before and after IM South Africa – wish I were a pro

I felt like I wanted to write down my schedule leading into the race and coming home, because I don’t think many people know what I take on to live my dream. And I think I am good at it, just I also believe I could be even a better pro triathlete if I don’t had to work that much. But that’s kind of a shame in the sport, you don’t get much support (even not after winning 2 IM, multiple podiums, setting bike course records and the fastest bike split world wide 2016 in an IM and setting the fastest IM-time of the year for your country), there is no funding because it’s not an olympic sport and if you are not on a team it is hard to find brands or private organisations or persons to support you (financially), racing for your country.

If I had a choice I’d do it different but there was none:

Thursday: Taking my exam for neonatology, back home 4h bike ride, 1 ho run, 1.5 h swim

Friday: 4h bike ride, 1h run, 1 h strength, start shift @ 3pm, home 10.30 pm

Saturday: get up 6 am for 6 k run, yoga, 8am shift starts, home @ 9.15pm, some dinner, to bed @ 11pm

Sunday: changing to daylight saving time, 1 h less sleep, get up 7 am, start shift @ 8am, home @11.10pm

Monday: get up @ 6.40 am, breakfast, osteopathic treatment, setting up new saddle and rear hydration, bike trainer session for 3h, lunch, nap, packing, stability & yoga, swim practice, dinner

Tuesday:  breakfast , bike session for 2 h, 1h brick run , yoga, blackroll, pack the bike, drive to FF, fly to SA

Wednesday:  arriving in PE @ 2pm  , 1.5h bike, 30 min brick run 

Thursday:  breakfast, 10 am Physiotherapie, swim , register, rest

Friday: 1.5h bike, 15 min run, 30 min swim, briefing

Saturday: 45 min bike, 15 min run, bike check in

Sunday: race day, get up @3am,  start 6.35 am, not the best swim, moderate bike and run…. 

Monday: rest and awards, paling my bike

Tuesday: flying home

Wednesday: arrive 6.30am in Frankfurt, be home @11.00 am, unpack, lunch, go to work and start shift @3pm, get home 11.30 pm

Thursday get up 6.30 am, go to work run to the doc 3.30 pm

Friday:  stability, yoga, lots of sleep, start nightshift @ 9.45 pm

So after those busy days it is no wonder I get sick a few days later. It is just a cold, but it costs 3 of my off-days from clinic when I had the possibility to just train and rest.

Always hard to find time for recovery but doing my best to rest 😉

Nor worries, I’ll be back!!

#myroadtokona – IM South African Championships 2017

For a long time I didn’t write on my blog and just posted on social media. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to write but I just couldn’t. During winter happened a lot.  Just to make sure you stay with me, I start at the very beginning:

Last season was an up and down, with not finishing IM Frankfurt did mean not going to Kona in 2016 (we had decided to get there either with one IM or not at all). So I aimed for early points and did get them by racing IM 70.3 worldchamps in Australia, winning IM Barcelona and placing 4th at IM 70.3 Miami. Since Frankfurt I already felt a minor problem with my gluteus and hips, nothing to worry about, I thought, but I did have cramps every race I started and my stride just didn’t feel normal. Even Chris did ask me once why I did have changed my running posture from mid foot to front foot and I just answered that I didn’t changed it but it just happened (and felt happy about it). That should have been the point to stop and ask someone what was going on. Well at least we did ask but didn’t get the right answers. So we just kept going and hoping it will just be okay with having massages and doing stretching and drills. When I was able to win Barcelona in sub-9 I thought it might not be too serious. Then in Miami I still had one of my best bike splits (and the fastest of the day), but running didn’t feel normal at all. First day after the race I asked to go for an easy jog to get rid of my cramping gluteus, believing it would be better than resting. The flight back home made it even worse. Finding some rest the first week back I did hope for recovery which didn’t happen, gluteus got even worse. So I started training with almost no intensity, starting my runs with having pain in my right hip which did disappear every time after a few minutes. So I decided to go for one of the local running competitions which meant to do also speed work. On November 15th I went out for 5 x 1 k. It took me some time to settle into a nice rhythm. Intervalls worked out better then ever. Only the rests in between made me almost cry, pain got worse. But still not feeling any pain during my intervalls I kept going. Just to realize after I finished my speed work that I had no idea how to get home. It was still a 4 k jog home and it took me forever. This was the last day I did run for a long time. I was in pain walking, I was in pain resting, sitting and even lying – I was distressed. 

