4 min read

Season recap Pleuni

Highlights and lowlights of 2019

Barcelona, 8 October – In my active wear in the airplane I sleep half of the flight and the other half I’m writing this and other blogs. When I look around I notice it is pretty typical for triathletes to either refresh their socials each 30secs or to to be passed out completely.

So I have two modes now: sleeping or writing. I’m not writing for the kudos or likes but to structure my thoughts (but please subscribe to my blog and push the like button). There goes a lot around in your head when you are racing and writing your experiences down helps you to get into your rhythm again and to learn from each race. This blog is a wrap up of this season.

Albeit with a pile of pain killers in my bag as opposed to an ironman trophee I can look back at my most successful year to date.

A wrap up:

I turned 2nd at Ironman Ireland – my first Ironman podium as a pro – and I improved my PB with 11 mins at Ironman Copenhagen. But little did I know at the end of 2018 that my job, coach, training squad and place I live would be completely different by the start of the 2019. But these things happen and when combining a professional (I have a background in science) with a sports career things need to be balanced perfectly. So it was a rocky start of the year, but in the end things would work out great!

The full overview:

12th Challenge Salou half triathlon, April

It is the first European pro race of the year and hence very competitive (20 pros). I left the water and the bike course at the front of the race but lacked speed at the run and lost 7 spots there. However, I was content with the improvement of my swim.

1st – Time trial Almere, May
On our new FFWD F9R tubeless ready wheels I won the Almere 42km time trial race with a 1.5min gap on the number two.

2nd – Triathlon 111 Bilzen, May**
I finished 2nd, behind the Dutch pro athlete Sarissa de Vries. I felt very bad prior the race and after the race decided I needed new input on my training plan and more confidence in the process. Mark Oude Bennink becomes my new coach.

 2nd – Ironman Ireland, June
With a 30mm rain and 9 degrees Celsius this was a tough day out. Dressing up like racing the Ronde van Vlaanderen turned out to be a good idea as I managed to survive and get my first Ironman podium.

I finished the coaching programme at de Sportmaatschappij (an organization that helps athletes in their social careers) and in July I started with my new job at ttopstart – a consultancy firm that advises scientists in Life Sciences and Healthcare on funding and business strategy.

PB and 7th at Ironman Copenhagen, August

I had a good race and improved my PB with 11 minutes (9:21), with Anne Haug (the World champion) breaking the records the field was a bit too strong for me and I turned 7th pro.

*4th at The escape from Marken, August*
I finished 4th in a 3km open water swim race through the choppy Gouwzee (Zwemmeland).

At the end of the September I severly snapped my back and worked really hard with my physio and manual therapist to recover. Things seem to work out and I felt better in a few werks.

Crash at Ironman Barcelona, October
Aiming for a top 5 and/or PB. I got out of the water 6th and was going smoothly until I crashed at full speed at a roundabout at 15km. I got myself together and completed the ride in 4.44h but after an hour on the run course I had to give up. My hip and back where getting too stiff and painful and I couldn’t continue the race.

I happily look back at a successful season where I improved a lot on my swim and in racing itself. Things in my life have settled now and that has created a good base to continue into the next season. I still need to evaluate with my coach Mark and make a plan for 2020 but I’m super excited about it.

*gekkie=weirdo
** 1k swim, 100k ride, 10k run