20 juli 2013

9th at first Worldcup of the year in Briancon

I still can't believe it. Apparently I am in a really good shape, which has really surprised me over the last couple of weeks, because I haven't been training as much as I used to. I guess this shows how important it is to take enough rest and what a forced change in training program can do. I am starting to believe that the injuries I had this winter brought me to where I am now. But enough about that, back to Briancon.

This weekend the first Worldcup of the season was being held. After the good result of last week I was excited but also a bit nervous about this competition. The few days at home in between were kind of stressful and I left for France again feeling tired and drained. Fortunately I could change my mood in time for the competition. When I was walking to the wall at 6:45 AM the day of the qualifications, the sun started shining and I started to feel a bit like in Chamonix again. I had to start really early in my first qualification. With only one climber before me I didn't have much time to get any beta about the route. The girl before me topped out, so I got a good chance to see all the moves and there was only one thing left for me to do: top out as well. So I did. I climbed pretty relaxed and confident and reached the tophold, although I got pretty pumped. The second route was more my style and I could see a lot of climbers who showed me how to do it. When it was my turn everything went perfectly and I topped out on this one as well. Amazing!

That evening it started to get to me what I just did. Together with only 7 other climbers I topped both qualifications. That mend I was in position for finals now. I might be getting on the same level as all those people I have been looking up to for years. This thinking made me pretty nervous. The next day during the semi finals I was able to climb relaxed, to look around and to feel the moves, but I was executing the moves way too carefully. I didn’t want to mess up after those amazing qualifications. So I climbed up and down, rested in every move and started to make other decisions then I had planned during observation. This didn't turn out very well. I got pumped pretty fast and fell down way earlier then I had hoped. I expected to be one of the last, but then it turned out I had placed 9th. My best result so far!

In the end I think I can be satisfied with this result. I made a big step forwards and it needs some time to settle down. I got a big confirmation this weekend that I am able to make finals, which really gives me a lot of motivation and mental strength for the rest of the season! Now it's time to climb some rock in Céüse :)

15 juli 2013

10th place at the European Championships in Chamonix!

After a long winter without international competitions the season has finally kicked off with the European Championships in Chamonix. I guess it came exactly in time for me. My injured finger is doing well and doesn't really trouble me anymore. The last two weeks I have been feeling better and better. During an onsight training in Puurs last week I realized that I made a big progression during the winter. I am still wondering why, considering that I have been injured for a long time. I kept on training, but things were not perfect. I guess some extra rest was good for me? Anyway, during the trainings I kept on surprising myself by doing things I considered to be either impossible or very, very hard.

But not only the physical part was fine, also mentally I felt super good. In the period before the first competition I am normally pretty tensed. Everything I do I have to think over and over. Can I go to the beach today? Isn't that bad for my climbing next week? This time I just did whatever I felt like and that worked out pretty good. I was more relaxed than ever before and during the competition, which definitely makes climbing much easier! In the qualifications I could climb relaxed and focussed. I kept on shaking in between the moves, found some nice positions to rest, took my time to recover and in this way I managed to top out both routes pretty easily. 18 other women did so too, so the semi-finals promised to be pretty exciting!
During the semi-finals
When I started climbing in semi's I lost the rest in my head which I had in qualifications. The beginning of the route was pretty hard and tricky with bad footholds and big holds I didn't know. At the beginning of the overhang I managed to reset my mind. I switched to the relaxed and focussed mode again and climbed smoothly through the middle part of the route. Higher up, when I started to get pumped, I decided to stop resting and just climb fast to make as many moves as possible. This is the only thing I blame myself for. On the ground I realized that I am probably fit enough to recover even on those moves. If I could have stayed calm, I might have made some extra moves. But anyway, I can be really proud on my performance I guess. 10th, woow, I am still flabbergasted. It's an amazing start of the season and I am really looking forward to the next competition! Thursday we will be flying to Briancon for the first Worldcup of the season. Excited!!!