8/2/08

Top Gun Triathlon Race Report

I'll throw out the numbers first.....
59:22 finishing time
1/4 mile swim: 6:49
T1: 3:21
10 mile bike: 25:42 (1st age group!!!)
T2: 1:10
5K run: 22:22
3rd in 25-29 age group out of 46
7th overall Female
39th overall out of 762

So the race went well. I did a little of all of my race plans. I did all 3 sports well, I pushed hard and I went fast. Unfortunately, with the top 6 overall girls ranging from ages 16-29, I think I had my work cut out for me this morning.

I didn't sleep very well last night. The normal fear that my alarm wouldn't go off had me waking up every hour. The alarm finally went off at 4:30am and I was ready to get up. I wasn't nervous I was just super excited. A big change from last week when I thought I was going to throw up I was so nervous to do a cycling race. I just couldn't wait to get there.
Since I packed up my Hyundai last night with my bag and bike, all I had to do in the morning was turn on the coffee, fill up my water bottles and make my oatmeal. I prepared 3/4 package of instant oatmeal w/ raisins and a little banana w/ soy milk in a Tupperware bowl and grabbed a plastic spoon. Gotta love eating on the road. I poured my coffee in a travel mug and filled up my pre race water bottle w/ 1/2 scoop amino acids (base nutrition) and the race bottle w/ 1 scoop base nutrition AA's. The trip seemed to take forever but an hour later I was at Ft.Desoto. I parked the car and headed to the transition area for body marking and to get my chip.
I was a bit sad after I racked my bike and set-up my transition area because I didn't see many familiar faces. Where was everyone??? Well, finally...I started running into people. Probably because I arrived 90 minutes ahead of the start and I was just making a million trips (actually 2) to the bathroom before the start that I didn't see anyone for a while. It is also my friend's b-day today...so HAPPY birthday GAY!!! She raced and I saw her and my friend Tony at the swim start. I got in the water just for a few minutes to do a few strokes and then headed to the swim start. I said hello to a few more faces, like Gary and Harold, two guys who I coached (Gary I'm still coaching) when I was in Clearwater.
There were two heats ahead of the 39 and under women heat so I waited 6 minutes until my start. The swim wasn't parallel to the shore like a normal Ft.desoto race and rather it was away from the shore, left turn, straight parallel to the shore, left turn and then back. Kinda like a rectangle with the long ends perpendicular to the shore. I noticed that many of the guys were being pulled to the right of the buoys on the way back because of the heavy current. There was a storm last night and the weather has been nasty here so aside from water ALL over the course, the water was a little rough w/ a strong current.
I swam well and tried to keep my eye on pink caps. There were only a few of them by me but I focused on the buoys so that I wouldn't get off course. I excited the water and as I made my LOOOOONNNGGGG run on a rough gravel road (because of the rain) I was actually looking forward to the bike. If there was one thing I wanted to do to today it was to leave the race with a good bike. I figured if i could suffer in a circuit race by drafting on a wheel of a female cyclist, I knew I would have a great time riding solo with 700+ of my local triathlon friends....and enjoy my aerobars :)
Well, I knew Karel would be proud of me. I didn't get passed by any girls and I was passing some of the guys who started 3 and 6 minutes ahead of me. The course is super flat but with wind in all directions, it makes for a hard 10 mile course. I knew I had to leave it all on the bike if I wanted to do well because I wasn't going to be able to hang with the fast runners. I barely had anything to drink on the bike (2 sips) but I wasn't too hot....until I started the run.
The heat hit me and I was super hot. I passed on water as I was exiting transition area since I was just behind another girl with a 29 on her calf. I turned around my visor because the wind was in my face and I just got into a rhythm with my breathing. By the time I hit the first mile I ran 6:35. I knew I wouldn't keep that up but I focused on my form as I headed to the turnaround. At this point, the u-turn now put us on the sand and we said good-bye to the concrete. I was far behind the girl with the 29 on her calf so I made many looks behind me to see if I was about to be caught. Nope...clear of all girls. I decided to just keep running fast and try to finish with everything left on the course.
By the time I got to mile 3 I was making a turn to the finish line. Just a little straightaway to go and I was able to get some water. I did grab water at aid station 2 and 3 but just for cooling. By the time I got to the finish I looked at the clock and saw that it said 1:05..I broke 1 hour! I've never broke an hour in a sprint before!!
Breaking an hour in a sprint means that you can swim fast, bike fast and run fast. I just never thought that I'd be able to "race" in a sprint distance. Well, it all came together today and I am really super happy. I think this was just what I needed to get some confidence back and start "racing" again. I love participating in races and giving it my all but sometimes I think I don't really give it my all. I just push hard and then smile across the finish. Well, I was smiling this time but that was just before I nearly collapsed at the finish.
I met up with Gay and we ran for 16 minutes on the sandy part of the course to cheer for other athletes. An hour or so later I picked up my award and headed home.
What an exciting day for all the athletes at Top Gun, especially the first timers. I just love this sport and I am ready for the HammerHead Olympic Distance Triathlon on August 24th!
Sorry I don't have any pictures of my race. I was alone this time. No parents, no Karel. So, just a race report.
*Karel rode with all his Gearlink friends this morning so we can't blame Karel for being a bad fiance. He had a great time and everyone was glad to see him again.

