FSA GRAND PRIX
This was a fun and successful race weekend. It was a lot like our Alpenrose AVC. The first event was the team sprint. Donna and I had the 4th fastest time, which was pretty cool. Two of the top teams were international or a mix and one team was disqualified for an illegal exchange. So, we were the first place American team and qualified for nationals!
The next event was the keiren. I won my heat and got 5th in the final. I was proud of my aggressiveness in the heat, riding from the back and attacking with a lap to go. A lap at Marymoor is 400 meters, so everyone, including myself was a bit surprised at my long haul, but it worked. Later I was a little disappointed that I waited to long to do anything in the final, but each race is a learning opportunity, and I can take that from the race.
Saturday was a long one. I rode a 13.03 to qualify 2nd in the sprints. Then I rode a 39.___ (I forget the tenth) to get 5th in the 500m. I was the 3rd place American though. They took the top 12 riders for the sprints. I won my first 2 rounds, putting me in the semi- finals. Jen F. and I rode. I lost. Then I raced against Anna-Brit in the final. She won the best 2 out of 3... in 2 rides. But each was quite close.
Overall, I was happy with the racing and am officially qualified for nationals and left with a little extra cash for Saturday evenings dinner and beers.
Photos to come....
July 30, 2007
FSA GRAND PRIX
Rambled By Heather around 10:13:00 PM
July 24, 2007
So, What Do You Do All Summer?
This week, I promised myself that i would accomplish one task per day- not cycling related. Yesterday was the final attack of the ugly light fixture in the dining area.
Here is the "Before" look. This is from a picture when I first bought the house almost 3 years ago. Notice the ugly shades. They are pleated too!
And after. I'm not totally sure with the shades because the bulbs look like they extend past the shade. The silver matches the new fixture in the kitchen and blends in more with the decor.
Today, I filled the yard debris can to the top with weeds and pruned pieces in my yard. Lucky for Brad, there is not enough room for grass clippings, so he'll be off the hook in that department.
Tomorrow... I think it's going to be the attack of the kitchen ceiling to paint over the patch.
Rambled By Heather around 1:28:00 PM
July 23, 2007
New T-shirt Designs
Check them out. Buy one. Buy some. Go to the link on the right --->
Rambled By Heather around 9:30:00 PM
July 22, 2007
Day 6 The Final Showdown
Got to the track at 1:30. Racing didn't start until 3:00, but some folks were doing work outs and I just went early to hang out. Today, open categories were racing as well and the 6-Day riders.
An unknown distance opened the racing. It went like this.... Neutral Lap... Meg attacked on lap 1... DING DING DING! Everyone reacted with at "What the f'..?", jumped on the gas and did the best we could. There was no strategies, no attacks, no time. It was a 2 lap unknown distance race and Meg won. Turns out it was a smart move for her to attack early. Emily and I finished 6th and 7th.
Next we did 2 heats of keirens. Well, eventually we did, after waiting for the rain. I was in the first heat with one member of each team, including Mike, Brian, Jeanie, and Meg. I sat 3rd behind the motor behind Brian. He kept sweeping, hoping that I'd take the bait and roll underneath him. But I was content where I was. When the motor pulled off, Mike led us. In the last lap, Brian and I came around him. I got 2nd. Then other heat was more competitive. Andrea attacked into the last lap, eventually winning. Between the 2 of us, Emily and I got 3rd overall.
Because of the weather, we had a big break in the day. This was the most irritating rain. It would stop NO other activity except track racing. There were no umbrellas, no tents, no protecting the bikes. It was sprinkling just enough to keep the track slick. The officials decided to run the "A"s madison first, since they were racing for a FIAC national championship (more important.) They raced for an hour. So there were about 2 hours between my keiren and the madison.
YEY we raced. Although rumored that we'd do 45 minutes, the clock read 30:00 at roll out. Emily and I did our best to stay with the boys'(and Darien and Amelia) teams. About 10 minutes in, one of the guys surged just enough to open a gap together. And since the two teams had each other to share the work, they were able to open up a quarter and eventually a half lap. within the next 10 minutes. Emily and I fought the wind alone, but successful on staying on even laps. Once gaining that half lap, the other teams didn't close much more until the last few laps. The hardest I worked was to be sure that I crossed the line going into the lap last before Mike caught me. Then I caught Jeanie at the line. Track time was about 7:00 by then.
In the end, my fellow cupcake and I finished on even laps and lapped the other 2 teams twice. I was pretty happy with that.
