February was special because we planned a trip to see my 92-year old Grandpa in Tahoe but first, a stop in Sacremnto to visit our close friends Gloria and Ken. After being friends for over 3 years, we finally got the opportunity for us all to be together. We had so much fun swimming, eating, laughing and hanging out - even if it was just for 1.5 days before heading off to Tahoe.
Although the snow was sparse, we were able to get in a little time on the snow with some downhill skiing/snowboarding and XC skiing (my favorite). It was nice to make some memories with my grandpa and his wife. Karel and I honeymooned in Tahoe in Feb 2009 so it will always be a special place for us.
We also held a private training camp for a small group of triathletes in NC and oddly enough, it snowed the first morning of the camp! We almost cancelled the camp but (most of) the snow melted and our athletes had a great time, even though it was a bit chilly.
And the travel begins! March is the month of our annual Clermont training camp at the NTC and this year was a bit different as we had a bit longer of a drive as we were traveling from SC and not Jacksonville, FL. We had my mom come with us so we could bring Campy (and so she could help us out) and we also needed her car as we had too much stuff! I absolutely love putting on our training camps but it is a lot of work. This camp was our biggest camp ever with 23 campers (our athletes). But it was all worth it. Memories were made and our athletes trained a lot....and even raced an Olympic distance triathlon on the last day of camp!
I'm not sure how I will handle May in the future but for this year, May was a tough month but it did have it's happy moments.
Campy got a very expensive present from us - a fence! With a big backyard backing up into the woods, we gave Campy the present we promised him for the past 7 years as we told him "one day" we will give you a real backyard and lots of room to run. Campy loves his yard, especially in the warm summer when he can sit outside all day and look for birds and squirrels.
Although Campy is not one to complain, we did notice that Campy was not acting normal after we got our yard treated (as we were told that's what new homeowners needed to do). A few days later, Campy had a seizure. He did not vomit or defecate on himself but instead, while we were walking, Campy barked at the UPS truck and then froze, raised his left paw as if it was broken and then lost his balance. His eyes were wide-open and he wobbled when he tried to walk. I had no idea what was going on but this was the first of many seizures over the summer. Campy would go 2 weeks without us seeing one and I thought everything was ok and then he would have one and it was scary to witness. We took Campy to the vet several times without a clear reason why this was happening and they told us when the seizures start to happen more often (3 within a week) that he would need to be on medication. We tried everything to keep Campy calm, cool and relaxed but the seizures would often come out of nowhere but I could always tell when he was about to have one.
On a lighter note, I placed 2nd at Challenge Knoxville Half but that was not the memorable part of the race - running across the finish line with Campy and Karel was the biggest surprise and was a great memorable moment as Campy was the first paw across the finish line.
But on the bright side, it was special for Karel to be with me in Williamsburg as I placed overall female amateur on an extremely hot (120 -degree heat index) day. This was my third half IM win and I had a PR with my fastest 56-mile bike split ever and I finally broke 5 hours.
We finished the month with our first ever Trimarni Greenville camp and it was just the break that Karel and I needed with our own training and life as we just love working with our athletes - and we couldn't wait to call the Swamp Rabbit Lodge our homebase for our campers and to show them Greenville. The camp was extremely tough as it was enduranced-focused and our campers were so amazing. We are so excited for our next Greenville endurance camp in July 2016.
After learning that Karel was not allowed to run with a tear in his fascia, we were all filled with a variety of emotions as we (including my mom) made our 2-day drive to Lake Placid. Karel was looking forward to Lake Placid as he absolutely loves the course and felt like he was getting into great training shape to place near the top but plans changed. We tried to make the most of it as the drive up north was absolutely beautiful and we got to see so many different sights and even see some friends (Katie and Chris M and Anthony and Peggy and Brutus) along the way. Plus, we had several Trimarni athletes racing Placid and we were all sharing a house which made it a lot of fun to be around our athletes.
I had a great mini training camp which kicked-off my IM Kona training.
Race day was tough to see Karel only race in the swim and bike but he had a really strong performance in both which brought him some confidence. Also, Karel stopped his race on the bike to help an athlete who had passed out and fallen off his bike so it kinda meant to be that Karel was in the race and could help out another athlete.
It was really awesome to see our athletes in action and we made a lot of memories in Placid.
Karel and I had always wanted to join our Gearlink friends (from when we lived in Clearwater) for their annual trip to CO to train and watch the USA Pro cycling challenge and this year was the year we could finally make it happen.
After several weeks of rehab, Karel was finally able to start running (easy) and I was over the moon, enjoying all of the trail running in Boulder. We enjoyed seeing our friends Kristen and Trent, Lisa and Curt and meeting new faces and training in new places. We biked A LOT and there were a lot of epic moments during our trip. I came away from this trip exhausted but I also gained a lot of confidence as to what my body could handle with training. Plus, I thanked my body a lot as training in the altitude was tough!
Just a few more weeks left before our trip to Kona for the IM World Championships. Karel wasn't able to get in quality run training (or longer runs) but he was able to run which was reassuring that hopefully he could finish his first IM Kona. It was fun to finish our training in Greenville and to head to Kona 1.5 weeks before race day. Campy and the cats stayed with my mom which was so helpful for us to know that they would be in good hands for the 2 weeks that we were away.
Well, if you are a reader of this blog, you probably kept up with my daily recaps while we were in Kona. Although it was a big unknown as to what Karel's foot would do on race day, he didn't let it get to him one bit as we both made lots of memories in Kona, experiencing everything we could before and after the race. Although my race didn't go as well as I had hoped, it was a very special experience to race in Kona together and to finish my 4th IM World Championship.
October was also exciting because two of our Trimarni athletes qualified for Kona (Leigh Ann and Justine) so we are excited to get back to Kona in 2016 to cheer on our athletes as spectators (hopefully Karel will be racing Kona if he qualifies at IMMT).
Thanks Kona for the memories!!
We were invited to NYC by Clif Bar for the premier of the NBC IM World Championship and that was extremely inspiring.
I went to Myrtle Beach with my mom for a quick weekend trip and then we headed off to KY and then Indiana to visit my hometown and then to celebrate Thanksgiving with my aunt, uncle, cousin, brother and his wife. My brother and his wife Dana are expecting their first child (boy) in Jan!
Campy started phenobarbital meds in late November and they seem to be working to control his seizures. Campy started to get them almost ever day in early November so after another vet visit, he finally got the meds to help him out. He was retested after a few weeks to make sure the dosage was tolerable in his small 13-lb body and all was ok. Although we have to give him the meds morning and night for the rest of his life, it is worth it as he isn't suffering with the seizures anymore. Plus, he still has his normal energy and he hasn't stopped enjoying destroying his bears and chasing the birds.
In our off-season and the start of more structured training, we took advantage of riding our road bikes, hiking and even participating in a "fun" 20K running race over Paris Mountain (we finished as "fastest couple" and Karel was third overall!).
And as you probably heard/saw, Karel surprised me with a beautiful custom paint job on my Trek bike.
Oh, and my mom now lives 1 mile from us in the next neighborhood which is great that she is so close...we love walking there with Campy.
With the start of building our foundation with our training, alongside staying extremely busy with coaching and nutrition and RETUL bike fits (for Karel), we look forward to what 2016 has in store for us as we know life will be exciting, memorable and challenging.