8/1/08

Race Plan for tomorrow

Scenario #1:
Swim Fast
Bike Fast
Run Fast
_________
WIN Overall!


Scenario #2:
Swim Fast
Bike Hard
Hang on in the run
__________________
Place top 3 overall

Scenario #3:
Swim Fast
Bike as fast as I can
Enjoy the Run
___________________
Win my age group

Scenario #4:
Swim well
Bike well
Run well
___________
This isn't an option

I think I will try for scenario #1........

7/31/08

Trip!

YAY!!! Going back to Clearwater. Actually, to new port richey since we are staying at my parents house. I will be there until wed and Karel is heading back on sun afternoon. My mom and dad are flying up to PA today to visit my brother for the next 3 days so Karel and I are "cat sitting" for my parents. Of course, we have to bring Smudla for her first road trip since we moved. This should be interesting.

I just got finished packing up the car. Lots of stuff for a quick trip. We each have a duffel bag of clothes, my transition bag of race gear and nutrition, two bikes, a liter box and hopefully I won't forget the cat. I have pick up Karel at the Trek store at 7pm when he gets off work and then we are on the road for our "short" 3 1/2 hour ride. I am going to try to squeeze in one more homework assignment in the next hour (due mon) and that should finish me up until who-knows-when and I can have a little break from the computer.

I'm really looking forward to this weekend. Wedding stuff!! This is really the big focus of the trip (besides Karel riding with his friends and me racing). We have a busy day tomorrow and sat but that's ok...part of getting married. Going to the reception restaurant tomorrow to go over the lunch menu and pick out colors for chair covers (which I think are so silly, but it is in the package) and other linens. Then to pick up my packet for the race and I CAN'T wait to see some familiar triathlete faces. Sat I have the race in the morning and then to cake tasting....yum! Karel and I both want a "healthier" cake and we actually picked a baker who specializes in dietetics. We are thinking something with berries and/or fruit around the outside of the cake and once we decide on the flavor of the inside (don't think Karel is going to go for my boring love of vanilla) I will let Chef Nelson go to work on making it "healthy" and yummy. Sat evening we have dinner plans with the Gearlink guys which I am sure Karel is going to be happy to be with his old cycling buddies. Sun looks pretty open for me but Karel is SOOOO ready to get to San Antonio for some hills. As for mon and tues when my mom and dad get back, I will be meeting with the photographer, discussing flowers and getting my dress hemmed. Then on Wed, back to JAX.

