11/17/07

Acting on instincts....

I've been riding almost every afternoon, usually around 4 or 5pm. My typical ride is 10-20 miles and maybe I'll squeeze in some random intervals. I really enjoy the change of weather and I'm loving just spinning my legs as the sun goes down and the cool air makes my fingers cold. Swimming is going really well and I'm swimming about 2000-3500 yards 4-5 times per week. Tues and Thurs are the hard days since Coach Matt Hess gives me some hard workouts at the Y (and we swim outdoors..burr, quick run and jump in the heated pool).
Sometimes I'll ride to the Gearlink store and visit Karel. Usually a quick high and bye but at least I catch him before he goes for his evening ride. On friday I was feeling super tired but I needed to ride to the Gearlink store to pick up Karel's car (he was starting his evening workout from work and then riding to clearwater beach and then home). Once i got outside I was happy I got my butt away from the computer and I ended up riding 20 miles before I started heading to the shop (which is only 5 miles from our place). As I was heading back towards Dunedin I was stopped at the Curlew Road intersection waiting for the Walk signal. I saw an old lady across the street and once the light turned green for the traffic to make a left turn the lady across the street starting walking towards me. I couldn't believe she was about to walk into oncoming traffic. She had a cane and wasn't moving very fast and I lifted up my hands for her to stop but for some reason no words came out of my mouth. I was thinking "STOP STOP STOP" but my brain didn't tell me to shout. The lady was fine and the first car to turn stopped and let her cross. Of course the other cars (who had no idea what was going on) were honking. I was just thankful that the lady was ok. As I was riding to Gearlink, I kept thinking of the lady and if the car didn't stop. Why didn't I act out loud. I guess I assumed she would stop. I always assume people don't see cyclists/runners and I'm the person who will ALWAYS raise my hand to let cars know I am about to cross infront of their car. I am not one to feel embarassed and I blame myself that I didn't yell at the lady to stop. I was a couple miles from the shop and I was enjoying the end of my ride when i saw 5-6 young boys (8-9yrs.) playing with a black cat. I have seen vidoes and heard stories of kids/teenagers terrorizing animals and it doesn't matter what kind of animal (squirrel or cat) I have a big heart for all animals. After the last episode of not acting on an instinct I made a quick u-turn on my bike and went up the the kids. I asked them if that was their cat that they were holding in the air (almost like they were making it dance on a railing) and they said no. I told them to drop the cat immediatly and then I gave them a quick lecture. I told them that they could get in big trouble with the police and their parents and that animals have feelings just like humans. Well, they apologized a few times and after they walked away I went over to the cat who was sitting by a building. The cat wasn't afraid of me and I was worried after what it went through that it would run away. I picked up the cat and luckily there was a collar on it with a phone number. Happy ending, the lady came and got her cat and it is now back at home. Although I felt really good about my good deed, I felt better about the lady that this time I acting on my instinct. I'm all about helping people who are need and perhaps next time I'm riding on the pinellas trail and I see someone with a flat tire I will forget about my planned workout and take some time to help someone who I may assume doesn't need me to help. For all I know, I've struggled with changing flats on my small 650 wheels and I've had the kindess people help me out.
have a great weekend everyone! For those participating in the diabetes ride in dunedin on sun, have a great time! Karel and I are heading to clermont this afternoon for the Horrible Hundred ride in the hills of Clermont. I'm doing 72 miles and karel will be doing 100 miles. I figured if I did 28 less miles than him he wouldn't have to wait for me as long at the finish :)

