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94,7 Cycle Challenge

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

The 94.7 cycle challenge is the world’s second-largest timed cycle race, after another cycle race also hold in South Africa – Cape Argus in Cape Town. It is held annually third Sunday of November in the city of Johannesburg. There is about 20 000 participants every year. Course is challenging and roads are completely closed for traffic. It is quite an experience to cycle on highway around Johannesburg and in the city.
I was entered already last year, unfortunately week before the race I had bike crash and broke my arm and I couldn’t start. This year I was lucky to get this amazing experience.
Because I didn’t do any cycling race till now, I got seeded somewhere in the middle of the field. I was able to change my starting time when I picked up my racing pack, I brought with me my triathlon pro licence and change to start with elite female.
I must admit I was bit nervous before the start because I knew I am not really fit after my break and I didn’t know what to expect. There was about 50 elite female and we started at 6:15. Pace in the beginning wasn’t too fast, this changed when first hill came. Girls really attacked every single hill and there was a lot of them… After this pace slowed down again. Something completely different then I am used to. I got dropped in city loop during one steep hill, same scenario, quick attack, I tried to hold as long as I could, then my lugs started hurting, my lungs were burning and I felt like my heart will pop out from my chest..ups…I lost front pack. Luckily I was able to time trial them back with one other cyclist. This was repeated every time we hit any hill. I was able to sit in front back untill about 20km before finish. It was really hot day and all the girls in front pack was part of any team. There were getting water and coke from their team car and I was just trying to survive on my own bottles which were almost empty. I finished 96km in 2:50min and I had really great day and experience.

Perth – ITU world championship

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

After I spent two and half days at home, arriving from Hawaii, it was time for me to leave one more time this year. Destination – Perth, Australia, ITU world championship. I think my body was bit confused from all the travelling and time difference and I was also fighting a bit with flu I got on the way. But else I really enjoyed my time in Perth, I had a chance to meet with some friends from ITU circuit I didn’t see for quite long time and also race distance – double Olympic, was really good for me.
One day before the race I found out that I forgot to bring my racing shoes…upss…luckily I travelled in my Avia – Lite and one of my friend got in her race package elastic shoelace. She didn’t need them, so I put them into my shoes..only they were in Australian colours because Natasha represented Australia :-)

Race itself went ok, I didn’t have my best swim, was too much fighting with choppy water and struggled to find my rhythm. Bike was windy and flat, soon we were group of 6 girls and we came to second transition together between 2-8th place. I had an ok run and finished in 5th place. Joddie Swallow from Great Britain had great race and she really deserved to win. It is nice to see her back after tough time she had after Olympic games 2004. I was also really happy for Bek finished in 2nd place.

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Ironman Hawaii

Friday, October 16th, 2009

Hawaii is really nice place, which I am enjoying a lot at this moment for holiday. But race day wasn’t my best day. I had good swim, after start I found myself in legs of Pete Jacobs and then few more guys passed me. I finished swimming in first big group of guys and I was first woman out of water, with little bit over 2 minutes in front of my teammate Tez and Leanda Cave.
Once on bike I tried to find my rhythm but my legs seemed to be quite heavy. I felt like car which is not able to change from 3rd gear higher, to 4th and 5th one. I still thought it is long day and it will just get better. I was leading till about 20miles when Chrissie passed me. Unfortunatelly I wasn’t able to stay with her or with any other girl who passed me and I came to second transition around 12th place.
I was happy to start running and hoped for feeling better. But it never happened, I was hot, my body refused to cooperate with me and I really struggled. I wanted to finished anyway, even if it wasn’t race I hoped for. It was my longest and hardest marathon run ever. So I have to come back next year to do better!
I was really happy to se Tez having great race and I am really proud of her!
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Swimming with dolphins

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009
before the swim getting into my speedsuit

before the swim getting into my speedsuit

I made it safely from Jeju to Hawaii, got my luggage and met my boyfriend. Today morning, it was my first training here, I went for short swim on swimming course. After about 200m of swimming and trying to find right direction, I just noticed some really big fish swimming under me….when I looked better, I saw three dolphins. Yay, my heart jumped with excitement, because swimming with dolphins was one of my dreams, I just love these animals! I followed them, completely forgot about swimming on the course and say that there was not only three of them but about 30! It was just amazing, I spend next half an hour just diving with them, they probably thought, I am just one of them thanks to my Blueseventy pointzero3 speedsuit. I had great times and I am pretty sure it means good luck for me!

My road to Kona 2009

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

If someone told me few years ago that one day I will race Ironman Hawaii, I would think that he is crazy. The idea that I would ever do Ironman, never occur to me. I started with triathlon because I was tired of swimming but I still liked and missed racing. I missed meeting people and atmosphere of the races, adrenaline and all the butterflies in my stomach in the morning before start. And because I used to do almost every running race around and loved cycling, coming into triathlon was very natural for me. But my dream and distance was Olympic distance triathlon. And even that was way too long. It took me few years to run in training more then 1h and I consider 60km bike as long ride…not that I did it really often.. You can imagine that idea of Ironman seemed to me pretty insane and crazy at that time. I didn’t see it like a race, more like torturing your own body.

