Sunday, November 30, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
This morning we said our goodbyes to the awesome host family in Sandringham, the beach suburb where we have been staying. I dropped Nicola and Shelley off at the airport around 11- funny to think they are STILL sitting on the airplane to California. Then I headed to my new host house in Elsternwick, a town in the south part of Melbourne. So goodbye to Andrew and Lisa Judd in Sandringham... goodbye to Nicola and Shelley... hello to Clint, Juno, and the three kids in Elsternwick.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
This was the Melbourne World Cup theme. Well, the best were there. I was not one of the best but I was there racing in my first World Cup.
I had so many emotions during the 3 days of racing and the one I am left with after decompression is eagerness. I am ready to do this for real. I am ready to take my preparation to a new level. I am ready to be “the best burning up the boards.”
My races were not as fast or successful as I would have liked. Maybe I had the nerves, although I felt really calm, or maybe I just didn’t have the right training in my legs since Nationals. At this point I let go of the past and make the experience part of my future.
For those who are into track racing here is the quick race report. The 200 was slow (12.2). When I stood up to jump, I felt the feeling we all dread. I had those nervous, heavy, lactic induced legs. 12.0 would have qualified me and this time is totally achievable. I scratched from the 500 because of the scheduling. They placed it right before the final keirin events and I completely expected to be there. My first kierin round was fast and intense. I got squeezed by Willy Kanis coming over top of me on bell lap and hesitated. We all know what happens in a keirin when you hesitate… you go backwards. In the reps the race was fast but manageable. I followed the Korean thinking she was going over top but she never made it all the way around. I didn’t go with my instincts to jump around her early because I don’t think I trusted my speed. MISTAKE! I was just as fast or faster then those girls and should have made it through those rounds. I ended ranked 13th for the night.
About to start the keirin.
Ok- for those who didn’t understand any of that lingo… let’s move on!
The experience was a very positive one for me. I learned so many of the little things and now understand what I need to work on. I also learned that I can race at this level. I belong at this level. It may take me a bit to figure out the style or racing and the players involved and to increase my strength/speed but this is all achievable.
The crowd at the races was great! The promoters did a good job of adding entertainment to the night. Oh, the announcer was awesome! He made the slowest pursuit exciting. I spent a lot of time at the track just soaking it all in. (I won’t do this next time because it is exhausting.) I wanted to be in the moment and appreciate the scene of my first World Cup. There will be more and I hope that the other countries do as great of a job as Australia has done.
Entertainment for the crowds. Clowns on bikes... or something.
It was very exciting to have a teammate to watch and cheer for. Shelley made the finals for both her races (points and scratch) and came away with an 11th and 13th place. She was not completely satisfied with her final races but only because she is a true competitor and won't be satisfied until she is on the top of the podium. You will see her on the podium this year though... you wait!
Shelley (teammate), Richard England (our Aussie friend who provided a HUGE amount help this weekend), and Nicola (team manager)
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Commercialism is alive and well in the Sydney airport. No recession here! People were spending cash on jewelry, liquor... everything. I was debating whether to spend $5 on a coffee.
All went well with the custom officers except they made me unpack EVERYTHING and repack it. Seriously, they are strict. Apparently their big fear is seeds or plants from another country. Forget smuggled drugs. They want to make sure I didn't bring kudzu in from the States. So, as soon as they saw I had bikes, they wanted to make sure there was no dirt on them. They opened my bike box and leaves fell out everywhere. Out came the vacuum and 4 more officers. That added a nice hour on the LONG day.
Greeks like to eat. Clare's mom is afraid that I am going to starve and makes crazy amounts of food everyday. They say this is normal and I am not complaining.... YUMMY! Spanakopita is one of my favorite Greek dishes. This is for you Stratos!