After racing we passed out mini cupcakes to all 6 Day racers, collected our gift certificates and jersey prizes, and went out for dinner. Fun times. Here are some pictures from the day. The cloudy skies provided poor lighting, so some are blurry. Enjoy and thanks for reading. Next up will be the FSA Grand Prix at Marymoore next Friday and Saturday.
Darien, Emily, and Jeanie discussing brownie recipes.
The fans are "patiently" waiting for the rain to pass.
This is my game face. Actually Per is testing out his camera skills.
Riders get ready to start the madison.
Emily gets ready to throw me into the race.
Mike and I wait to relieve our partners.
And the gap opens
Rolling in to relieve.
Podium shot. Per took about 5 shots here. Brian wasn't looking in any of them. This was the best shot of everyone.
Rambled By Heather around 9:02:00 AM
July 20, 2007
Day 5 No Jive
Suspicious clouds teased us as we warmed up. By 6:00, there still hadn't been a leak from said clouds.
Our first race was a progressive points race- with a twist. It was 3 X progressive to 5, for a total of 15 laps. I got 2 and 3 points for the first set. Then I hung on the back for a while to catch my breath and find my legs again. Later, I got another 3 points. Mike and Brian got most of the rest.
Then the "A"s did a miss-n-out (again.)
Then it started to rain. After 5 minutes, all was called. Grrrr. I totally wanted to race.
Rambled By Heather around 7:27:00 PM
Race Some More on Day 4
Power of the cupcakes!
Emily and I made these shirts in response to a BigManShoes blog. Apparently, the most interesting thing about us is our last names. Actually, the racing reviews are pretty funny, so no offense taken. Our jerseys were a hit. I think it made me more powerful.
The first race was a progressive points race. In this race, the winner of the 1st lap gets 1 point, the winner of the second lap gets 2 points.... and so on. Like a good sprinter, I got some points early on in case the enduros decided to pick up the pace. They did, but we all regrouped by the end and I came across the line 3rd behind the boys, placing me 2nd in the race.
The next race was your basic scratch. We rolled around pretty mellow until there were about 6 laps to go. Then everyone got impatient and we were all spread out. Going into the last lap, I was the last wheel. I came around all but Mike, Brian, and a quickly-recovering-from-knee-surgery Andrea for 4th place.
Highlighting the evening was the Madison. Had we not botched another exchange, we might have gotten more points. But the good part was staying on even laps with the boys' teams. Brain admitted later that they weren't going 100%, but that's OK. Emily and I have big plans for tonight.
Current overall score:
1 Abers, Brian Team Rubicon 182
Bjesse-Puffin, Amelia Bike Central
2 Murray, Mike Team Oregon 153
Curl, Darien Team Rubicon
3 VanValkenburg, Heather Team Rubicon 93 -2 laps
4 Fisk, Andrea 83 -6 laps
Bihlmaier, Jeanne Specialized/RCB
5 Mautner, Meg NoMad Sports Club 55 -14 laps
Hughes-Godfrey, Lynn Bike Central
Sadie enjoyed a walk today.
Rambled By Heather around 12:42:00 PM
July 19, 2007
Way to Be on Day 3
The skies opened up for racing last night. My legs were screaming from my stint at the gym early Tuesday morning, and I think it was an evil plan on Brian's part!
The first race was a Miss-n-Out. For the first time ever, I was in the final 3 to sprint. Against Brian and Mike, that meant I finished 3rd. Next was a 15 lap tempo. The boys let the women duke this one out. Unfortunately, this girl had the least amount of break from the race before. Since Emily was in the hunt, I was OK with being detached from the group for most of the race. Jeannie and Lynn were scooping up most of the points and they are both down more laps than us, so I wasn't worried.
Our 30 minute Madison flew by. Emily and I were doing pretty well. The boys' teams pulled away early. We were riding with Andrea/Jeannie for a few laps, but between our awesome exchanges and Emily's power, we pulled away. Eventually, the boys' teams caught up to (lapped) us and we were able to ride with them for a few laps. If we could stay with them, we could get lucky in the final sprint and not be lapped by at least one of them. But... then we had a complete mess of an exchange- well actually we didn't manage to exchange at all and Emily was stuck out there for another shift. It wasn't really our fault, but we learned to space ourselves out more from the teams coming in with us. This caused us to go down about half a lap, which caused to problems- we were now 1.5 laps behind the teams we were trying to stay with and Jeannie/Andrea caught and overtook us. But I think we still got more points than them and we're still a lap up.