This morning I told Karel I had no time to save animals as I headed out the door at 6:40am. I was a little pressed for time this morning since I had to be at Jacksonville University at 9:30 to meet with my mentor for my Food Service course. I did a nice 20 mile ride with a few pacing intervals and then ran for 2.5 miles, with the first mile a little slower than my 5K race pace. I am excited for the race and I hope to have a good performance. The energy of being with my friends should be a great incentive to race fast.

I just got this email and I thought I'd pass the picture and story along...pretty incredible!



Meet Molly. She's a grey speckled pony who
was abandoned by her owners when Hurricane Katrina hit southern Louisiana. She spent weeks on her own before finally being rescued and taken to a farm where abandoned animals were stockpiled.While there, she was attacked by a pit bull terrier and almost died. Her gnawed right front leg became infected, and her vet went to LSU for help, but LSU was overwhelmed, and this pony was a welfare case.You know how that goes.

But after surgeon Rustin Moore met Molly, he changed his mind. He saw how the pony was careful to lie down on different sides so she didn't seem to get sores, and how she allowed people to handle her. She protected her injured leg. She constantly shifted her weight and didn't overload her good leg. She was a smart pony with a serious survival ethic.

Moore agreed to remove her leg below the knee,and a temporary artificial limb was built. Molly walked out of the clinic and her story really begins there.

'This was the right horse and the right owner,'Moore insists. Molly happened to be a one-in-a-million patient. She's tough as nails,but sweet, and she was willing to cope with pain.She made it obvious she understood that she was in trouble. The other important factor, according to Moore, is having a truly committed and compliant owner who is dedicated to providing the daily care required over the lifetime of the horse.

Molly's story turns into a parable for life in post-Katrina Louisiana. The little pony gained weight,and her mane finally felt a comb. A human prosthesis designer built her a leg.

The prosthetic has given Molly a whole new life, Allison Barca DVM,
Molly's regular vet, reports. And she asks for it. She will put her little limb out, and come to you and let you know that she wants you to put it on. Sometimes she wants you to take it off too. And sometimes, Molly gets away from Barca. 'It can be pretty bad when you can't catch a three-legged horse,' she laughs.

Most important of all, Molly has a job now. Kay,the rescue farm owner, started taking Molly to shelters, hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers. Anywhere she thought that people needed hope. Wherever Molly went, she showed people her pluck. She inspired people, and she had a good time doing it.

'It's obvious to me that Molly had a bigger role to play in life,? Moore said. 'She survived the hurricane,she survived a horrible injury, and now she is giving hope to others.'Barca concluded, 'She's not back to normal, but she's going to be better. To me, she could be a symbol for New Orleans itself.'

7/30/08

This is a first



I'd like you to meet me new friend. This is Mr. Owl. I saved him today on my ride. Just another day in the life of vegetarian, animal-lover, why god put me on this earth (to save animals) Marni.