11/15/07

Great American Teach In



Mon and Tues-normal days of nutrition consultations and writing articles. Currently looking for a full or part-time job to help pay for my sport and all my expensive bills (you know-help pay for life). Don't get me started on the gas price right now! I've been riding my bike everywhere in order to save gas. I don't really like to drive so the high gas prices is a great reason to get out my new carbon road bike and run errands. I have been feeling a bit trapped in my home since i'm on the computer all the time and I think it's time to work in another industry of exercise, physiology or nutrition in order to learn more. I'm always wanting to do something new in order to help me with my quest to become a well known sports nutritionist. Of course I would NEVER give up my work on BeginnerTriathlete.com and all the local events I speak at and places I write articles for. Just looking for more work experience.
Wed. was a new opportunity for me. My good friend kelly (who is so pregnant with baby #1 and oh so cute!) is a teacher for Anatomy at Tampa Bay tech and she asked me if I would speak to 4 of her classes about careers in the Health industry. Of course I was honored to speak and I jumped on the opportunity. After I taught a killer spin class wed morning (I think I was really excited and my spin class suffered) I made the drive to tampa (in traffic-errr) to talk to the HS students. I created a power point discussing the different careers in the health and science industry and stressed that there was so much more out in the real world than becoming doctors and nurses. I then talked about what I do and stressed how hard I have worked to get where I am today. since my work is something I've worked very hard to do (and still working hard to keep rising up) I wanted the students to remember not to ever give up. maybe that's why I like the Ironman distance-I like a challenge and proving something to myself. Even through the many times i've wanted to quit in school (especially during graduate school around the 2 week!) I always stuck out my education. I brought in my professional portfolio which is filled with articles, my resume and lots of work experience and I also let the students look at my triathlon scrapbook. Let me tell you how wide their eyes were when I told them I did the Boston Marathon...and they were in shock about the Ironman.
It was great talking to the students. I love public speaking and I didn't know how i would do speaking 4 times in a row (each class 50 minutes). I think I'd be a good teacher and it would be something I'd love to do but I'm sure I'd get bored doing the same thing all the time. I do think it is a very rewarding profession and I give credit to all the teachers out there. I am a big fan of education. The kids had great questions and I hope they realize that they can be whatever they want, so long as they work hard, stay positive and find their passions. I believe if you are passionate about what you are doing, you will be far more successful in life than if you just work for money and could care less about what you are doing.
enjoy the day!

11/12/07

Pics from this weekend


Enjoy the pics from this weekend...
http://www.flickr.com/gp/11883136@N03/8gi24W
I got a new road bike! An all carbon Blue road bike w/ a campy crankset/chainring and shimano components. I just love it! Thanks to Karel for putting the bike together for me. He really made the bike look good with white handlebar tape. We are looking for a white seat as well to make it extra sexy :)
Anyone need a small Aluminum Blue Road bike???? Let me know..I'll make ya a great deal. Honestly, this bike was just great for a first road bike and I was happy to ride on for the last 5 months. For the size of the bike, just perfect for a kid or a small adult like me!!! hehe
I've been wanting a carbon road bike for a while and we finally found me one (ok-Karel does the searching, I do the paying). Karel worked on my bike for a couple hours on saturday afternoon in order to for me to take her for a spin on Sunday morning. I was out for 3 hours and totally enjoyed my bike! How smooth and great to ride!!!

