Ramblings, musings and generally boring stuff. Mostly about bikes...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Teamwork Rocks!

Our last night of the 2010 track season was 8.26.10
What a beautiful night of racing, only tainted at the end by a young man from nearby who decided he was the rightful owner of some of our belongings.
This night was for the teams. Team Pursuits and Track cup award!

After some scratch races, The Hub Women's team started the Team Pursuits. We were down one teammate, Kate, due to her shoulder separation. (Despite my attempts to get her to see my Chiro for some kinesio taping to get her back on the bike asap! Ok, Kate, I'll back off and let your Doctor prescribe your treatment!)
Our team consisted of Soli, Ashley and me. Ashley and I practiced some laps and transitions in our quick 10 minute warm up. I was really concerned about holding my team back when it was clear that I was tired and Ashley was fresh and energized in our warm ups!
Our opposing team consisted of Emilie, Cristel and Molly. I teased that I kind of felt like the last kid picked at kickball after some discussion about drawing straws to form our teams instead of Hub vs Dogfish/Mesa/Molly! But MAN, we sure worked well as a team.
We took to the line with our holders and were OFF. 12 laps of torture! We agreed we'd each pull a lap then transition. Soli organized us with Ashley first, Soli second and me third. We started off a little slow but my turn 2 Ashley was really picking up speed. After the first couple of transitions, I noticed a pattern - I was clearly the weakest link. Soli told us to rest when we weren't on the front, so I was trying to rest all I could then. Ashley's pace seemed to be 22-23 mph, and for about 1/2 a lap, Soli would pick it up to 24-25. It was great to go fast but I was really having to work to stay on her wheel and not get a gap. I yelled to her to "ease up a bit" a few times but feared again that I was the weak link in the chain. I got gapped about 2 bike lengths on one lap. When Soli pulled off the front, I'd try my best to maintain a decent speed but I was only able to manage 20-22.

With our last lap, I was pulling and Soli and Ashley came around to my right. We sprinted for the line and I realized that the 172 heart rate I was running for the last 3-4 laps was the highest I've ever had at the track. I am sure I couldn't have sustained that for even just 1-2 more laps.

After a quick cool down, we pulled off the track to watch Cristel, Emilie and Molly race. Of course, everyone always seems slower when you are sitting on the sidelines!
Those three girls are so strong and looked so good, I was sure we were 2nd to their win.

The Hub men rocked their pursuits, with fast speeds and beautiful transitions.
As the men finished their team pursuits, the party started.
PJ and Joe threw a fabulous awards party, including the presentation of the Team Track Cup, champagne and Cake!
The Hub sure dominated at the track, bring tons of men and women to the races!
We will represent our Track Cup proudly!
Soli won the women's overall, with Emilie taking 2nd and Molly rounding out the podium in 3rd. These women are strong!!!

When it came time to announce the winners of the pursuits, they announced Emilie/Cristel and Molly in 2nd! Wait a minute..... That makes us 1st!!!
I couldn't believe it! We won!!! We had a 10 second lead on that amazing team of women! Way to go Ashley and Soli! What an awesome team.

It felt good to get my first Win of the track and to be part of such a wonderful team, and wonderful track family.

Can hardley wait til the 2011 season! Wanna join me??

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Klutzy rides (& slides) again!

State TT, State Track Omnium, Urban Assault ride, Individual State track championship:

Saturday 7.31.10:
State TT.

Phil and I picked up Jamie bright and early and headed to Jeff City. Phil was signed up for the Cat 4, Jamie in the Women's Open and I in the Merckx category. Phil had a handful of competitors. Jamie had Amy and Maureen. Cat 4 had a descent group, including Kate and Suzanne - both in contention for a Win. As we warmed up in the parking lot just off the course, I learned that my only competition would be Nicole.

I didn't think too much about what was ahead of me. I gave a mediocre warm up, circling in the parking lot, chatting as I went. I do think a little bee sting 10 minutes before my start may have helped a little!
40K is a LONG, LONG way! Especially for this NON-TT'er! Buddy counted me down and I was off. Easily moving at 23-24 mph for the first 1/4. As soon as I passed the 20k turn around spot, the world seemed to stop spinning in my favor. Ugh....
Push, Push, spin, spin. I think I bounced around a much of gears, just trying to find something that felt "just a little better."
My turn around was typical for me... slow and awkward. My pace was better after the turn around but not enough to make up for how slow I was before that. There was a tail wind for sure. Several fast guys and ladies passed me but I was still cruising. At that darned 20k turn around point, the vortex of slow sucked me in again. Every pedal stroke got me closer to the finish.... but not soon enough! Where is that darned finish line?!

I crossed it with a 1:19 time, I think.... A good 20 minutes slower than most, but just enough for a Win for my category.

(content removed b/c I offended one of my friends. No offense was meant in the writing of this blog)

Another nice State Medal! My first medal as a Cat 3 (I do wish they were those cool ones from Tour of St Louis though. I'd love to get my hands on one of those!)

Saturday 8.14.10
State Track Omnium

Photo Credit: Payton Thomas' Dad (lifted from her blog!)

Phil and I show up at 8ish and the women start assembling. We quickly learn that there are new competitors in our midst - Suzie Goodwin and Payton Thomas from Dalla! Suzie is some crazy fast National Champion with tree trunk sprinter thighs. Payton is a 14 year old national track champ.
The usual contenders: Kate, Soli, Molly, Cristel, Ashley, Emilie - 9 total women.
As usual, my 200 m times were nothing to blog about (16.57 - 8th place)
The highlight of my day was coming around Cristel, Kate, Molly and Payton to take 5th in the Scratch race! Woo Hoo! I got 7th in the Points race and felt pretty good.
The theme for the rest of the day was Lantern Rouge, or whatever... LAST place for everything else and the Omnium. I just don't do well in the TT events> I like the mass start races better. But I had a good time in the heat (over 100!!)

