Login


Archive for October, 2009

Texas Time

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Well, Austin Texas has been good to me in the past, and it has been quite a while since I have last been here. My wonderful friends Jamie and Andrea live here, and have always been amazing hosts and training buddies. And I can’t forget to mention their dogs Venus, and Mollie- who has a pb of 18:00 for 5 km by the way, and 3 cats.
So although I may not have been feeling too sparky 2 weeks after IM Hawaii, I decided to do the 70.3 race in Austin, and combine it with a fun visit with some great friends.
All I can say is that part way through the race all I could think was “this was not my most brilliant of ideas”. My legs were dead, and I just was not ready to hurt the way a race demands. So I shuffled in, and tried to make sure I got to enjoy the extra minutes out on the course by people watching, and soaking up the race atmosphere.
It was kind of cool having the finish line inside a stadium. A bit different than most races.
pa250079

Austin is a pretty cool city. I have been here a bunch of times, but still seem to find something new, that I haven’t seen before. The other day we went window shopping a bit, and went into a cowboy boots store. Now, for someone as indecisive as me this would be a total nightmare. So many choices, and only two feet. Wow.

pa270085
pa270086

And another good hobby here is searching out celebrities. There are a few big names that live here, Lance Armstrong of course, Sandra Bullock, and Matthew Mcconaughey are just a few. We did a bike ride that passed by Lance’s ranch property – Called Seven Wins. Whether you are a Lance fan or not, still was fun to do a non Hollywood version of map of stars homes.

Andrea by the Seven Win's property

Andrea by the Seven Win's property

Toronto Running

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

I am back in Toronto now, and it is one of the nicest times of year to run here, fall. There are two marathons in town, one in September and one in October.

Running up Yonge street- the longest street in the world- 1896 km

Running up Yonge street- the longest street in the world-1896 km

My younger brother, Jakub, has been suckered into the triathlon world. He now seems to think that it is normal to wake up early on a Sunday morning, line up with a few thousand other people in shorts, while the temperatures are barely 5 degrees Celcius, and go for a run. Earlier in the week he called me and said he was going to run the marathon, so I might wish to come and watch. However, the realization that he has barely run in the past 2 months finally sinked in and last minute he signed up for the half marathon instead. Now, he is a talented little bugger, much more so then he realizes, so even with no training he gets away with things that mere mortals would not. My first half marathon I trained more then he did, ran it just a few seconds faster then his first half marathon in 1:35, and ended up with a stress fracture. His first marathon he barely trained, ran a 3:16, and a week later did a sprint triathlon. Crazy!

Getting ready in the car

Getting ready in the car

Well, anyway, last Sunday I braved the Hawaii jet lag that still haunts me, and went to watch the Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon. It was fun, I saw quite a few athletes I knew, and had a chance to practice my spectating skills, while madly trying to see Jakub a few times, along the point-to-point course- not so easy.
His run was not exactly what he hoped for, but he does not know how to get stressed out, so was still smiling even after some cramps, and a porta potty stop slowed down his run. He did manage to look flashy in a bright green shirt so we could see him, and some SL3 compression socks. Of course he did not pull them up quite properly, and by 4 km they had fallen down mid calf. I always make fun of his skinny, skinny, chicken legs, so he knew he would not live this one down. Time to bulk up those calves!

pa1800731

Scarto and the Housewife go to Hawaii

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Well, I have had a few days to let the past weekend sink in, and it still seems a little surreal. So here is a story of how it unfolded. A bit of a warning though, this blog is a bit long, and does not have enough photos. Blame that on Chris who was too nervous watching the race to take pictures.
One of my taking photos of a palm tree from the bottom of a swimming pool series

The week prior to the race just flew by, and before I knew it it was Saturday morning, still dark, and I was weaving my way through the crowd getting body marked, my bike ready, and into my very snazzy blue Blue Seventy speed suit. I fully expected that I would be so nervous I would feel like puking, but somehow I was really calm, weird.

The swim start is in deep water, and we had to be out at the start line more than 10 minutes before the gun went off, so there was lots of shuffling for position, trying to figure out who was around, and staying out of the way of the paddle boarders keeping us back. This would be a bit of a rough start, with more than 150 pro’s, many of them very similar swim speeds, and most of them men with much more sprint speed then me. Suddenly the race started, and within seconds I was in the middle of a big mess, arms pounding me, someone grabbed my butt, pushed it down, and I was fighting just to stay up, instead of swim forward. No time to panic, just time to try and not drown! I had to cut across to the edge of the crowd, close to the buys, find some clear water and finally get into a decent swim rhythm and go. I was finally moving forward, passing people, and feeling better and better. In the second half I caught up to a small group, and ended up coming out of the water with a few other women, like Leanda Cave who usually is a super swimmer. It was a bit of a relief, since it meant my swim was not as disasterous as it felt. Awesome.
Out onto the bike, somehow I lost the water bottle that was between my aerobars immediately out of transition, and got the string that I tie my crank with twisted up in my rear wheel, near the brake. So a very speedy pit stop, while a few people whizzed past, and soon I was on my way, with Scarto my Cervelo P4 no longer tied up. I passed a couple of other girls right away, and realized just one other was ahead. My super fish of a teammate, Lucie Z, crushed us all in the swim, and was more than 2 minutes up the road. Not long into the bike Chrissie Wellington came by me. I stayed behind her for only a couple of kilometers, on a downhill the gap stretched out, and soon I had a decision to make. Step on it, and really go, in order to keep her in sight and try to pace off her or play my own game. It was not a two person battle, there were more then 60 other women behind me, and I could not pin my race on imitating someone else’s race plan. So I just settled into my rhythm, and didn’t panic. Soon I passed Lucie, and by 60 km I found myself feeling strong, and catching some of the scattered pro men ahead of me. It was hot, and windy on the course, but no crazy wind gusts that are famous in Hawi, instead it was more constant cross winds, which was fine.
im-hawaii-2009-tereza-mazel_bike_1

