First off...who turned up the heat and humidity in Jacksonville Florida over this past weekend??? I was beginning to get use to the 80-degree temps but I guess it was all a big tease.
After my last "long" brick (4 hour ride + 4 mile run) I spent the rest of the day resting with Karel (watching cycling on Universal Sports). Around 4pm, it was time for a 3 1/2 hour trip to Bartow Florida for Karel's 9pm criterium race. Karel absolutely LOVES criterium racing at night and this 80 min crit in downtown Bartow was no exception.
(Loving my new Oakley Women Short Sleeve Roadmap tee)
It was too dark for me to take any pics of Karel but here are two from the official photographer at the race.
It was so exciting to watch Karel race as he was really active during the race. I remember just a few years ago in 2006 when he did his first Pro 1,2 race. He was completely exhausted and after his first few races as a Category 1 rider, he continued to tell me "I don't know how those guys do it?".
After riding his bike for all of his life, now at the age of 35, I continue to be inspired by Karel for never wanting to give up and for always wanting to get better. Despite racing with many riders who race as a full-time job, Karel manages to squeeze in 250+ miles/week of training while working at least 45 hours a week as the general manager of the Trek Bicycle Stores in Jacksonville FL and I never hear him complain about anything. I feel super lucky to have Karel in my life and because of him, I continue to find myself wanting to challenge myself in both athletics and in my personal life.
On Sunday evening, my close friends (Mallory and Tyler, Kari and Adam and their beautiful twins Cameron and Logn and Ryan and Katrine) had us over for a Kona-inspired dinner. We enjoyed an evening of good food and lots of laughs (babies are super entertaining!). We caught up with Katrine and Ryan after they both placed 5th in the 25-29 age group at IMWI and had fun chatting with Mallory and Tyler who are participating in the 2-day MS 150 ride this weekend. Karel was surprised with a Key Lime "birthday" cake and I had a special "Tri Marn" cake which was made out of my blueberry muffin recipe!!
I made a yummy "Hawaiian salad" w/ spinach, star fruit, almonds, tomatoes, onions and pineapple and we ended the night by giving our friends a big THANK YOU for supporting both of us as we live a very active lifestyle. Despite our friends being super busy and active themselves, they had time to make me a beautiful card as well as a gift bag filled with thoughtful gifts for my time in Kona.
On the card, they listed several Hawaiian-inspired quotes (perhaps they know me a little too well!) and one of them spoke loud to me:
"Hawaii is the land of big dreams, for both islanders and guests. Those dreams born in Paradise can, indeed, come true" -Sharon Linnea.