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September « 2009 « Tereza Macel's Blog

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Archive for September, 2009

Last Monday in Korea

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Yup, crazy but true. This was my last full Monday in Korea, as come this time next week I will be sitting on a plane Hawaii bound. Or hopefully sleeping on a plane to Hawaii, which should make the trip feel much shorter.

Let’s see what exciting things have happened over the past little while

Monday- was a day with a bit more free time, so the girls (and Hiro) went shopping. Or more like window shopping, since I think nobody has much spare room in their luggage, so all the purchases were pretty tame and simple. Maki did go a little crazy in the nail polish department though.

Sunday- Some of us headed to another part of the island, and added some international spice to the Jeju marathon, half marathon, and 10 km races.

Erica and James enjoying some post race noodles.

Erica and James enjoying some post race noodles.

Saturday-after a very successful few nights with no mosquito bites woke up again with a little bit less blood in the veins, and a few happier mosquitoes buzzing around.

Friday- Got rained on while riding. That’s ok, Scarto needed a good cleaning anyway.

Thursday- Massage. Awesome. A bit different than at home. First of all, girls get pink shorts and shirts to put on, and boys get boring white. Yes, the massage is fully clothed, in a large room with a bunch of massage tables. Everything from your neck down to your pinkie toes get worked on, and Lucie and I walked out feeling much, much better.

Lucie and I, and a pre-massage foot soak.

Lucie and I, and a pre-massage foot soak.


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Wednesday-Did some laundry, again. Lucky that we have a washing machine in the building.

Tuesday-Ok, this is a Monday ride picture that I am going to pass off as a Tuesday bike ride photo. But while it was Monday here it had to be Tuesday somewhere else in the world.

Bella and Reinaldo refueling during a ride.

Bella and Reinaldo refueling during a ride.

So that means tomorrow will be the last Tuesday here in Korea… yikes.. better make it as great a Tuesday as I can.

A poem to ponder

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

The wayfarer,
Perceiving the pathway to truth,
Was struck with astonishment.
It was thickly grown with weeds.
“Ha,” he said,
“I see that none has passed here
In a long time.”
Later he saw that each weed
Was a singular knife.
“Well,” he mumbled at last,
“Doubtless there are other roads.”

The above is a poem by Stephen Crane. Not sure why, but long, long ago, in highschool I read a few of his poems, and sometimes I still think one or two. Rather makes me wish I were a bit more creative.
The one below has always been my favourite one. What do I think about during some of the long, lonely workouts? Sometimes something as simple as counting- on the 25 starting number 3, on the 50 starting number 4, or sometimes thinking about things like these poems.

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said: “Is it good, friend?”
“It is bitter—bitter,” he answered;
“But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart.”

Rice is nice and other tidbits

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Well, it has been an action packed first half of camp. Well, as action packed as it gets when all you do is train, sleep, eat and spend time on the computer. Luckily the training is going well, the sleeping is super as always, and there is internet connection in each room.

Jeju has been treating us well. We even had a camera following us around for a day and a half, documenting our stay in Jeju. They happened to be everywhere, swimming, biking, running, at the market shopping, and of course some action shots of Rebekah cooking up a feast I believe.

Trip to the market in Jeju. Lucie and LC walking around a bit overwhelmed.

Trip to the market in Jeju. Lucie and LC walking around a bit overwhelmed.

The market was super. Lots of fruit, veggies many of which we had no clue what to do with. We even sampled some local pastries- rice based of course. Not sure where the dog with the crazy dye job fits in, but he was at the market as well.

Wongstar sampling the local sweets.

Wongstar sampling the local sweets.

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Well, finally onto the rice story. Someone mentioned to me that at the first camp there was an awful lot of blogging about food by everyone. So I need to uphold the tradition of course. Grocery shopping when you don’t speak or read Korean is a bit of an adventure. Thankfully many of the items often have one or two English words on the label- sometimes they are useful, like Spicey, or Tuna, sometimes not so helpful “yummy”. Thank goodness for pictures on labels of course. I love rice, always have, so I have found a few different ways to have a rice buffet here. There is a rice cooker in each apartment, but since Coco tried it and her rice that she started cooking 2 days ago is still cooking I prefer faster options. You can buy plain, white rice, in a little bowl, ready for the microwave. How easy. Or a different version of a rice cake, instead of a disc it is more like a tube of rice, stuck together with something a bit sweet.