An MRI on Thursday didn’t show any significant pathological signs. Knowing that, I thought I just might need more rest and more massages and manual treatments. Friday night we went by car to the movie theater, me on the right side of the car. And then I wasn’t able to get out of the car. I wasn’t able to lift my right leg at all and had to take it with my hands and put it outside like I was paralyzed. Shocking!

I thought walking did at least look normal and every time Chris asked me why I was humbling I groaned at him that I didn’t, until also strangers asked me what had happened. There was no way to ignore it any longer that something serious was going on. Swimming was only possible with a pull boy and riding my bicycle only on my indoor trainer with almost no effort. For the last week of November I had signed up for a seminar in pediatric intensive care medicine in beautiful Blaubeuren. Not only intensive care seminar but it was also to be an intensive seminar since the talks started 7.30 am each morning until 8 or 9 pm with a break of an hour for lunch. First I had planed to have some running sessions during this week, make some trail runs, have fun. But I had to change plans and took my indoor trainer and bicycle with me. After another week of no training but swimming or better say pulling I just wanted to give my legs and body some turnover whilst sitting on a chair for 12 hours all day long. At least I did learn a lot and really can recommend this seminar to all German speaking pediatricians. The food was great as well 🙂 Just my walking didn’t get any better, but worse neither. End of the week there was a hike planned and I just wanted to get outside. Bad idea. It did only last 90 minutes. Going a bit uphill was fine but the way back, having some downhills I had to fix my hips with my hand to be able to walk anyway. I barely made it back. So I prescribed myself: no more sports at all. Back home I immediately saw my doctor again, got treatment, but nothing worked. With help from a friend I finally found the best orthopedic doctor I met so far. I was totally destroyed, willing to travel anywhere if just somebody could help me. As soon as I contacted her she just saw me. Being a former Olympic qualifier she knows how you feel being injured. When I told her my story she knew what my problem was. She even didn’t need to examine me, which she did anyway just to be sure. The same day she made me see an osteopath. The first time since 6 weeks I felt that something positive was going on, just a minor step, but something did work. I met another osteopath who also helped me a bit but the pain in my hip didn’t go away, still not being able to walk. Just before New Year’s Eve I met Berit, the sister of my orthopedic, also a physiotherapist and osteopath who also sees a lot of athletes. And after her treatment I didn’t have any pain. She wanted me to take 2 more days of rest and then start running again for 20 minutes. So I did. I immediately felt that I was still having a schon relieving posture and didn’t think it was good to keep going like this. I tried it 2 more times and then we had to decide to stop running again. I made appointments with her in Hamburg where she lives and works to get another treatment in the second week of January. At least I was able to push the pedals again on my bike trainer and was back to swimming. No big efforts but at least some. After this second treatment she got me back in my running shoes 🙂 Really slowly but making progress from day to day. I started running 10 minutes a day, after a week I did it twice. We did built it up like this very slowly, still having a relieving posture and not being able to stretch my hip for along time until it looked and felt almost normal again. In the middle of February I was able to run 10 k again, just easy effort and flat. Instead of a strong schedule of swim, bike and run I had a strong schedule of rehabilitation training, stability training and work at the hospital. In the time left I squeezed in my „normal“ training. Seeing Berit again in February she gave me the GO to increase my volume and go for my training camp at end of February, but kept my rehabilitation work doing every day. In between I still saw my other therapists and now have build a perfect network. I now see my physiotherapist every week, see my osteopath every 4-6 weeks to check on my body and meet Berit every 2-3 months or as often as necessary.