I was looking forward to this morning as my last training session to prep for the sprint triathlon on sat. I headed out at 6:45am (Karel was still in bed) for a 30 mile ride and then a 3 mile run. I took seduza out since she was feeling neglected and she was fast :)
As I was riding along mandarin, I spotted something furry by a mailbox. While my eyes are always on the road I seem to notice animals like I have eyes all over my head. I rode by Mr. Owl and then quickly turned around. Careful to not get close to him for fear that he would attack me, I started talking to him. Yes, I do this a lot to animals. Still haven't had any animal/creature talk back to me (except for smudla who meows when I ask her if she is hungry..which is all the time) but I am always the first to start a conversation with an animal. I asked Mr. Owl if he was ok and suprisingly he chomped his mouth/beak at me. His right eye was kinda closed and it looked like he was hurt. I kept asking Mr. Owl if he was hurt but no reply. I snapped a few pics with my camera phone and decided I would let him be....until I returned. I figured there was nothing I could do at that moment but I needed to call someone. I rode for 5 more miles and decided to turn back. I thought about who I would call. 911 probably wouldn't be the right phone call and I didn't want to ride 10 more miles home just to look up numbers. I dailed 411 in my phone and got connected to the human society in Jacksonville. Well, at 8am they were closed so I called the animal emergency line. I figured an injured owl was absolutely an emergency.
Mr. Owl was obviously injured because he started to shut his eyes and when I would get close to him to swat away the mosquitos (there were bugs all over his "droppings", probably from his injury) he stopped snapping at me. So, I waited for an hour and 15 min until I saw Karel riding by. I told him the situation and he was suprised I didn't name Mr. Owl. At that point I just thought he was a beautiful owl but when karel came by I started calling him Mr. Owl (more mature I think :)
Another lady (cyclist) had driven to the scene with her two young boys and she also called the human society, which no one answered.
I needed to get home since it was already 9:15 so the other lady stayed with Mr. Owl. I was sure to get her number so that I could find out what happened to Mr. Owl.
An hour later I heard from the lady and Mr. Owl probably has a broken wing. Who knows what happened to him but since it is his bedtime now, he is probably very tired, sore and stressed. I have a reference number to the clinic that is going to try to take care of him, so I will continue to check up on my new friend Mr. owl.
So, duty called for me to save an animal and the workout this morning was 27 miles on my bike in 3 hours :) No run this morning but no worries.
I think the beauty of life is just being spontaneous. Sometimes you have a plan and are determined to accomplish many goals in that plan. But, when scenarios change you must way the pros and cons and ultimately you must be happy with your decision. I will take saving an animal over training anyday :)

7/29/08

Interval Tuesday...RACE WEEK!

Mon was a busy day. I slept in until 7am (after getting back to our place at 11:30pm!!!) and had a zillion school assignments to turn in. The day quickly started at 10:30am with observing my food service facility for school and then before I knew it, with grocery shopping, errands and more work, it was time for dinner! I made a nice salad w/ apples and I cooked some veggies (mushrooms, string green beans, onions, corn) and added my veggie burger meat. I poured in 1/2 can of organic garlic tomato sauce after the veggies were cooked and I had 1/2 of a whole wheat sub w/ the veggie mixture. Yum.
Karel was super tired last night and totally exhausted. I am not suprised with his lack of energy after 4 days of racing. There really isn't anything magical that he (or we) do after races when it comes to nutrition. I take fish oil capsules (1-2) on a daily basis and Karel tries to have some type of fish the night after a hard race/training. Karel lives by his Optygen but for both of us, we love our aminos (Base nutrition by Chris lieto). The Amino Vital Pro didn't work for Karel. He said his stomach was a little upset with the sugars from the AV. I agree that it is a sweet drink so try it out before using. I haven't heard from anyone that they can't tolerate the base nutrition aminos and if anything, they mix really well with our HEED. Since we were in a hotel for 4 days in GA I did my research and we stayed at an Extended Stay. Although a micrwave and a mini 'fridge are great for 1-2 night stays, food gets a little borning if it can only be refrigerated and then microwaved. We had a stove, a medium size 'fridge, a coffee maker (that didn't work very well..errr) and a microwave. We spent $60 at Publix and only ate out once. We filled our fridge w/ coffee (freezer), natural PB, low-sugar Jelly, Sugar free Syrup, cheese, deli meat, eggs, soy milk, yogurt, berries, bananas, tuna and strawberries. We also had lots of oatmeal, bread and soup. Karel made his raisin bran muffins before we left so we had great food for the road. We never let ourselves get hungry or try to eat our money's worth. We knew exactly what we were eating and it was nice to be able to have a kitchen with a sink and everything else we needed. This is the way to go if you are traveling for a race for a couple days. I think the key to being able to race for days (or train hard) is to ensure that you are getting good protein in the body. It is easy to find good sources of carbs (bread, bagels, fruits, veggies, potatos) when eating out but lean and low fat protein is often compromised when eating on the road. Well, I know for me as a vegetarian it is hard for me to even get 30grams of protein when eating on the raod. I had 90 calorie yogurts with me for after my races and I always had a PB&J sandwich with me for Karel's races.

