Since I usually write about myself on this blog I'd like to feature Karel and his up and down weekend. As I mentioned in the last blog, Karel forgot his key on sat. morning. He headed out for a 3-hour ride and it was one of his hardest workouts this season. 87 min. tempo ride just below threshold. Since he uses his power meter he usually stays in the lower 200's (I think around 230W) for his power. I'm not really sure exactly but I know he always comes home beat up when he has to hold his wattage for almost an hour and a half! Not only that, he has already trained for 4 days, including the weight training that we are doing right now. So I am on Sand Key bridge doing repeaters and around 9:15am I see Karel climbing over the bridge on his way home. I give him a quick smile and a 2-finger wave (the kind where you are holding on to your bars but you can kinda raise 2 fingers for a wave) as I am climbing up. NO talking for me as i am climbing but as I am descending and about to climb again there is no sign of Karel. I knew he was ready to go home after his ride. I finished up my ride around 9:45am and I checked my phone on my way home. Karel had called me 3 times and I called him back wondering if he was just checking in on me. Well, poor thing had been riding around trying to find a credit card to try to unlock the door (for some reason, he is really good at that!!! hehe). He couldn't get in and he even jumped our fence to try to get in from the back. No luck so he headed towards Clearwater to find me. Although he had a great strong workout, he was so depleted from the hour of frustration after his workout that there were no words between us as we were riding home. He had enough energy to poor whey protein powder into a shaker with milk and water and then he crashed on the couch while I showered. As it has happened to me lots of times during my IM training, I can understand with bonking so I just kept my mouth shut and cooked us breakfast. Everything was good after he ate and he cleaned up his Pinarello before we headed to Jacksonville. Karel rides a beautiful white Pinarello so he is meticulous for keeping it clean. I'm lucky if I remember to lube my chain!! We headed to jacksonville and planned on being there around 4:30pm. Well, we ended up making great time but we got stuck in horrible traffic as we were approaching the exit for 95. A mall was close to the road which we took and the traffic was awful!!! We contemplated about parking the car and just riding our bikes to the hotel. I am not good with traffic, waiting or sitting still but Karel does a really good job of keeping his cool. Therefore, it's easy for me to just sit and try to think happy thoughts about the situation. I have to really try hard about not saying negative things. And even if I say something negative, I'm just waisting my breath since there is nothing I can do to make the cars move. Even after Karel's horrible morning, he didn't complain about sitting in traffic for over 30 min (to go about 2 miles). We were meeting the manager at the ABC bike shop in Jacksonville beach so we kinda wanted to be there around 5. No worries about our tardiness since Karel was planning on doing a 6 hour ride with some of the guys in the morning. We ended up at the shop around 5:45. Karel needed to go up to Jacksonville to pick up his new bike which he will be racing on this year. Although it is a great bike, Karel has gone from a Colnago to a Pinarello to a Cervelo. Lucky boy! It is kinda sad how many bike frames we have in our two-bedroom place :) After we checked into our hotel on the beach we met one of my best friends from HS (lexington, KY) at Caraba's. Allie just had a baby so Karel and I enjoyed being around two little kids (7 months and almost 2). Although we both love kids, I think it will be a while before we thinking about replacing our bike's with cribs. After a yummy dinner (w/ great bread and a great salad) we were ready for bed. Unfortunately, the hotel was filled with loud people (a wedding and kids off from school), our air conditioner was messed up making weird noises and it was pouring rain outside. What a night. Again, no complaining for Karel but getting no sleep was the last thing he needed before a 110 mile ride. We woke up around 4:45am so that Karel could get a little oatmeal and coffee in his system and I drove him a mile down the road to the bike shop. Not a great feeling when it is raining out and you are planning on riding 40 miles to meet the group for a ride. Karel met the team manager Jeff (who is super nice!) at the shop and around 6am they were off for a 40 mile ride (just to meet the group!). I headed back to the hotel and I ended up getting in a great 1 1/2 hour walk/run on the treadmill. I covered 6 miles and felt so great running. My leg soreness is up and down so I take it when it's good and just "run with it" :) Well, back to Karel. So, as if things couldn't get any worse I get a call from Karel around 6:45am as I am walking on the treadmill. He had a mechanical problem with his bike so he was waiting for Jeff to ride back to the shop to pick up the car to get Karel. So scratch the 40 mile ride, now they have to drive to the group ride. Karel didn't complain but he was upset that he ruined the ride. I can totally understand and I'm sure so many people have gone to a new ride, run or swim and something just didn't go right. I told him that it was something that couldn't have been predicted and you have to shut it out and move on. Luckily, he had a great ride and he felt super strong during the entire ride. He even confessed that he wasn't too tired after the ride but he worked really hard during the ride. Although he had so many ups and downs during his day I am so impressed on how he handles his emotions. I really learn a lot from him and it is good to have him around, especially when I am having a bad day (yes-it happens!). I think we should all surround ourselves with positive people and people who live life in the moment, yet seek new opportunities for the future. There will always be another day, another opportunity or another chance. And if you think it is your only time to do something, just be happy that you were working your way to conquer your "only time" goal. For to to others, they may never have that opportunity to do something athletic, adventurous or challenging. Hum...I feel like i should look back at my Kona blogs when I thought it was the end of the world when I was injured. I guess I should have been happy that my "only time" to get to kona was achieved at my first IM when I thought that just finishing the race was the best thing of my life. Once again, I have learned so much more about life and myself just from the sport of triathlons and from the people I surround myself with. :) Have a healthy day!