Sunday was the last official race of Karel's 2009 road bike season. Karel had decided that the US 100K classic in Sept was the last race-race of the year but with Ocala being less than 2 hours away from us, Karel and Jeff decided to race the road bikes, just one last time, until 2010.
I was designated "water girl" for the road race so I was looking forward to my duties of passing bottles to the Jeff and Karel at the feed zone (skipping ahead, I was flawless in my 12 water bottle hand-offs on Sunday).
Aside from an occasion IM-specific workout in the summer, I'll skip any Sat or Sun workout to watch Karel race. I just love traveling to races, watching him on his bike, the cycling environment and of course, taking pictures.
Campy was spending the day with bman and with Laura (bman's mommy) doing her first 14-15 mile run to gear up for the Jacksonville marathon in Dec. (which I am super happy about coaching her) I wanted to be sure that I wore out Campy before I dropped him off at 7:45am.
Campy will run in rain or shine and in this case, in the dark. At 5:45am, Campy and I headed out for a 2 mile run (to the end of the street and back) which took about 20 minutes. I don't mind his pee-stops (which is every tree it seems like). He runs too fast for me anyways, so I enjoy the rest stops. :) When we run together it's more like campy intervals.
After Campy's run, I headed out for a little workout of my own. After 3-weeks off from running post IMKY, I am enjoying any opportunity I can (a few times per week) to run without that nagging hip pain that troubled me pre-IMKY. After my 5 mile run, I quickly showered, took campy to Laura's as I sipped my protein drink, warmed my oatmeal as Karel loaded the car and we were off at 8am.
We met Jeff and Curtis a few miles down the road and we all rode in the Trek van to Ocala. I have to say, it is a lot of fun riding with the boys. They make me laugh so much and I probably hear more than I'd like to hear but it is all in good fun.
The race went well for Karel. He placed 8th out of a bunch of Pro 1,2 riders. Although Karel was racing for fun, both Karel and Jeff said they felt great out there. Even with the 95-degree temps and no breeze or cloud cover, the guys were well-hydrated (you're welcome boys :)) and enjoyed my sport drink concoctions. This is one of the better races to feed because there is a big hill at the feed zone. Although the guys are going fast, it isn't as fast as in other races where there is a flat feed zone.
The guys did 14 loops of a 5 mile course. The unfortunate part of the race was at the finish. After 70 miles and 2 hours and 43 minutes of racing (I still can't believe that they averaged 26mph on this course). There was a 2 man break and the pack (which had dwindled down to a few dozen riders) was sprinting for 3rd place. Karel had it in him to sprint for the podium but as he was out of the saddle, sprinting towards the finish, a guy in front of him accidentally clipped out of his shoe and nearly knocked down a few riders. Karel dodged the slip-up but that cost him 3rd place. Bummer. However, it's all part of cycling. You can feel great and finish 20th or get lucky and finish 3rd. That's just the name of the game. Next year Karel...you are getting on that podium! I just know it :)
As for this coming weekend, a few of the local guys are putting together the first annual Fixed Gear World Championships. All for fun, of course, but lots of bragging rights are on the line. Considering that Karel is the guru of bikes and bike mechanics in Jacksonville, he was really excited to put together a fixed gear bike. He got really creative with this carbon frame and after a few hours of tweaking the chain and other parts, he is ready for the World Championships at Ponte Vedra beach, this Sat at 8:30am. According to the rules, you are not allowed to have anything aero on your bike or on your body. Just bring your fixed gear bike and your skills and ride as fast as you can.
Enjoy the pics!
*I am excelling at taking pictures and passing water bottles. However, I haven't quite mastered holding Campy, taking pictures and passing bottles..maybe next year :)
Karel's Fixed Gear bike
Isn't this bike pretty? This is on my wish list. Although I love having a husband who is GM of the Trek store, I hate it when Karel designs bikes, builds them and then shows them off in the store...especially when they are WSB (women specific) and are pink! How about the green one behind it? :)