Being in the "B" group, you have only a little break between your omnium races and the madison
Tessa and I are friends finally. Anyone that spends enough time trying to win her over knows that this is a victory in itself.
Emily and I have long and hard...last names. Stay tuned.
If you hang out at the track long enough after racing, Candi gives you ice cream.
Rambled By Heather around 7:59:00 AM
July 17, 2007
Day 2 All Through
Tonight's racing began with a 25 lap points race. The important thing for Emily and I is to stay on even laps during the omnium races. The pace was tolerable and I even went for some sprints. I think I got 2nd and 3rd in 2 of the 5 sprints. Then Emily took over the grrr and picked up a few more points for us. We got 3rd and 4th place in that race. The mass start races are scored 10, 9, 8.. .and so on points, for the riders finishing 1st, 2nd, 3rd... and so on.
The next race was a point-a-lap. I played follow the leader(s) during this race. Emily scored a point or two. Then we finished 3rd and 4th in the finish, putting us 4th and 6th overall.
The Madison was scheduled for 20 minutes. We completed 16 minutes because it started to rain, then stopped shortly after. I thought we got down another lap, but the results show different. We're still down 1 with 40 points. It doesn't matter how many points we get though until we get a lap back or one of the other two teams goes down one. Stay on lap... stay on lap... stay on lap.... However, this is tough with Mike and Brian on separate teams vs. us! Here is a link to a sample of what a Madison exchange looks like, if you've never seen one. This is not at Alpenrose. It's pretty amazing to feel the momentum transfer from your teammate as you're thrown into the lane and have to catch up with your pedals!
I am having fun so far with this. I'm feeling comfortable on my bike and have a gear that I can accelerate, and I'm feeling strong. It's a fun, novelty to play madison/ mass start racer for a week. I feel like I fit in with the skinny kids!
Rambled By Heather around 9:23:00 PM
The Big Mix-Up
Last week I bought The Magic Bullet. It's NOT an R-rated toy. No, it's the best blender- ever. Linens-N-Things has it on sale right now, so go get yours! So far, I've made about 10 protein shakes, fluffy scrambled eggs, pancake mix, and chicken salad for a sandwich. I would not recommend their pesto recipe though. I'm going to be sweating garlic oil later!
Day 1 of 6 down, of the Alpenrose 6-Day race. Emily and I are 3rd in the "B" group. There are 3 women's teams and 2 co-ed teams in our group. One team consists of Amelia and Brian. They are so going down.... Of course that means it needs to stop raining within the next 4 hours.
Rambled By Heather around 1:47:00 PM
July 16, 2007
The past week was pretty mellow. Had an empty house for the most part. Brad and Candice off to Cascade with the team. I made it to the gym a couple times and Emily and I practiced for the 6 Day race this week. We have the exchanges down, but we'll see how it all works out with other riders on the track! It's going to be a long week. Friday I raced- sort of. My body was there, but my head was no. Had no power, no reaction, no nuthin'.
Saturday was Heather and Aaron's wedding, finally. We all joke about the time frame, because they have been together 9 years. It was a blast, hanging out with great friends. Below, Meredith and I cheese it for the camera.
Rambled By Heather around 9:38:00 AM
July 10, 2007
Ed Norton and Shane Young posted some of their photos from the Alpenrose Challenge. We are very lucky to have so many shutter happy folks at these races. Thanks guys!
A morning Keiren. I got third in this one and later had to win the reparcharge round to make it to the finals.
This is the sprint against Jen in the morning- the one I won. Later in the day, the tables turned in her favor :) Hey Brian and Dean- check out the bent arms!
Tessa wants you to know that she won't take attitude from anyone. a giant Heather and mom, Darien are afraid...very afraid.
Coach Brian and volunteer/friend Matt are secretly in love. Not really, but this shot totally cracked me up. The good luck kiss must have worked. Brian had the fastest qualifying time in the master's competition and later won the sprints.
This is from the pursuit. I did the event without tt bars this time. I love the lighting on the photos taken in the late morning at the track.
