October 17, 2007

Rest Session

So... I haven't seen my track bike for almost 2 weeks and I don't miss her yet. Lolita (the raod bike) had been hanging in the garage since before I left. I bet if I go check, I can find a couple cob webs. I asked Brian not to write me a schedule for the rest of the month and I'm going to enjoy it with no regrets. Here's a short list of things I have managed to do in the past 9 days...

1. Raked the first round of leaves from my big (I don't know what kind) tree out front.

2. Put on about 3 pounds. This might be an exaggeration, but the pants are already fittin' tighter.

3. Watched Blades of Glory. Awesome

4. Bought a crock pot. I'm looking forward to many dinner/ lunch combinations.

5. Get caught up at school

6. Finished a book that I started over a month ago.

7. Update my blog

October 7, 2007

Home Again

Sorry I didn't write yesterday. I was just tired and not really looking forward to reporting more bad news. Well, not totally bad news, but not super exciting either.

I posted 12.8 in my 200m. TT This is my slowest time on this track. Not really sure what happened there, but it seems that everyone's times were a bit slow. Anyway, it set me 7th and 8 sprinters make it into the tournament. This was also the closest I've ever been to not making it in to the sprints!

I rode against a super fast, Liz Reap. She won in two rides. In the 5-8 ride, I did a good job of controlling in the first 2 laps. But it is important to know how to count to 3 with a 4 up ride. As I was controlling my outside, I left the lane open and the girl that one slipped in there.

Kara and I rode a decent team sprint, although it didn't put us into the finals. We "won" 5th place by default. But our start assured me that my 500m. loss was ALL about the start. My split to the first tape was a 14.01 and ours was 13.13.

I'm home now, after waking up at 5:00am and hopping on a big bird. Now I'm looking forward to grading some writing projects!

October 5, 2007

Elite Nationals Day 2

Today was the keirin. Last year, it seemed that everyone did the keiren, whether they were a sprinter or not. This year, just the sprinters came out- all 12 of us. This was awesome, though because it made the first ride difficult from the start. Since there were only 12 riders, we didn't have heats. We went straight to a semi-final ride. I was in the first ride, with 5 others, including Anna Lang and Jennie Reed- 2 very strong ladies.

I drew lane 5 (like I have doing all season it seems) so for me to get anywhere near the motor was going to be hard. When we started, the girl above me, basically ignored that I existed (good move, really) and I was squeezed like a little watermelon seed somewhere near the back. I chose to give up the position fight early and sit behind Jennie, who sat behind Anna. This provide a great draft and I could see any moves they'd make.

The motor dropped us off pretty fast and in the first lap nothing happened. I thought about making a move over the top to at least surprise, but being that we were going a quick tempo, I wasn't going to be much of a surprise, coming over slowly or I risked getting gapped by losing Jennie's wheel just for a second to swing high and go.

The unfortunate choice was to wait for them to make a move, since reacting to either of these riders means you're too late. Somewhere in the fury, there was a crash the happened in front of me. It didn't effect me too much, but since I wasn't going to be one of the top 3 to go through to the finals, i let up, knowing that my next rider would been soon.

Gearing has been weird this year for me. I'm starting to think... well actually pretty sure that I want to go back to my 170mm cranks. This year, I'm stronger, my leg speed is faster... and I'm going slower. I have long legs. Maybe the longer lever is better for me. That's not so much gearing, but I did feel under geared for my 500m ., which ended up being the same gear I rode in the keiren. I decided in the final ride for 7-12, I'd go up and see how it felt.

Turned out that was a good decision. In the next ride, I drew lane 6 and there were only 5 riders! Yes, I still have the skills of getting the outside lane. Luckily Matt gave me a nice shove. I fought a little for the second spot and finally got there behind Emily. When to motor pulled off, she ramped it up a titch which was awesome. With two laps to go, I came around her and led for that lap. Good and bad. Many keirens that I have won or been in the top 2, I've led out, so it was possible that this would work. Going into the last lap however, another rider came around me, but not fast enough to clear my wheel. This forced me to back off a bit and I wound up on the blue line a bit. This is racing and I didn't think anything of it, but later she was relegated for this move. Mark the day that Phil Miller made a call on my behalf (inside joke for those that know some of the officials.) So although I came across the line 3rd, I was awarded 2nd in that ride and 8th overall. Later I went with the other girl to talk to the official just to see what he'd say. I guess they saw her come around as a bit more dangerous. Oh well, I think it's just racing.

It's strange because even thought I'm not doing very well in the placing, I'm having a good time. I'm not stressed and I'm enjoying racing my bike! You have to love your sport. If you don't love your sport, you have to step away from your sport- or at least be able to answer yourself as to why you're out there.

Today is the sprints!!!

Here are some pictures from yesterday. There is a short movie clip at the end of Emily in the scratch race.

October 3, 2007

Elite Nationals Begins

In a nut shell... it's starting off not so well. This actually began before we got here, when our flight out of Portland was 2 hours late. Here is a picture of Donna waiting for our plane.

After getting to Los Angeles, then to the house, then stretch, then get a massage, then shower... it was probably around 1:30 am before I got to sleep.

Today was the 500m.time trial. I hoped to ride under 39 seconds. My time last year was 39.1. I'm not sure what the main problem was today, but I think it was a mixture of a lot of little factors. In the race itself, I should have had a stronger start. When you don't get going fast enough in the beginning, it chips away at the overall time. My time today was my almost slowest on this track at 39.59. I think I was 10th overall- not good. If I got the time I was hoping for, I would have been 6th I think. Brian and I talk about a few things and one idea for next year might be to go back to my longer cranks....

Tomorrow afternoon is the keiren. Hopefully I get home a little earlier tomorrow night to report.

This is Molly our massage girl. She rode her bike ALL THE WAY HERE from Portland. She left Portland about 3 weeks ago. She often gives massages at our track and we love her. I don't know that guy on the table.

This is the view of the track from the infield, where all the riders warm up and wait to ride.

October 1, 2007

I just finished my last workout before going to nationals. Similar to studying for a test or working on a project for a long time, before we go to a big event, someone will say, "Well, the homework is done." I won't get any faster or stronger before Wednesday. Actually, these workouts the past week, leading up to the final showdown are easy ones. It's to get the muscles ready for what's coming.

Check back tomorrow night. I'll try to get on to tell you about the sweet beach house we're staying at!