Did you know that Jacksonville (JAX) is the 14th largest city in the US?
Did you know JAX has more than 800,000 residents?
Did you know that JAX has one of the lowest overall costs of living in Florida?
Did you know that JAX has the largest Urban Parks System in the US?
Karel and I have very exciting news. I think I have told most people I know but it is now official (since I am posting it on my blog)...We are moving to JAX!!!!
I can't write this blog without being sad that I am leaving all my tri-buddies and familiar bike roads. I have to say good-bye to all my swim buddies who jump in the pool with me at 5:30am and then join me on the treadmill for "interval tuesday". And I will never forget my awesome spin class that I have taught for almost 2 years! I found it funny that my spin class told me that I will have a long commute on wed mornings...however, I don't think they were kidding. It is tri-season and I am saying good bye to race directors and I know I won't know the same familiar faces at upcoming races. I have connected to so many people here in the Tampa Bay area and although I have only lived in this area for 2 years, I have developed a routine here and I am finally not getting lost driving around town (living in Lexington, KY for all my life, moving to FL has been a culture shock for me...so many unfamiliar roads and streets!). I will miss my athletes that I have coached and I will most of all miss my parents who I know are only a 40-min. drive (or 24 mile bike ride) away.
Karel was offered a job as the General Manager of the Trek concept store in Mandarin, which is close to both the beach and downtown Jacksonville. Sadly, Karel has been up in Jacksonville since early April and we have seen each other about 7-10 times within the last month. It has been really hard for us but of course, we are surviving. Probably a bit harder for me since Karel is working full-time but at least I had my studies to keep me occupied. I am really excited for Karel and he is loving his new job. His manager Jeff K. is super great and Karel really enjoys being so close to his cycling team. Karel is learning a lot and it took all of 2 weeks of Karel being there before he convinced Jeff that there needs to be Pinarello bikes in the shop. I guess Cervelos weren't cutting it for Mr. European :) I will be able to work at the store as well and I'm looking forward to being the female in the store and to speak "triathlons" to those looking for aerobars or a tri-bike. You know, there is a certain "talk" of triathletes.
I will be continuing my education in Jacksonville at the community college. Starting May 19th, I will be taking my dietetic courses online (from University of Northern Colorado) which I will continue to take until next summer, when i will hopefully finish my bachelor degree in dietetics by Aug 2009. Because I have a bachelors in Exercise Science and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology, I only have a select number of pre-req courses that I can take anywhere, in addition to the specific accredited dietetic courses from the university in Northern Colorado. After I receive the dietetic degree from my accredited university, then I can do the 6-12 month internship (which I have to apply for and is very competitive) and then....I can take the RD exam to become a registered dietitian. Wow, a lot of work for this degree. Well, I figure if i can help people now with their nutrition and have lots of success stories, furthering my education can only help me with a future career. I love writing, I love speaking and I love helping people. I promise everyone, I will never stop learning!! However, this school thing will eventually have an end. I don't see a PhD in the future (but who knows???).
Anyways, we are moving on May 20th which is a Tuesday. But before the move, Karel and I have a big weekend next weekend. As you know, I have Ironman Florida 70.3 in Disney. Because I only race a few times a year (because I can't afford this sport right now) I have dedicated the last 5 months to this race. I have a big goal to try to break 5 hours but I also want to finish the race injury free. As I am pushing hard (and smiling with my thumbs up) to the finish line, I will be thinking of my other half. Karel has the state crit championships in Lakeland, Fl. He will be less than 30 minutes from me pushing his body to the line in hopes of possibly getting a podium spot (or could we see a win?) for his race. I know Karel has a new outlook on cycling after this past week so a little extra confidence will allow him to push hard to the line. However, in all cycling races, you can have the best race of your last and still finish 10th or 15th. Anything can happen.
Although I will be in Jacksonville, I will continue to blog, write and do what I love to do. I am excited to meet new people and join a triathlon team (Hammerheads) which I have never done before. I am excited to do some BIG group rides with the massive cycling community in JAX and most of all, I'm really looking forward to making this move with Karel. I am sure we will have tough times (like right now as I am paying all our monthly bills..boo!) but we feel so lucky that we have such great people in our lives and we can share our passion with others.