The second half of the bike course was quite lonely, a few men, far, far ahead, so I could barely see them, and nobody else around. The wind was picking up and at 140 km I was really having to focus on staying positive. Every once in a while a media vehicle or motor bike would come by, snap a few pictures, and whiz off again. For a little while the media helicopter hovered above, and it reminded me that this was the big show, and I was in second place. How cool. The last 15 km of the bike I started to feel super again, and came into T2 feeling like I put in a strong ride.

In and out of T2 pretty quick, while putting on compression socks, lucky Avia shoes, and stuffing some gels and salt pills in my pockets of course. That is when I realized just how hot it had gotten. Roasting. I got moving well enough, and was amazed at the crowds and wonderful support out on the run course. Everything from guys dressed up in full body banana suits, to one guy yelling at me how much the prize money for second place is if I could hang on. Well, money was last on my mind, survival was first and foremost. Each aid station I took as many things as I could grab, and mixed it all together, Coke, Gatorade, water, ice, it didn’t matter. If I couldn’t drink it I just dumped in on my head. I also would dump as much ice as I could down the front of my suit, where it would slowly melt, and in between aid stations I would just reach in, pull out an ice cube, and have something to keep me going to the next aid station.
Oh yes, there were definitely some rough times on that run, when Virginia passed me, and then Mirinda, I tried not to falter, and just kept moving forward. Mirinda blew by like it was a 10 km, and all I could do was wonder if perhaps she would pay the price later on and fade, or if she would keep flying. In the Energy Lab, a very famous part of the run course where it is supposed to be the hotest, and toughest part of the run, I caught up with James. I could see him up ahead for a long time prior to this, and finally inched up my way and caught him. Very rough day for him, since he is usually a blur of speed on the run, but it was nice for me to see a friendly face. He offered me some Red Bull, I offered him some ice cubes. He declined when he saw me pulling them out of my suit. Wonder why. By this point I had been walking the aid stations in order to have enough time to grab as much as I could, and running the parts in between. Survival.
Throughout the run I didn’t really know who was right behind me, or how far, I just focused on moving forward as best as I could. And it wasn’t until the last few kilometers that I let myself think about what place I could finish. As I came to the finish line I realized I was going to finish fourth, meet my goal of top ten, and finish strong. It was super coming down Alii drive, so many people, and finally the finish line. Too good to be true.
im-hawaii-2009-tereza_mazel_finish_1

pa120061
Yes, 4th place is the chocolate medal as Abi would say, but hey, in my world there is nothing wrong with chocolate, actually chocolate makes everything better. Just think, have you ever had anything that once covered in chocolate was not even better? Chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate covered jujubes, chocolate covered licorice, you get the idea. Well, if I keep working my butt off perhaps next year I will have a third, or second or first place trophy from Hawaii that I can cover in chocolate, until then I will be happy with my current 4th place chocolate medal.

Chris and I at the awards dinner

Chris and I at the awards dinner

Mahalo

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

pa080024

I will post a race blog shortly, but just wanted to take a moment to say that I am elated about my Ironman Hawaii race this past weekend. I went into it calm, and pleased to have a chance to race on the island, feeling strong, fit and confident.
It has been a very incredible year, and I am thankful to my family, for their patience and support, Alex and Brett for giving this housewife a chance to go after a goal, and for the amazing team mates who inspired me on a daily basis. I know many of them had a very tough day in Kona, but they still managed to offer a smile and words of support to each other and to me out there. A truly remarkable group of athletes, and friends. Team TBB has been an incredible experience and without the sponsors, coaching, and support staff many of us would still be struggling on our own, our goals a bit farther out of reach then they are now.
I recieved many wonderful emails prior to my race and afterwards as well. One of the funniest ones was from my friend Andrea who emailed me “put on your big girl panties and run like you stole something”. It definitely made me laugh, and reminded me that no matter how stressful or serious we may think a race is, there is always a way to look at it with humour.
So thank you to all, and I will put my race day to paper shortly. As soon as it sinks in.