11/11/07

70.3 World Championship Spectator Race Report

The morning started early...earlier than usual. Karel was up at 4:20 so that he could be on his bike at 5am to start his 2 1/2 hour workout before he volunteered at 7:30am. He is so disciplined! I could smell the coffee and once Karel headed out for his early and cold morning ride I was ready to get up. Race day morning started with a small bowl of oatmeal and raisins (normal race day breakfast :) and I bundled up with a sweatshirt, ear warmer and gloves. I headed to Clearwater Beach on my road bike and in about 25 minutes I was on the beach. I was a little nervous climbing the 12% grade Memorial bridge with my running shoes on my Look pedals (since I'm an out-of-the-saddle type of climber) but I managed to make it up the bridge in a small chain ring all the way to the top. I was hoping to run into my good friend Hunter and as I was heading to the transition area I saw Angie (his gf) and his sister. We headed to their car so I could drop of my bike and of course we took some pics. This was Hunter's first world championship (3rd 70.3 race....all this summer!) and he is a brand new triathlete! How amazing! Since he's trained with Karel and me a lot this summer (and Karel works on his bike before races) we feel a special bond with Hunter. I gave him some good luck wishes and I stayed at the Swim finish with Angie and Hollis (Hunter's sister). I saw a lot of people I knew and received lots of congrats for Kona and my engagement. How nice of people to remember the engagement! After lots of pics of the pros I headed to the start of the bike to watch everyone head off on the bike portion. I saw the Hoyts in T1 and I had no idea that they were racing. It was great to see them back at the races...racing! I remember in 2006 seeing them all over the streets on posters and flyers at the Boston Marathon and I had the great pleasure of meeting them and taking a pic with them. Very inspirational and special people in this sport. After most of the riders were on their bikes I walked around the streets to try to find something to eat. No luck since I was not willing to wait for food and miss the pro's come in off their bike so it was a processed bar and water to keep my tummy happy. I minimize bars for training only but when it comes to watching races, sometimes I gotta just get by. Salad was for dinner that night so atleast I felt I had something clean in my system. I walked right by Laura and Greg Bennett and I am just kicking myself that I didn't get a pic with them! I always ask the celebs (pros) if i can get pics but they were always talking to people and I didn't want to interrupt. I saw the lead vehicle so I found a good spot by the transition area and watched Bjorn come into T2 with a 1:59 bike! Crazy fast! I took my bike out to the run course and checked out the pros until the Age groupers came around. A nibble or two on the rest of my sports bar as I took pics of the pros. Once the age groupers were on the course I had to start looking for some familiar faces. I think I caught everyone I knew and I was cheering loud in a perfect spot. Right after the athletes past me on their first loop I would see them again about 10 minutes later. Perfect for double cheering and making sure I got a good pic. After I spotted Hunter on his way home to finish in 4:58 I rode my bike a little further to cheer on the rest of the athletes. At this point in the race the people left on the course really needed a cheer or two. Regardless if they were enjoying the moment or hurting to finish I couldn't stop the cheering. I gave everyone a clap and a cheer and I think I was out on the course (in the same spot) for over an hour. Most of the athletes had finished and my face was starting to show how long I was out on the course (ouch-red cheeks!). I remember almost every comment that has gotten me through a race and although I've been lucky to feel good in most of my races, I never underestimate the power of a cheer. "Great stride" "great effort" "you look great" "hang in there" "Enjoy the day" all came out of my mouth and I had many thumbs up and smiles from the athletes. Around 1:00 I was getting super hungry and exhausted from my long morning without endorphins and I decided to head home. I was riding up the causeway and the cheers kept coming for the athletes. I could tell the runners envied my bike heading up the bridge but I mentally reassured them that they were the ones receiving a medal when they finished. I was not able to say i finished the 70.3 World championships's but everyone on that course that gave it their all to finish the race deserved the fame of proudly wearing a finisher shirt. As I was about to make a left turn off the race course to head home I saw a few runners heading into town to make their final loop. Nope-couldn't head back yet. I still had a couple cheers in me and lunch could wait. I followed the run course and cheered for the athletes that were jogging, walking and shuffling along. Shuffling....I've been there! I totally know what it's like to "run" 13 minute miles...no fun and the reason why you think you are "running" that slow pace is cause a shuffle feels like you are moving SO much faster than walking. As I was heading along the downtown part of the run course (just beautiful) I saw Dan Devol who I have been coaching since Feb. Dan and his friend John were representing the Clearwater Polic Department and although they both were fighting injuries before the race they pulled it out to finish! I biked with Dan for a bit and kept his mind off his knee pain. I asked him how his swim went and how the bike felt. He walked and we talked and before we knew it he was heading back on the causeway. I said my good-bye to dan and told him to enjoy his finish. I gave a quick call to Karel to tell him I was heading home and told me that even after he volunteered all morning after his ride he had just enough energy after his late breakfast/lunch to bike to downtown Clearwater to give a couple cheers. It was around 2pm when I headed home and I couldn't help but think how much fun I had today. As an athlete I understand what it is like to race. Sometimes you feel great and sometimes you question what went wrong. But regardless of the outcome, you become a better person when the day is over. And then when Monday comes around, you are back to your normal self....only a bit stronger with a little more heart and a great story to share with others. A slow and uncomfortable walk is always a great conversation starter!
congrats to everyone who finished the world championships in Clearwater. Enjoy your off-season and have a healthy recovery. Congrats to Mike B. and Bryan S. for an awesome performance at the Miami Man race today and although i haven't heard from Gay, Tony and the rest of the SwimFit members who raced, I'm sure everyone did great!