KickAss Squad

From age grouper to triathlon pro – the first half of the season is done

Lisa Zoller • 14. July 2022 • 5 Min.

The first half of the season is already over and I’m getting back to you with a first report about my entry into the pro circuit.

My first start as a triathlon pro at Ironman 70.3 Mallorca

I started, as some of you may have noticed, on the beautiful island of Mallorca at the Ironman 70.3. Two weeks before I was already extremely nervous and often thought about whether my decision to start as a triathlon pro was the right one. 

Questions like: Am I ready for this? Can I keep up with the others? Will I embarrass myself? Will I be the last to cross the finish line? These were my main concerns in the time before the first race. 

In the phone call with Flo, before departure, all pressure was taken off me. The words: “You have nothing to lose”. Brought me down to earth and took the weight off my shoulders. Happy and calm, I made my way to Mallorca.

With Flo’s words in my ear

the race went really well for me. More or less I did exactly my thing, gained the first experience and felt how it is to run as the last, the professional ladies in the transition area a little queasy I was already.

I swung on my bike and cleared the field from behind. I would never have thought before that I could make up so much ground on the run. Let alone that I would finish my first professional race in an incredibly strong field as 6th woman. If someone had predicted it to me, I would have signed it immediately!
The best thing about it, the qualification for the world championship I now also have in the bag.

Marcel Hilger

The second strike at the Challenge St. Pölten

For my second competition I chose the Challenge St. Pölten. Why? Quite simply: I have had only positive experiences there so far. The course suits me. I know the environment. The race is absolutely positively linked.

That also helped me a lot during the race, because this time it really wasn’t easy for me. It was super cold and I had my first difficulties right after the swim. I had to put some clothes on because of the cold, I had cold hands and I had a very hard time to eat on the bike. What was mainly noticeable on the last kilometers, much did not go more. Mentally I was already at my first DNF, but decided to at least try it with the run. Luckily I had packed an extra gel, which I immediately ate and instinctively did everything right.  In the end it was enough for 4th place with the best time of the day. Unbelievable!

The Apfelland Triathlon – Race No.3

Then it went on for me to the Apfellandtriathlon in Austria. An incredibly cool race, I must say! Although not organized by Challenge or Ironman, but who likes it mountainous and familiar, this race should definitely have on his budget list.

Very warmly we were welcomed at the Stubenbergsee, a small lake with a lot of charm. So was the race. Really mega! However, I had to struggle with a new experience there as well: stupidly, I got lost on the bike and had to do a few extra kilometers as a result. So I gave away the victory. It was a real pity, because I had the best bike split despite the 3 km detour. I also had the fastest run time of the day and was only 2 minutes behind the winner Svenja Thoes. But as the saying goes: would have, would have, bicycle chain…. So I am mega happy and proud of a 2nd place and the first podium in the pros.

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Back to back, can I do it?

This question should be answered with my start at Ironman 70.3 Luxembourg just one week after the Apfellandtriathlon. 

The biggest highlight was that I could meet my coach Flo in person for the first time! And I have to say: I have a much better feeling now about our cooperation. I could go on and on here, but I’ll be brief: If it fits, it fits.

I’m sure you’re much more interested in how I managed the back to back.

The week between the two races was pretty easy and I more or less just kept myself moving loosely, checked out the bike course with Nine and Flo and explored the area around Trier.

Swimming without a wetsuit – a disaster for me

At the race I had the next new experience: Swimming without a wetsuit! For me a catastrophe, especially when we were sent into the water 6 minutes before the start, and I had to swim off completely cooled down. With a really bad swim and as the very last one I crawled out of the water. And it really felt like crawling! 

Marcel Hilger

Even more motivation to get on the bike.

Nine, Flo, Flo’s dad, and Erik…everyone was there to support me, my head just switched gears and signaled to my body: NOW GIVE IT ALL!!! That’s what my body did. With a super bike performance, I got off the bike in 6th place and found a super run – rhythm.  Despite very hot outside temperature the running started amazingly well. After 7 km then however the first Mosel water and heat signs of my body: I could supply no more gel and my stomach turned felt in the circle. 

The spinning in the stomach then went to the intestines and you can imagine what that means: 2x Dixi and really a very hard fight to the Finish line. Overjoyed and extremely exhausted, I ran as 4th woman over the finish line – With the second-best running time of the day, despite Dixi visits. This can only have been due to the best support team in the world: Nine, Flo (+Papa) and Erik! (If you want to book them…I think they do something like that ) – They are just incredible and actually priceless!!!

My conclusion:

The first half of the season had a lot to offer in terms of results. I am also a lot richer in terms of experience. Back-to-Back: I think I can do that…and the most important thing I take with me: No matter what happens or doesn’t go according to plan: It’s not over until you’ve tried everything. Because most of the time it works out somehow! 

Now that I’ve experienced pretty much all scenarios once, I’m excited about what great experiences I can still make. I’m definitely looking forward to the 2nd half of the season! Finally, my first course record at this year’s Tegernsee Triathlon. That makes really Bock on more.

Lisa Zoller

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