5/10/07

Accidents happen :(

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.

5/8/07

Pics

http://new.photos.yahoo.com/mrakes1/album/576460762400653929IF link doesn't work you can go to my blog page links and click on photos. Once you are there you can go to Tri 101 Bradenton pics.
Things are going well. Karel is back in town but haven't seen him yet. Tomorrow is the gearlink ride and I'm excited to ride with him and the group. Bro and dad are in Spain for a little vaca for 10 days. Training is going awesome and I'm not sure if I should feel this good right now. Starting to taper a bit but still keeping the intensity. Reduced the volume just a bit but I'm running very comfortable, swimming fast and cycling great in the wind. The morning swim was really cold so I had no choice but to swim fast. Main set was 8 x 125 on 1:55. Pretty happy with the 5-10 sec. rest I was getting. Followed the swim with an hour run, with 3 x 5 min Half Ironman pace sets in the middle. Tonight I rode 1:45 in the wind and the main set was 5 x 1 mile Half Ironman pace with .5 mile recovery. The smoke was cleared (almost) but today was pretty bad outside!
Hope everyone is training hard or enjoying the week.
Pics from St.Anthony's are up!
http://orders.racephotonetwork.com/QPPlus/Proofs.aspx

5/6/07

Tri 101 Bradenton Re-cap


What a busy weekend...nothing new of course! After a quick coffee stop at Starbucks, I headed over to Bradenton on Fri afternoon and arrived safely at the Holiday Inn. Very nice area in Bradenton and it was worth the 64 mile drive over there. I met my roommate for the weekend who was Pro Triathlete Leanda Cave. Her sis Melissa was also staying with us and it was her first time to the U.S. Both girls use to live in the U.K. so I enjoyed learning new phrases and lingos such as sunnies for sunglasses :) Because I tend to talk fast and my KY accent often comes out, I'm always careful how I say things around foreigners. I remember when I told Karel that I was going to run errands and he was a bit confused because my brothers name is Aaron. Honestly, I wasn't going to run over Aaron :) I can't laugh cause when I try to learn Czech from Karel he is very patient with me.
Dinner Friday night was on the beach at a Seafood restaurant. No need to feel sorry for the vegetarian. I won't complain about a couple (ok-more like 3) bread baskets and a nice healthy salad. Yummm!
Saturday morning I headed out for a long run of 12 miles around Bradenton. To my surprise, I see Hillary Biscay in a car lacing up her shoe laces. As a top 5 finisher in several Ironman races, I had to take a moment and introduce myself. After briefly chatting with her, Hillary said she would join me for part of my run. Oh my! Of course I wanted to take her up on this and we started running and chatting. I looked at my watch and we had been running together for over 20 minutes. So my HR was a bit higher than usual and I was beginning to get a side stich, I couldn’t help myself from saying out loud “I’m running with Hillary Biscay-a pro triathlete!” This was so cool. So even though I had already run 3.5 miles and she was warming up, the run was a great start of my day. I ran with a Pro Triathlete!
After the 30 minute run with Hillary, I finished up my run and headed back to the hotel. Fuel belt was empty and I was in need for a shower, coffee and more oatmeal. Saturday I was on my feet all day helping out with registration and sat evening was the pre-race dinner. Aside from a 30 minute rest in my room to chat on the phone with Karel, I was on my feet all day. Thank goodness I was rooming with a Pro triathlete who needed her rest, cause I was out at 8:30pm! Sunday morning we awoke at 5:15am and I braided my hair and put on my visor. Ok-so I was totally in the moment and it was habit to be at a race site and start my normal a.m. routine prior to a race. Silly me. I headed down to body marking and stamped the 150+ athletes that were racing in the Tri 101 race. Afterwards, it was off to the swim start to get the athletes together prior to getting in the water. Then I was off to the transition area to make sure people mounted their bikes after the line and have their helmet chin straps buckled. After a mile walk, I was approaching a fuel station on the 6-loop bike course and I found myself handing out water, gels, bananas and holding bikes as athletes used the port-o-potties. After my Ironman experience, I totally understand how important it is to have plenty of fluids on hand for the athletes. And after much practice at Karel’s races, I am getting very trained at water bottle passing on the bike. Being a volunteer is tough I tell ya! My legs started to ache and I took a long walk back to the race venue as I cheered for athletes on the 3-loop run course. Next, I was at the fuel station on the run passing out Gatorade and water. Then, to the finish! My roommate finished first in the Pro Women field and earned a hefty $10,000 pay check!!! How cool is that!!?? And Hillary (my running partner) finished third!!!What an exciting weekend.
Great news on the other side of the U.S. Karel finished the Tour de Gila in 48th place. After 5 days of racing, over 300 miles and a starting place in the 80's (after the TT), I am so proud of Karel. He dug deep and when his mind and body wanted to quit in the extreme wind and brutal climbs, he found the inner strength to keep fighting. What an inspiration he is. I’m so excited for him to come home and congratulate him. I hope he is eating something good right now—I bet it’s a burger (something he NEVER eats) or pizza and possibly a well-deserved beer. Of course he will follow it with Ice Cream..he deserves it all! Maybe I'll eat some ice cream in honor of him.
I am so excited to race at Ironman 70.3 Florida. I’ve had some of the best moments in my short 2 year triathlon career and I have been very blessed to meet such wonderful people. Training is going great and I am looking forward to my taper at the end of next week. Although I love talking with the Elite athletes and picking their brains on tips to help me turn pro, it is the “normal” athletes who I love to meet and talk with. There is nothing like an age-grouper wanting to finish a race and having a great time doing it. I tell ya-I just love being around people and I wake up every morning just loving life! Yes-I have my bad moments like everyone but I really treasure the good ones!