Sunday 8.15.10 Urban Assault Ride

Kate and I formed the dynamic duo -"The Snot Rockets". Our costumes were carefully crafted to include silver opera gloves (a big hit!), silver glittery knee socks, gray t shirts with our names "Snotty Steph" and "Krusty Kate." We had red streamers from our helmets and bars (for the rockets!) Kate Rocked the TT helmet and we even had green silly string for the "Snot"!
We strutted our stuff pre-race but soon realized that we were out done by SuzanneR and Jackie -aka "The chickens"! Oh well, we could still go for crowd favorites! We were interactive!

The "race" started at 9am. Thanks to our 2nd highest quiz score, Kate and I started in the first wave (you really only need a 70% or better to start in the front wave!)
We ran for our bikes, but I had some trouble finding them. Kate spotted them and called to me. We were off! I couldn't get clipped in to the new Candy pedals so I just did my best until Big Shark. Due to stop lights and congestion, we were already behind. As we were arriving at Stop #1 Big Shark, Jamie and Aubrey were leaving!
I hopped on Kate's back for some piggy back polo and we were soon on our way, first bead secure on Kate's necklace.
We motored down to the City museum, passing a few others on our way. (I finally got clipped in somewhere in there!)
UP the stairs to the roof! In hind sight, we should have taken the elevator.

Ok, here's where the day falls apart.... We reach the top and climb up the stairs to the slide. I notice a guy spraying the slide with a can of Pam. Oh, that's gonna be slick. Without hesitation, I go down. Kate is following. I turn a little and reach the bottom, noticing Kate is quickly approaching. I tried to jump up to get out of her way and somehow pop my knee out of socket!
Pain! Kate pulls me up and it pops back in but I've clearly done something wrong!

I pause for minute but don't want to stop. Kate and a volunteer show me some stretches (later I learn that one of them likely made it worse!) Back down the stairs and on with the show, err, race... um... ride....
We manage to get to 5 more stops, with some detours and hi jinks and a little more pain and trouble walking on my part. We finish 16th in the women's category, not too bad.
Kate has the post race/ride beer and I have some ibuprofen (Thanks Dessa) and Ice (thanks Suzanne!)
I did win a Road Id Gift certificate for my participation in a dance contest (something about that statement reminds me of the board game "Life" that I used to play as a kid)
Sunday night comes and I hang with Phil until we fall in bed, "exhausted, close our eyelids."

8.21.10 Individual State Championships
Phil sits this one out. I get my butt up at the crack of dawn and head to the track.
Smaller crowd this week. I start first in the 200 M. Not sure what my result was but I think slower than last week! It amazes me each time because I FEEL sooo FAST!

Match Sprints: Since it was just me, Emilie and Kate, we did a round robin elimination. Kate got the "luck" of the draw and was started in the sprinter's lane. I was in the middle, which I liked because I felt I could move to a defensive position. Emilie was on the outside. We started, went around 1, 2 laps then the bell and Emilie launched herself! Kate and I chased. We finished with Emilie 1st, Me 2nd and Kate 3rd. At round two, we basically repeated the same thing but on the last lap I started to worry about getting boxed in. Emilie didn't jump as early and I preemptively moved up the track to get out from behind Kate. It was a good move, but initially gave me a little gap from Emilie's wheel. She attacked as I got back to her and I was able to hold on. We pass Kate on the back side and I actually finish about 1/2 bike length down from Emilie!! Woo Hoo!
Round three was for Silver and Gold~ Just me against Emilie. Emilie clearly had her eyes on that State Champ Jersey and dominated in what I would describe as a beautiful race. She played it so well, running me up the track a bit and putting herself 1/2 wheel behind me so I was not able to see her attack for a few beats. With a little over one to go, she drove down into the sprinter's lane and off she went. I was 3 bike lengths away before I even know what hit me. She made some more ground on me before securing her second State Jersey at the Track.
I was proud just to have raced with her!

Our second event was the 3K pursuits. Cristel, Soli and Molly had joined in for the fun. Since we had 5 ladies, Molly got paired with Jeff Kloha, so head could race before having to leave for some family business. Poor Molly. We tried to convince her that chasing Jeff would make her go faster. Well, Jeff's just really darn fast! I think he lapped Molly twice.
Kate and I were paired up but not really equal. As with the 200 M and 500 M, this is just another TT and I am not a TT'er! Kate caught and passed me about 1/2 way through. I tried to speed up a bit. Tom was calling my times to me but I couldn't hear him. Oh well. Another last place. I am starting to get comfy here.
I really felt that race in my sore knee. Fortunately, I got some Kinesio Taping on Friday and that helped hold things in place. I sat with some ice and good company under the Off the Front Team tent and waited for our next race.

And waited, and waited, and waited....

During that time, the men's match sprint heats were going on, then the men's 4k pursuits. During that time, Scott O (Dogfish) befriended a dog which had been abandoned, tied to the track fence between turn 1 and 2. He helped her realize we weren't going to hurt her and dubbed her "Penny, The Penrose Wonderdog."
By the way, you can donate to Penny's vet bills and help find her a home: here

After what felt like forever, the women's 500 m races were starting. Around that time, I determined that I really didn't want to do the 500 m and didn't want to hang out for hours more to do the point's race. Plus, I had to get to Carrie's surprise party by 7pm. Fortunately Joe and PJ gave me a refund for the two races I was missing and I took off. Overall, Hot, tired but pleased with my day.

Next up.... Track Team Pursuits & GWC!!!