2/23/08

Karel's race report



I ended up staying home this weekend because of mid-terms next week. There is nothing I'd rather do than watching a cycling race or triathlon and since I am sitting around studying for two days straight...boo for this school stuff!! I did get in a great 54 mile ride this morning on seduza..first time I rode her since Kona and she felt great!!! It was super windy today and it rained as soon as I got home. It was a rough ride, even on my sexy bike.
Last night Karel didn't come home until 9pm. His new fork (which arrived on thurs this week) was squeeky on his fri. morning ride. He needed to get a part from a friend in order to make it stop squeeking and then he had to cut the part to make it fit on his bike (sorry for my lack of details..bike stuff, not my area of expertise). Karel can figure out everything with bikes but I am sure he didn't want to feel so pressured so last minute. This morning Karel was up at 5am and he left at 6:30. Off to orlando for the weekend. So I was nervous all day waiting to hear from Karel. The race was suppose to start at 11:30 and I didn't hear from him at 2pm. I texted him but no reply. I wasn't sure if he crashed, if he finished or if he had a good or bad race. I was just so nervous all day. I feel the same way when I watch someone online during an Ironman...you get so worried if you don't see their time when you refresh your computer!! So, it was 2:45 and still no phone call. He always calls after his races and I was hoping that maybe they started late due to the massive rain storm (the race was in orlando but it rained everywhere this morning) and that is why he didn't call. Of course with a race in the rain, that puts me in super nervous mode. So finally I hear from Karel. OF course he first has to tell me that he is eating at a German restaurant...food always comes first for Karel...then the results.
It looks like Karel redeemed himself from last weekend. Congrats to Karel for his 6th place finish!!! Wahoo....he gets his prize money tomorrow :) Hopefully he will have another great finish tomorrow for the crit. Although Karel just called, I didn't talk to him too long since he is with a group of cyclists all in the same house eating pasta (I know..they eat all the time!). I just received an email from him so I thought I'd post his race report:
Today race was pretty technically difficult. The rain, coble stones and carbon rims with the cork pads was not the best combination all together. The loop had six corners and only one long straight away on the other side of the course. Then it was 2 90 degree turns with really short straight roads between and I knew I couldn't pass anybody there. So I was planing to start my sprint on the other side of that long road. I did it and I was heading first in the turn (two guys were in the break) but than some guys went crazy in that turn and passed me. I didn't really fight for it because it wasn't worth it in this small race to crash or something. So I eased up and that put me in fourth place when I crossed the line. So I was 6th place with two guys in the break. I had few bad moments in the race after a few hard efforts and I had to kinda ease up and drop a little bit in the middle of the pack to take a rest. But than in the end I felt better. They shortened up the race for just 60min + laps (Instead of 75 min. plus laps) because of the bad weather. The field was getting smaller and smaller by the end of the race. From our team it was only Ryan, me and Curtis at the end. Curtis did 35+ race first and than didn't finished the pro 1,2 race.
Tomorrow we should have the whole team here so there will be a little bit more man power.


It looks like he had a great race even with only a few of his teammates to work together. I guess I will do my run in the morning and again, be nervous until I hear from karel :) I posted a few more pics from his last race.

