5/24/08

New Stuff!

I'm just about to start my first assignment for my dietetic program. I am taking two classes for 6-weeks and then another 2 classes for 6-weeks. For my nutrition education course I finished my assignment which was a case study using stages of change. I learned how to recognize what stage a person may be in when they are in need of a change. I never thought how useful this info would be within the area of nutrition. For example, some people may know they are in need of a change but are not sure how to make the changes. Some people aren't aware that they have unhealthy habits and are immune to the negative effects of their lifestyle choices. Very interesting how their are Do's and Don'ts of working with someone when trying to help them with their nutrition (or lifestyle). I feel smarter already!
As far as my food science course, I am about to start my lab which involves sensory evaluation and descriptive terms (like taste, sight, flavor, intensity, etc.). I feel like I am on Top Chef as I am reading my book about describing food as velvety, smooth, firm soapy, astringent, rounded, glossy or bitter. The other food science lab is on food preparation. I get to learn measuring techniques and energy transfer. Wow, I am super excited for my classes and this is only the beginning. Aside from having to pay a BIG amount of money for the online school, I totally think my RD will be worth another few semesters of school and an internship.
This morning I did my first Jacksonville group ride. Karel was supposed to ride on the beach for a fast ride starting at 6am but when he woke up at 4:45am to rain, he decided to stay in bed and wake up with me at 6:20am. We had our coffee together and a pre-training snack and we were out the door at 7:15am for the ride. I wasn't nervous for the ride but just a little timid for new roads and new riders. I was happy Karel was there with me but it wasn't too long until our friend James Sweeney and Karel headed to the front of the group (50+ riders!!!!) to pick up the pace. It wasn't too long until I was dropped (as expected...I think the power in my legs is still packed in a box :). Oh well, I was picked up by 5 guys and I still ended up with a great 45-mile ride. The roads were almost car-free (compared to clearwater, I felt like i was riding with no cars) and the scenery was pretty. I actually rode through neighborhoods and not crowded main roads. What a nice change. I got home just as karel was leaving for work (he had to work at the beach store again today) and he told me he won the ride. I asked him what he won and he said nothing :) hehe. I guess Karel and James were pulling the group and I'm sure some of the riders were suffering. I saw a few girls out there who were strong so I'm sure I will get stronger if I keep riding with this group.
Well, better get to my work. I have nutrition write-ups as well, which makes me super excited to get back from my training. Tonight Karel and I are supposed to go to a big party for all the cyclists and triathletes in the area. I hope it doesn't rain (forecast doesn't look good) so that we can meet some new people in our new town.

5/23/08

Pics from disney

Enjoy!
Thanks to my official photographer (DAD) for the great pics!!


A nice hug from kate. Who likes to be serious before a race?



Let's get this race started!



So many people!



Wish I could swim more but it is time to bike!


This isn't me but I thought you might enjoy a pic of the lovely weather conditions on race day.


Get me out of transition. Time to RUN!


Hi mom!!!



See ya boys!


I'm not sprinting to the line. I am just so ready to cool down!


It's over!! Encouraging smile that I enjoyed myself on the course.


Pizza and a medal!! The best part about racing :)


Time for new shoes!

