5/3/08

North Carolina

Karel and I got into NC late last night. It was a long drive but it went by fast. Karel has been in jacksonville for the last 2 weeks so I had to make a trip to see him as soon as my finals were over. I was so Karel-deprived. It is nice when you have a best friend as a fiance. I truely do enjoy my time with him. Ok, blah blah, sappy sappy. I know...I'm in love :)
Alright, I'll talk training. So I get to JAX on thurs afternoon and Karel was super tired from getting back from SC at 2 in the morning on thursday. We went to bed super early cause I was exhausted from my am training and the ride up to JAX. We stayed at a friends house so it was nice to sleep in a real bed after a 4 hour drive. Friday morning we slept in until 6:30am and after the morning coffe we went for a spin. It has been months since karel and I have ridden together and it was really enjoyable. He had to do a couple 90-second pick-ups to warm-up his legs but other than that, we rode together the whole time. 22 miles and we occasionally chatted as we rode. It was a beautiful morning and a very nice ride. Karel said I looked good on the bike and was riding really strong...coming from him, I took the complement and it will carry me through many future training sessions. When I am riding my bike, I love the feeling of being on my bike but I don't always push as hard as I do for swimming and running. THe bike was the last thing I learned how to do with triathlons (hence the pic of me on my hybrid on my blog). He is absolutely an inspiration in my eyes. After the ride Karel was ready for breakfast and I was ready to run. It was a nice and cool for the bike but it got really warm when I headed for my run. Since we were in a neighborhood, I ran in a loop which was exactly 1 mile. Coming from the house it took me a little over 1 minute to start the loop so I decided to do loops and run to the house and back out. I did 6 loops total, plus the 1 minute or so to get to the house and I had a little over 7 miles in exactly an hour. It was a really hard run and I pushed super hard as I descended each loop for numbers 1-3. I kinda slowed down the pace for the last 3. Afterwards, I mixed some whey protein w/ water cause I was super drained and I didn't have the energy to make a smoothie. I had a nice bowl of oatmeal and I added everything I saw in the kitchen into it. Cereal, nuts, raisins, milk, yogurt, PB and a little piece of an oatmeal raisin cookie (Oh, it was so good!). I finished some coaching programs for some of my athletes and before i knew it, hours had gone by and it was time to hit the road.
Karel and I just finished a beautiful ride in NC. I didn't want to do anythig tough this morning cause my legs are super stiff from the past 5 days of training and riding in the car for 6 hours last night (and 4 hours to JAX on thurs). I left before Karel and headed on some great rollers...you don't see those in clearwater! Of course as I am flying above 25 mph I see that the trees are blowing in the same direction that I am going. 10 miles and it is time to turn around into the wind. So, all those descends and easy climbs then turned into big climbs against the wind. As I am about to turn into the neighborhood (staying at my friends' house, Christi...so sweet to let us stay here even though she isn't in town this weekend :() I see Karel. I turn around and we are talking on the side of the road just commenting on how beautiful it is here.
Well, Karel just got back from his ride and I am going to introduce him to Trader Joes. I can't wait! First we need to get some yummy food since the small whey protein smoothie I made about an hour ago isn't holding me over anymore. Time for food!
Karel races at 4:30pm tonight in downtown Charlotte. I haven't been downtown here before so I am super excited to be in the city.
Good luck to all those racing at St.Croix this weekend and for everyone else, keep up the great training! *Kate, have a great training camp!
If anyone is in the Georgia area tomorrow, Karel and I will be in Sandy Springs for his race at 3:45pm (sunday). Can't wait to see the last crit of Speed Week!

5/2/08

Training

All I have to do is train. School is over and I have no more stressful days of studying for exams or busy days of sitting in class, in between studying, training and working on nutrition and coaching. All is done and the grades are in...the hard work paid off!!!
A-Global Marketing
A-Medical Terminology
B-Biology
B-Biology lab
I will take a 3.5 gpa. Looking forward to my dietetic school that starts on 5/20. But I'm sure there will be more stressful and busy days but the information will be so informative, applicable and useful with everything I want to do in life.