2/22/08

Busy...but productive




A few pics from this past weekend. The day started at 6:00 am. I woke up to Karel putting on his HR monitor and by the time I poured myself a cup of coffee he was out the door for his warm-up ride w/ several standing starts. I was on my bike at 6:30am for a 1:45 ride. I didn't see Karel so I think we went opposite directions. I felt really good on my road bike and the time just passed before I was at my turn around point. My speed sensor wasn't working so my speed ranged from 8mph to 22 mph and I came home from my hour and 45 min. ride with 13 miles...hum, I don't think that is right. Karel said he would get that fixed for me, probably my battery or sensor. After the ride I did a few sets of ab exercises on my stability ball (which is also used as my chair for my computer..I recommend sitting on a stability ball rather than a chair). I hoped in the shower, cleaned myself up and grabbed a yogurt, glass of milk and some nuts. Not my real breakfast but enough to get me through the next hour. I was off to the park to personal train someone and by 10 am my morning responsibilities were over. So, back to home to make myself some oatmeal. Never too late for oatmeal and raisins! Because of my classes being mon through wed I really look forward to thurs and fri to catch up on "career" stuff. I spent a good two hours re-writing the nutrition description for the BeginnerTriathlete.com page. I wanted to make things a little more descriptive. I have had such great success with people so far but I want to be sure I am clear on all the great things people get with the nutrition programs. This is the old description of the nutrition program but I will keep you posted on when the new descriptive one is posted.
  • BT Nutrition Program
  • After working on some BT stuff, I finished up an article for Judy at Iron Girl. I am following a trend of New You articles on my Taste column and the third article is on grocery shopping. I am not sure when it will be published but keep checking. I included a grocery list for everyone and what to look for in those foods. I think the New You Part 2 article on food labels was really helpful so now people should know what to look for in foods. After the article for Judy was sent I started working on a plyometric write-up for a future BT video. That article was interupted by laundry folding while catching up on Ellen for the past week. I tape her everyday..My dream is to be on her show talking about nutrition..I just love her show..she is so positive, energetic and giving. Well, after laundry folding I decided to clean. Wow, so domestic today! This is kinda a shocker because Karel is usually the one who cleans..I enjoy washing dishes and keeping the kitchen clean but Karel is big on cleaning the floor and the bathroom and the vacuming and the straightening. So I thought I would help out today and dust and straighten one room (TV room). Hehe, that's all I did but at least I contributed :) After I "cleaned" I checked the fridge and realized I needed to get groceries. With Karel racing two crits this weekend in Orlando and spending the night on sat (I am not going due to studying...BOO!!!!) I needed to get him some of his favorite race-weekend foods. I decided if I was going to drive to the store I might as well go to the gym and run. That's what you think when you need to get groceries, right??? Since I hate driving around town but I do it all the time, I might as well go for a run since I would be out and about. I get to the Y around 3:50 (yes, all that and it is not even 4!) and hope on the treadmill just in time to watch Oprah. Since Ellen is taping at home I wasn't concerned about watching her on the TV in front of me so I kinda had the best of both worlds. I listened to Oprah (with my sony radio tuned in to the plasma tv from the wall at the Y) on one TV and read subtitles for Ellen all while running. What I do best, multitasking! I did have a magazine with me but I thought that would be a bit much for my brain to handle. Well, I guess watching TV worked in my advantage today because I had planned for a 3-4 mile run and before I knew it, 30 min. had passed by and I was feeling super good. I decided to do my 5 min hard, 5 min easy, 4, 4, etc. set to give me 30 more minutes of running. Well, in total I did 7.5 miles and I wasn't even tired when I jumped off. Still no speed but I am working on it. I say no speed because I am comparing to where I was before I got injured (more like IMFL time where I was running super fast). Today I was running comfortably at 7.5-8 mph for those hard intervals but that is ok. I am not wearing my HR monitor (Need to dig it out from Kona stuff) but i can tell I am not pushing too hard on those 8mph intervals. No heavy breathing and heart is not too high. It is more about my leg and teaching it how to run fast again. I did a few arm and leg exercises and I cleaned myself up before grocery shopping. So, now it is 5:30 and I hear from karel that he is heading to his friend's house to get some bike stuff and work on his bike. he got his new fork (due to the crash last weekend) yesterday but it was squeeky for some reason. So now I am home and just hanging with Smudla (our cat) and debating if I will open my medical terminology book to study for my practical on wed. errr, don't feel like it!
    Well, I guess this was a productive day. I wouldn't consider Busy a bad thing for me. I seem to work better and feel more accomplished on the days when I just don't have time to slow down.

    2/21/08

    Pursuing my dreams is wearing me out!