I have a sprint race on sat at Ft. Desoto and I can't wait to see all my triathlon friends! Karel and I are heading to my parents on thurs evening after he gets off work due to lots of wedding stuff. I know, hard stuff like cake tasting, finding Karel's attire for the wedding and then of course, he is super excited to ride with the Gearlinkers and ride the hills of san antonio. I will be staying until wed and Karel heads back on sun. Looks like a fun weekend for both of us.

So, now that tuesday is here it is time for another interval tuesday workout.
10 min warm-up at 7.4mph
5 x 40 sec. at 8.5 mph w/ 20 sec recovery
Main set 2x:
.5 mile at 8.9 mph w/ 2 min recovery
2 x .25 mile at 9.3 mph w/ .15mi recovery
5 x 40 sec. at 8.5 mph w/ 20 sec recovery
Total: 45 min. 6.5 miles (I think...I was anxious to get off that treadmill!!)


I did a few weights and core exercises and headed to the pool. I don't think I am getting any faster in the pool and I blame that on myself for not swimming with anyone and for not swimming more than 2500 yards a day. I think I will start swimming with one of the master teams.

500 warm-up
4 x 200 w. 10 sec. rest
3 x 150 w. 10 sec. rest
2 x 125 w. 10 sec rest
1 x 100
After each set I did a 50 butterfly kick.

Total w/ warm-down: 2400

7/28/08

My first circuit race




If you asked me to choose between cycling and triathlons, I would 100% pick triathlons. But, I can honestly say, there is nothing easy about just cycling...I would much rather swim, bike and run for an "easier" race.
I would like to say that I am not even close to putting cycling races behind me. If anything I can't wait until the next race. However, between now and Aug 9th I have a lot of work to do on my bike.
The work isn't about training. Of course I would love to be more powerful on my bike but I have another goal. I need some skills and to get rid of my fear of riding fast and with other people.

After Karel's road race on saturday I was in major mommy-mode because Karel looked like death. A normal look for him after these crazy fast and hot races but I am always ready to take care of him when needed. However, when we got back to our hotel room at 6pm Karel was fast asleep before I sat down with my computer to start some homework. We were both really tired and after a little evening snack we were out for the night.

So, here goes sunday. I started the morning finishing up homework. Of course school is the last thing on my mind when I am racing triathlons but in this case, it kinda helped me pass the time by until my race. Karel and I packed up the car, picked up a few gallons of water at the gas station and headed to the progress center for the circuit race. My race was at 12pm and Karel raced at 2:15. I warmed up for about 45 min just spinning my legs on the opposite side of the race course as the cat 3 guys were finishing up a few more loops of their race.

Rather than splitting up the Cat 1,2 girls and the Cat 3,4 girls we were all together. This was a big bunch. The funny part was when we were all on the line and the announcer said that all the Cat 3,4 girls can go to the front of the line (where the Cat 1,2 girls were standing) because "we" (cat 3,4) really raced the road race on sat. Hey, it wasn't our fault that we were going fast and we passed the Cat 1,2 girls after starting about 5 min. behind them.