But back to the story: Training camp went very well. We had 8 days of great training in the southern sea alps, some long rides on the bicycle, a lot of brick runs. Most of them starting fast and also had my first run longer than 75 minutes. And it all did work very well. The day of our trip back home I did a two hour run in the morning with increasing my speed on the last half hour. I was so happy that even after a tough week of training I was able to run some k’s in Ironmanpace. For the first time I didn’t feel my hip at all this week. Before I still had a strange feeling like my hip being tired (no pain). But this week I did enjoy running again. Didn’t last long though. Sitting in the car for an hour I already felt the pain coming back. Anyway we had planned to stop at least every 2 hours to get me do some stretching but now I really needed to work on it. Having our first stop Chris got shocked when he saw me walking. In his eyes it looked like I did walk as I did back in December and January. I knew I wasn’t walking normal but I also knew it was different from what I felt back then. Stimm on our trip home I contacted Berit who did answer immediately. Back home I did my hip routine and went to bed. Now I had to admit that something was going on because I again did feel a discomfort. The next morning she gave me an additional hip routine which I was supposed to do after having done a 20  minute run…. and it did work out! I was so happy!!! Also I knew I was kind of safe because I would meet her again the next weekend. Feeling better from day to day we decided to stick to our plan and test how far I can go. So on Friday I had an Ironman specific bike session with some Intervalls and on Saturday a 28 k run, my longest so far (3 weeks before the race), again with increasing pace towards the end. In the evening I saw Berit and she was very happy. Just from the therapists view I did look much better than before, she didn’t find any major problem. You can’t imagine how happy I was, it might actually become true that I’ll be on the start line of IM South Africa on April 2nd to chase my points for Kona.

Well, not the last time of a setback. Back at work the next week I got asked if it would be possible I could work a full time job again (I did cut back my hours in February) and only a few minutes after being asked I started humbling again like in December. I just thought, this cannot be true! What did I do wrong?? I was able to take some minutes to just lay down in our office, come down and do a bit of hip routine. Getting checked by my physiotherapist the next day we were sure it wasn’t a setback but just my soul crying :-/ I had a though schedule, maybe not wise to register for my neonatology exam one week prior to the race. Anyway, I managed to calm down at least a bit, nailed my training sessions and was perfectly prepared for my exams, which I happily passed. Not much time to relax the next days as I was on duty all weekend, really looking forward to leaving on Tuesday. To be sure I didn’t take any minor or major problems with me I had a last body check with Andreas (osteopath) on Monday. After arriving in PE on Wednesday we did go for an easy bike and run in the afternoon. On Thursday I saw Marolien (physiotherapist) who checked on me a last time that I didn’t have any muscular problems from the flight (thanks for making the contact Kyle!) she herself raced the Ironman and she got hit by a car about 4-5 weeks before the race and she still made it to the start and from start to finish! CONGRATS!!!

About the race itself:

I needed at least to place 7th to get a safe Kona slot. I knew I wouldn’t be able to have a fast race, but of course I dreamed of the podium. And I was really excited for raceday.

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My swim got much stronger. So my plan was to catch a group and somehow have the swim of my life. Did not happen 😦  From my trainings we knew I hadn’t the fitness on the bike like before IM Barcelona and I missed a lot of running. So our plan was to take it kind of easy on the bike, and went out with a lot less power than what I raced last. It seemed like the other girls in the front did push very hard and they gained some time on the first of two laps, only Daniela Ryf, the reigning world champion didn’t go much faster, so either she didn’t have a good day or had a similar strategy I thought. Passing Chris at the beginning of lap 2 he shouted at me to go just 5-10 watt harder on the second lap. And just as said I did go some minutes faster. I had to be very patient all the time. Well, I know what it feels to exit the water far behind but usually I gain place by place much faster. Not this time, holding back. Counting places I moved from 20th after the swim to 6th after the bike, not realizing I overtook Nikki in T2. Racking my bike I hit my toes, but anyways this didn’t bother me much longer. Running off the bike felt easy and smooth. We just changed strategy here and decided to not go out for an even pace but start a bit faster to gain some time. It was going to be a very hot day out on the run. The crowds made it a bit easier, they were cheering loud! From the middle of nowhere I started to struggle with a pain in my right knee it did bend when it wasn’t supposed to, it came and went away and came back. Trying not to think about it too much, but didn’t help, it slowed me down. Thanks I have a dream and I believe, I just thought „never give up, keep smiling and keep going“. I was able to settle into a new rhythm. In between I made it to 4th place, knowing that close behind me are 3 or 4 girls chasing me. Instead of looking back I kept looking forward, counting k by k. I still wasn’t going for the 7th or 4th place, I was going for as many points I could get, I was willing to fight for my road to Kona. I had already did put so much blood, sweat and tears into it for my comeback and that made me defend my 4th place until I crossed the finish line 🙂

The next day I didn’t know how to handle my emotions. On the one hand I was soooo happy I made a safe Kona slot, on the other hand it wasn’t satisfying not to have a close fight for the podium. Because I race to fight for the win and compete with the best. 

