Sunday, 13 November 2011

Louisville second day of racing

After a night of relaxing, stretching and eating, I was slow getting out of bed in the morning. Day 2, whether it be a stage race or just a double header, never fails to hurt. A couple minor changes to the course made it, in my eyes, even more challenging and more exciting to race at the same time.

My third row call up ended up being a second row due to a no show ahead of me, so I lined myself up behind Merideth Miller and Caroline Mani (impressed to see her out here with her wrist all wrapped up). Off the gun my path opened up nicely, but I had my worst start in a long time and couldn't capitalize. Slipped the pedal, OUCH, got myself sorted out and worked back up, then found myself pinched into the fence about halfway down the start straight.… but I still found myself near the top ten going over the barriers, so it couldn't have been that bad.

The race stayed closer together today versus yesterday. Yes, Katie Compton did solo away for the win again, but her attack didn't come till later in the race an it was really neat to be in a train of 10+ women through the first lap and a half.

It's also really exciting going through things like sand pits with 10+ other women at one time. Mayhem can happen then, like a big crash and you could find yourself jumping clear over someone sprawled out in the sand. Something like that really can happen!!!

Personally I don't feel I had the strongest of races (maybe I need to do more Xterra training again....haha). After working my way up to I think 5th was my highest spot, I found I was in trouble and just a world of hurt from lap 2 on. You know your working hard when your arms start going numb, and not just the rough bumpy ground kind of numb.

A small battle with Chloe, but she slipped from my grasp. Then a very small battle with Laura Van Gilder, I mean she almost passed me like I was standing still. My longest battle was with Sue Butler, I always find myself around her. I was able to claw my way back onto her wheel and stick with her for a lap, but slowly she created a gap I couldn't close.

The 5th and final lap, I'm pretty sure you could have seen the mushroom cloud go off over my head. Teal Stetson Lee had a great last lap, and caught and passed me handedly. Through the last technical section I closed the gap slightly but not enough to make contact. But I did manage to just hang onto another top ten :-)

And Regan killed his category!!! Taking his first USGP win. Redemption for who ever took him out the day before. Amanda had an awesome race finishing just outside the podium in fourth!!

Stupid appointment!!!! Don't even get to enjoy my last night in Louisville. Packed bike and showered, then caught the 6:40 to Chicago (swore I would never fly through there again, but it wasn't too bad) then onto Toronto. Now I'm spending a great night in the Toronto airport (not enough time to get a hotel) then early morning Vancouver flight, followed by the little puddle jumper back home. Yaahh! The exciting life of an athlete, airports, airports, airports…but I'm not complaining…well maybe a little, this floor is cold and hard!!!

On the agenda! Island cup finals this weekend in Victoria, BC Provincials in Vancouver the following weekend, then the last USGP in Bend in December. So I've got under a month to find my "pop"!!!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Loooooeyville Day 1

Oh my oh my that one hurt a little more then a little. 55 fast women starters in my largest cyclocross race ever. Third row call up isn't great for the holeshot, but I have a great start and always got to go for it. I wasn't able to move my way up to an opening fast enough for the holeshot, but I hit the grass in top ten.

Hitting the barriers really fast in the lap it jammed up if you weren't in the to 10. Then just around the next corner you hit the steepest stair overpass I've ever seen and it packed up if you weren't in the top 2!! It felt like you had to lift the bike over your head just to clear the steps…so glad I'm tall, short people would have troubles climbing this one.

Through the twisty wooded section, out through rough grassy field, through the sand pit, back into the trees section near the end of the course (where all the climbing was), one final steep decent, turn around and run up the last climb and back out onto the start/finish pavement. It is easily one of the funnest and hardest courses around. No where out there to hide, no where out there to rest!

I think I went out a little too hard. After settling into my rhythm Nicole Duke was just out of my reach…couldn't quite close the gap.

Lap 3 and 4 were rather difficult, slowly Mereidth Miller passed me, Chloe Foresman passed me, and I couldn't give the gas to stay with them. It wast until part way through the 4th lap when Amanda Carey passed me that I was able to pick it up a little. I chased her down for the whole last lap, with Sue Butler, Pepper Harlton, Georgia Gould and a couple other girls breathing down my neck. Up the steep hill into the turn around to the run up, I was thinking it was probably my last chance to pass her, so I gassed it and found a line around Amanda (only to have her roll her tire off right behind me).

Finishing 9th place in my first Louisville racing experience. And now I have nasty gel belly!! Big salmon dinner, that was funny enough all the way from Canada, with potatoes, salad and chocolate and I'm all ready to do it again tomorrow !!!

Regan had an awesome race despite two good crashes, and finished 3rd!!! Amanda "Sport Bean" Wakeling finished 8th, Norm Thibault finished 12th and Peter Wellsman finished 21st. Awesome job islanders!

