Saturday, October 13, 2007

Chop Chop

So Josh & I had some friends over for dinner & had a little wineskyes. What better idea than to cut mohawks into each others hair before a cross race? Here's how Josh's turned out. I'll send pics of mine later. :) JK - Peace out.

Lil' Break

It's time for some R&R after nats! That's for damn sure. Hailee, Sky & I spent some QT together last weekend baking raisin cinnamon bread. Sky observed as bread project foreman & gave appropriate "meows" at times when Hailee & I were getting off task, like for the flour toss contest & impromptu hide & seek game.

I've also been running a little & considering getting my cross bike back into working condition. Watching starcrossed a few weeks ago & hearing of Josh's adventures racing cross have kind of given me the bug again.

It's been a little chillier & wetter here than normal & there is talk of a snow-dump year in the mountains. I have a new snowboard that I got last year but did not have a chance to ride that I am getting stoked to rip it up on. Also, through work I get a pro-purchase deal with Salomon & just ordered a skate ski package for this year. I grew up xc skiing & am stoked to try skate skiing this year, especially if it's going to be crappy riding weather. I have my work cut out for me though this off season for on the bike work to build sustainable power for TT's & lasting in the NRC road races. I'm excited for that though. In the past threshold work has not been a major focus of mine during the off-season, so bring it on. It's time to kick arseky.

Track Nats part 2

So, the actually racing part of track went ok. I managed to get 9th in the Pursuit. It was a lot of fun, but definitely something I will have to work on my technique, like staying out of the saddle the first lap to get up to speed & riding the BLACK line (a corner judge kept yelling BLACK LINE at me everytime I came by). After my pursuit (I was in the 2nd heat), I was in first place for awhile! HAHA. So much of track is technique & tactics & building that killer instinct. These are all very good things to work on. Especially for the scratch & points race.

In the scratch race, I was using different stem & bars than I had been racing & did not feel comfy riding a wheel or all that comfortable on the track yet & got dropped b/c I was riding like 2 meters off of the rear of the field for 10 laps - hmmmm not smart. I had a night to think about that & ponder what the hell I was there for & how I better buck the hell up for the points race.

I set my bike back up with the regular bars & stem & felt much better riding during warm up on the track. Jen & Heather V. also let me spend some time just riding on their wheels through traffic on the track which helped. I was finally starting to feel comfy on that crazy little bowl. During the points race, I was still riding towards the rear in the beginning, but getting used to using the banking to scrub off speed when there were pace changes (at Jen's suggestion) & getting used to how the other girls were riding. There was a lot of hesitation in the field at times except from the top ladies - I think that's what really makes a difference on the track. Our race was 100 laps long with sprints every 10 laps. Since the track is so short, there were always intermediate surges around 5 laps to go for every sprint lap when people would try to get off the front. At about 50 laps to go, this happened & a little group got off the front. No one was making a move to go after them & I was in perfect position to use my momentum to go (plus I was pretty fresh from not spending too much time at the front) & was able to close the gap to the 3 ladies, but one other girl came with me. We were off the front for a couple laps & then with 1.5 laps to go, the group was sitting up looking for someone else to pull & I jammed on it & started sprinting with 1 lap to go to try & hang on for points. I almost had 4th place, but the 5th girl came over the top just at the line. I was bummed I didn't manage to get points, but glad I had finally done something in the race. The rest of the race, I was doing better about position, but things were starting to get spread out quite a bit & I was doing a lot of work bridging gaps from people falling off the main field & never really saw the front of the race again. I really wish I could do it over again, but that's why experience is so important. So - as my coach said - nothing earth shattering in terms of results, but good experience.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Sky's new perch

Sky has miraculously claimed her Cat-Bed as her actual preferred sleeping/relaxing spot. This has taken months, but since I moved the bed to an out of the way spot in the end table, she has now decided it is an acceptable sleeping arrangement - she just doesn't really want people to know she is conforming.

First Day Track Nat's

So - quick updates: I was granted an upgrade, so I am eligible to race mass start events at Track Nationals. Yah! So, I booked my flight & booked it to LA. Yesterday morning, I realized that my plane was leaving last night, not this morning, like I thought - it had been awhile since I first booked my flight & I had been planning on leaving Wed. morning to minimize Hotel $, but later reconsidered after hearing how important it would be to have some track time before trying the whole competition thing out. Anyway, yesterday morning I was checking email at 6AM while drinking coffee & going through the whole relaxing morning routine when I saw an email from Alaska Airlines welcoming me to my flight. There was a little freaking out to be had while I packed my bike, rollers, equipment, tools, wheels, gears, clothes, etc. in a little under 45 min & then got ready for & to work by 7:30 with all luggage packed in the rally car. Why do I make it so difficult for myself? I don't know. Last week, I went to Vegas.
I forgot where I parked in the parking garage & spent an hour towing my luggage around looking for my car on 3 levels of the parking garage after getting in 5 hours later than I had planned due to mechanical issues with the plane I was supposed to be on. Sheesh! Luckily, Josh Simpson generously took me to the airport this time.

Anyway, I made it here to LA & spent some time on the track this AM. The wheels that Steve L. let me borrow work great. Jen, Kele, Jaimie, Wes, Dan, Adrian & some other Hagen's guy are all here, along with Kenny & other NWerners. It is really nice to see familiar faces.

The track is fast! It is 250 meters, wood & indoors. When you are up on the rail looking down, it is quite a sensation, like staring down a fat slide. This morning, during open track, it was kind of sketch for me with so many people zooming around, but everyone handles their bikes really well & there were only a few white knuckle moments. :) Getting on the track is ok, but getting off is tough. The straight-aways are so short & there were so many people on the track, I would have to sprint to the apron then jam on the brakes to get off. It was better just to keep rolling around.

Tomorrow is Pursuit & Scratch race for me. I want to make it to the finals in each. I know what I have to do & I feel pretty confident I can use my strengths to get it done.