I love to say thank you to everyone who believes in me: My husband and coach, my family and friends, my sponsors and partners AND my docs, physiotherapist and osteopath! THANK YOU for BELIEVING in me and MY DREAM!

Fotos: Ingo Kutsche, Chris Decker

So langsam ist mal gut mit Winterschlaf ;-)

Ich habe hier lange nichts mehr von mir hören lassen. Nicht weil ich nicht wollte – irgendwie finde ich einfach nicht die Zeit. Zur Zeit bin ich froh wenn ich Job, Training und Reha und einen Hut bekommen. Was von Tag zu Tag nicht einfacher wird, aber aus einem guten Grund, denn ich kann wieder (fast) normal trainieren, aber zusätzliche Einheiten sind gerade wichtig, dass ich mich vollständig erhole. Was mir diese richtige Winterpause beschert hat wissen wir immer noch nicht genau, aber wir haben es im Griff und das ist das wichtigste 🙂

Ursprünglich hatte ich geplant wie im auch im letzten Jahr einen frühen Schnupperwettkampf zu machen und hatte dafür dieses Wochenende ins Visier genommen. Jetzt stehe ich selber nicht an der Startlinie, bin aber natürlich neugierig wer früh in die Saison startet und so habe ich mir heute mal die Startlisten angeschaut und werde die Rennen auf jeden Fall verfolgen und habe natürlich auch meine Favoriten 😉

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Zur Zeit bin ich sehr optimistisch, seit ich wieder trainieren kann steigt die Form stetig und viel schneller als wir uns das vorgestellt hatten 🙂 Anstatt draussen in der Kälte bin ich viel drinnen im warmen Wasser gelaufen und bin jetzt versiert im Depp Water Running. Gar nicht so unanstrengend 😉

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Habt ihr denn schon eure Rennplanung gemacht? Ich bin mir noch nicht ganz schlüssig wo ich dieses Jahr an der Startlinie stehen werde, was meint ihr? Wo eröffne ich meine Saison und wie geht es weiter?

Bis bald, eure Astrid

Mit fettem Polster in den Winter(schlaf)

Bei meinem letzten Wettkampf der Saison 2016 ging es nochmal um alles oder nichts. Die Reise nach Miami hatten wir geplant weil die Lust auf den Wettkampf selbst nach einer langen Saison (seit Januar) noch da war und ich trotz der Langdistanzvorbereitung noch jede Menge Spritzigkeit im Tank hatte. Selbst im Wasser zeigte die Formkurve weiter bergauf und somit startete ich die Reise selbstbewusst mit dem Podium als Ziel. Am Ende wurde es der vierte Platz und dementsprechend spielt ein wenig Enttäuschung mit. Doch bei diesem Rennen bin ich über mich hinaus gewachsen. Insbesondere mental war ich so stark wie nie zuvor. Wie schon bei den letzten beiden Rennen hieß es für mich wieder Bestzeit beim Radfahren und wie in Barcelona beste Radzeit des Tages, sowie neue PB auf der 70.3-Distanz. Und somit kann ich auch mit einem vierten Platz und bereits über 3000 Punkten auf meinem „Kona-Konto“ entspannt in die Winterpause gehen.

Beim Schwimmstart konnte ich mich aus dem Getümmel raushalten und gut mit anschwimmen, habe dann aber die etwas schnelleren Füße verloren und mich in Gruppe 3 wiedergefunden. Es stellte sich jedoch bald heraus, dass es eher ein Bummelzug war, so dass ich die Initiative ergriffen  und die Gruppe aus dem Wasser geführt habe. Dass das Schwimmen dann doch wieder eher eine Ernüchterung war, war eigentlich die einzige Enttäuschung an dem Tag – okay neben dem verpassten Podium. Der Wechsel war okay. Und ab ging aufs Rad.

Die letzten Einheiten fanden auf meinem Rollentrainer statt.

Die letzten Einheiten fanden auf meinem Rollentrainer statt.