I celebrated my first day of no more school (Thursday) with a great workout. I swam with the masters team at the Palm Harbor and it was another tought morning. 200 SKPS (200 swim, 200 kick, 200 pull, 200 swim). Then 10 x 50's catch up drill. Main set: 10 x 100's on 2 minutes. Not too bad of a cycle but the set was all pull. Even more painful on the lats, the set went 25 free, 25 back, 25 free, 25 breastroke. I was making the set on 1:40 but the harder I swam that last 25 breastroke to get more rest, the more I felt it in my lats. Then, 4 x 25's all out and I did them all butterfly.. 2500 yards and time to get myself ready for a ride.
I wanted to get in 30 miles but I ended up with 46 miles. I'm sure that happens with everyone at one time. Of course we all have days when we should have done more but today I just couldn't stop at just 30 miles. Instead of doing an out and back loop I decided to do a long loop. I didn't get tail wind until the last 10 miles but I didn't mind. I was working hard and I finished in 2 hours and 35 minutes.

As you know, Karel has been racing the USA crit series. This has been his goal all season (one of several actually) to race in the series (5 out of 7 races). Not only is he trying to hang in the USA crits with the TOP cyclists in the nation, but he has really been given a taste of what the Pro cyclists are capable of doing. Karel works full-time and Karel trains. Even with the full-time job, he has the passion, dedication and drive to push himself to the limits. Having not finished the Athens crit (which making it to half way is worth celebrating) he could have easily given up and told himself that he was in the wrong league with these guys. Well, since he was one of the many Pro 1 cyclists that was accepted to race in this series, he went to SC with Jeff and Curtis (teammates) to race on tuesday. I was ready for him to give it his all but I received a phone call after 30 minutes from the race start
...."I didn't finish. It was so hard I couldn't go any faster. I hurt so bad"
I guess I should have known that Karel wasn't going to finish these races but that isn't right...that isn't how I think. Can we really go into a race thinking that way? I will only give it my all until I get dropped since I know I will get dropped....NO. You can never think that way. Everyday is a new day. You never know what will happen in a race and when Karel saw that out of 150 starters, only around 40 people finished! He was pretty amazed that even the TOP guys aren't finishing. Whenever I race I always know that the race isn't over until I cross the finish line. You can't count yourself out and you can't assume that the person infront of won't eventually slow down. The winner of a race isn't the fastest person, it is the person who slowls down the least. Well, Karel had his 3rd race of the series and he was ready to business. The race was postponed for 2 hours because of a bomb threat..yes, a bomb threat!! Crazy stuff in South carolina. Well, all was good but the race was starting at 9pm at night rather than 7:30pm. The course had parts that were completely dark and again, Karel found himself at the starting line with 150 Pro 1 guys. Karel dug so deep that his power was 103% of his max and he got lapped by the main pack. He said he couldn't even touch his breaks or sip his water beacause he would risk getting dropped and once again, not finishing a race. I think this time Karel had had enough with not finishing a race. Digging, digging, digging..HE FINISHED!!!! 84th place out of 86th but that isn't counting in the 60+ people that didn't finish. I really don't know how he finds the strength to finish. When the body physically can't go any harder, he finds something in him to push to the finish line. Congrats Karel...2 more races to go!!!!
  • Results from SC
  • 4/30/08

    Last day!!!


    I thought this pic was cute so I had to post it. Seriously, Smudla covered her eyes as soon as I pulled out the camera. Too cute! I don't blame her for being tired, we've pulled some late nights studying until 10pm.
    This morning I had my great spin class to pump me up and start my day. I had a great CD of up-beat Woodstock music. We did our typical sprint set, jump set and hill set. The 45-minute class went by fast and boy were we pooped! Tough stuff at 5:30am in the morning..but luckily, I have a packed class with lots of energy.
    Then to the treadmills. 4.5 miles and a few intervals to keep me from being bored. After about 20 minutes of playing with the speed from 7.3mph to 8mph I did 5 min at 7.5, 4 min. at 7.8mph, 3 min. at 7.6, 2 min. at 8mph and 1 min. at 7.5mph. 40 minutes of running and a bit of walking and I was ready for some core. I did some back and front core exercises on the ball since it is very important to strengthen both the front and the back to have a strong core. A few weights and then to the showers...a well-needed and refreshing shower.
    Home at 8am and time to study. OK, so I didn't really study. I had a smoothie, played on the computer, had some oatmeal and got ready for my biology final. It was a 75 question cummulative final on 24 chapters so I figured, if I didn't know it by this morning, I wouldn't know it by cramming for 1 more hour. I went to bed around 9:30am last night so I felt rested for the final. I think I did well so we will see when grades are posted on friday. I have one more final tonight at 5:30 which is medical terminology. I LOVED that class. I really did like my global marketing class (Mon night) because of the teacher but medical terminology is very applicable in my field. The final is 100 questions and cummulative but because we had a quiz every week it forced me to study one chapter per week over the last semester.
    I am so excited for today to be over! I want to think about something besides studying! Perhaps I can actually start planning my wedding instead of listening to my mom tell me all the things we need to do. We have the wedding venue and reception and DJ but we have so much more to do by Oct. My mom is a great planner and I feel so bad that i haven't been motivated for a wedding. However....time to get to action! Also, I just want to relax. Of course work on coaching, nutrition and articles..things I love to do (I could do those things all day!!) but I just want to de-stress. I'm feeling a nice long bike ride and swim in the am.
    YAY!! MY last day for 3 weeks ....until I start back school again.