So off we went. I was in a group of around 10 girls after the first loop. My category (3,4) had 16 people in it and the rest of the girls (around 10 maybe) were Cat 1,2. There was a quick breakaway of two and my group couldn't catch her. It was Rebecca Larson who is incredibly strong on the bike that was in the front with one other girl on her wheel. So after 2 laps we had 5 more laps to go. The scary downhill was nothing compared to the scary downhill sharp left turn. Each loop I had to fear that stupid corner. Errrr...
I kept getting dropped at that corner because i would squeze my breaks and I just didn't know how to turn quickly. So I would expend all this energy to catch up and then as the girls were climbing a roller I would think "they are going so slow". So it was a lot of catching up for me because well, I just don't have any skills.
The best part of the race was seeing Karel on every loop. Karel was there with our camera and his bike just picking spots on the course to cheer and take pics. He would yell "stay on their wheel marni" and it totally worked. Around the 3rd loop I attacked on a climb and just went. Karel was cheering loud to cath that 2 girl breakaway and with only one girl on my wheel (mary pat jones, who is also really strong) we were ready to go get the lead girls. Well, until my chain wouldn't shift. So I spent my "breakaway" move trying to change my gears from the small to big chain ring. I was just bummed about the situation that i could have had to be in the lead group but instead I had to get back to my pack and just keep going.
We were doing a total of 7 laps so I had a few more opportunities to make some moves. I tried my move again on a hill before the straightaway to the start/finish line (same as last time) but when I got to the downhill scary turn I lost my move. Errr...
So it wasn't until the last loop that I lost it all. I just got so scared at the fast pace down hill and I totally lost my draft at that corner. Each loop was 2.4 miles long so there was nothing else I could do with over 1 mile to go until the finish. MY group eventually caught up to a group in front of us and I sprinted to the line all alone. However, because I was in a breakaway group (out of 2 groups) I finished 5th in the cat 3,4 group out of 16. I was pleased with my performance but not as happy as Karel. He had a lot of fun watching us and he is ready for my next race.
Well, we spent the whole ride home discussing how I can improve on the bike and I am ready to work hard. I want to do these races as much as I can because really, it makes me a better triathlete. Even if I can't draft in triathlons I am able to be more confident on the bike. To me, it doesn't matter if you are fast...if you are not confident on your bike you can't excute your power. Well, at least that is the way for me. So, I will continue to work.

As for Karel. I took plenty of great pics and I was super hot. The race lasted 90 minutes and I am sure the riders were just dying out there with a 2:15pm start in humid georgia.
Karel sat in mid-pack and he said the pace wasn't too hard. I'm thinking all 70 riders were a bit tired from the last few days (or those who did all 4 races) but the heat totally exhausted Karel. The finish was exciting for the top 3 guys but Karel rolled over the line without a sprint. He said this was a first time for him to just see the mid-pack guys sprinting for the line in 30+ place. As for karel, he tried to stand up and sprint for the line to try for top 10 but once he stood up to sprint his body quickly told him "I don't think so". With nothing left at the end of the race, Karel summed up the weekend as a long, hot weekend.

We both had a great time in Ga and we heard that next year the race is 7 stages!!! Hopefully the races will be in the evening or early in the morning because Karel and I are both sunburned and super tired.
*I just don't know how Karel does it. 4 days of racing at your max. I really need to sign up for an IM cause I am feeling super lazy compared to him :)

Here are some pics from the weekend...














Scary Corner






7/27/08

Mind and Body...and everything else with Racing






Friday night 8pm: Criterium in Downtown Norcross.
The race was actually in a cute little neighborhood right near dowtown. There were cute restaurants and bars and live music for entertaining. Karel's race was 90 minutes and with the race starting at 8pm, there were large lights all around the course.
Karel said he felt good all day and after his 7th place finish, he was ready to give it all for the crit. The race started almost on time and the pace was fast. Too fast (and dark) for me to get many good pictures but with a .9 mile course I walked all around the course to cheer.
Karel was in a few break aways even though the lead group (of 5 guys) LAPPED the field! I think they were averaging 36mph (said a spectator) and there was nothing easy to this course. There were large climbs, descends and tight turns.
To sum up the race, Karel was in the front group with 3 laps to go. Although the race directors put up a little number by the finish line to say how many laps to go, the course was almost pitch dark and you could barely see anything. The announcer gave away a $100 prem for the 2nd to last lap but he really said "1 lap to go" at the same time as the prem. So, Karel and Chris Scott (who was in the lead group and had lapped the field) and many other riders were racing for the finish of the race. Well, as Chris and Karel come across the finish they both think they are done and just stop pedaling to start spinning their legs. The entire lap they were giving everything they had to finish the race. Karel was racing for 7th place and Chris was racing for 2nd. Well, the official messed up and boy was Karel and Chris (and others) upset. Now Chris ended up in who knows place and Karel was 33rd.
Karel and the other guys tried to protest (normal in cycling races after results are posted. You have an hour to protest if you don't agree with the results) but the officials said they made a mistake.
Karel wasn't mad mad, but he was upset. He was feeling so good the entire race and if he knew there were 2 more laps to go (and not 1) he would have waited until the last loop to breakaway mid-way in the loop.
Well, Friday night was a restless night for Karel after getting home at 10pm and full of endorphins. As for me, I went right to sleep since I had a road race to do the next morning.