5/22/08

Getting there

The pile of boxes in our new place (2 bedroom, 2 bath) is getting smaller. However, I think I managed to move all the unpacked boxes to the office (spare bedroom) and that room is beginning to scare me. I am catching up with emails as well and getting back into nutrition consultations and coaching. I have enjoyed my little break from "work" but I am anxious to get back to helping people. I kinda loose my mind if I am not doing anything constructive with nutrition.
I finished the kitchen first and no surprise, I had a BIG trip to super Wal-mart to stock our fridge with lots of healthy and yummy foods. We have a pantry and I even found some food to put in there. Karel was a little bummed that I didn't bring home any ice cream. I guess my 40-calorie yogurt's aren't going to cut it for Karel. I did find some waffles (organic blueberry and flax seed apple and cinnamon) that Karel is now obsessed with. We both love the convenience of popping a waffle in the toaster and for a late evening snack I like to have a waffle with a scoop of vanilla lit n' fit yogurt on top and a little sugar-free syrup and cinnamon. Yum.
Karel got the TV up just in time to watch Idol last night and now, with cable hooked up, I am no longer stealing the Internet. I am getting there with the unpacking but this is much better than moving up the three flights of stairs.
Yesterday I visited Karel at work and I tell ya..what a great job! Just a bunch of cyclists hanging out and chatting. Only kidding. I'm sure they do something productive every now and then. The Trek store is HUGE and if you are ever in the area, come by and get some tri/cycling stuff. They also have an on-line store (ABC store, link on my website and blog). I am going to start working there next week to get some money to help pay for school. I think I will really enjoy selling tri/cycling stuff, especially when it comes to nutrition products. I offered working the evening hours, so that when Karel needs to go to the beach for the group rides I can let the guys go and ride. Seriously...I can get paid to talk to people about tri stuff??? How cool is that!
All my books came to the store and I am really excited to get going with my school work. I am really really really excited! I am going to learn so much. I think I could read my Food Science book over night but I will try to stick to the schedule. My other class is nutrition education which should be a great class as well.
Karel and I are still really sore. When we got out of bed this morning we both felt like our calves were on fire. I am getting less and less sore but it is a slow process. I am reminded of the pain from disney and moving everytime I walk down our apartment stairs. Karel and I rode together this morning. Only around 17 miles but it felt really good to be on my bike. I am getting back into things but slowly. I would love to get in the water tomorrow so I will ask around and see where the triathletes swim. I am a fish without my home...I need a pool ASAP!!!
Well, I think I am going to go visit Karel at work again. I guess I am making up for lost time since we were apart for almost 2 months. Plus, what triathlete doesn't enjoy a bike shop??

