Rennbericht Hawaii 2017

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Es ist schwer die richtigen Worte oder überhaupt Worte dafür zu finden was ich gerade fühle. Hin- und hergerissen von den Gefühlen, zwischen Stolz, Enttäuschung, Freude und  Schmerz. Was ich in der Zeit hier auf Hawaii erlebt habe fasst gefühlsmäßig das ganze Jahr zusammen. Hochs und Tiefs. Ich habe gesagt dass mien Ziel das Podium auf Hawaii ist und ich habe nicht eine Sekunde daran gezweifelt. Zufrieden wäre ich wenn ich am Ende alles gegeben hätte. Das ist in gewisser Weise so gewesen, allerdings anders als ich mir das vorgestellt habe. Und ich muss zugeben dass ich enttäuscht bin, denn ich kann das besser, besser als das was ich an dem einen Tag der zählte gezeigt habe, aber nur dieser eine Tag zählte. Und doch bin ich glücklich und erleichtert, denn ich habe während des Rennens von meinen A-, B- und C-Zielen Abstand genommen und bin dem Wetter und meinem Körper gerecht geworden.

Und irgendwie stelle ich mir die Frage (auch wenn ich weiss dass es nicht hilft), war es das alles wert? Die ganzen Entbehrungen, die wir in diesem Jahr auf uns genommen haben? JA, und da zögere ich nicht eine Sekunde. Wir (ich und alle die mich unterstützt haben) wissen, dass ich alles mögliche getan habe um mich auf dieses eine Rennen vorzubereiten und mich dabei unterstützt und an mich geglaubt haben. Und auch mit all den Rückschlägen dieses Jahr, einem immer wieder unterbrochen Aufbau, habe ich das Zeil nie aus den Augen verloren. Darauf werde ich in ein paar Jahren hoffentlich noch mit Stolz zurückblicken können. An manchen Tagen läuft es wie von selber, an anderen überhaut nicht, doch auch mit denen müssen wir umgehen und dieses helfen einem über sich hinaus zu wachsen. Aber wenn man etwas nicht versucht, dann wird man nie wissen was wäre wenn, also scheitere ich lieber bei dem Versuch als mich ständig zu fragen, „Was wäre wenn“.

Wie das aus dem bisherigem Jahr kann ich auch der Zeit auf Hawaii viel positives abgewinnen. Am Anfang hatte ich nicht gerade Glück und einen platten nach dem anderen, was mich zunächst auch etwas nervös gemacht hat, aber am Ende hat es mir dabei geholfen es alles entspannter zu sehen, ich war vorbereitet so gut ich konnte, und bin mental ausgeglichen und stark in den das Rennen gegangen. Die letzten Wochen Vorbereitung liefen top, auch die Eingewöhnung auf Hawaii hätte nicht besser sein können. Jede Einheit wurde abgeliefert und es gab auch keine größeren Wehwehchen, die mich im Verlauf der Saison mehr als nur ein paar Tage Training gekostet haben. Ich wusste es kommt einer der längsten und anstrengendsten Tage meiner Traithlon-Kariiere auf mich zu, doch ich war vorbereitet, körperlich und mental. Bevor der Kanonenschuss am Morgen fiel fühlte ich eine interessante Mischung aus ein wenig nervöser Anspannung und Entspanntheit.

Obwohl es leistungsmäßig eines meiner schlechtesten Rennen war, ich weiss dass ich nicht fitter hätte sein können an dem Tag. Und warum ich dann nicht schneller war? Irgendwie ist das auch für mich schwer zu greifen.

