Monday, 28 March 2011

Cobble Hills Island Cup

Race number 1 for me...yippee. Haha, it's so funny how nervous I still get, even for an Island Cup race, you'd think after doing so many larger races that these wouldn't phase me, but Regan had to make a couple nervous belly stops for me on the drive up to Cobble Hill. The course was great, long steady climb up, sweet singletrack loop at the top, and fast flowy descent back to the start, repeat. As you know, I've been on the trainer a lot this winter, and it's funny how much you forget that climbing hills really really hurts....haha, but it came back to me really fast.

Catherine Vipond raced as well, so it ended up being a great battle all day! Mass start (great turn out!!) straight up the climb. As per usual, I always have a great start, like really good starts, and I found myself 4 spots back from leader Matt Hadley, thinking 'WOW, this is awesome, I feel so strong' forward 10 mins later near the top of the climb......bouncing off of every root and rock, the metallic taste in the back of my throat, and a quick glance back shows that Vipond is gaining on me fast. I crack pretty hard right near the top of the climb and she passes me like I'm standing still....which I pretty much was, and manages to put 3 or 4 guys in between us. On to the singletrack, I finally recover a little and start to find my groove, but I'm stuck in traffic and I watch her slowly get farther and farther ahead of me.

Awesome fun downhill, with some tight twisty corners and a few places to get a little bit of XC air!!! I've been practicing my XC air, so fun. At the bottom of lap 1 I have a split of almost a minute down, and as I round the corner and start to climb, I can see Catherine ahead of me just turning out of sight. I have a great climb on the second lap, start off with a lot more......ummmmm...of a realistic pace for me, and close the gap to about 20 seconds by the time I see Regan snapping pic's on the downhill.

I chase again for the whole climb up the last lap and manage to catch and pass her on one of the last climbs of course....and I hammer. I'm usually a really strong descender but I was struggling a little (blaming it on my trainer time and being on a borrowed bike), and I couldn't shake her. We rounded the last corner into the straightway for a sprint finish, with me in front and Catherine right on my wheel. I stand and hammer to the finish, only to find out later Catherine took the last corner really aggressively to try to set herself up for the sprint and skidded out. Thanks Catherine for the battle!!!!

Regan treated me to an awesome Noodle Box feast and I passed out on the couch while he cleaned the bikes....yup, he's a keeper. Haha, I can't believe how trashed I felt after that race, I haven't pushed myself that hard in a long, long time. Intervals just never do race pace justice! It was great to blow out all the gunk from my legs and hopefully set myself up for a great race next weekend in Columbia. One week to go, fly out on Thursday.

Pic's to come :)

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Friday, 25 March 2011

Slowly coming together

Yipppeeee... I Want to officially welcome Lazer Helmets to my team of sponsors for 2011. These are the best looking, most comfortable helmets out there with the really, really cool Rollsys system to tighten the helmet onto your noggin, and the new magnetic Magic Buckle clasping system. Regan bought me the sexy pink and black Helium last year and I feel in love with these helmets. This year I'll be rocking most of the year either the red and white or the black and red Helium. But Chris from Lazer also provided me with an awesome black and white Genesis and Nirvana to try out too. My head thanks you so very much :)

I want to send out a huge thank you to all my sponsors that have come through so far for me this year, helping to make my season that much better. Including Vellendtech with my oh so comfortable Sidi shoes, Genuine Innovations with the tire inflation swag and TRX with the awesome portable suspension training system.

Atomic push-up with the TRX (I can only manage about 10..hehe)

I also want to thank Bill Fry from Trek Pro City for getting me into a frame and for letting me use your little bike for training on while I wait for mine :) Huge thanks for Melanie McQuaid who has bascially been my biggest parts sponsor for the year ... haha.. love raiding her garage, and now Peter Wellsman for digging out the "old" Sid for me.

Most of all I really need to thank my boyfriend/mechanic/biggest fan (besides probably my parents) Regan Pringle for making it all come together. It's been a pretty stressful couple days as I realized things aren't working out the way I thought they were going to and we've been madly searching for parts to build up the frame. He's been great at trying to keep me calm and focused on Pan Ams in less then 2 weeks, while taking on the majority of the stress. He's spending the night tonight putting it together (while I go for sushi) so I can race it this weekend at the Cobble Hill Island Cup race and work out all the kinks before I have to box it up for my trip south.

Oh ya, mom, here's the picture you wanted of the abomination that was my truck for the winter up north (love the 400km on 120litres of diesel..yuck!!!!) parked in front of the shack I called home....glad I'm done there!!!!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Tentative Race Schedule 2011!

Yuppppp, it's go time now! First race this weekend on the Island, get some race intensity before I head down to Columbia for Pan Ams!!!!