Die ersten Meter erforderten ein wachsames Auge. Zunächst führt der Kurs durch Downtown Miami, dieses Jahr mit einer kleinen Umleitung aufgrund einer Baustelle, außerdem gibt es einiges an Hindernissen, wie Schlaglöchern oder Bumps, wie in einer Großstadt so üblich. Dann ging es 21 Meilen nach Nordwesten auf dem Highway. Es war ein klarer Herbsttag mit 28°C (im Schatten). Der Wind kam aus Nord, Nordwest und wehte einem auf dem Weg hinaus genau und ziemlich kräftig ins Gesicht, so dass es hieß sich klein zu machen und zu treten. Das klappte auch sehr gut und ich konnte, auf Platz 17 nach dem Schwimmen liegend, eine Konkurrentin nach der anderen einsammeln. Am Wendepunkt lag ich dann auf Platz 6 und mit dem Wind im Rücken habe ich den Turbo gezündet und mich bis auf Platz drei bis zum Wechsel vorgearbeitet. Nach einem schnellen Wechsel  lief ich vorsichtig an, konnte aber schnell meinen Rhythmus und auch mein geplantes Tempo finden. Bei einem Rückstand von ca. 2min20sec war der Sieg somit noch möglich, war ich doch zuletzt in Australien schneller als Elli und Leanda gelaufen. Ohne den fehlenden Fahrtwind merkte man schnell, dass die Sonne sehr kräftig war und es ein heißer Tag werden würde. An den beiden ersten Verpflegungsstellen habe ich zwar etwas zu Trinken greifen können, doch Wasser zum Kühlen war nicht griffbereit und das kühlende Eis war ein zu großer Brocken als dass ich ihn hätte halten können :-/ . Hätte ich hier schon gewusst was das für die kommenden Kilometer bedeutete, wäre ich stehen geblieben und hätte mich in Ruhe verpflegt. So kam es dann aber, dass mir wirklich schlecht wurde was ich zunächst nicht wirklich einordnen konnte. Ein erstes Gel hatte ich schon genommen. Ich konnte mir gar nicht vorstellen noch eins zunehmen, allein der Gedanke daran… doch ich merkte, wie meine Beine nach Energie verlangten und somit dachte ich mir, dass es egal ist ob ich mich jetzt übergebe weil mir schlecht ist weil ich nichts esse oder weil ich was esse, und habe mich dafür entschieden viel früher als üblich weitere Gele zu mir zu nehmen. Zum Glück die richtige Entscheidung an diesem Tag. Mit etwas mehr im Magen lief es sich direkt besser und auch an den weiteren Verpflegungsstationen konnte ich genügend Flüssigkeit aufnehmen und mich mit Wasser und Eis kühlen. So gestärkt konnte ich mein Tempo wieder verschärfen und die auf Platz 2 und 3 liegenden Athletinnen kamen wieder in Sicht. Es wurde zunehmendend voller auf der Laufstrecke und es war ein hin und her an den Verpflegungen, so dass teilweise die Seite gewechselt wurde und so kam es zu einem Frontalzusammenstoß mit einem anderen Teilnehmer. Innerlich schäumend vor Wut, über dieses Missgeschick und über meinen Einbruch zu Beginn des Laufs holte ich auf den letzten Kilometern alles aus mir heraus was nach der langen Saison, den letzten 3 anstrengenden Wochen und diesem heißen Tag noch in mir drin war. Somit war ich super glücklich als ich im Ziel einfach nur noch zu Boden sinken konnte. Ja, ich habe mich wirklich darüber gefreut! Auf Platz 12 im Kona-Ranking liegend kann ich mir nun eine wohlverdiente Pause gönnen. Das war der erste Teil der #roadtokona2017 – more to come 🙂

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Lockeres Warm-up vor dem Rennen 🙂

 

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Überglücklich alles gegeben zu haben 🙂

 

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Ganz nach dem Motto …

Sub-9 Club

„Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.“

Every Race is different! You never know what you get on raceday. You know the distance you will go and you know the course profile and the climate, but if you are going to have YOUR day that’s sadly nothing you can plan but only hope for.

