August 30, 2007

And in the Sprints...

It was a dark and storm night….


It was a hot and humid Pennsylvania afternoon. It was the kind of day where you start to sweat by simply walking outside and every breath is like breathing through a Burgerville milkshake straw. Sounds fun, huh? As Donna described it, she needed gills to survive. The countryside is beautiful, however, Trexlertown and surrounding, similar mini-towns are icky and sticky in late August, To quote my 3 year old friend, Grayson Hunt, it was….”Haaaaahhhhtttt!”

I’m writing this on the plane from Chicago to Portland. It’s almost a 4 hour trip. I have the cutest toddler suffering a cranky fit, but it’s tolerable with my headphones plugged into itunes. I had to fly with my niece last Christmas, so I feel bad for her parents. She’s just tired. Anyway, I have lots of time to write, so get comfortable….

Wednesday began with the 200m. TT for sprint seeding. I was hoping for something around 12.8, so was a little irked with a 13.008, only a breath of a hundredth faster than my time on Marymoor last month. I learned how important a race gear full effort is before racing. I sacrificed track time in my race gear for sleep. I got to the track an hour after racing began. A couple of the men’s groups had pursuits first on the schedule- about 20 heats. When they opened the track for about 5 minutes between the pursuit rides and the 200m., I was still in a warm up gear. So, by the time I put on my 94”, I just had the rollers, which offered little resistance. I could spin the heck out of it, but not really tap the leg muscles. I think that was the biggest factor affecting my ride. However, that time earned me front row tickets to the sprint show, .8 seconds up on the second seed. Since there were only 4 of us, there would be no rounds and we’d go straight to the semi-finals in the evening.

Went back to the hotel, peeled off the wet skin suit (not as sexy as it sounds), took a shower, ate, and cuddled into bed for a lazy afternoon of TV and cat naps. Donna and John granted my every whim, from juggling laundry to filling my water bottle. I was queen for a day. Amelia even gave me a much needed leg massage. My left quad has been giving me grief on and off for about a month. Tight.

Fast forward to my first ride of the evening. All rounds were best 2 out of 3 rides. My first was against a woman named Sara (I forget her last name.) Her qualifying time was around 14 seconds. The plan was to be in control and work as little as possible. Coming up on the final lap, I drifted up track and much to my enjoyment, so did she! Quick fake up to the right and an Abers dive to the left and I was gone. By the time I got to the first turn, I had a safe gap. I think my 200m.time for the lap was in the neighborhood of 15 seconds. The next ride was similar without the fun swerving. This time I popped over the top and took the ride.

My final rides were against Kara Vidaca. She’s a strong road sprinter and her 500m. time was less than .2 away from mine. Hopefully, she enjoys my recap, as I know she reads my blog J I drew the first lane for ride number one. I guessed that she would go either from the start or within the first lap. I had my holder, John Simmons from Helyer Park, and frequent visitor to Alpenrose, set me up as high as possible to reduce the chance of an attack from the start. John gave me a big boost. I was wrong. Kara went for the lane, so I closed that door, taking the lane. She came along on my right, and we picked up the pace a little. Eventually she dropped back behind me. I wanted a better look, so I drifted up track a little, staying aware of if she chose to pull up on my left for a press. But she stayed behind me. As I remember it, she floated underneath coming out of turn 2 in our final lap. The staight- aways on the Lehigh Valley Velodrome are short. The track is pretty round, I didn’t waste any time by dropping behind her. I went for the come around right away. It took awhile, since we were in the turn, but out of 4, I pulled ahead for the win. It was a fun ride. It’s always fun when a rider likes to play match sprint.

The final ride, we basically traded places. The ride was similar, with me following her around for a bit. She rolled up the speed in turn 1-2 of the final lap. I waited until we were out of the turn, took a run and came around. This sprint was a bit closer, but I was victorious.

Podium time was fun, as Kara and I played a game of “Queen of the Mountain” from the top step after the awards. It was a tie. Later her coach reminded us to be nice and safe to each other since we are now teammates for Elite Nationals in the team sprint. Then Donna and I hogged the podium for some fun photos. Happy times.

So, poor me gets to drag home 2 more jerseys and some hardware. The fun will be over as soon as I get home though. It’s time to cram for the beginning of school on Tuesday. I hope Haley forgives me for being absent last night for our “open-house-check-out-your-teacher-and-ask-a-billion-questions” evening.

Donna and I took about a billion pictures, so check back for those later. She gets home Saturday after the team sprint. They should win.


erikv said...

Nice job! Congrats.