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June « 2009 « Tereza Macel's Blog

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Archive for June, 2009

A Leisurely Sunday Stroll At The Track

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

Weekends are for sleeping in, having brunch, doing nothing, or a nice, leisurely jog around and around a track in Switzerland.
Last Sunday was long track day, and Chris had plenty of time to take a few pictures.
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Bella leading the charge

Bella leading the charge


Almost as good as synchronized diving

Donna and LC practicing a new sport-Almost as good as synchronized diving


Lucky to capture Stephen and James, they were usually a speeding blur as they went by

Lucky to capture Stephen and James, they were usually a speeding blur as they went by


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ITU Long Course Asian Championships (aka the Korean Bus Tour)

Friday, June 19th, 2009

A very long name, for a long trip, and a long race, and a long race report. This past weekend I took a train, plane and bus to race a double Olympic distance triathlon in Korea. It was a first time event, and a busload of athletes from around the world came to race. It was a very busy but fun weekend. The race organizers did their best to take care of us, and did a super job although there was a bit too much time sitting on a bus, and hotel hopping each night.
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The race was a point-to-point course, starting on a beautiful beach; the second transition was on top of a mountain, and the finish line by the race hotel. This was my second time to Korea, and once again the beauty of the countryside impressed me. The day before the race we drove the last climb on the uphill one-way bike course, and the bus had so much trouble making the steep switchbacks that the bus driver got out half way for a stress releasing cigarette break. Meanwhile all of us in the bus were oohing and ahhing as the hill kept going and going, and adding time to our projected finishing times, guessing that this race would take well over 6 hours.
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The day before the race was spent as always, final bike check to make sure everything was working, getting gear ready, and conserving energy in anticipation of the racing the next morning. Since the race start was at 7 am the hotel offered to drop off our breakfast the night before, in a little snack box. We had gone to bed, when at 9:30 pm there was a knock on our door, and the breakfast delivered. The entire weekend the organizers had done their best to give us some western and Korean food choices, so the breakfast was a bit of a surprise. French-fries, mayonnaise, milk and a sandwich. Needless to say I was happy to have my usual pre race breakfast of some sports bars at hand.
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I was really looking forward to finally getting the race underway, since the last little while prior to the gun going off can be the most difficult to wait out. Finally we lined up on the beach, I was nice and comfy in my Blue Seventy wetsuit, the gun went off and we ran into the wavy ocean. I didn’t have too great a swim start, just not quite sharp enough, but by midway into the 3 km swim I found my rhythm and was catching the groups ahead to finish the swim a little ways off the first pack, but still in good form.
Just as I was getting onto my bike I heard one of my bottles fly off. No worries I thought, since I was starting the bike with 3 bottles of electrolyte drink. However a few minutes later I went to reach for my second bottle, it was also gone, and my third bottle was not there either. Yikes! Ok, good chance to practice thinking on your feet, or wheels in this case. I would just have to wait till the first aid station, which was 35 km into the bike course. The first 40 km was fairly flat, with some rolling hills, and a few turns, and I just got into my aero bars on my swift new Cervelo P4 and went for it.
The second half of the course would be very hilly, but I figured go while the going is good, and face the hills when they come. Finally at the first aid station I made sure to stop and get some fluid. I used my new Korean vocabulary for water “mul”, however the disposable plastic bottles had no lids, so it would be difficult to actually take any water with me, it just spilled right out of the bottle as soon as I went over any bumps. The bike ride was awesome, challenging, the hills were not nearly as scary as the bus ride made them out to be, but still challenging, and I was catching some of the men ahead of me, so I knew I was riding strong. The final climb kept going up and up, by then it was raining, and the fog was so thick I could barely see around the next turn. It was a very eerie, and surreal feeling.
The dismount line came so suddenly and the fog was so thick I could not see it, so I was not quite out of my bike shoes yet. I hopped off the bike, and headed for my compression socks and Avia shoes. My legs felt strong right off the bat, but my stomach was not happy, perhaps due to the fly by the seat of my bike pants nutrition plan. The first part of the run was back and forth past transition, in and out of the fog, and it was a fun game to look for the pro men running towards me, guessing who would appear out of the fog next. At this point I also had a chance to see where the second place woman would be behind. I could see that I had put about 2 kilometers worth of time into Gina Ferguson, and that over the first 6 km I was not losing any time at all which was a nice positive boost as the second part of the run headed into the forest, and onto a trail downhill. I reminded myself of the up and down hill running I had done over the past few weeks, and this was the perfect time to use that strength. I was lucky that the fog and forest provided some cover, as I had a couple of pit stops to make since by I had some GI issue, but once again, it was perfect Ironman training, where you are bound to encounter some unplanned obstacles.
The last kilometer of the run was a steep uphill, a fitting finish for an uphill race, and it made the flat finish line that much sweeter. As did the fact that I crossed in first place. I was so happy I did not even mind getting back on the bus, plane and train afterwards.

Packing up bikes in T2 after the race

Packing up bikes in T2 after the race

Thanks to the organizers for providing us with a spectacular adventure of a weekend. Too often these days racecourses are not a fair swim, bike and run, but this one definitely was. I would not hesitate to race in Korea again.

Stalling for time

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Ok, yes I have written a blog about my trip to Korea, but once again I have failed in the picture taking department. I have improved greatly over the past year, now I actually own a camera, but am still far from remembering to actually taking it out of its little bag most of the time.
So while I scramble and try to hunt down some photos to add to my blog I will post this one.
A friend mentioned that the Philipines camp blogs seemed to revolve around food a lot. It seemed like every other person was posting about what they were or were not eating. Upon arriving here in Switzerland we found that almost every place to stay came equiped with a fondue set.
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So keen to live Swiss style, when my sister visited me not long ago she offered to whip up some fondue. It was a valiant first time attempt, but I think our choice of cheese was the culprit. Lucie and I could not get over the odd smell, but Barb and her friend Peterka seemed ok with it. Luckily there is always chocolate fondue to save the dinner party.
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