Mit dem Schwimmen fing das Rennen für mich ganz gut an, und ich konnte meine bisherigen Zeiten unterbieten, auch wenn ich mein Ziel, meine Zeit vom H’oala Schwimmen von einer Woche zuvor zu unterbieten verpasst habe. Für die zweite Disziplin, das Radfahren war der Plan die ersten 10 km etwas mehr Leistung zu treten, möglichst bei einer Gruppe zu bleiben und dann zu meinem Ironman-Pace zu finden. Alles lief perfekt, ich fühlte mich super. Mit einer kleinen Gruppe nahmen wir dann den ersten Teil der Radstrecke in Angriff und machten Zeit und Plätze nach vorne gut. Beim Anteil nach Hawi musste ich dann die Gruppe ziehen lassen, es hätte sonst bedeutet über meinen Verhältnissen zu fahren und aus Erfahrung wussten wir, das gerade auf diesem Abschnitt auch schon mal das Rennen verloren wird. Doch nur wenige Augenblicke später war das tolle Gefühl vorbei und da war es wieder dieses seltsame Gefühl am ISG und in der Gesäßmuskulatur, was mich davon abhielt weiter meine Werte zu fahren. Doch es war ja nicht mehr weit bis zum Wendepunkt und von da an ging es erst mal bergab und man konnte hohe Frequenzen treten, wodurch ich hoffte, sich bei mir wieder alles lockern würde. Was die Verpflegung betrifft lief alles optimal und energetisch ging es mir gut. Als es wieder zurück auf den Queen K ging konnte ich ich wieder meine Werte nicht treten, ein runder Tritt war nicht mehr möglich. Ich musste akzeptieren, dass ich meine angestrebten und schon oft über die Distanz getretenen Wattwerte nicht mehr halten konnte.

Alles in allem war das Radfahren also eine Katastrophe, so hatte ich mir das wahrlich nicht vorgestellt. Hätte ich etwas andes machen können oder sollen? Wir haben viel gegrübelt, Daten analysiert aber wüssten nicht was. Überraschender Weise hatte ich bei mLaufen anfangs keinerlei Probleme. So kannte ich das von einigen Trainings und die Motivation und der Glaube waren daher da hier noch ein paar Plätze gut zu machen. Klar war es ein bisschen heiß 😉 aber ich habe mich gut kühlen können an jeder Verpflegungsstation und auch gut Trinken und Kalorien zu mir nehmen können. Schnell habe ich meinen Rhythmus gefunden. Ich könnte es also noch vor in die TOP-10 schaffen. Trotz der Hitze bin ich recht kühl geblieben und habe zwar an den Anstiegen, insbesondere Palani gearbeitet, aber es nicht übertrieben um die Herzfrequnz nicht zu hoch steigen zu lassen (Praktisch die Herzfrequenzmessung am Handgelenk!). Doch wie aus dem Nichts meldete sich mein ISG und meine Gesäßmuskulatur oben auf dem Highway zurück. Die Anstiege, sonst meine Stärken sind in diesem Jahr meine Schwachstelle und Schwäche. Das habe ich versucht zu verdrängen, denn in den letzten Wochen war ich meiner Alen Form wieder nach, doch die extremen Bedingungen forderten wohl ihren Tribut. noch 26 km vor mir bis zum Ziel habe  ich gekämpft, gekämpft locker zu bleiben, immer wieder habe ich gut in meinen Rhythmus zurück gefunden. Das ging bergab deutlich besser als bergauf. Bald kam das Energy Lab, 4 km dort und dann zurück zum Ziel. Ich erinnerte mich an meine letzten langen Läufe, wie ich dort am Ende das Tempo anziehen konnte motivierte mich, dass das auch jetzt möglich sei. Mein Ziel, das Podium war in unerreichbarer Ferne, aber wer weiss was noch möglich war, wer es zuvor übertrieben hatte und wem am Ende die Körner ausgingen? Als es aus dem Energy Lab zurück auf den Highway ging fühlte ich mich erstaunlich frisch und es lief locker. Das blieb aber nur für einen Augenblick. Schon bald darauf wurden die Schmerzen unerträglich, nun war es also nicht ich diejenige welche Plätze gut machten sondern ich wurde eingesammelt. Es gab viele aufmunternde Worte von meinen Konkurrentinnen, jeder kämpft und hat trotzdem noch die Kraft und Muße andere zu unterstützen. Auch wenn ich verlor, aufgeben wollte ich nicht. Ich ließ einen Schweizer auf und zusammen laufend konnten wir eine zeitlang unsere Qualen vergessen. Chris war auch die ganze Zeit an meiner Seite. Auf dem Rennrad fuhr er ein paar Meter, wartete, motivierte mich, fahr wieder vor. Nach einer gefühlten Ewigkeit errichten wir wieder Palani und ich glaubte meinen Augen kaum, aber ich kam einer Konkurrentin näher. Was dann geschah kann ich wie so vieles an dem tag, selber auch nicht verstehen, aber ich habe noch einmal alles verbliebenen Energiereserven mobilisiert und alles ausgeblendet und konnte nochmal rennen. Bei meinem Sturm Palani bergab und Richtung Ziel habe ich noch zwei weitere Konkurrentinnen eingesammelt und habe überglücklich die Ziellinie gequert. Ja, ich habe tatsächlich gejubelt. Ich habe nicht gewonnen, aber in gewisser Weise schon. Noch nie zuvor habe ich so viel für ein Finish gegeben, noch nie habe ich mich so überwunden. ich war so weit von meinen Ziel und meinem Leistungsvermögen entfernt aber ich habe nicht aufgegeben. An dem Tag hat mein Körper nicht das mitgebracht was eine herausragende Performance gebraucht hätte, aber mein Kopf war stark, bärenstark.

