What a great couple of days. Feeling great on the bike, swimming smooth and long (all of my 5 feet) and running injury free. Wed morning was the normal spin class and there is no stopping my class! It doesn't matter how hard I work them, they keep coming back. It was only a year ago when I started teaching. I can only imagine how strong their hearts are right now! And we have a lot of fun for 5:45am. After the spin class I went for a 40 minute run around Landsbrook. Kept the speed at a little less than half IM pace and put in 5 x 2 minute 10K pace with 1 minute recovery to get my heart rate up. The morning was busy and around 11pm I was stopping at Starbucks for a well-needed coffee (and a capuccino for Karel). I hadn't seen Karel since he got back so I was SO excited to see him. Oh-did I mention I have new Zipp 404 wheels at the Gearlink store that I haven't seen (doubly excited to get there!). After a big hug to Karel we were off to the shippment area of the store to check out my sweet new wheels. Those are going to look great on Seduza!
I spend the day on the computer before getting myself ready for the Gearlink group ride. The ride where I hang out until I get dropped, which is usually 2 loops warm-up and 1 loop with everyone at a slow 26mph. Well, not tonight. I ended up riding up to the group (45 minutes) from Karel's and the wind was not on the light side. No worries-I'm use to it. After riding a couple loops of warm-up I wasn't sure how the ride would turn out. Karel met up with the group right before warm-up and I was really excited to ride with him. We met last year on my b-day (may 31st) and it was the first time I rode with the Gearlink group or any cyclist. To make a long Marni blog short, I ended up huffing and puffing my way through 4 1/4 loops. Let me tell you...although I wasn't rotating, I was working my heart off. And I say that because it felt like I was having a heart attack! My heart rate was 178 at one moment when I looked down and although heart rate monitors can be wrong, I would be suprised if it was correct to read MAX HR 218! For the first time in my life, I was riding as fast as possible and I got dropped because of the last turn and a major increase in speed by the group. However, my muscles were still strong at the end with no pain or burning feeling. That is a good sign for my cycling cause I always have to slow down because of lactate buildup around a HR of 138. Maybe I just don't push hard enough on the bike! After the guys sprinted to the finish of the ride, I asked the guys if they had seen Karel. I guess he thought I drove to the ride and when I called him on his cell he said he had already ridden part of the way home. Since I was heading back to his place I told him to keep going and I'd meet him at his home. Normally I would have taken Tampa rd but for some reason I wanted to follow the road Karel takes and I continued on McMullen Booth to 580. As soon as I made the turn onto 580 I received a phone call from Karel. Not the phone call I expected to hear. Karel was hit by a car. I don't think I have ever pedaled so hard before, especially after over 3 grueling hours on the bike. Luckily, because I decided to take the road Karel took, I was only within 2-3 miles from Landmark where he was at. I didn't see him at the scene but I saw lots of people, a cop car and his beat up Colnago bike. I threw my bike on the ground and talked with the officer. At that time, Mirek (Gearlink owner) was arriving and put our bikes in the car and we went to the hospital. Still haven't seen Karel but after a brief conversation, I heard that he was heading through Landmark to come meet up with me and ride with me home. Now how awful do I feel that loving Karel was turning around to make sure I didn't have to ride by myself. As the tears started to fall when I got to the hospital and saw him with a cut-up knee and a sling on his shoulder, I had no words for the 4 hours we were there. I just didn't have the energy to speak. Even after a bag of pretzels and many hospital Saltines, I was confused with emotions. Half of me was so bothered that a 72 man turned right into a street when he stopped, saw Karel and continued to proceed. The man received a ticket and they will be going to court. Karel ended up hitting his head (helmet was on) on the car and flipping over the fender. The Colnago frame is cracked and I think that is the most upsetting part for him. He paid so much for his bike but more than anything, it is the experiences, tough training sessions and many memories that he has since he got his Colnago one year ago. Thank goodness all he suffered was a couple abrasions and cuts and a fracture in his greater tuberosity of his left shoulder. Of course Karel is trying to be strong but I can tell that he is in tremendous pain even with the sling on his arm. I know this accident could have been prevented if the driver was paying attention, but it goes to show us that accidents do happen. I am very lucky that he is ok. I know that Karel will use the same strength that he has on the bike and he will get through this injury with will and determination and lots of inner strength.