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May « 2009 « Lucie Zelenkova's Blog

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Archive for May, 2009

one race done – 70,3 St. Polten, two more to go

Monday, May 25th, 2009

I started my European trip with 70,3 IM St. Polten. I arrived there on Thursday morning, after sleepless flight over the night from Johannesburg via Zurich. When I waited for my luggage, I found out that my bike is still in Zurich. Ok, not a best start.

But since this time everything got better. I had accommodation in really nice hotel in the centre of St. Polten, organized transfer from airport and even my bike arrived with next flight. In the evening my dad came from Czech republic to help me and watch my race. About this I was really happy because it was already long time since he saw me racing and I know that he is my biggest fan. I hoped to have a good race also for him. I think it was only second time he left Czech republic and travelled abroad and I know that he was very nervous about this trip and driving so long way (450km).

Time before the race was flying and suddenly it was Sunday morning and I was standing on the pontoon, ready for start. Yes, start was from pontoon! Luckily only for pro athletes. But still it was more then 80 athletes on the start, men and women together. Oh well, I though I was used to this start from ITU races, it should be ok. No it wasn’t, all the guys were diving and starting faster then me so I found myself in the middle of field getting hits from all sides. Luckily after first buoy I got some more space for swimming and slowly but surely started passing some people. But with this swimming trouble didn’t end. In St. Polten they have a specialties and it is swimming in two lakes with about 300metres run in between. During this run I was passed again by some people. Swimming in second lake was finally good and just before exit I caught second pack with all the favorites and came out of the water as a first girl.

imspb
yip, it is me, trying to get some water into my goggles :-)

Then I spend long time running around changing tent in first transition, looking for female enter and lost quite lot of time. When I finally jumped on my bike, all the guys I swam with were gone. Yip, lesson for next time, look properly in transition area before the race! Cycling part was in really nice nature. I tried to push from beginning as I knew there were some really speedy runners behind me and I wanted to come to second transition with some advantage. Just my legs wasn’t feeling strongest and after 30km my long time friend from ITU circuit Eva Dollinger caught me.Bike course was mostly flat or rolling hills with two big hills, second one after 60km, 10km long and I would say quite steep and hard. I was bit worried about this hills because climbing was never my strong point. But it seems to be changing and I started to feel better and stronger during this uphill and I was able to push. I finish bike still as first lady with Eva right behind me.

imsp

We started running together, shoulder to shoulder like in old ITU days. And we run like this for whole first lap (10km). I felt really good and I was actually enjoying this run. I was aware of other girls not far behind us. Especially of Sandra Wallenhorst one of the fastest runner in long distance triathlon. She finished bike only 1:30 minutes behind us and unfortunately it wasn’t enough. Sandra passed us after 10km. I tried to run with her, but after few meters I had to let her go. Eva wasn’t able to speed up at all, so I was left alone on 2nd place and hold it till the finish line. I finish only 1:20min behind Sandra, with my so far best halfmarathon 1:24. I think I can say my running is improving a lot and I am sure this is still not the end.

imsaa

imspc
top four girls after the race

I am really happy about my race in St. Polten and I am looking forward for my next races Challenge France in two weeks and IM Klagenfurt beginning of July

Why I like South Africa

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

1. I think that first reason is more than obvious. Because of my fiancée! I always liked SA when I was there for training camp. But he was reason why I moved here. When I say in Czech that my fiancée is south african, most of the people immediately think that he has to be black J But there are also some white people living in this country, as I found out it is almost 5 million of them. So just for everyone – my fiancée is white (adjective) white (noun) south african :-)

kurt-and-ballou

2. Weather! Yip, this is good reason to stay in South Africa! When I moved here, used to European seasons, I was saying that here is summer whole year. Now I am getting bit spoilt and start complaining about cold in winter. Cold for south african mean that you have to wear jeans and long sleeve top during the day in winter, instead of only shorts and sleeveless t-shirt.

3. People! I don’t think I have ever met so many nice and friendly people like in this country. I am here bit more then one year but I can say that I have so many friends here and few really good friends. I am still amazed how people here are helping each other. I am really lucky to have all my friends here in my life! I will miss you guys when I am in Europe!

dsc_0020

4. Fruit and Biltong J. I am loving fruit and in Czech my choice was usually between apples and orange. Here the choice is much bigger and everything is fresh. My favorite now is mango, pineapple, papaya and all the fresh cut mix. And of course Biltong, sliced smoked meat, for me beef. Just be careful if you eat Biltong, chance that you will break your teeth is quite big (my own experience).

5. Passion for endurance sport. Once again, I must say I didn’t see in any other country so many people doing so many endurance events. Here are some really famous one.

Cape Argus Cycle Tour – 109 km cycle race hosted in Cape Town. With approximately 40,000 cyclists taking part, it is the world’s largest individually timed cycle race.
Comrades marathon – is the world’s oldest and largest ultramarathon run over a distance of approximately 90 km.
Dusi canoe marathon – is 3 days canoe (or rather, kayak) race between Pietermaritzburg and Durban.
Cape epic mountain bike – is an annual 8-stage (9-day) mountain bike team race.
Ironman Port Elizabeth – only Ironman in Africa, Great organization. If you didn’t take part yet, you should start making plan :-)

On the road again

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

I cant believe that it is already 6 weeks from IM SA. I had really nice time, enjoyed to be at home and train with my group. My training went really well, I was able to get back into it in much shorter time then after any IM before and put few weeks of good training in. Tomorrow I am leaving to Europe for another block of racing and training camp in Swiss. I will be away for almost 7 weeks and in this time I will be doing two Halfironman (70,3 Austria, Challenge France), Ironman Klagenfurt and training camp with my team TBB in Swiss. I am both – sad that I am leaving and excited that I will be racing again and I will see some of my teammates soon.

My Cape Town weekend

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Last weekend I spent in Cape Town. One of my good friend and two of best triathlete in South Africa were getting married there and I was invited. It was good excuse to leave Johannesburg for weekend and to come back to Cape Town after almost one year.
I left Friday morning and after two hours on plane I arrived to Cape Town. Weather forecast was raining for whole weekend, so I packed some warm clothes with me, expected the worst. But luckily, once again these forecast was wrong and since Friday afternoon, just on time for wedding, rain stopped, sky cleared and sun shined.
Wedding itself was really beautiful, it was my second south African wedding and again very nice and pleasant experience. It was also opportunity for me to buy new dress and high heel shoes. I think my first ever high shoes. So I was bit worried if I will be able to walk whole afternoon and evening without twisting my ankle and breaking my leg. To my surprise, it wasn’t as difficult, just bit sore experience for my feet  And I also think that dancing in these shoes is really great exercise for calf muscles (not sure if doc would agree with this theory.. ).
me-and-kurt

Next morning I had bit difficulty to get up from warm bad to chilly morning and go run. But running route I choose was great reward. I run around Chapman´s Peak, very spectacular route. And great bonus is that this road is closed for traffic. So you are meeting there only cyclist, runners and walkers. But lot of them.

chap

Here is a picture of Chapman´s Peak. Who have ever been there understand that my whole run (and Sunday´s one as well) I run with this huge smile on my face and enjoyed it so much.

Now I am again back at home in Joburg, training hard and organizing my soon to be trip to Europe.