    Is this pic just too cute!! I love it!
    ok, now for the complaining...What a week this has been!!! I am not sure how I can keep this all up (being so busy) but knowing that continuing education will be "worth it" I think I can hang on for 1 more year. I think I should be finished with the dietetic school by the end of next summer. Afterwards I will do an internship (6 months - 1 year, hopefully 6 months) which is very competitive (I need to apply prior to next summer!). THEN....I take the RD exam and THEN...I can call myself a registered dietitian. I also would like to become licensed and board certified but that will come with time. I just want that RD behind my name. Let me practice Marni Rakes, MS, RD...oh it looks so good! This week was really tough. I had 4 exams! Mon morning and evening I had an exam (Bio in the morning, global marketing in the evening) and on tues and wed I had a quiz (tues, bio lab and wed, med. terminology). OF course with Karel's race last weekend (which I wasn't going to miss, I've been looking forward to it all year!) I kinda crammed for the exams. I am very big on not procrastinating but my time management skills aren't the best right now. Honestly, I am trying to put school first but as I try to pursue my career as a sports nutritionist, I really have to spend a lot of time on outreach and other important things such as emailing magazines, answering questions, writing on my blog, getting ready for presentations, consulting, personal training..and then squeezing in a little time for training (which is going well). I am so happy that it is thurs but unfortunantly I have two practicals next week (tues and wed) and then it is spring break. Thank goodness! Oh, I also spoke at a Team n' Training meeting on Tues evening about sports nutrition for endurance cycling (they are riding around Lake Tahoe to raise money. I remember when Karel and I rode around Lake Tahoe..what a blast!). AFter my masters I decided that the MS was good enough and I would just work at a gym or do something with exercise physiology. Sadly, my passion wasn't in that area. I love the information and science behind ex. phys (mostly cause I can apply all my education to myself and my training!!! :)) but I really love nutrition. It was funny cause last night in med. terminology class my professor was discussing the digestive system. Now last week when we were talking about the lymphatic and immune system I was doing more listening than participating (when she asks questions. I like teachers who ask ?'s along the way..it keeps you more interested). Well, last night I was answering everything like I was reading her notes. Not only did I feel smart (that is always a good feeling, since in my global marketing class I am kinda out of the loop with all the business majors in there) but I felt like I just wanted to learn more and more. "Please don't stop talking" I kept thinking. If I were to teach a class I would be sure to give my students info which really made them think. So, back to my passion of sports nutrition...it took me a year to find out that I needed to set myself apart from other "nutritionists and ex. physiologists" in order to become something. Nothing comes easy in life even if you know the right people. I believe in working hard for something and I never want to stop learning. Also, I never want to stop educating. I know in my heart that this is right to go back to school. Yes, I would love to make $ right now with a full-time job but I have a dream. Cliche it may sound but it is so true. Have you ever wanted something so bad (i.e. doing a new event, reaching a best time, trying a new sport, etc.) that you would do anything to reach that goal. Well, I feel like I could just be OK without an RD but having that degree would really make it a lot easier to reach my goals, ambitions and dreams. I want to thank everyone for believing in me. I have been so lucky to help so many people with their nutrition and I only hope to continue.
    And on a training note...8 x 150's this morning at swim team practice. They were all supposed to be on 2:15 but I bumped up the cycle for the last four to 2:10. I didn't feel like i was pushing too hard and I was coming in on 1:56-2 min. And to make things harder, the breathing pattern was every 5, 3, 5 by 50. On Tues the set was 4 x 300 on 4:30. 25 free, 25 back. I don't like backstroke..I was a 200 Flyer and 100 breastroker in college. I did swim 200 IM but I just suffered through the backstroke. I guess it is important for triathletes to work opposing muscles in backstroke from all the free that we do. I don't really care what the set is..when you get me in the water, I love to swim!

    2/18/08

    What a weekend...