Rambled By Heather around 7:56:00 PM
July 9, 2007
Alpenrose Challenge Day 3
Each day has gotten a little better. Today was a long one. We started with the 200m. TT for sprint seeding. I took a different line than I have the past couple years. My time wasn't the best ever, but better than I've been putting down this season. 13.54 seeding me 3rd for the sprints. The first round was a 3-up with Donna and Tamara. I won this round. My second sprint was against Jen. Her and I have raced against each other SO much over 4 years! I have to dig deep into the tool box, since she knows my tendencies. I jumped late, out of turn 2 and was able to hold off to the finish. Later in the day, this technique won't work....
After the blink of a break, we were back at the track, warming up. Donna and I attempted a team sprint. We had a false start and then a mechanical. The chief official gave us the option to start again, but we decided to call it, so I could focus on the the sprints. No worries. Racing has its mishaps.
My semi-final ride was against Anna-Brit (just like last year.) It was a fun ride- lots of jockeying and tactical. When did I attack? I don't remember, actually. But I do remember trying to razor, staying out of the lane. But her strength overtook me out of turn 4... Jen also finished 2nd in her semi-final. So...
I got to race Jen again for 3rd place. The ride was pretty similar to the morning run, but this time, it was her victory.
4th place was acceptable.
Later I posted 18.4 in the flying lap for 2nd place.
I went to McMenamins with the Canadians and Cari (sounds like the name of a new band. "Ladies and Gentleman, please put your hands together for.....") We ate, we drank, and joked. Good times for the end of a good weekend.
Rambled By Heather around 10:02:00 AM
July 7, 2007
Alpenrose Challenge #2
Keiren today. I decided to sit and watch my first keiren heat from third place. Not sure where my head was, but it wasn't set on finishing in the top 2. So, it was on to the reps later in the morning. I was very fortunate to have my 2 teammates in the race as well. We cooked up a little plan and it played out well. (Insert top secret plan here.) In the last 2 laps, Norrene stepped on the gas and I stuck to her wheel, with one to go, I came around and finished 1st.
Not too much excitement in the final ride. The end was a situation where I was behind a wheel that was behind a wheel. Around turn 3, I had to go as high as the person I was trying to come around plus some. I finished 5th.
Weee! I have 1 omnium point!
Rambled By Heather around 10:19:00 PM
July 6, 2007
Alpenrose Challenge Day 1
Well, so far, not so hot. I did a pursuit this morning to open up the legs. I did it in a light gear and it felt OK. I didn't get a stellar time, but I eased off whenever it was bothering me too much. I think this might be the last year that I do pursuits- for no reason. Time was 4:45, which placed me 6th... of 8.
Tonight was the 500m. TT. It was pretty windy during warmup, so I should have gone a smaller gear. Turned out the last straighaway buried me. I didn't time my warm up all that well, either, but part of that was out of my control... But the real reason that it didn't go very well is because, I didn't actually ride my bike very fast- go figure. Time posted 40.7 (about half second slower than last 2 years) and placed 6th.
Many sprinters this weekend. 4 ladies went under 40 seconds. Jen Featheringill went 39.7! Awesome for her. It should be an interesting weekend. Keirens tomorrow.
At least people like me :)
Rambled By Heather around 9:38:00 PM
July 4, 2007
I had acupuncture for the first time yesterday. I won one of those first visit/consultations from PIR for the June series. I had thought about acupuncture in the past for various ailments, but have super anxiety with needles. I saw this opportunity as a door opening. I've had plantar faciitis (fancy word for tendinitis) in my arch/heel for a few weeks. I went to the doctor last week, then grumbled as I dropped $45 for a pair of flip flops with more support. $45! I guess they are pretty decent, but not very good looking....
Anyway, I went to see Malia Susee at Good Medicine Acupuncture in Portland. She stuck mini needles in various places, including about 8 in my head (like I needed more holes in my head.) I did feel more relaxed within a few minutes, like she promised. There were 2-3 in my heel. After a while, she tweeked all of the needles. I don't know exactly what this means, since I refused to look at any of them. When she got to the one directly in the sore spot of my heel, I thought I was going to die- BIG HURT.
Right after the session, I didn't notice a huge difference in how my heel felt, but within less than an hour, I did notice that the pain had reduced in half. And if it bothers me, I can squeeze my ear seeds!
Rambled By Heather around 10:19:00 AM
July 1, 2007
New School Pictures
Here are a couple shots of my new classroom at Daybreak School. No electronics or furniture are there yet. We have one big room for team teaching. The wall in the middle opens and closes, but we leave it open the whole time. I'm pretty excited to be in school with hallways, motion detecting lighting, an infocus projector, and document camera.
Rambled By Heather around 6:50:00 PM