A different shape or rice cake, still yummy.

A different shape or rice cake, still yummy.

And my favourite- the rice triangle, easy to find in any convenience store. It is basically a packed triangle of rice, with a bit of filling inside. No English on this one, but they are colour coded- Blue is tuna, red I have no clue but still tastes good, maroon is spicey and also a mystery filling.

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Unwrapped, except for the seaweed layer, this one is tuna.

Unwrapped, except for the seaweed layer, this one is tuna.

Well, I am off for a run, too much rice for me today, gotta burn it off. I am heading out with Lucie. She preformed a bit of an aerial trick off her bike the other day, going downhill, very fast, and has some nice road rash to show for it. She is one lucky and super tough chick though, and very keen to get back into training right away. I’ll have to keep her chatting on the run, so that she doesn’t run too speedy for me.

Home away from Home

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Jeju, South Korea is the new home turf, for a few weeks at least. Team TBB is here to prepare for IM Hawaii, the Big Show, as some call it.

After a good race at IM Canada, I didn’t have much time to ponder about how exciting the past month and a half have been. Instead I got on a plane, flew home to Toronto, and less then 36 hours later was back at the airport heading to Korea. I managed to watch about three quarters of a movie five times, as I kept falling asleep, and the movie was not very good. And soon enough found myself in Jeju.

I am not very good at geography, but Jeju is an island, just big enough to get in an ironman 180 km bike ride around the perimeter I believe. How perfect. Even more perfect is the 10 lane, 50 meter pool- I love long course, yipee. The amazing outdoor track, right beside the other outdoor running track, right beside the velodrome, right beside the baseball diamonds…. right beside … you get the picture. Very smooth roads, and a volcano in the middle of the island, which means that there are no shortage of hills to bike and run up.

First day at the track

First day at the track

I am nicely settled into my apartment. The team is pretty much split up between to buildings, right across the street from each other. And the apartments are super nice. I may get spoiled staying here. Still brings me back to when I went to a race without having accomodations booked and ended up sleeping in my car. This is the lap of luxury now.

Welcome to the Blue Hill House. The name is a bit of a conundrum.

Welcome to the Blue Hill House. The name is a bit of a conundrum.


This is where I sleep

This is where I sleep


And this is where Scarto the P4 sleeps

And this is where Scarto the P4 sleeps

Iron Housewife at IM Canada

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Ironman Canada is a race I had wanted to do for a while. But I always knew that I wanted to do it fit and ready to race. And as Brett pointed out over, and over when I showed up to camp back in February I was a “housewife” not a pro athlete.
Yup, Brett gave me a hard time at the beginning. Pointing out that I had gotten soft, both physically and mentally, and probably should go back home and bake some cookies, since housewives in his book don’t go too well head to head with iron athletes. But whenever he let the “housewife” remark slip instead of being offended I pictured this World War II poster.

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So as the season has progressed apparantly the housewife got busy, and finally stepped up and flexed some muscle.
My latest outing was at IM Canada. And it was awesome. It is known as a fair, challenging bike course, and often a tough, hot run. And of course facing off with two time IM Canada champion and ex team TBB’er Belinda Granger added to the challenge. I must admit my swim was ok, but not super. I found myself not making the men’s group, and instead leading my own way over the single loop swim course.
The first 15-20 km of the bike I was tense, and had trouble finding my rhythm. It didn’t help when I heard that Belinda was taking some time out of my 2 minute swim lead. But eventually I relaxed, found my rhythm and started to enjoy the bike course and just look ahead. It was a windy day, and I knew that there probably would not be any super speedy bike splits that day. The course had a bit of everything, longer climb, rolling hills, flat fast sections, and a good long descent back into town. At the turn around I saw that I was extending my lead, and if I stayed calm would be able to get into T2 with a decent lead.
My last IM run fell apart a bit over the last 10 km, and since this was a much hotter day I really made an effort to set a comfortable pace and not go crazy too early. I made plenty of use of the aid stations, dumping all I could find over my head, and filling the front of my suit with ice each time I could. It was incredible how quickly the ice melted, by the next aid station there was nothing there again. I was surprised a bit when at 30 km I felt as good as I had at 10, and even more so when the final 5 km I still felt strong. It was awesome to be able to enjoy the crowds and support from other athletes out on the course. And of course crossing the finish line first was super sweet.
The housewife managed to toughen up, and get it done.

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