Although I had a great season so far, placing 1, 2, 3, and 2×5, my goal races didn’t went as planned. So instead of heading to Kona this year I went to IM Barcelona, looking for some early points for Kona 2017 and another victory. That’s what I came for. Once again struggling on the swim I wasn’t too far behind the leader, so I was still in good mood in T1, just realizing, as I made my way to my Cervelo P5 that my left quads started to close up. I took it easy, tried to relax and kept going, but it only got worse. I even had to stop close to the mounting line and tried to stretch it out. Somehow I made it onto my red bull, at first not flying at all. The first 3k of technical section through narrow streets of Calella we weren’t allowed to go into the aerobars, so fine for me, still time to stretch, massage and work anyway on my quad to get it again ready to race. Passing the roundabout at 3k, allowing to go into the aero position I was surprised I could do the position, even better than any other, so I got even more optimistic cause it’s manly a flat course in Barcelona. I knew I was 6 min behind the leading woman, the ever amazing fast swimmer Lucie Zelenkova. Approaching the first turnaround halfway out I already gained 90 sec. I started to calculate and tried to stay calm and pace myself, if I would just keep gong like this I could catch the other girls at 90 k, so still much time left. And so far everything seemed to work out as we had discussed it before the race. Going out just felt easy, having a tailwind, the way back, facing a headwind was still fast. Shortly before halfway through the bike, I spotted a group in front of me and Chris shouted at me that’s only 20 sec, and shortly after that I passed them, taking the lead. It was a mixed group of us pro woman, some pro men and AG men. Although I caught and passed them I did not manage to break away. So it was a game of being patient again and staying focused. On the way up to Argentona I attacked again and tried to get away from the pack, not looking back a single time, even going down I pedaled as hard as I could just to get passed again some km later. On the last turns and slight uphill I again managed to stay in the front and made my way to T2. Still not sure if I could stand on my left leg and swinging of the bike I  took it easy, and then running felt kind of okay, even sitting down to take on my Asics did work. I just left my bags and ran out of T2 when Anna came, so I knew I did not have much of a lead. I wanted to take it easy in the beginning of the marathon, knowing that it will be hard on the second half as always, but something made me run much faster than planned, feeling just fine. Knowing that this was very risky I still kept going and getting payed off by building my lead more and more. The run course is mostly flat with some short down- and uphill. Each time passing this part of the course I got scared my leg would shut down, close up again. It did not feel smooth but I was kind of hopeful I could make it to the finish. Going onto the last of three laps I knew I could bring the race home in 1st position if nothing unexpected happened. I did not smile at all, being in pain but tried to fake a smiling face – seems like it did not work at all 😉 only on the last two km of the run, when I knew for sure, even if I had to walk I would take the win, I just could not but smile all over my face!

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Taking home my second IM victory, setting a new PB on the bike, the run and finish time of 8:54:27 entering the sub-9 club, setting a new bike course record and putting down the second fastest female bike split in 2016 with 4:40:13  (Daniele Ryf had the fastest time in Roth) I was more than happy!

Congrats to Lisi Gruber and Anna Watkinson for competing the podium, AND of course, congrats to Patrick for another great race and win!

I am loving enjoying to cross the finish line, I wanted that tape and I got it. The probably best part of winning, except for the victory itself, the ceremony and the shower of champagne is coming back to the finish line for heroes hour to welcome home the last finishers of the day.

I am so thankful for all your support and messages, it’s overwhelming! I am proud of having the best coach and husband on my side, believing in me even when I struggle. Friends and family I often don’t have time to see and of course my partners in triathlon.

First step is taken on my mission #roadtokona2017

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IM 70.3 WC 2016

We had a great time in Australia and felt like home. For the first time we had a homestay and were so lucky. Never met before, but just some days later felt like being friends (or even more family!). For me it was the first time in Australia and I immediately felt in love with the people, the country and the style of living. Good and healthy food, even better coffee and perfect training conditions. We not only enjoyed the lapped 50m pool but also attended the swim squad (thanks for the warm welcome!). If this wasn’t enough, we met with Mel Hausschildt who showed us around on her training routes. From the first day on we were getting familiar with the area around Noosa. Last trainings went perfect except running felt strange, my stride felt somehow different. Having one of my best massages ever we found out that this was caused by a sore glute. We worked on it and I felt fine and fresh, ready to race:

My day did not start well, I somehow got stopped at the swim start and it felt like ever to manage it to swim to the front, just to realize I missed the group. Kind of trying to not make it even worse, I put lots of effort into the swim, so I was more than surprised when Chris told me it was a PB in the swim. Good way to start a race.