    Well, the weekend was filled with plenty of emotions. As I had mentioned, Karel was ready for this weekend. With the San Antonio 85 mile road race on Sat and the 80 min + 5 lap Criterium on Sun in Dade City, Karel was anxious to see if his hard training is paying off. Obviously it is too soon to peak but he was ready to pull out at least a top 10 finish in Pro 1,2 in order to get points to help him upgrade to Category (Pro) 1 as soon as possible. I had a hard 48 mile ride in the wind and I was pretty spent when Karel and I headed to San Antonio. However, once I was in the car with Karel I was ready to support him for his race. And when it comes to Karel's races, there isn't much talking prior to the race. Karel is in his zone just like I get into my zone. I can get pretty touchy prior to a big race but I am usually willing to give plenty of smiles and thumbs up. Karel stays calm but you can sense nervousness. I don't know if any of my blog readers have been to a cycling race but it is tense. You really have to watch a race and know someone in the race to feel the nerves, excitement and energy that comes from cycling. It is a totally different environment from triathlons and I love being a spectator. The only difference with cycling races is that they never start on time. 5, 7, 10 minutes late. You never know how behind they are, especially when it comes to the Pro 1,2 race which is usually the main event (and the longest). Karel's race was at 12:30 and we arrived around 11:50am. Just enough time for a short warm-up and time for Karel to talk strategy with his team. Apparently, someone told Karel that they were 40 minutes behind on the start for the Pro 1,2 race so at 12:40 Karel warm-up a little longer. And with no warning, at 12:50 the riders were off...without Karel! Oh my..I didn't know what to do. Where was he? Well, you could understand the heartache that Karel felt and I really don't know how he had the strength to hold back his tears..and anger, sadness. Never has Karel missed a race and to happen right now so close at home, I guess it was ok to happen close and not far away but still..this was his race! I was upset, he was upset...I think a lot of people were upset. If it were me...I would be crying my eyes out. Again, this is a situation where it is hard for me to say the right thing because if it were me in his situation, you think I would really want to hear Karel's encouraging words to cheer me up? I'd probably cry my eyes out and tell him to just stop talking. Well, Karel handled it like a man and true cyclist and told the director what happened. Rather than just getting back into the 17-mile, 5-loop race (getting in on lap 2) and risking his license being suspended because that would be illegal, the race director told Karel that he could jump in but couldn't contribute to the race. Therefore, no break aways, no attacks and pretty much, he had to just sit in a use that race as a training race. As a positive note, I don't know that many cyclists (aside from the Pro's) who can just "sit in" on a Pro 1,2 race and consider it a training day. I think most people wouldn't even last a lap at that fast and intense pace. So after handing Karel bottles as he fed his teammates with the drinks, I really didn't know what to say to Karel. I figured he had 3 1/2 hrs to think about what happened and I'm sure he will never miss the start again. I feel so horribly bad but at least there was another day. I told Karel that he was ready for the weekend races so he still had another chance to show his stuff.
    On sunday morning I again had a nice ride but the 30-mile ride was over a done early in the morning due to a few hours prior to the start of karel's race. My parents were heading to the race to watch Karel so I decided to study for an hour longer and get a ride with them. I gave Karel a good luck kiss and told him to be confident. Yesterday's incident had nothing to do with his fitness, heart or dedication as a cyclist and therefore he needed to forget about it and move on. Oh, and you better believe Karel was at the starting line well before the race was to begin. After the riders were off there was a break away with the top 3 guys in crit racing (NRC crit champion was there..sorry, don't know names). There were a lot of top guys and good teams there but the crit is one of Karel's strengths (road racing being the other). After the first couple of loops (Crit is a downtown loop, less than 1 mile, usually sharp turns and lots of corners) with 6 corners in each loop, Karel was working hard and keeping a top 8 position. At one point he was 6th! The race was fast and because of the number of prems ($ given away to the leader of the loop, $10-$20 usually) the pace kept increasing during the race. Karel was thinking..please no more prems! Karel was working really hard and this was a long race. 80 minutes over your lactate threshold, pretty much all-out, you feel like dying and there is nothing you can do. So after around 20 minutes of me cheering I noticed that Karel didn't come around for a loop. I am usually pretty good at spotting him, especially since he was at the front for most of the first part of the race. Well, I see Karel in the middle of the course on the street with one of the Gearlink guys giving him a water bottle. I thought perhaps he had a flat and in that case, his rhythm is thrown off but you can still jump in with one lap free. I asked Dallas what happened and he said Karel crashed. What!!!??? oh jeez. Apparently, it wasn't Karel's fault and the guy infront of Karel fumbled on his handlebars and served to touch Karel's wheel. Karel has very good bike skills and in most cases, Karel can dodge crashes. Right before Karel crashed, there was a crash a few loops prior which karel barely missed. yes, crit racing is dangerous..exciting but pretty scary to watch. At least Karel knows how to fall but when I heard what happend I couldn't believe that he was able to jump back in. He flipped over his bike with his feet still attached and landed on his back with lots of bruises and road rash. But seeing that this is Karel, the most dedicated and hard-working person I know, he was back in the race in a matter of seconds. Karel had a really hard time getting his rhythm but near the end of the race he was slowly moving up to the middle pack of the chase group. At least 20 guys had dropped out which left around 30-40 still in the race. The pace was picking up and just around 80 min. I see karel stopping at the wheel pit. Oh no... a flat?? Well, luckily the racers had 3 loops to go and therefore, Karel was still able to get one lap for free. If he had stopped to check out his bike (not a flat) after one more loop he wouldn't be able to hop back in. So karel jumps in with 3 to go and after that loop I see Karel riding over to me on the grass. So, here's the story. When Karel stopped prior to the end, the handlebars were lose for almost an hour and Karel didn't even realize it until that point. At the end when he rode over to me with 3 laps to go, he stopped because his deraileur was messed up from the crash and he was stuck in the small chain ring at a 39 gear. For the sprint of 40+ mph, he needed to be in the big ring for power. So Karel knew there was no way he could finish the race in a small gear. Well, it was a good thing that he couldn't change gears because when he crashed, he broke his fork. If Karel would have tried to sprint without a broken deraileur, there would have been a good chance his handlebars would have broken and the fork would have been shattered. Well, there's the weekend for you. Karel is in good spirits for the most part and he knows there are many more races to come. As for this weekend, I am very inspired with his hard work and good attitude. Yes he was upset, bummed and dissappointed but that is assumed and perfectly fine. The fact is that he got over it. Last night he took apart his Cervelo to find the crack in the fork and decided to put together his Colnago for the next week or so (until the Cervelo is fixed). The Pinarello is still hanging on the wall to avoid scratches, wrecks or rain :) I really learned a lot about karel this weekend and I took a lot away from this weekend. Aside from the many emotions that we both felt this weekend I remember one point in the weekend which really touched me. Aside from my dad taking phenomenol pics of Karel (I'll post those later this week) and my mom still thinking that the races are scary and Karel goes too fast, there was a young girl (around 9 or 10) who came up to Karel after the race and asked for a hug. I almost teared up that regardless of how he finished (or if he finished or if he started on time), this young girl and many other people who knew karel came up to him and told him that he had a great race. This young girl wanted a hug from Karel because she just though he was a great cyclist and I learned that even when you feel down and upset at your own performance, there are so many other people who either look up to you or see your performance as something they could never even dream of doing. In this case, congrats Karel...there are many more races to come and I know he will keep training hard and burning the fire he has for cycling.