The last few months passed quickly. It was a tough start of the year for all of us with a strict lockdown. I was looking forward to my first full ironman in Hamburg, which unfortunately got postponed as well. Despite the restrictive measures, some good developments occured in my life as well. I finished an exam, started a new job at the same company and my boyfriend moved in as well. Together with building up the traininghours, these months have been quity busy and challenging at some point.
Now the lockdown is finally over and the summer should be around the corner, I am ready for race season to show up! And the prospects are good, even my first race on the planning this Saturday! Before we start looking at the upcoming months, let's do a short throwback to the past couple of years. There were definitely 2 highlights trainingswise the past half year. One of them was my half marathon personal best in a training. My coach (Ferrum Endurance) challenged me by running a half marathon sub-treshold, focused on heart rate. I had no expectations and I just followed the plan (yes, I am getting better in actually following a plan haha). During the run, I was just enjoying the moment without paying attention to my pace. It felt comfortable until the last few kilometers. I decided to increase the speed a bit at the end because it shouldn't be too comfortable right?! Finishing in 1 hour, 24 minutes and 43 seconds was an improvement of almost 4 minutes compared to Amsterdam Half Marathon in 2019. Super happy with the result and hungry for more, especially craving a sub-3 hour marathon. For those who know me, I am definitely not giving up my dream to hit that 3 hour goal. I might now be a triathlete, but my running is improving even more compared to those years I was a runner (with injuries all the time). Can't wait to see the improvement of my running form in a triathlon. I do feel one step closer to running a sub 3 hour marathon eventually. Don't know when the right moment will be there, but whenever it will, I am ready!
My other highlight isn't about running. It is about cycling, my second favourite discipline in triathlon which definitely won't be a surprise. Together with my coach, I went on my first real trainingsweek in the mountains! First time ever cycling in Italy! The weeks before were exciting, as there were travel resctrictions across the world and my new road bike wasn't ready yet. The first unsure factor was luckily taken away 1.5 week before leaving. We were super lucky with the relaxation of the restrictions just in time for our trip. However, my new road bike came with a bit more stress. Buying a new bike in COVID times isn't easy at all, as some of you might know. There are delivery problems everywhere. I didn't even plan on buying a new road bike. But my old one wasn't the right fit and therefore caused a lot of back problems. Luckily I got the opportunity to buy a new one with many special thanks to Plieger Sport. They really had to put in a lot of effort to finish my bike in time for our trip. The first time I saw my bike, it was love at first sight. I had the opportunity to choose the paintings of my bike, which made it really special. For those who know me well, pink is definitely one of my favourite colours. Check the result below. I know for sure that you won't miss me whenever you see me racing! It was a pleasure to cycle in Italy with this beauty together with my coach. We tackled a lot of mountains. Especially the Stelvio from Prato (4th Women all time Strava time) and the Mortirolo from Tiolo (9th Women all time Strava time) were very challenging and pretty. I definitely made a lot of progress, especially during the descent.
For as far I can tell now, my running and cycling shape have improved a lot compared to last year. I am ready for some real tests during race season the upcoming months. What are my plans? Well, as I had to change my plans super often the past year, I am careful in defining new plans. And my plans are mainly 'last year plans' that got postponed to this year. I am done with moving plans and more than ready for one of my main goals this year 'the Iroman 70.3 World Championchips in St. George' which will take place the 17th of September. For those who sponsored me for Taupo, ofcourse your commitment is still valid. I will send out a new request to place a bet on my finish time in St. George to give you a chance to include my progress in your bet. As preparation for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships, I will participate in Ironman 70.3 Maastricht (1 August) and Ironman 70.3 Duisburg (29 August). Don't forget to watch the results, to have an indication for a possible finish time in St. George. But please don't forget that the past is no guarantee for the future ;)
Now I am off training ;)