Mar 27 - Duncan, Island Cup
Apr 3 - Pan Ams, Bogota, Columbia
Apr 10 - Cumberland, Island Cup
April 14-17 - Sea Otter, Monterey, CA
May 8 - Port Alberni, Island Cup
May 22 - World Cup, Dalby Forest, UK
May 29 - World Cup, Offenberg, Germany
June 12 - Port Alice, Island Cup
June 18 - Test of Metal, Squamish, BC
June 25 - Hornby, Island Cup Finals (yah, that's so early)
July 3 - World Cup, Mont St Anne, Que(missing BC Bike Race this year :( )
July 10 - World Cup, Windham, NY
July 17 - Canadian Nationals, Canmore, Alberta
July 24 - Canada Cup, Edmonton, Alberta
Aug 7-9 - TR3, Canadian Rockies (this one is still up in the air a little because of next weekend)
Aug 14 - World Cup, Czech
Aug 21 - World Cup, Val di Sol, Italy
Sept 4 - World Championships, Champrey, Switzerland

And then mass amounts of cyclocross including Starcrossed and RadRacing weekend again, some USGP races, lots of Island Cup race (wicked series) , Canadian Nationals, and maybe a late winter trip to Belgium :)

Monday, 14 March 2011

Finding motivation

Racing, racing everywhere. First US Cup was this past weekend in Bonelli, CA (congrats to all the Canadians there!) and the first Island Cup race was in Victoria, BC.....and I missed them both. At first I was okay with not being able to make these races, being trapped up here at work, but after looking at all the photos posted from the weekend, I'm a little bummed....yah, I'll admit it. I am so ready to be done up here on the trainer and get outside to really ride again. This time of year I find it always seems to really, really drag on. Part of the problem maybe stems from the fact that I don't have a set finish date, it could be a couple days, could be a week, could be longer.

Right now the most important thing is to stay positive and excited about with I'm doing. Staying in the right head space is just as important as the actual physical training, if not more important. It's easy for me to follow my program, do great workouts and intervals, but training my mind to stay positive and focused has always been a big struggle for me. Though I have found that a great workout, like the 2.5 min max intervals ride I did the other day is really great motivation for me to plug on.

Haha, ya, my first max effort intervals workout for the 2011 season got me really stoked. Of course it hurt, but I was surprised how much I enjoyed pushing my body that hard again. I've made it my personal goal for this year to try to take motivation and positive energy from every situation I am faced with through a day, good and bad. Like inspiration from a hard workout instead of dreading it, energy from climbing instead of worrying that I'm not as good of a climber as other racers, and motivation from being able to work all winter in Fort Mac on a rig and still be able to compete at World Cup races. This year I am going to try to turn every adverse situation in and out of cycling, into positive energy to fuel me.

With that being said, there are currently only 3 weeks until Pan American Championships!! I am sooo excited to be able to ride outside without layers upon layers of gear. Workouts are starting to become a lot more race specific, and training has moved from volume to a lot more of fine tuning of my body and it's systems.....I'm itching to race!

I have so many people and organizations to be thankful to for being there for me throughout my career, but I really want to take this time to send a huge thanks to my family who I know I would never have gotten nearly this far without them. Thanks poppa for lending me your road bike for my trainer rides up north here. As well as my boyfriend, who has been so supportive and understanding with me working so far away from home in order to be able to fund my dream.....a very necessary evil for a privateer racer.

Monday, 7 March 2011

4 weeks to go time

Oh my goodness, 3 weekends till my first major race of the 2011 season. It's wild how fast the winter flies by. Really disappointed that I'm stuck up north and going to miss the first Island Cup race in Victoria, and possibly the second race in Powell River, but fingers are crossed that I'll make the third race in Duncan the following weekend. And that's it, cause the following weekend I'll be in Bogota, Columbia for Pan American Championships. Yah, haha, Columbia, Yikes.....armed body guard transport too and from the venue. Actually, I've done a little looking on the internet and it looks like Columbia has done a lot of work in the last couple years to "clean up" the image of the country.

So coach Dan has me doing some great interval workouts up north here, trying to get my legs, body and mind ready to race. All I need now is a bike, fingers are crossed every which way that they show up soon and Regan can have the, all built up and ready to go for when I finally get release from my great white prison.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Last rotation till bumdom

Been back up north for the past couple days for my last rotation, in a different camp a lot farther north then usual...and farther in the boonies. It's a bit of a different set up then I'm used to and I actually have to stay out at the rig. I think 3 days in I'm finally used to the 24 hour constant sound of the rig and can get some sleep. Don't know if I'd ever get used to the guy next door smoking....nothing beats a lung full of smoke while doing some 90-100% intervals on the trainer.....yummmm.

I'm heading back south to my regular camp.....I'm really excited ...haha, never thought I'd say I'd be excited to head back to camp.....and to cell service.