5/21/08

Moving

I'm going to tell the truth.I thought this would be fun, moving with Karel to a new place. Getting to decorate after going through all our stuff from the past year. I don't have to worry about training since my race is behind me and I can just take my time with everything since I have nothing else to do.
Ha...I wish you could understand how terribly sore I am right now. My calves, my quads and my arms. I hate moving.
Ironman Florida 70.3 was on sunday. I raced hard and I could feel my quads all evening. I slept for a solid 6 hours (too tired to sleep) on sun night after finishing the boxes in our place around 11pm. Monday morning, Karel and I biked to the Penske Truck pick-up. I think we averaged around 13mph and our 7 mile ride felt like a 20 mile ride. Karel and I were so physically exhausted from our races. We got the truck and started loading at 10am. We didn't finish until around 6:30pm and the odds and ends took another 2 hours on tuesday morning. I slept for around 6 hours on mon night and Karel and I celebrated our packing with some yummy ice cream in Dunedin at a local ice cream shop. My mom helped us clean and pack up on monday and that was a BIG help. Moms' are just great when it comes to helping out with cleaning and organizing. What would I do without her! Our friend Dallas helped Karel move the heavy stuff because I am about worthless when it comes to anything heavy. Even without a half ironman, I am not a fan of lifting heavy furniture.
We were out the door around 9am on Tuesday and headed to Jacksonville. We had to pick up a bed and a fish tank stand on the way and I was surprised that our trip only took 4 hours. Not too bad. I was entertained with Smudla crying for most of the trip but other than the first hour she did very well. She tried to sleep but she wanted to be sure I knew she was ready to get to her new home. She had a meow out of her about every 10 minutes even when she was sleeping. I also had the two fish tanks with a total of 9 fishes and although we emptied out about 3/4ths of the water, I was super careful when I accelerated and stopped. We finally arrived to our new apartment around 2:45pm and the lease was signed at 3:30pm after the walk-through. Ok, here we go....start moving up 3 flights of stairs!
Ouch, ouch, ouch...the 16 foot truck (which was packed full!) was never ending. Sadly, it was Karel and I for around 4 hours until one of the guys at the bike store helped Karel with the couch, futon, dresser, dryer, table and tv. I managed to help Karel with some heavy furniture but it sure took me a while. Karel is a true champ when it comes to lifting. I was really impressed with his strength. Strong heart, strong arms and legs too!
Towards 8pm I felt like I was in the last mile of an Ironman... but worse. As I walked up the stairs for the millionth time, I just kept saying "one foot infront of the other. You can't stop now." I think I was carrying pillows and I was struggling. Karel and I felt so weak and we had a late dinner (after a day of eating PB&J) at Moe's and I cleaned my plate which was a hearty salad of tofu, lettuce, beans, rice, cucumbers, tomatoes and salsa. Karel and I love Moe's! I still don't think I am anywhere near recovered from Disney (the move didn't help) because besides my soreness, I am incredibly hungry every minute. I know after a race the calories are still burning (especially if you stay up with your protein...thank goodness for whey protein and water on the road!) in order to help repair so I am trying to eat every couple of hours, even if it is a box of raisins, an orange or more bread and PB.
My sleep last night was just horrible. We went to bed around 10:30pm and I was up at 4am. My legs were burning and I thought I had just did an IM. This morning I did exactly what I did after IMFl and Kona...a bath at 4am and I ate a waffle in the bathtub. Now that I think about it, after Kona I had 3 rice krispie treats in the tub.
Well, now comes the fun part. Unpacking. Smudla is loving our new place and I like being on the third floor. Karel and I have decided that after the many hours of moving up the stairs yesterday, we need to live here more than a year to make it all worth it. After that...we are getting a house!
I am waiting for my books for school to arrive since I started my dietetic program (online) last mon. I have a handful of assignments that are due nex mon so I have a feeling this first week is going to be super stressfull..especially if my books don't arrive soon!!!
Karel is at work and I think this will be the longest day of work for him. I could fall asleep right now but I have boxes just looking at me.
Thanks for all the congrats emails for my race on sunday. Although the excitement after Disney was short because of rushing home to finish packing (after Karel and I watched the Tour d'Italia) I was full of smiles and happiness when reading all the nice emails and comments on my blog. Thank you again everyone for all your support and for checking in on me and all the other athletes. And congrats to everyone else who raced at Disney or anywhere else.






5/19/08

Disney 70.3 Race Recap

I went to bed late and I'm up early. I guess I forgot what it feels like to "race". Oh the soreness in my legs. I thought I would be nice to Karel and just get up and move to another room rather than tossing and turning for a few more hours.
First off, karel was 17th in the State Crit and he said he is really happy about his race. Although 17th may not seem like a good place (says karel, i think just finishing is amazing!!) he said that he made a lot of moves and really contributed to the race. That is how Karel likes to race, rather than just sitting in with the pack until the end and then sprinting to the line for a win. He is all about the action and making the other guys suffer. So, a big congrats to Karel. It wasn't very fun waiting for his call after I finished my race. I wanted to hear from him and when he called "How'd you do??" I asked. Of course, the first thing he says, "How'd you do?" It was fun exchanging race stories all evening long.

The travel to disney was fine. I was anxious to leave so as soon as my parents came to pick me up, I was out the door. "Let's go to Disney!!"
We went directly to the goofy lot of Magic Kingdom and I rode my bike up to the pavillion. It is tough getting to the race site with spectators so my parents rode the bus to the race site. I called Kate who was also at the expo and that was just the start to us seeing each other for the rest of the weekend. It was funny out of so many people, Kate and I kept running into each other. I got my stuff and couldn't have been more happy that I got a pink cap. Wahoo-pink cap, wave 7:00am with all the 18-29 girls. yikes!
I went right through the expo (I don't even make eye contact with all the race gear) so I can save my money and went to go rack my bike. Well, I was by a big tree which was great for findning my rack (#30) but I was near the end and it was so tight. Luckily, on race day morning there was a big gap a few bikes closer (still far away) so I moved my bike so seduza wasn't so close to the other bikes. It was a big mess in transition with all the bikes so I could only imagine what it would be like in the morning.