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Vielen, vielen Dank an alle für ihre Unterstützung! Familie, Freunde, Sponsoren und einfach alle denen ich begegnet bin und an der Strecke.

Ich komme zurück!

#followmypassion #performingperfect #believe

Race Report Hawaii 2017

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

 

It’s hard to find some words for what I feel now. I am kind of feeling being between the chairs, juggling my emotions, being  totally overwhelmed.  What I’ve felt on Big Island summarizes it up pretty much what I’ve been through the entire year. It was the worst and the best of times. I’d always said I aim for the podium because this was just what I was feeling I was ready for, but I’d be happy whatever the outcome was if I did myself justice. Well, that didn’t happen, but part of it did. I have to admit I am disappointed. I can do far better than what I’ve put together on that day, on the one and only day that did really count for me, the day that really mattered. But guess, I am happy and relieved as well because I was able to let my A- and B- and C-goals just go when I had to do justice to the weather and my body. The former wasn’t that hard, the latter even more.

Not only me but my family and friends and my great medical team had made sacrifices and although it doesn’t help I now look at all the time and effort I spent all year long in the run up to the race and wonder if it was it all worth it? ‚YES‘ is what I say immediately and don’t even hesitate for a second. I (and I doesn’t mean just me but all the people who      have been on my side, supporting me, being there for me or even just let me do what I wanted to do) know everything I could do to prepare for this race I’ve done and still believing in me, despite all the odds, will make me proud to think about, at least I hope, in years to come. Sometimes you get good days, sometimes you get bad days, some get more good days and some have to work harder to get a good day, but dealing with the bad ones is part of it and I believe, makes you even stronger. Just if you don’t try you won’t know, so I’d rather fail than wonder ‚what if‘.

As I got lots of positives from 2017 I got lots of positives from the trip and the race. Having had a mechanical and more than a couple of punctures, which really made me a bit nervous in the beginning, helped me to relax again and find the right balance for my mental state going into the race. Each and every session, no matter swimming, cycling or running, went smooth and even the harder ones I did hit on every second and each Watt.  Happy, not having any issues which had to make me take some extra rest days, well plenty of rest days and periods this year. Come on race day I did believe in myself still being aware of having one of the hardest days in triathlon-life ahead of me. Before the canon went off I remember having a nice mixture of excitement and coolness.

Despite having a crappy race I know I have been on peak. Why I didn’t put it together? Well, thats‘ hard to tell.

My swim was one of the best I ever had in Kona, still missing my goal to beat my time of the H’oala Swim from one week before. The plan was to go out the first 10k a bit harder on the bike and then to settle the pace but trying not to get dropped by a group if I am in one. So that did work well. I concentrated to drink and eat consistently and stay with my Watts. I didn’t want to push too hard too early, so I had to let some girls go on the way up to Hawi, they were really pushing hard. Still feeling strong and fit I did believe I would benefit thereof on my way back to Kona. Then it did hit me hard in my back. But soon I was at the turnaround and did hope to get rid of the strange feeling in my sacroiliac joint and gluteus which I knew very well from some months ago. Being back on the Queen K it did hit me hard again.  I even wasn’t able anymore to hold my pace together, trying hard I felt the weakness in my right sacroiliac joint which from then on bar me from pushing my Watts any longer.  I had to ride more conservative because it did just hurt too much.

