10/10/09

Happy Kona Day!!

One of my favorite days of the year!!!
Best of luck to everyone out on the course and thanks to ALL volunteers!!

This is how I spend my Kona day, every year.


Well, every year except 2007...












Sometimes I go into the other room and hold my finisher medal, just to make sure it is real.
Thank goodness for blogger and facebook. I have so many "friends" to watch today!!!
I just watched Rudy (double amputee) get on his bike. I am now truly inspired as well as feeling like I should cherish every minute of every day rather than just looking forward to tomorrow. To everyone out there racing kona, watching Kona, hoping to do Kona or just hoping to get to the gym a few times next week...never be scared of reaching your goals and attempting your dreams. You'd be surprised what you can do when you let go of your fears and accept your true potential.

10/9/09

Happy Birthday Campy!


Campy's first picture

Around this time last year, we found Campy on Petfinder.com, a site devoted to rescued animals. It was late on a Tues evening and we wrote down a handful of 800-numbers to call on Wed about a possible new edition to our family. We came across a pic of a chihuahua with really long legs and a phone number which was not an 800 number. I called the number after I read the description: "Family fostering chihuahua mix, named Sparky. If interested, must call for a interview". When I called, I was told by Campy's foster mommy that this was one special dog and she was not going to give him to just anyone. After a detailed phone call and a 1+ hour trip to Amelia Island, I saw Sparky (CAMPY) and it was love at first sight. After I gave my donation for the rescue shelter in Amelia Island and signed the paperwork, I immediately called Karel to tell him about our new puppy. "I LOVE him already!!" It was actually Karel's idea to get Campy after I rescued a chihuahua from our apartment pond and after 3 days of keeping him, we found the owners. I guess it was a sad but happy time for us.
The ride home was interesting. Campy was a little nervous, a little excited and a little happy. I wasn't really sure what to do, how to act and what to say to him so I just kept telling him "Campy, I am your new mommy". I was super excited to introduce Campy to Karel but first I had to clean up the pee and throw up from Campy. I guess he was a little overwhelmed during the car ride to Jacksonville.
Karel loved him, Smudla wasn't sure about him and when I introduced Campy to my parents and my friends, he was loved by all.
Campy is a breath of fresh air and he can cheer you up with his puppy dog eyes, his love for life and his big smile. Every day is a lottery-winning day and he is always happy to see us when we come home. Campy has a bunch of favorite things in life and in no particular order; Running, walking, chasing squirrels up trees, taking out the stuffing in his toys, chasing gecko's, going on road trips, vising Karel at the Trek store, going to the beach, hanging out with Bman, kisses, running in back yards and inside houses, eating people food (tofu, chickpeas, lean meat, yogurt, cottage cheese, tuna, hard boiled eggs, carrots and apples are his favorites), sleeping, helping me cook, barking at anything moving fast, sticking his head out the window when I drive, cuddling under blankets and lastly, going anywhere with his mommy and daddy.
I never thought I could love an animal the way I love Campy (because I love all animals) but Karel and I are so thankful that Campy came into our life and Campy...we LOVE YOU!! Happy 2 year B-day and 1 year anniversary with us!

It was hard to pick my favorite pictures because I have way too many...enjoy!




































Day before I got married

10/8/09

Gearlink

Karel and I decided to take a quick trip to New Port Richey, FL to visit my parents for a day. Yep, one day. We left Tues evening at 6pm and got back this morning at 9:30am. We miss them so much living in Jax. In addition to enjoying some time with my parents and Campy enjoying his 5 star resort, we were able to see the Gearlinkers.
A little while after Karel came to the US, Karel started working for Gearlink. Gearlink (which is no longer operating) was an online high-end cycling company. Although the majority of the business was online, the local Tampa bay riders and Gearlink cycling team members would come in the store for Karel to do his magic on their bikes.
Karel took some time off the bike when he came to the US and after a few rides with the Suncoast cycling group, Karel was introduced to the Gearlink cycling group/team.
To make a long story short, Karel and I met because of the Gearlink cycling team.
As I was training for IMFL, I was told from one of my training friends that I should meet this really fast cyclist, who is super nice and has a great accent. I wasn't sure if I ready for a relationship with all my IM training taking up my life, as well as being the wellness coordinator of the North Pinellas YMCA, but I was all about having a new friend....with a great accent :)
My friend thought that it would be good for Karel and I to meet on the Wed night ride. I had heard about this ride and with my fear of bikes in 2006 (Yes, even with training for an IM) I was super scared to do this group ride. The ride is about an hour long (not including a warm-up and warm-down) and averages around 25-28mph. The tricky part about this ride is that it is a 3-mile loop in a neighborhood, with 3 fast, right turns with every loop. After 5-6 loops, the ride ends with 1 final loop and a sprint finish. If you have the strength (and skills) you rotate with the group but for everyone else that just wants to join the 30-40 person ride, you just hope to hang on a wheel in the back. There are two ladies on the ride and the rest of the riders are guys. The two ladies are great friends of mine and my match makers :)
I was so scared of this ride that I stood up meeting Karel for 2 weeks in a row. Poor Karel, he would put on his nicest bibs and clean himself up just to meet me at the ride and I was a no show. Finally, on May 31st, 2006 (my b-day) I decided to join the 6:30pm wed night ride. I had a quick meet and greet with Karel before the ride started and I barely made the warm-up. I was hurting so bad from the 18-20 mph warm-up and tried to hold back my tears from not being able to hang on. I ended up riding with another girl as the group did the ride. Karel and I were able to talk a bit more (although he was super shy and all I had to talk about was me training for my first IM) at the Varsity Club, which is a sport bar across the street from the neighborhood where we did the Wed night ride.
Well, you know how the story turns out...Karel continued to do the ride, I continued to suffer (hoping to make it a 1/2 mile longer than the previous week) and the gearlinkers continued to see our relationship evolve. Well, I after a year of dating, we moved in, got engaged, moved to Jax, , got a dog, got married and now, enjoying life.
We had an absolute blast last night on the ride. Karel won the final sprint, I survived the whole ride and rotated for most of the ride. I worked on my turns, Karel gave me great advice and we were able to hang out with a wonderful group of people. Just to prove how wonderful this group is to us, we gave the team less than a day's notice that we were coming in town and at the end of the ride we had a group ready to take us out to the Varsity Club, just like old times. Our wedding was one big cycling party and we wouldn't have wanted it any other way. We are so lucky to have these people in our lives and I'm sure you can agree, it is a great feeling to have people in your life who enjoy the activities that you enjoy. There are so many people out there who struggle to make it to the gym for a 30 minute workout yet when you have a friends to train with, it doesn't even seem like a workout...it is just fun times together with a good sweat.
As Karel and I approach our 1 year wedding anniversary at the end of this month we couldn't be more thankful for the happiness that others have given to us over the past few years.


Karel's matchmaker





One of my matchmakers





What a life Campy...what a life.