Out of the past 3 years of racing Disney, this was the first year I didn't stay at the wilderness lodge. This year, I didn't have my racing friends with me so opted out of the lodge to save some money and be with my parents. All was good at the Fairfield in and I slept great. I actually liked be off the race site and of course, only a mile away from Outback. I invited my friend Kori to Outback with my parents and me and I enjoyed my bread, rice, house salad (w/ pecans and eggs and tangy tomato on the side) and sweet potato (everything on the side). I could have eaten another loaf of bread if Karel was there with me but I think the 3 we went through was good enough. I didn't feel stuffed so that was good. Just a simple dinner to keep the muscles filled with fuel.
Race day morning I woke up at 4am at went to the lobby to cook my breakast. I prepared my breakfast on sat morning and put it in a baggy so all i had to do was heat it up. 1 packet instand oatmeal, raisins, sliced almonds, a little protein powder, cinnamon and 1/2 banana (which I got sat night). With coffee and water, I felt good about my nutrition. Sometimes i am nervous and my tummy will make me feel like I need to eat more, but i know that i am well fulled. this time, I felt just right. I didn't eat anything else for the rest of the morning and that means so spikes in blood sugar. I drank my water and had my amino's before. I felt really good all morning.
I arrived to the bus's and saw Kate. Too much fun! We waited for about 10 min (seemed like an hour) and then we were up at the race site. My parents were a bus behind Kate and I (I jumped in line with Kate) so we headed right to body marking. #1435, 25 years old. All marked up, ready to go.
Into the mess of transition and I squeezed my way through all the girls and attempted to have some type of transition set-up. I tried to be quick cause I wanted to get out of the craziness. I checked Seduza's wheels and brake pads, put on my computer and I was out. My parents and i headed to the beach and my dad went to the pier to get a good spot for taking pictures (those will come soon). My mom hung out with me and I just enjoyed having her there. As I mentioned in previous posts, I love being around people before a race. I guess I spend so much time alone training and preping for my race that when I get to the expo or race site on race day morning, I just want to be around people who are excited and ready to race. I've already mentally prepared myself so I really look forward to being around 2000 of my closest friends (well, friends for the next 5-6 hours).
My wave was called and I was ready to go. I wanted to swim really hard but still efficiently to not waste energy. I put myself in the front line with the girls and I was happy to get a good luck hug from Kate. I love that girl! The horn blew and we were off. I was proud of my position when we started swimming. There are a lot of fast swimmers in the 18-29 age group so I knew I wouldn't be at the front. I just looked for pink caps and kept my stroke long. I had a few looks on my watch to see if i would break 30 min. but when I looked up near the end of the swim and the finish seemed forever away I knew I wouldn't be at 30 min. But i kept swimming strong, weaving my way through the swimmers from the waves infront of me and i was out in 31:50. I ran to transition, and ran and ran and ran (this is a long transition run) and finally arrived to my bike. I peeled off my awesome Zoot speed suit (I love that thing) and grabbed my bike. Off I got for the 56 mile ride. The outfit I wore today was the same as Kona. I felt that i needed another chance to enjoy my Zoot clothes and pink hammer socks. This race was for all I went through in Kona.
The bike was fun and I was flying. I didn't want to pound out the bike and I never felt tight legs. Actually, I keep thinking my legs felt so good the whole bike. I kept saying "fresh legs, fresh legs" and I just went at my own pace. I was riding cat-and-mouse to a lot of the same girls so for around 40 miles I felt good with my ride. That is, until the rain started to come. It was around mile 35 when we hit the rolling part of the course that it started to sprinkle. Then came the ran. Just to note my short racing career, I have never raced in the rain before. Maybe I am lucky but I have never been in a triathlon and had it rain. then, to be pushing hard, descending down hills and trying to make turns in the slippery roads, I was a bit scared. It rained on and off for the rest of the ride and I was so looking forward to being off my bike. I averaged 20.5 so I was happy with that. I knew my bike wouldn't be super strong because I haven't had a lot of time to train on my bike. I did the best i could with school but I wasn't going to be upset with my time. When I arrived into transition I knew I wouldn't break 5 hours (I needed to come in before 10:20am and even with that, I would have to run a 1:40 half marathon..no way! I didn't train my body to run that time so I was being realistic). When I racked my bike and put on my running shoes I opted out of the visor in case it rained again. When I saw all the bikes on my rack I was on a mission for the run.
"Pass them!!!"
I jetted out of transition and my first mile was just crazy fast. Then I hit the off-road section and I'm running with a lot of guys. I hear one guy say to me (or maybe himself) "Oh, this is the bad part of the run." I just wanted to say to him "If you want to look at it that way." But I kept my mouth shut. I hear a lot of complaining when I am running and I think it just drives me to run past the negative voices. I passed a few girls at the beginning of the first loop but I knew i needed to pick up the pace. my favorite part of the run is the last stretch (about a mile) on the off-road. maybe because I am about to hit an aid station and the grassy road turns into the street filled with spectators. I felt solid the whole run and I just kept running. I had no idea where I was in my age group but I was running my little legs off. My body wanted to slow down the last 2 miles cause I was super hot but I said no. YOu can rest when you get to the finish line. I was so over my breaking 5 hour time and I started thinking I might be able to place top 10 in my age group.
Here are my run splits:
7:08
7:59
8:04
8:08
First loop: 31:19 minutes
8:00
8:01
8:14
8:11
Second loop: 32:26 minutes
8:04
8:14
8:10
8:28
8:30
Last loop to finish: 41 minutes
Run:1:47

