problems disappeared, because I wasn’t teaching or giving swimming lessons, so in between training my foot really could get some rest. When I came back home, my progress showed in my first international race of the year: Challenge Geraardsbergen, where I finished in second place, which I was really happy about. Then I prepared for the third Dutch championships of the year (sprint distance this time), but we got a message the night before the race, that the swim was cancelled, so the race would be turned into a duathlon. The race for the Dutch championships sprint title would be postponed, but because the race doubled as part of the Dutch premier league as well I still started the duathlon as a team and we made it a really cool team time trial with 3 of my Ferro Mosae teammates in the front and again we got a nice team victory. A week later I was off to Iceland for one of the races I was looking forward to the most: Challenge Iceland. Definitely one of the best race experiences I had in my whole career, with the event being very local and laid back. I was also lucky enough to finish in third, even though I performed way below my capabilities, because I was a bit tired and probably got dehydrated on top of that (yes, if you don’t drink enough you can get dehydrated in cold conditions like in Iceland as well!!). After the race I took a few days off to travel around this beautiful island with my parents. I was sad to leave them there, as day stayed there while I went back home, because I had to get back to training. Beginning of August also meant it was time for Ironman Maastricht. Such a big race in your home town is really special, and this year was the first time I did not compete myself, because last year I noticed combining my own A race together with the A race of many of the athletes I coached was a tough ask. So I decided to just focus on being there for my athletes and not race myself. It was a great experience and I just felt excited and proud for all of them the entire day. It was definitely a highlight of the year for me. They inspired me as well to get back to work to prepare for my own full distance race in Almere 5 weeks later. The ‘hele van Almere’ has been on the radar for me ever since I was little kid when my father raced here in 1999. In the lead up to Almere I raced the postponed Dutch championships sprint distance, where I went for the title on the bike, but just missed a little speed from all the long slow training for Almere, so I had to settle for the silver medal. Then it was time for the biggest goal of the year: Challenge Almere which doubled as the Dutch and European championships over the full distance. It was a great experience, even though the weather was horrible. I rode a 4.44h bike split over the 180km, which I am really pleased with, and even though I hoped to run the marathon a few minutes faster, I am still really happy with my second place overall and my 9.09.44h end time. The sub 9 is within reach!
After Almere I took some weeks off to recover and think about what I wanted to do for the rest of the season. But I felt really tired, I somehow overextend a knee band in the days after Almere and I just did not feel like any race or result could really make my 2017 even better than it already was. So I decided it was time to not add any races anymore and just make sure I recovered well to get fresh and ready for the 2018 preparations.
So what is up for 2018? I am not sure yet. I am still waiting for both the national and international calendars to finalize the dates of the races, so I will be just starting to build back in to training. But surely I want to give it a shot to break the 9hr mark on the full distance and I want to be able to combine international racing over the long distance, with some racing with my Dutch premier league team over the short distance. So it will be a puzzle to make a realistic racing schedule, while also fulfilling my role as a coach as well. But I am looking forward to the challenge and if you are too, then follow my journey by checking back regularly on this website.