So I messed up the bike massively but even I’ve wondered what I should have done different, I can’t tell you. The run did start surprisingly good. Still feeling a bit hot and being anxious about my gluteus I did start conservative but managed to find my rhythm and a nice pace soon. I used every aid station to drink and get some ice to cool myself down. And there I was again, back in the game, not feeling my sacroiliac joint anymore. I knew that being patient and putting a solid run together could still bring me at least a TOP 10 finish. I took Palani easy because from this point it is still 26km to go and I was feeling great. Just to get hit by the pain in my sacroiliac joint again on my way on the highway. Still trying to hold my body together, it was a force and back in finding my stride. Soon the Energy Lab was to come and it was just another 4 km down there and then just running home. Remembering some of my long runs, with a 10k of picking the pace up in the end, motivated me to keep pushing. I knew the podium was almost unreachable but you never know who did risk too much on the bike or in the beginning of the run, so you better keep going until you cross the finish line. And running out of the Energy Lab I really felt the boost and felt a nice stride coming back, but only for seconds, then I felt like I would collapse by pain. So it wasn’t me passing my competitors but others passing me, still giving me words of encouragements for which I was really thankful. I met a guy from Switzerland and I was able to motivate him to stay with me, which motivated myself as well to just keep going. I mean, Chris was there as well, he tried to stay with me as often as he could, which did help a lot as well. I just really wanted to finish, no matter what, so I had to dig really deep. Approaching Palani I saw one of my competitors again, I was gaining on her. That made me push myself even harder and even if I wasn’t going TOP 10 I kept pushing for every second out there, knowing I would regret, if I didn’t. So I passed another two fellow pro women. And then I was passing the finish line as if I had won. Well, I did win, I did win over my inner self, I’ve never lost so much, being that far away from my goal and what I know I am capable of but I NEVER GAVE UP and that is what has given me the smile and joy on that finish line until I collapsed into the arms of two volunteers.

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Thanks for the great support! Family, friends, sponsors and just everyone out there!

I’ll be back!

#followmypassion #performingperfect #believe

 

 

And it’s race week again #myroadtokona

Sorry for being absent from my blog. I just didn’t have any time to sent on writing a lot and only posted some updates here and there on social media.

Meanwhile we are already in Kona for just over a week and I have had some decent training sessions. 8 days to go and we start tapering now. I’ll try to keep away from the internet and social media until the race is over, just as the weeks before you might find some short update with a photo. If you want to know more of what we have been doing here and what race week will bring, then you can have a look at Chris‘ blog on http://triworx-coaching.com. He writes a blog every second day from his perspective of a coach and a husband. We’ll be happy if you follow us on #myroadtokona #followmypassion #performingperfect

Mahalo, Astrid

PC@koruptvision

Sorry dass ich hier länger nichts mehr von mir habe hören lassen, irgendwie hat die Zeit gefehlt. Inzwischen sind wir seit gut einer Woche in Kona und ich habe noch einen guten letzten Trainingsblock gehabt. Jetzt ist es noch eine Woche bis zum Rennen und das Tapering hat gerade angefangen. In der nächsten Woche werde ich mich vom Internet weitestgehend fern halten, nur hier und da mal ein kurzes update schicken. Aber wenn ihr mehr wissen wollt, was bisher geschah und was die nächste Woche noch so bringt, dann schaut doch auf http://triworx-coaching.com vorbei. Dort berichtet Chris jeden zweiten Tag in seinem Blog aus seiner Perspektive als Coach und Ehemann. Wir würden uns freuen wenn ihr dort vorbei schaut.

Mahalo, Astrid

PC@koruptvision

Finally it’s race week again :-)

(Please scroll down for the English version!)
Die Tage wo ich kurz/kurz gelaufen bin sind hier leider vorbei. Für ein paar Tage darf ich diese Woche nochmal Sonne schnuppern. Am Mittwoch Reise ich zur IM 70.3 WM in die USA, nach Chattanooga in Tenesee. Bis vor ein paar Tagen war ich noch recht lustlos, nicht weil ich nicht längst wieder Lust auf einen Wettkampf habe, wohl eher weil ich mir selber nicht ganz im Klaren bin in welcher Form ich dort am Start stehe. Ich bin mitten in einem großen Umfangsblock vor Kona. Die Weltmeisterschaft auf Hawaii hat gerade für mich Priorität. Zum Glück gehörte aber auch etwas Speed-Training in den letzten Wochen noch dazu. Inzwischen bin ich auch sehr gespannt und kann es kaum erwarten am Samstag an der Startlinie zu stehen. Soweit ich das aus dem Kursprofil alleine beurteilen kann wird das ein Rennen das jeden fordern wird. Ich bin mit sicher, es wird sehr spannend!
The days where I went short / short are unfortunately over here. For a couple of days, I can enjoy the sun again. On Wednesday I travel to the IM 70.3 World Championship in the USA, to Chattanooga in Tenesee. Until a few days ago, I was still quite listless, not because I do not want to race again, but probably I am not quite clear in which form I will be at the start. I am in the middle of one large block before Kona. The World Championship in Hawaii has just priority for me. Luckily, however, there was also some speed training in the last few weeks. In the meantime, I am also very excited and can not wait to be on the starting line on Saturday. As far as I can judge from the course description alone it will be a race that will challenge everyone. I’m sure it will be very exciting!

