Race season is just about to start for me and it has been over 6 months since I’ve written my last blog about my thoughts of the 2017 season. So it is about time I will update you about what I have been up to for the last few months and what my plans are for the next period.
November and December have been all about gaining fitness after my usual recovery period at the end of the season. Nothing crazy, just getting the training sessions done. At the end of December I did a local trail run race, which went horrible, as it usually goes for me in the winter, but I had a lot of fun anyway. After spending Christmas with the family, my boyfriend and I flew to Gran Canaria for a training camp to do some base miles in the sun. In the first week was a bit overenthusiastic when I found a very nice path through the mountains while running and returned over 2,5hrs later. Even though it was probably one of the nicest runs I’ve done in my life, my legs were not yet ready for a session like this in January and especially my achilles tendon did not feel good after this run. It kept annoying me for another 4 weeks or so. Fortunately biking was not painful and the second week we got accompanied by friends and had another great week of swimming and especially biking. When I came home, I had a few busy weeks ahead of me. Alongside my hours of training and the coaching activities with EDOsports and the local triathlon club Triathlon Club Maastricht, I visited the Maastricht Sport Awards, where I got awarded with the prize for Sportswomen of the Year of Maastricht. Such a big honor to receive this award! Also, I planned to do some presentations. One of them was for Maastricht University about how experienced my time as a student while trying to achieve my best as an athlete. I was invited to talk about this subject on regional television which you can watch here (only in Dutch). And I did another short item for L1, about my plans for 2018 which you can watch here (also only in Dutch). Big thanks to Edith Remmen from www.visagiemaastricht.nl to help me feel less uncomfortable when lots of people were staring at me. There was not much running during these weeks, but I did tick along with swimming and biking and before I knew it I was back in the plane for 2 weeks Lanzarote in February. Again, I enjoyed the sun and felt very refreshed coming back. And I was happy to be running pain free again! March had its ups and down. Trying to train like a pro, but having too many things to do in a week lead to being tired a lot, but I seem to get better at recognizing when I need more rest. At the end of March I ran a personal best at the Venloop half marathon in 1.26.18hr and did a very decent 41,1km/h average time trial over 43km in Almere. These races gave me an indication of where
my level was at, and what would be realistic goals for the 2018 season. After a lot of thinking, I chose Challenge Roth to be my A race for this year, where I want to try to crack the sub 9hr mark. I was about 10min off in Almere last year, so why not give it a try this year? However, the race in Roth will attract a big field of some very fast girls, but with my own personal goal going in, I am actually just really looking forward to that! Leading in to Challenge Roth I will do 2 half distance Challenge races: Salou and Heilbronn. Also, I will try to defend my titles in Bilzen (this weekend!) and the Dutch championships at Nieuwkoop and will make my appearance in the Dutch premier League in Amsterdam. After Roth I have planned to do another Premier league race in Klazienaveen and will race Challenge Prague as well, since my parents will be there for their summer holiday. After that, things will be open and depending on how my race in Roth went, I will decide what I want to do. So we will see about that.
Lastly, I want to give you an update about a new sponsor. In March I signed with 2spokes wheels (www.2-spoke.com ) to provide me with a brand new set of the fastest wheels out there at this moment. Last year I borrowed a set of wheels to race with during Challenge Almere and with a 4.44hr bike split on a rainy and windy course; I have to say they were amazing. So I am happy to be riding with the 2spoke wheels all season. Also, Fusion (www.fusionsports.nl), Sailfish (www.sailfish-benelux.eu), ikwilsportvoeding.nl (www.ikwilsportvoeding.nl) and ronforrun (www.ronforrun.nl) will still be by my side for this season. Thank you for your support!