Huge thanks to Pro City, Zed Wheels, Lazer Helmets, Magpie Obsessions for the tire sponsor, VellendTech for the awesome Sidi shoes and Planet Foods for my Honey Stinger!!! Couldn't do it without you all!!! And big thanks to Regan Pringle for hanging out in the pits for me (haha and telling everyone that "No, she doesn't have a pit bike")

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Tour de Louisville

2 days and 10+ hours of driving (ya I'm getting soft from my old Fort Mac long haul days) and we are in Louisville.

Decided to play tourist today and checked out some pretty cool landmarks. First off we hit the Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum to check out some bat making. It was pretty neat, lots of history coming out of that place.

After a quick lunch in a hole in the wall sandwich shop we drove through by the mid town slaughterhouse (yuck) to sneak into the cheap seats at Churchill Downs to watch a horse race. What an amazing venue!!!! Home of the Kentucky Derby!!!

A quick trip to the venue had me sooo stoked to pre ride the course tomorrow. It looks so fun!!!

Amanda "Sport Bean" Wakeling is just making us some of her secret recipe butternut squash soup! Yippee!!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Cross Nationals adventures

Here I am sitting stuffed in the back seat of the mini van with fellow Islanders Peter Wellsman, Amanda (aka Sport Bean) and Regan, on the way down to Louisville… and getting flack from Regan about doing my blog haha, so…okay.

I wasn't completely sure I'd even race nationals until the day before. Pre-ride felt a lot better then I thought it would, first ride outside since the flop on my face. Ground vibration was okay, but the torque needed for the steep climbs and fast accelerations didn't feel so stellar… wait, that's 80% of cross racing. 40 mins of pain can be handled with a double dose of Advil!!!

I had a great start, surprise, surprise, and had the holeshot. The first super steep run up I didn't have the ummpf to ride but Pepper did, passing me an putting a gap between us as I needed to run until it was shallow enough to remount.

I hammered out in second place for the rest of the lap with Emily sitting close on my wheel, and she gassed it by me on the first big climb again. This course was definitely designed for a climber with the super uber steep pitches. It's pretty amazing how much upper body strength you actually use when just trying to turn your cranks over up these nasty hills.

I was able to hold onto a third place at our Canadian Nationals. I don't think I did any more damage to my shoulder but oh my gosh it was sore when I finished!!!! I have to admit I'm a little disappointed with my placing, I was really gunning for the Maple Leaf jersey, but at the end of the day I'm really happy that I was just able to ride.

I had registered for the Sundays Nationals Revenge, but decided to take the day off and be super fan…wow, that is really tiring!!!

Now we are loaded in the minivan, 4 people, 5 bikes, 16 wheels, 1 set of rollers, and all our food and luggage…oh ya and a couple bike boxes!! Oh ya, master Tetris packer I am, just really hope they don't want to search the van at the boarder..…YIKES

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Lots of happenings and going ons

WOW, where have I been?? You'd think with the long hiatus I've just had from blogging that I'd have some really good stories...nope, well a few. Here's a little recap.

Recovered from the Naniamo double header weekend with a nice little head cold. But I fought it hard and ended up with only a fraction of what every one else around me seems to be coming down with. It did take a little chunk out of my scheduled long week of training.

With the help of Pro City Racing member Alex Hui, lead the first Pro City Sistas mountain bike ride!! We had 4 awesome hard core ladies out shredding the trail :) Just for future reference, my route picking abilities suck!!!! I took us on some double black diamond

Getting stoked and excited about upcoming nationals, besides the fact that its out in Toronto again, I did some great training last week. Then decided I needed to make things even tougher on myself then they already would be and had a great little crash during our wednesday night underground cross series. A shortish little trip to the hospital in the back of an I love laughing gas. It's pretty wild just how much a separated shoulder hurts!!! I was really convinced I was dying. Thanks everyone for letting me be a total wimp out there. At least I got out of moving duty...hehe...I make a good supervisor!! (Oh ya, Regan and I just moved into our very own place!!!! Yippeeeee)

So here I am day before heading to Toronto, and I've got conflicting opinions on whether I should even race or not. Might be some rotator cuff damage but haven't been able to get into have a scan yet so don't know for sure....maybe it's better not knowing. We are going regardless as I've convinced Regan he needs to race. I'm hoping a week of easy trainer riding and lots of moving pizza helped with the recovery, and I really hope I decide that my shoulder can survive the 40 min race :)

Either way it's going to be a fun trip to Toronto then down to Louisville, Kentucky for the Papa Johns USGP. It's either that or stay home and paint...which I actually really do enjoy doing, especially when it's red!