We arrived on the big island of Hawaii on Thursday night after a draining 24 hours of travel. It was pleasantly warm, the sweating started the moment we stepped of the plane. But to be fair this year it hasn’t seemed as hot as two years ago. Much felt like coming home, we are even in the same apartment block as last time, about 2 miles down Alii Drive from the pier.
After a uncharacteristically good first night – I slept from half 11 at night till 9am, we just took it easy the next day to recover from the travel, collected our hire cruiser bikes, shopped for groceries, visited the farmer’s market for yummy local pineapple, passion fruit, papayas, avocados, apple bananas, and mangos. After lunch we put the bikes back together and I headed out for a first ride to check everything works and to spin out the legs. It was warm and windy. Not a surprise then. I didn’t feel particularly strong but that was to be expected, 24 hours of travel don’t pass you by without leaving some sort of mark.
I love racing. After all, this is why I do this sport. But if you race lots it tends to disrupt your training somewhat. So after two Olympic distance triathlons on consecutive weekends, I felt very ready to tackle my next big block of training towards Kona. 3 weeks of uninterrupted swimming, biking, and running until my arms and legs were ready to fall off. Then recover, and race again to test the state of affairs. I can’t even begin to explain how much I was looking forward to this.
And it’s exactly what I did. Ticking off the sessions on the plan, and ready to push my body and mind further in every session.
Fairly soon after starting triathlon I joined the Brighton Phoenix Tri club. Having been involved in a swimming club growing up I thought this the obvious next step. Over the coming months and years the club was to be a source of a wealth of information, helping me to find out about all aspects of triathlon. I made new friends, found training partners, and regularly found a helping hand when needed – I just remember the countless lifts to races that I and my bike benefited from! I love my club but it wouldn’t be the same without its members. So once I’d found my footing I started to think about how I could get more involved.
Today I did my last triathlon of 2010, finishing the season on a high with a good second place at Hever castle.
I don’t know about you but I can feel with every part of my body that the end of the season is here. I noticed the first signs the day after the Bala standard distance triathlon. I was tired. The idea of putting my running shoes on for my usual Monday session made me think twice, and I took a rain check. I wasn’t even looking forward to the next race, just looking forward to getting it over with. But despite the tiredness there’s something deeply satisfying about this feeling. This year I have raced, raced, and raced until I truly had enough. And now I will have a break, because I want to, because I deserve it, but mostly because I need to. Everyone needs a time to recharge their batteries.
“You are at the end of season so let’s enjoy ourselves eh !”
“I can’t do it if it makes me feel like that.”
The first quote is the answer I received from my coach in response to asking to enter yet more races for the remainder of the season. The second is from a friend during a discussion of a race that went very wrong after a terrible swim.
My reply to my friend was this: “There’s no point in doing it if it makes you feel bad.”
This sentence summarised what I only very recently had to remind myself of as well. When I started triathlon it was all shiny and new to me.
I’m probably preaching to the converted here, but a few weeks ago when I tidied up my room I discovered a box smoothie maker.
We should all eat plenty of fresh fruit and veg, and I certainly never had a problem with this, but how much fun are smoothies! I’m having almost as much fun making them as consuming the product. Not only are they good for you, they also taste great. I’ve almost gone off the chocolate in favour of smoothies.
Having grown up in the flat terrain of Northern Germany, I used to absolutely despise hills. If there’s one thing I really don’t like it’s slowness, and that applies to everything in life. I’m terribly impatient.
Cycling up hills doesn’t give you the excitement of going fast on a bike and quite frankly cycling up hills is hard work. I was also put off by the fact that as one of the bigger athletes ‘im always on the losing end against some of the slender running girls, as soon as we are faced with an incline.
I just love, love, love being a triathlete and living in Brighton. This morning I was woken up bright and early by the sun shining through the gap in my curtains. I had a short coffee, then quickly shoved my wetsuit, hat, goggles, and a towel in my bag, put my swimming costume and some clothes on, grabbed my helmet, and jumped on my bike to ride down the hill into town. The seafront promenade was already buzzing with life before 9am.
There’s barely an athlete out there who has never had injury worries. Some more, some less. And while I used to look down on athletes who are ‘always injured’, I have changed my view over the years, mainly for my own benefit. I still think that injury should not be accepted as unavoidable. However, unless you are injured because you are making a crucial mistake in your training, like ramping up volume or intensity so your body reaches breaking point, thinking less of yourself because you have an injury is not going to help the situation.
On the 31st of March myself and two friends flew to Mallorca for a 10 days of cycling, cycling, cycling, a little running, and even some swimming. We also did this 2 years ago, only I was significantly less fit then.
Mallorca is Spain’s largest island and is located in the Mediterranean Sea. It’s very popular with tourists, and especially Germans. In Germany people often refer to it as Germany’s 17th state. In spring however, it’s not quite warm enough for a beach holiday and the island is taken over by cyclists and triathletes. With countless miles of quiet country roads, long but commonly not too steep climbs with breathtaking views in the mounaineous North, it really lends itself to getting the bike miles in. One is however served well, especially in March and early April, to pack arm and leg warmers.
I’m a 26-year-old triathlete, and I live and train in sunny Brighton. I was born and bred in Kiel, in Northern Germany. As a child I spent many hours counting the tiles on the bottom of the pool, and whizzing around town on my bike just as a means to get to places. Only running and Lizzy were never friends. In fact I remember many many excuses to get out of P.E./Games just because I disliked running so much.
You may wonder how I ended up in the UK. There is no other reason than that I found myself at boarding school in Devon when I was 16 for a year abroad rather accidentally. I say accidentally because I didn’t really want to go away. But as many of the other kids at my school were going away for a year, I thought I was missing out… However, when I left Kelly College a year later I felt like I had unfinished business in this country resulting in my return to attend university in Brighton. And I’m still there 6 ½ years later!