Back in the game 

She is back in the game. After long term injury during winter season she finished with a strong fourth place at IM South Africa in April, still not being in full shape at that time. Astrid secured her Kona slot and was therefore able to take some time off again and work on her injury again. Building her fitness she felt ready for her summer races to enjoy what she loves, racing in triathlon, but unfortunately she earned another lemon by having torn her quadriceps in the first race. So again she had to rest and work on her rehabilitation instead of racing. Now she is finally back. Last weekend she finished the sprint distance Triathlon in Eupen and she was not only happy to finish second but also that her body felt strong again and didn’t show any weaknesses. Just in time to continue with her training blocks leading into the next races, the double world championships, IM 70.3 WC in Chattanooga and the IM WC in Kona.Astrid did find her balance again.

Wish her luck and join her on her #roadtokona #performingperfect 

The championship double – Das WM-Doppel

Planing 2017 we were quite sure I will not race the 70.3 world championship. But it came totally different. Well, in my latest blogs you can read about my injury during the off-season and heading into the season as well as my crash and following injury in June so I had to cancel my summer races. Luckily my muscle did heal fast and I am back to training and the preparation for Kona has not been effected too much. Kona is the big race for me this year and starting as well at the IM 70.3 WC does not change my plans in any way. We decided to go there to have a chance racing against the best athletes of the world before going to Kona, to see how much speed is left and feel the spirit of racing. I always enjoy racing the best and strongest athletes. I won’t be in a perfect form for racing the middle distance but I’ll give it a shot 😉

Having done only one race this year so far I am very excited heading to these two big events. I will open the second half of the year with the Promo at Triathlon Eupen, a sprint distance near my home and I am really excited about that as well, not having done any shorter races and speed work for some time 😉

I feel fresh, fit an healthy. You might wonder what have caused my injury. After having time to think about it a lot, me and my team are kind of sure that it was due to the stress I put onto my shoulders. It is not always easy to handle your job AND sport and the stress level in my job did rise kind of high during the last year, which I did not notice earlier. I did wonder for a long time why it happened when I did not do any sports, taking time off after the 2016 season, but there is this phenomenon that your body works as long as you need it until you give it a rest. Thats our theory at least. Since I monitor my training stress, heart rate and sleep quality already for a long time, I try to keep track of my stress level and adjust my training load to avoid overtraining and keeping the risk of injuries low.

I have learned a lot too and made a decision which I am not going to tell you today, but you will notice soon. Since I made this decision I feel free and balanced again 🙂

I hope you find your balance! See you soon,

Astrid

Injury on my Scandinavian tour – Missing to defend my title at Indeland – Building for two World Championship

Jetzt ist es schon einige Zeit her dass ich etwas geschrieben habe. Sorry dafür.  Wie ihr euch denken könnt war ich in der Zwischenzeit trotzdem gut beschäftigt 😉 Nachdem ich glücklich den Ironman South Africa überstanden hatte, und nicht nur überstanden, sondern deutlich besser ins Ziel gebracht habe als wir vorher aufgrund der viel zu kurzen Vorbereitungszeit gehofft hatten, wollten wir meinem Körper etwas Ruhe geben. Daher habe ich einige Tage gar nicht trainiert. Das war allerdings einfach, da ich in der Zeit viele Dienste in der Klinik hatte. Wie immer wenn der Sport deutlich zu kurz kommt habe ich die Bewegung vermisst. Da wir aber in keiner Weise unter Druck standen, da ich  für die Qualifikation für Kona  schon genügend Punkte hatte, konnten wir mit einem sehr langfristigen Aufbau für Kona beginnen. Auf dem Weg dahin wollte ich jedoch im Sommer einige Rennen bestreiten, aber keine Langdistanz. Beim Blick in den Rennkalender waren die Rennen schnell gefunden. Ich wollte sehr gerne wieder nach Schweden, wo ich meinen ersten Ironman gewonnen habe, und habe mich daher für den 70.3 in Jönköping angemeldet. Zur Vorbereitung auf das Rennen sollten der 70.3 in Helsingor und der Indeland-Triahtlon dienen. Da es keinerlei Druck gab noch irgendwelche Punkte sammeln zu müssen habe ich mich gefreut einfach nur des Triathlon wegen am Start zu stehen. Die Vorfreude war riesig.