I finished the run and was done. My parents couldn't believe how much I had left at the end but I left it all out on the race course. I wasn't in pain after the race but I was a little sore. Not too stiff (like I am today) but it was a hard race. I love having the loops cause when I see the spectators at the beginning of each loop I feel the fire to pick up the pace.
I checked the results and I just hoped that I made top 10. I was 6th out of 98 girls and couldn't believe it! No Clearwater spot (only 3 in my age group) but that is ok. I was so happy I could race on sunday because that is why I train so hard. I love going into a race with a trained body but dealing with wind, rain and heat is something that is hard to train for. I was so happy to see my parents enjoying themselves out on the course and having my friends Angie and Hunter out cheering me on. A big thanks to Hammer for making me feel so good during the bike and run. Thanks to all the other people cheering (kate's hubby Craig is an awesome cheerer..he got me really pumped!) and congrats to all those who raced in the heat and rain. I guess it is Florida so the weather is expected but hopefully the finisher medal is the memory that motivates you to sign up for another race.

5/18/08

Disney 70.3





I will write the detailed write-up in a bit. Right now I'm trying to finish some packing before we load up the moving truck tomorrow.
The race was hard. The girls in my new age group are tough. The conditions weren't the best. Rain on the bike for around 20 miles and the heat on the run was tough. The swim was beautiful.
I swam my hardest.
I biked hard...but saved my legs.
I ran like there was no tomorrow.
I would like to provide a quote for my last loop of the run...
"No mom, I can't run any faster."
There must be something about parents, friends and loved ones that think you (as the athlete) can go faster. Yeah, like it is just that easy. Only kidding. I love when people cheer for me and especially my mom and dad. My mom loves running with me and my dad just shouts "Go Marn!" And today my dad had a new quote for me
"Marn if you are talking than you might as well be walking." He's telling me this as I am asking him how many girls are ahead of me.
I am so proud of my performance today because I competed to the best of my ability. This was my first time "racing" my bike in rain and I was a bit scared. I just wanted to run.
Thanks for my good luck wishes and congrats emails. I appreciate it! And the best part...NO INJURIES, NO PAIN (well...you know what I mean)!!!!
Results are on Ironmanlive.com but here you go:

SWIM: 31:50
BIKE: 2:46:12
RUN: 1:47:50 (WAHOO!!!! My interval tuesdays paid off!)
Total: 5:11:20
Overall place:289
Female overall: 35
Age group (25-29): 6