But like in every story, I grow up and I was getting old and too slow (not that I ever was fast) for Olympic distance. Then my friend introduce me to Ironman. It was year 2006, I was at training camp in South Africa and I thought why not. I can try – ONCE! I did even some long ride in training – 150km (maybe once) and long run 2h. In April I was on starting line of Ironman South Africa, it was great, swimming was not a problem and was out with top guys. But that was end of me enjoying Ironman, bike and run was hard, hard and hard. Natasha Badman passed me on bike like I was standing still and cycled 1h faster then me… And run – I survived… finished in 10:19 in 4th place and spent next 3h in medical tent and couldn’t walk for week. I thought I am done with this crazy stuff…

My bike for my first Ironman ever - South Africa 2006

My bike for my first Ironman ever - South Africa 2006

3 hours after finish IMSA, still in medical tent

3 hours after finish IMSA, still in medical tent

 

This year I have had opportunity to be member of Team TBB with guidance of best coach. I qualified to Kona in Ironman South Africa, where my Ironman journey started three years ago, beating Natasha´s course record. And after three great training camps in Subic – Philippines, Leysin – Swiss and Jeju – Korea, I am ready to be on start line of Ironman Hawaii in few days. Yupiiiiii….

My pink Cervelo for Kona, without racing wheels

My pink Cervelo for Kona, without racing wheels

Thank you Alex and Brett for opportunity and thank you all our sponsors for your support!

Teddy Bear Museum

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Jeju is also island of every kind of museum you can imagine – Peace Museum, Chocolate Museum, Stone Tortoise Museum, World Eros Museum, Sex Museum, Africs Museum…enough for everyone to choose.

And because I had some time off training, to heal all my wounds and bruises after my bike crash, i decide to visit one museum too. Chooice was pretty simple – Teddy Bear Museum. I had two reason for this one.
First – it is only 10 minutes walk from my place
Second – there is still little kid inside me :-)
It was interesting and full of Teddy Bears and I even found some TBB members there :-)
International Teddy Bear Team TBB

International Teddy Bear Team TBB

Teddy Bear Star Jocelyn

Teddy Bear Star Jocelyn

Mickey Maki Teddy Bear

Mickey Maki Teddy Bear

Princess Nic Teddy Bear

Princess Nic Teddy Bear

Housewife Tez Teddy Bear

Housewife Tez Teddy Bear

Any Team TBB member after training :-)

Any Team TBB member after training :-)

Boxing Teddy Bear for "doc"

Boxing Teddy Bear for "doc"

How to get few days off from swimming

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

Get on your bike

Ride downhill about 45km/h

Hit some of these Korean cat´s eye on the side of the road

Puncture front wheel and lose control of your bike

Have a nice slide on the road and get some road rush

Then you will get few days off from swimming :-)

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For the first time…

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

After few weeks I spent at home, I moved to another training camp. This one is hold in Jeju Island – one of the most beautiful islands in East Asia is located just one hour by air from Seoul, capital of Republic of Korea. Being of volcanic origin Jeju has 368 secondary craters, with Mt. Halla (1950 m) in the center of the island.
Even if my flight was long and I had to change two times, I had one of the most pleasant travelling so far. It was first time ever I flew with Emirates. They really made my travelling nice and comfortable. I had no hassle with my bike. On first flight to Dubai I was lucky to get three seat only for myself. But I didn’t sleep because entertaining system was so good, best I have ever seen. You could choose from more then 100movies, from new release to old classic one. I think I watched maybe 5 of them.
My next first time is that I train for my first IM Hawaii. It is exciting to be qualified and take part of this race. I have seen only videos and heard everyone speaking about it. Now I will be there too!
And my last but not least is my first visit to Jeju. It is really beautiful island, green, hot and humid. And I was surprise how hilly it is. I am sure I will great time here.

This is Africa…

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

I have lived off and on for about 3 years in South Africa and up till now not been directly or indirectly affected by the high crime levels in an otherwise beautiful country. Today after our group ride with many of my friends, I became all too aware that crime is a problem in this country and it affects you even if it happens to someone else. An Ironman athlete, preparing for IM South Africa next year, Daniel Robus, was unfortunately held up at gun point in his driveway after he had arrived home after training. To make matters worse his 3 year old daughter was in the car with him. Just after he had driven in to his driveway, a black Mercedes with several criminals screeched in behind him and managed to get through the electric gate as it was closing. They demanded money which he didn’t have on him and after dragging him into the house and threatening to kill his daughter they left with a laptop, some money and I think a wallet and mobile phone. During the robbery, the Cleaner alerted Daniel’s brother, Raymond, who is also Ironman athlet. Raymond raced to his brothers aid and on the way to his house he managed to alert the police who then followed. Luckily the Police managed to apprehend the criminals after they had also broken into two other houses and stolen another vehicle to make their getaway. The Police also shot dead one of the criminals near Sandton, several kilometers away. I am happy that Daniel and his daughter were not hurt. Obviously they will be affected by this incident and it will be a struggle to get back to normal happy life but I’m sure they will. You have to be aware of the potential for crime in South Africa and be careful when travelling here. I still think that it is one of the best places to live and I just wish the government does more about crime because South Africa is worth it!

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Daniel and his family at IM South Africa 2009

Not my best day

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

On Saturday I started in Prague in ITU long distance European championship. It was after long time I raced again in Czech and I was really motivated to do well. Unfortunately, I didn’t have good day. Swimming was still fine, immediately after start I went to the front and came out of water first with 1 minute gap in front of second Charlotte Koltres. Once on bike I hoped that I will be able to hold my advantage. But very soon my legs stopped cooperating with me. In 2nd lap from 6th, other girls started passing me and I wasn’t able to stay with them. I felt weak and whole my body wanted to stop and throw my bike to the ditch. But I still tried to push and do my best at that day. I finished cycling on 6th position and hold this till finish. I was really disappointed, because my parents and lot of my friends came to watch and cheer for me.
Now I am leaving back to South Africa and I am even more motivated to put some good training in and have much better rest of the season.