It’s been quite a long time I didn’t write something here, sorry for that. As you can guess I was busy in the meantime. Happily having survived IM South Africa, and not just survived, but finishing much stronger than what we could have except from my short preparation for the race, we wanted to give my body a rest. So I took off some days from training. That was kind of easy because I had a busy week in hospital 😉 But as always I started missing to swim bike and run soon. Now that we weren’t in any rush or had any pressure anymore since I had already enough points for Kona we started a long term build up for Kona. My wish was to do some races in summer. No more long distance, but some shorter races. Looking through the race schedules it was easy to decide. I wanted to go back to Sweden, where I did win my first Ironman, and signed up for IM 70.3 Jönköping. For preparation we also choose to do two more middle distance races before to get me into peak form. I was really excited. There was no pressure for collecting points, it was just about triathlon and racing and giving the best on race day.

 

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Wenn ihr genau hinseht, dann seht ihr das der Helm gebrochen ist. Bei mir waren es zum Glück nur Prellungen, Schürfwunden und Schleudertrauma. Looking close you can see that my helmet is broken, I had sone bruises, abrasions and a whiplash injury.

 

Zwei Woche vor dem Wettkampf in Dänemark hatte ich noch einen Sturz mit meinem Rad. Zum Glück ist nicht schlimmeres passiert. Der kaputte Helm wurde rasch von Giro ersetzt (DANKE!). Prellungen, Schürfwunden und Schleudertrauma waren relativ rasch auskuriert (DANKE Dirk König bei Physio Vital). In der Rennwoche selber merkte ich auf einmal dass mein Körper bereit war. Bereit für das nächste Rennen. Mit der Verletzung vom Winter hatte ich noch lange zu tun und war noch lange damit beschäftigt die Muskulatur wieder aufzubauen. Aber genau in dieser Woche fühlte sich alles endlich wieder normal an. Dazu kommt dann auch noch dass Helsingor wirklich ein schönes Städtchen ist, die Landschaft, aber auch kulturell wird dort einiges geboten. Am Wettkampftag lief es dann leider nicht wie geplant. Mein Schwimmen war ganz gut, das beste seit langem. Vor allem der Start war prima bis ich irgendwann die Lücke nach vorne nicht gefunden habe und bei dem Versuch einen anderen Weg zu nehmen hinten raus gefallen bin. So habe ich mich irgendwann in der dritten Gruppe wiedergefunden. Bis dahin war alles soweit okay. Auf dem Weg zum Rad hatte ich dann plötzlich starke Schmerzen im linken Oberschenkel und konnte  nicht mehr laufen. Es fühlte sich wie ein starker Krampf an, nur eben viel schlimmer. An Laufen war nicht mehr zu denken, also bin ich gegangen bis ich es irgendwann an die Mount Linie geschafft hatte und auf das Rad durfte. Ich beschloss  zu versuchen Rad zu fahren, in der Hoffnung dass sich die Muskulatur lockern würde. Die ersten 10 Minuten waren die Hölle, zum einen der Schmerzen wegen, zum anderen aber vor allem deshalb weil ich sah, dass ich nicht annähernd Wettkampfleistung trat. Es war klar ich würde immer mehr Zeit nach vorne verlieren. Und so sind aus gut drei Minuten nach 10 km schon 6 Minuten Rückstand geworden. Mit und mit konnte ich das Bein aber normal bewegen, wenn auch nicht den normalen Druck geben. So blieb es für den Rest der Radrunde, die Schmerzen waren fast weg, aber normal war das nicht. Irgendwie habe ich noch gehofft dass sich das beim Laufen ändern würde. Wieder in der Wechselzone angekommen, musste ich erst mal vom Rad runter klettern und dann war es eigentlich auch schon vorbei. An Laufen war nicht zu denken, die Schmerzen waren wieder so schlimm wie am Anfang, es zerriss mich innerlich. Also hieß es aufhören, doch so einfach ist das im Wettkampf irgendwie nicht. Es ist schon unglaublich wozu einen so ein tolles Publikum und das Adrenalin bewegen können, ich habe mir doch tatsächlich die Laufschuhe angezogen und wollte es mit Gehen versuchen. Zum Glück hat Chris aus einiger Entfernung gesehen dass etwas nicht stimmte und kam zu mir rüber gerannt um mich aus dem Rennen zu nehmen.  Das war meine Rettung und die einzige richtige Entscheidung. Klar war ich frustriert und habe einige Tränen vergossen. Zurück zu Hause hieß die Diagnose dann Muskelfaserriss. Die nächsten beiden Wettkämpfe muss ich leider absagen. Etwas gutes jedoch hatte der Wettkampf, ich habe einen wunderschönen Ort venengelernt, viele nette Menschen getroffen und weiß, dass ich mit der Vorbereitung auf den Punkt topfit war und sogar meine Leistungen aus dem Vorjahr bereits jetzt übertreffen kann.