My morning started with oatmeal, raisins, some banana and a piece of toast w/ PB. Karel and I left our hotel at 10:45pm for my 12:07pm race. There were a few sprinkles of rain in the morning but not like last year (my first road race here) there were not storms before the start of my race. And, not like last year there were about 15 girls in the Cat 3/4 race. Oh boy! Nervous!!! I kept telling Karel that the nervous hamster in my tummy was just running on his wheel. Oh I was nervous.
Well, the race started quickly and before I knew it I was in a break with 7 girls. I spotted Karel on the other side of the course and he was cheering and taking pics. What a good spectator. The course was 6.5 miles long and there were 4 big climbs. One steady long climb which was the KOM (king of the mountain climb) and then one BIG steep climb. We did 4 loops of the course and the pace never slowed down. The best part was that we lapped the Pro 1,2 girls! They had another loop to do after us (they did 5) but my group worked hard, rotated and raced the entire 4 laps. Well, the race came down to the finish and I was still with the 6 girls. The final sprint was around a corner and I kinda lost it at the corner. And with my lack of sprinting skills and very few fast twitch fibers and I came in 6th place. I was happy I finished because I wanted to quit before lap 3. These girls were strong and the race was not even rolling..there was so much climbing!
So I spun my legs and wished Karel good luck. His race was at 2pm and I had just enough time to change my clothes, grab my camera and run to the start.

Karel did this race last year and barely hung on. The race is only 65 miles, so it is "short" for a road race. However, there is nothing easy about this "short" race. Really, this race is all about attrition. If your body can withstand the pace and you can make it to the finish, you will place well. About 1/2 the field dropped out last year and with a mix of humidity and rain this year, I knew the race would be hard.
Karel did really well for the first 4 loops (of 10) and he was sitting in the front field. There weren't many breakaways so the group was just sticking together. A lot of the full-time pros were dropping out and I don't blame them. After 2 days of racing on non-flat roads and then having to do a very fast and hilly road race, this was goig to do be a sore group of riders. I was sore just watching them.
I made my way to the feed zone and fed Karel twice. He took both bottles of heed+aminos and by the 8th lap the field had really split up. There weren't many people left in the race (probably a little less than 1/2 of the starters) so I was just thinking "hang in there Karel".
Well, Karel hung on until the body said no more. Unfortunantly, the body said no more at the 9th lap. I wasn't really bummed for him because I was suprised he made it until the 9th lap. If anything, I was so proud of him. I couldn't believe that he made it for over 50 miles with these guys. Karel said his muscles were just shaking at the first loop and the entire race was hard for him. Well, the majority of riders were hanging out at the finish and a few guys were at my car w/ Karel just talking about the race. Finally the racers finished and I think about 30 people finished. Ouch....what a painful day.
Karel is still sore and I am trying to keep my complaining to a minumum. I am racing again today at noon for my first ever circuit race. I am very nervous because the course is fast, rolling and there are a few sharp corners. I'm sure the same girls will be there and it will hurt more than yesterday. Karel races at 2 and I don't know how he can do this for 4 days in a row. As I mentioned, I am not complaining about my one road race soreness and wanting to quit after the second loop :)

I have so much respect for Karel because he is so passionate about cycling. A little crazy that he likes this pain but I just think he is amazing.
1 more race to go.....