    Check out the write-up on the Athens Twilight crit. You have to read every single word. Amazing..those cyclists are just crazy!
  • Athens Twilight Crit Write-up
  • 4/29/08

    Interval Tuesday!!!!!

    There's no more playing around here. Time to get into serious training mode. Disney 70.3 is in 19 days and it's all about breaking 5 hours. Good eating, enough sleep, no stress after wed..I must focus on this race. Well, in addition to the 50-million other things I am doing to keep me busy, I'm really amazed of how well I have improved with my training since Kona. Actually, I'm mostly impressed on how I actually healed myself and kept sane while I was painfully walking, slowly running at 6.4mph and then somewhat biking from November until January. But....all is good and here we go. Time for interval Tuesday!
    4:43am time to get up. Coffee, check email, out the door.
    5:30am in the water. With a final last night (100% on my global marketing final...wahoo!! Those grades don't come in my biology class, unfortunately :( ) and no finals today (2 tomorrow) I decided to join my early morning swimmers at the Palm Harbor Y. About 20 or so people and wow, did i miss swimming with everyone. I gave up the early morning swims on tues/thurs (changed them to mon, tues, fri around 7am) because I was too tired from my mon and wed night classes. I was so happy to be in the water and I pushed it hard this morning. One of my best sets...and oh, my lats!
    SWIM 5:30-6:30
    10x100 warm-up w/ 15 sec rest
    5 x 100 kick on 1:30 w/ fins (I didn't have fins, so 10-beat kick for me and I didn't make a cycle, so I just kicked until everyone was finished)
    Main set: 10 x 100 on 1:30 for me and Dave (who I swam with in a lane). I was rocking the 100's at 1:19 for the first 5 and then I got the Ironman boost and pulled out 1:16's for the last 5.
    Last set: 4 x 50's on :50. All-out!
    Warm-down and it totaled 2900.
    Time for the treadmill....
    6:50am - Interval run
    10 min warm-up at 7.3 mph
    Main set: 8 x 4 min at 8.5 mph (7:03 min mile) w/ 1 min recovery jog at 7.8 mph
    Warm-down 5-8 minutes (walk/jog)
    Total:7.8 miles
    WOOOOWWWW...this set got me. I forgot to mention that Mon. morning I trained since I didn't do a real workout on sun. I ran 10 miles and biked 20 and told myself if I tried to run on tues and I started to ache, then I would not risk hurting myself for an interval workout. Well, all was good and my legs felt fine but it was a tough workout. Each 4 minute interval came to about .6 miles and after the first 4 I had to convince myself to keep going. I had my friend Tony running next to me and he said he would do the last 4 with me. Even at his 7.5 mph pace, it was great to "run" with someone. We kept each other going with encouraging words and I happily gave the reminder "1 minute to go..we can do it!" When I'm tired during a race, I like to tell myself I can rest when the race is over, but I am the one who decides when the race is over. Therefore, I must keep going if I can mentally convince myself that i can take it. I felt the pace was good, not too fast and believe me, not too slow!!! It was just right that I felt a burn but I wasn't crossing the lactate threshold. Therefore, I knew I could clear lactate in the rest period and produce enough during the set to handle it. At that length of interval, pushing too hard over a threshold is very depleting and if I didn't properly pace myself I wouldn't make it to 8. And lastly, I knew this set was hard when after the 3rd interval I find myself looking down at the treadmill clock when my body starts to hurt. In a 1 or 2 minute interval, 15-30 seconds more isn't a problem. But when you look at the clock when you hurt, it is oh so hard to know you have 2 1/2 more minutes!!! Yes, I looked every time at 2:30 into my interval....but I kept my form and just saw myself at the Disney finish line.
    Well, there we are...another interval Tuesday. Only a few more weeks left to go ....