Two weeks before the race in Denmark, the IM 70.3 European Championships I had a crash with my bike. Luckily I didn’t have any severe injuries. And just as race week arrived I felt that my body was ready. Ready to race again. For a long time I still had to deal wish my injury I had during winter and was working on building strength again. But just that week everything felt normal. Helsingor is just a beautiful place. But everything did fall together on race day. My swim was okay. I had a great start but then I struggled to keep contact to the fast woman and even struggled to stay in my group firstly. Slowly I managed to get back into the group. Either way, it was one of my fastest swims and I existed the water in a perfect position to attack the podium. Running to my bike I started to really struggle. I felt a pain in my left quad, like a cramp, just even worse. Trying to stretch and loosen it, I only made it worse. I wasn’t even able to run through transition, I had to walk. That was so frustrating. I decided I try to start the bike, being in lots of pain I wasn’t able to push my pedals. It took about ten minutes until I finally found some rhythm, but far away from what I am usually able to push. And from three minuter in T1 the gap to the front was growing to 6 minutes after only 10 km. It is a two loop bike course and you pass the center of the city. Coming trough the large crowd they were cheering loud. I wanted to cry because I would have liked to enjoy it but was just suffering. Since the pain got better I was hoping for a good run. I should have known better, because I still was not able to ride my normal watts. Crawling off my bike the pain was even worse. It is surprising how a huge crowd and adrenalin can influence you and make you try. I had to walk and every step did hurt. I just didn’t want it to happen so I got my running shows on and wanted to just walk and maybe see if the pain will go away. Chris was waiting for me somewhere down the run course. Looking of me he saw my head going up and down (as I was humbling) and ran over to the transition where he had to shout very loud until I was able to hear him. Luckily he came to safe me to start the run. As you can guess I was really frustrated and sad and yes I did cry. Back at home I got diagnosed with a torn muscle in my left quads. What means that I had to withdraw from Indeland Triathlon as well as IM 70.3 Jönköping. But I also took some positives with me, having been at a great place, meeting some very nice people and knowing that I was perfectly fit on race day and I am already stronger than I have been last year.

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In der Zwischenzeit habe ich die Einladung zur IM 70.3 WM in Chattanooga erhalten. Eigentlich wollte ich die WM dieses Jahr ausfallen lassen, aber unter diesen Umständen habe ich die Einladung sehr gerne angenommen. Es wird für mich kein „A“ Rennen sein, aber wo kann man schon besser seine Form testen als wenn man mit den Besten der Welt zusammen an der Startlinie steht?

In the meantime I got the invitation to the 2017 IM 70.3 World Championship which will be held in Chattanooga, and I am happy to accept the invitation. It won’t be an A race for me, but what place and race is better to test your performance before the World Championship in Kona than racing against the best of the world?

 

Thank you all for your support, everyone out there who follow my  passion. My family and friends for being me just who I am. My husband and coach Chris (triworx-coaching.com) who support me, believes in me and helps me to get stronger. My medical support team: Dirk and Berit and Conny and Andreas. And of course all my sponsors:

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