I will write this one in English so all of my friends and supporters can read it.

15th of august, a date that always been reserved for the triathlon in Izegem
A big race, not only because my club organizes this race but also because it’s the Belgium championship 2017.
After being sick the biggest part of my season it was hard for me to find a balance and a consistency in my training. I had been sick after my race in Geraardsbergen again but 2 days later Oshin and I took a break and went on vaction for one week. Still training but with a bit more sun and time off to pause my mind and allow my body to recover a bit more.

So the 15th had arrived and I really didn’t know what to excpect. One thing I did know, I had to do a really good swim to take as many seconds as possible!

As I crawled into my zone3 wetsuit (the water was too cold to be a non-wetsuit swim because of the great Belgium weather :p ) I was excited to start and curious how my body would react on todays actions.

We lined up and I placed myself next to my swim buddy (Valerie Barthlemy) and the start sound went off. With a very good start I was off for a 1500m swim in a “straight line” to the next big bridge.
I was able to pull of a good swim that day and leave the water together with Valerie.

We were set on working together and make the gap even bigger. But my legs felt like sh*t on the bike that day. I tried to catch my breath and push myself deeper but with a very, very strong Valerie I could only do short turns in front. I felt a bit frustrated because a ‘normal’ Charlotte should be able to do more. But Valerie kept pushing me and we motivating eachother. My mind drifted to the run, Would it be possible that the –not so great legs- changed when I started the run or not? ..

We entered the second transition with +/- 1’40 in front of the chase group. With Valerie taking off right after the transition I was looking for that good pase, but I guess I never found it that day.

As the other athletes came close I tried to keep pushing the full 10k. But the result was far from what I wanted. Ended up with 6th place, an other disappointment, a bad feeling and a bit of tears.

This season has really been so damn hard on me and it’s mentally pushing me to my edges.
But Always keep looking on the bright side when things don’t go the way you planned. So the up side this race, I had a really good swim and I wasn’t sick the day after + I didn’t had throw up any of my food. That’s already a big step compared to my last 3 races..

Still I want to congrats Valerie with strong and solid performance, you earned it from beginning till end, your whole season so far! You are not only an amazing athlete. But also an amazing human being and a great support for me this year. More than you know.
A very big congrats to my teamy Ine to grab that gold medal as last year U23
A big shout out to all the people who helped before, during and after this event to make it go perfect. There goes so much more effort in events like these then people realize.
And a big thanks for my friends and supporters who came to see me, I’ll be back stronger.
– OUT FOR THE WIN- http://outforthewin.com/nl/

Onto the next one, T3 DEINZE
Only 4 days later we had the next race of our T3 series in Deinze.
Didn’t had a lot of expectations because my last race was such ‘a big succes’. I just wanted to enjoy my race that’s all. As the race was really late in the evening (20:00) my stress lever was also pretty low.

explaining a bunch of stuff but it seemed funny if you see the coach his face.

In my happy ZONE 😉

With the same plan in mind like the one on the Belgium chamionships I placed myself next to Valerie Barthlemy and Margot Moerman for the swim (both very good swimmers). I may have started a bit to hard.. At a certain point Valerie was swimming next to me and in a second I lost her side and she was gone together with Margot. I tried to keep my speed up and keep the gap as small as possible. With my mind focused on those 2 right in front of me and my mind on the race we swam under the bridge and turned straight around to the exit. Apparently we were too focused.. Because there were 3 gaps under the bridge, one on the left to go, the middle and the full right. We had to took the full right. With a kayak who was too late to block the middle gap and 3 athletes who were too focused on exciting that water as fast as possible we took the middle to go back, ofcourse .. So this gave me and val and margot a 10” penalty in the run….

Unaware of this penalty I jumped on my bike with my eye on Valerie, but I didn’t had that extra push to close the gap. Compared to Izegem this was only a sprint distance, so a 20k bike. The girls behind me were cycling with a group of 3 and came closer every lap. I decited not to go all out on the bike anymore and after 2 and a half laps they closed the gap. We started to cycle together and everyone did short turns to keep the speed up.
As the gods had opened up the locks of dark rainy clouds, it started pouring rain like crazy!!
(Thanks Krist Vanmelle for the killer pictures! These are SO RAD)

We had to make turns on the extremely slippery market square which made it impossible to make speed and so so dangerous.
Anyway, although Sara and Ine made a little slip, we made it without any crash to transition 2.
With a good transition I left T2 with Ine on my side when I heard someone yelling at me –CHARLOTTE, You have a penalty!!-. Due to bad experiences in Brugge I had the natural reaction to stop right away as I passed the penalty box right after hearing it. (After the race this wasn’t the best move to make, I’d better run 2 laps of 3 first before going into that penalty box) Anyway, I saw the group of 3 athletes take 10 seconds on me and when I was allowed to continue my running I tried to catch them. But didn’t want to blow up my legs within the first 100m of a 5k run. So I kept my eye on Ine to keep that same distance. As I was running I still felt that my breathing wasn’t top but my better running legs were back.
(Photo credits: KRIST VANMELLE ! )

Again, not the place I hoped for, ended 6th (seems to be the year of 6th places, bad races and penalties) But I was very happy that I had a good feeling about my run. It felt more supple and natural.
Also I was very happy my best friend (and Belgium Cat) Hanne Mestdagh was there to cheer for me! With our very busy competition lives, we cheer where we can, thanks girl!
And most importantly, we managed to take the 3t place on the day ranking with our team


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