    4/28/08

    Highlights from St.A's

    Although I did not race this year (still proud of my goal of beating 1 person in the Elite division last year!) I was a proud spectator. I cheered, I covered the course and I got in around an hour of running (only about 40 min. of it continous with my friend Angie). Here are some of my highlights...


    Being at St.A's and not having to study!


    Watching the Pro Men Start


    Watching the Pro Women Start


    Seeing Scott Risgby


    Enjoying beautiful St.Pete and not being inside studying!


    Seeing my Friends family...too cute!


    Seeing all the bikes!


    It never ends!!!!


    First Pro...Matt Reed


    Here comes Andy Potts


    Soon after...there goes Greg Bennett


    Taking a pic with Laura Bennett!!!!!


    Running the run course and seeing Bree!


    Watching everyone finish

    4/27/08

    Quit

    Karel was honored to race in one of the biggest, fastest and most exciting races in the nation last night. Watch the video (no sound)

  • Twilight Crit 2008


  • Video


  • The race started around 8:45pm and totalled 80K, on a 1K course. Approximately 2 hours of races. The announcer called up the "top" riders and after about 80 people gathered to the line, then came everyone else. Karel didn't even know where the starting was when the race started. As the biggest race of the year...Karel did not finish. Karel's teammates did not finish. And out of 150 starters, around 40 people finished. The average speed was around 35-37 mph and there were a lot of crashes. BUT....all is good. Karel said that he couldn't believe he was racing the athens twilight crit! He had his gearlink buddies cheering him on and he said the crowd was unreal. They had two dj's playing techno and getting everyone hyped up and the announcer was doing a great job of letting everyone know what was going on in the race. Karel made it to 40 laps (half way) and he didn't even see below 33 mph for his speed. He said there was a crash around 20 min into the race and it stopped around 20 riders. Luckily, they let everyone back into the race with a free loop but all Karel could be thankful for was a quick breath of air to slow down his heart rate. As the race continued, more and more people couldn't hang and the pack would start to break up. Karel kept fighting to move up but the pace at the back of the pack (because he started so far back) was crazy fast..of course, no faster than the front but it was hard to stay on people's wheels in the back. Therefore, more effort to not get dropped. Karel got dropped and the officialls immediately pull you to the side. Of course with it being around 9:30 at night in the dark, in downtown athens the crowd was still pulling for all the riders. You would think karel would be upset, mad or frustrated that he didn't finish (which he was a bit frustrated that he didn't make all the loops) but when he was pulled through the barriers and onto the sidewalk with the crowds....it was his moment to shine. See, when you do the Pro race at the Athens twilight crit...you are one of them. Karel was high-fiving people and he enjoyed the nice comments and cheers from the crowd. I guess to stay 1-loop longer than the last guy is an award in itself.
    I am so proud of Karel and of course...he is hungry for more. With Athens as the beginning of the USA crits Speed Week, Karel will be racing on tues and wed in SC and then on sat in NC and sun in Ga. I will be watching him in NC and GA (FINALLY!) but I'm sure this is going to be an exciting and exhausting week.
    I had a hard time using the word "quit" as the title of my blog. It is a hard word to use when you are an athlete. No one likes to quit. According to the definition "quitting means to give up, discontinue or to depart". Yes, these are all true definitions but I know Karel didn't want to give up. I know there are people who don't want to stop racing. Unfortunantly, the body says no more. I think I am going to start using the word "try" instead of "quit or failed". It is a much more appropriate word that I think athletes can learn to deal with better than being a quitter. TRY"To put to the test or to make an attempt". Really, this is what we, as athletes, do everytime we attempt a new race, distance or sport. We try our best. And if we don't succeed, it isn't because we failed or because we quit..it is just because we tried. I know deep in Karel's heart (strong heart!) and mine, it is always tough to not do as well as you would like. To have a goal and to not accomplish that goal. For cycling at karel's level, it is all about finish the race. I am so proud of him for trying and attempting to stay on as long as he could. So to everyone who has "quit" a race or failed at something, just remember how hard you tried until that very last moment.
    "Failures are divided into two classes — those who thought and never did, and those who did and never thought."