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Now I was ready to rock it on the bike, that was at least the plan, but sometimes it comes different. The run in T1 took forever. Just thinking if they maybe changed the rules and I didn’t know, I finally got to my red bull. In short distance to Laura I started the bike. Closing my shoes, approaching the turnaround, my left hamstring shot down, I had a cramp I never had before. Trying to get rid of it with just moving and pedaling did not work at all, every time I bent my knee it got worse. So I had to rest and stretch, I clapped and massaged it and all the other did pass me. Rolling like this for already 5 minutes I just thought that I am not coming all the way to DNF and no matter what, I will finish the race. Some minutes later I was able to push again with both legs. It still was there and it felt strange but surprisingly I was able to stay with my expected watts. I caught back the other girls, just to take them with me until the 50k mark. I spent a few k’s riding at second weighing up my options, riding in second, saving some power and saving energy for the run but going slower or making my own race. I went for the second and I am glad I made a fair race. I pushed really hard on the last 20k to make a move from the group and finally did. When I jumped off my red bull at the dismount line, well I didn’t jump due to my sore hamstring,  I was already on the run course trying to catch as many girls as possible and having one of those runs I had in my other races this year. I wasn’t with myself in that moment and so it happened that I did open my helmet some seconds too early, but that’s the rule and I got to close it again and again to first rack my bike. Loosing again some seconds… what a day, I stayed calm.

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Starting into the run I immediately felt that I had to work hard. It did not feel like running that day, my stride was short,  I could not push. I never felt the rhythm, it was just hard work and I guess it did look as horrible as it felt. Don’t give up and keep pushing and smiling was what was in my mind and so I kept fighting and even passing some girls, finishing 14th.

Breaking into tears cause of being dissapointed by such a black day due to what happened during the race. It took me some days, exactly 3, when I was back at work on the preterm intensive care and all my colleagues where nothing but happy for me. Now I am proud of what I achieved, PB in the swim, the bike and overall, placing 14th in the pro field at the 70.3 world championship.

Thanks to everyone who believes in me and helps me make my dream come true, for this I work hard, every day.

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Thanks to our families, the Stienens, the Deckers and the Hamblins!!! Thanks to Chris for pushing me, understanding me, loving me!

And of course thank you to all my partners.

 

 

Spaßfaktor über der Schwelle und Countdown

Nachdem ich wieder ins Training eingestiegen bin gab es eine Leistungsbestimmung für mich und zwar gleich doppelt. Zunächst auf bekannte Weise bei STAPS und dann am gleichen Tag beim Zeitfahren von Profile Design bei Rad am Ring. Da hat es bei mir gleich zweimal an einem Tag ganz schön gebrannt 😉

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An dem Tag habe ich so einiges an Gefühlen durchgemacht. Dieses Mal war es vor dem Start nicht nur nervöse Anspannung die mir ins Gesicht geschrieben stand, sondern tatsächlich auch jede Menge Respekt vor der Strecke. Richtung Start stieg die Vorfreude auf das Zeitfahren, schon ein sehr geiles Gefühl von einer Rampe aus zu starten! Ab dem Zeitpunkt hieß es nur noch Vollgas! Zugegeben, die ersten Kurven und Abfahrten bin ich deutlich zu vorsichtig gefahren, nach dem Motto #safetyfirst, aber von Mal zu Mal habe ich mich wohler mit der Geschwindigkeit gefühlt! Kann es immer noch kaum glauben dass ich es wirklich gemacht habe und auch noch jede Menge Spaß hatte, beim Einzelzeitfahren in der“grünen Hölle“ auf dem Nürburgring. Ohne Zeit über die Abfahrten nachzudenken, mit hämmerndem Puls in den Schläfen und voll am Limit, habe ich mich in die Abfahrten gestürzt und habe die Anstiege hochgedrückt. An Ende einfach nur noch klein machen, Mund auf und drücken was geht. Im Ziel habe ich dann einfach nur glücklich gestrahlt.

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Für mich laufen gerade mehrere Countdowns 😉 Der erste ist bereits abgelaufen, ich habe meinen Arbeitsblock in der Klinik geschafft und habe nun wieder zeit für mehr Regeneration nach dem Training. Die Tage bis zum Abflug nach Australien werden nun gezählt… Und erst einmal in Australien angekommen zählen wir die Tage bis zum Wettkampf. Die Vorfreude steigt! Und was die  Vorbereitung betrifft läuft alles nach Plan. Diese und nächste Woche stehen noch einige harte Kerneinheiten auf dem Programm und bin bin froh wenn ich die alle noch schaffe, denn dann weiß ich, ich fahre in Top-Form zur WM 🙂

Regeneration könnte gerade nicht besser laufen, was gibt es tolleres als dabei Olympia zu schauen?

 

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IM 70.3 WM im Fokus

Nach dem der Wettkampf für mich beim IM Frankfurt voll ins Wasser gefallen ist, heißt es jetzt erst mal eine kurze Auszeit nehmen um dann frisch in die Vorbereitung auf die 70.3 WM zu trainieren.

Ich werde vorher keine weitere Langdistanz machen. Mein Zeil ist es bei der WM topfit am Start zu stehen, daher hatten wir von Anfang an nur den Ironman in Frankfurt geplant, wohlwissend dass das eine „Alles oder Nichts“ Strategie ist.

Vielen lieben Dank an alle die mit mir gefiebert haben, mich angefeuert und unterstützt haben!!! Mund ist abgewischt, ich mache weiter 😉

Eure Astrid

Über den Kraichgau zur 70.3 WM nach Australien

Jetzt sitze ich hier und weiß eigentlich gar nicht was ich schreiben soll… Gedanken gehen mir genug durch den Kopf, doch irgendwie kann ich sie gerade nicht in die richtige Reihenfolge bringen und die richtigen Worte finden. Schreibblockade – Zum Glück bin ich keine Schriftstellerin sonst würde ich jetzt bestimmt in ein tiefes Loch fallen 😉

Ich fange einfach mal vorne an. Ich mag das Rennen im Kraichgau, die Stimmung ist immer super und dich mag die Strecke einfach, besonders die Herausforderung die nach dem Radfahren beim Laufen wartet. Letztes Jahr musste ich aufgeben, daher wollte ich dieses Jahr unbedingt zurück kommen!

Gestartet bin ich einigermaßen gut in das Rennen. Kleine Probleme am Anfang des Schwimmens habe ich irgendwie überwunden und konnte zu Yvonne und Natascha aufschwimmen und sogar kurz vor Ihnen das Wasser verlassen. Ein etwas langsamerer Wechsel ließ mich als 5. auf die Radstrecke wechseln. Autsch, hier hat’s dann erst mal ordentlich weh getan. Entweder ich hatte mir irgendwas eingefangen, was falsches gegessen, getrunken, nicht genug oder zufiel, jedenfalls haben die Waden ganz schön gezwickt und auch die Oberarme! (So schnell bin ich jetzt dann auch wieder nicht geschwommen!) Ich habe dann erst mal meine angestrebten Werte getreten und mich abgesehen von den kleinen Zipperlein auch wohlgefühlt. Nur habe ich mir damit nicht zugetraut hinter Natascha uns Yvonne her zu fahren, so dass ich die 90 km alleine unterwegs war. Besonders erwähnen mag ich hier noch den Anstieg in Gochsheim, ihr seid der Hammer Leute, einfach krass wie ihr einen da hoch brüllt!!!

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Als 4. konnte ich auch die Laufstrecke wechseln und abgesehen von meinen Waden die mir ein wenig Sorgen bereiteten fühlten sich die Beine noch sehr gut an, so dass ich auch schnell anlaufen konnte. Ich habe es dann mehr oder weniger rollen lassen, die Beine einfach mal machen lassen und der Blick auf die Uhr zeigte, dass das Tempo passte. Die 2:20 Rückstand auf Platz 3 konnte ich rasch verringern. Die Unterstützung an der Laufstrecke war klasse! Und so konnte ich erneut aufs Podium laufen! Riesig gefreut habe ich mich über die schnellste Laufzeit des Tages!

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Als besonderen Bonus kam dann auch bald die Nachricht, dass ich damit schon im der ersten Runde für IM 70.3 WM in Australien qualifiziert bin!!!

Die nächsten Wochen nutze ich nun um an der Form für die Langdistanz zu feilen um beim IM Frankfurt fit am Start zu stehen. Vorher werde ich noch beim Indeland-Triathlon starten.

Halfdistance racing back to back

I haven’t done this before and we did not know if and how it would work but I think we did okay. The races were supposed to give us an idea where we are at the moment and if our plan works AND we wanted to get some points for the ranking. At least both did work, first better than second. We now know that I am on a good way, but two 5th places were not what I was racing for. I struggeled both times, due to weather and meeting a jellyfish. But whatever happened, I managed to perform strong till the finish. I had a strong run twice, which gives me confidence for my next races. Now I „only“ need to keep it together on the bike. At least physically I do not feel as if I have raced at all, only my wounds need to heal. So despite the results I am really confident to be on a good way with my preperations for IM Frankfurt and I am really excited how I will perform at my next races (Kraichgau and Indeland) especially in Frankfurt.

Here you get some Impressions from Aix en Provence and Mallorca:

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