Although the pictures and video don't do any justice, I am posting this video anyway. If you look closely you will see the 6 Thunderbirds in formation rotating in sync. This was called their slow roll. wow!
Yesterday I started the day with a 5ish hour ride with Dave and Gwen. It's fun to catch up with old friends and get to know new ones... all while riding and riding and riding.
Dave at Saguaro National Park.
Gwen and I then met up to go to the air show on the base in Tucson. This was my first real air show and I was pleasantly surprised. I thought riding a track bike was a rush. It must be nothing compared to what these guys/girls experience.
The Thunderbirds in formation. BTW- pics don't do any justice.
Our future airmen and women. I would love to see the cute little girl in her purple dress sitting in the cockpit one day :)
Gwen and I then took advantage of the free Joe Nichols concert on base. Great setting... perfect weather, the mountains, the planes, the people watching, the music, etc.
If you have never heard his music, here is an example of some song titles- Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off, She Only Smokes When She Drinks, Let's Get Drunk and Fight, (Drink) Cheaper Then a Shrink, My Whiskey Years. Funny songs for someone who has been through rehab apparently.
Sunday was the circuit race and the last race of the Tucson Bicycle Classic. It was 35 miles on a hilly course, 7 laps. My goal was to work hard no matter how I ended up. I just needed and wanted a job. So, my friend Greta and I said that we would attack and counterattack each other starting on lap 3. We did and it was fun and so much more challenging. I also gave myself other little jobs during the race just to practice some things and get a good workout.
As it ended, I was pooped at the end of the race. I took 3rd place but was way more excited to walk away from a fun race!
Since then, I have been in Tucson training and hanging with the family. My grandmother, uncle, aunt, cousins live here and my mom came out to visit from ATL while I am here. Good times :)
So... this week has been full of training, cooking with the family, sleeping (!!!), helping the grandma with house projects, shopping, and soaking up the sun.
We went to the Rockies Spring Training game on St. Patty's Day.
I am down here for fitness and I will get plenty of it. This is my 3rd week back on the back and I can feel a difference in my endurance already. There is something to be gained with lots of miles on the bike. I just can't wait to go REALLY FAST again on the track... you can't beat the feeling of flying off the banking of a velodrome.
Yesterday was a short time trial. The course was mainly rolling but had a big kicker of a hill at the end. I think I may have been one of three girls in the Pro1/2 field without a TT bike. (Yes, that counts as "Lame Act" number 1 on my part.) Whatever. I had some girl ask me if "those are the wheels you are going to race on?" Funny. I just laughed for a response. I happen to love my wheels, thanks. She rode off down the road only leaving the whooshing sound of her disc wheel. I ended middle of the pack and 40-some seconds from the leader.
Thinking there was a 10 second mid-race time bonus sprint today and another one tomorrow, I was thinking there was hope of me moving up in the overall General Classification (GC). When we got to the line this morning, we were informed of the new USAC rules that make mid-race sprints only worth 3 seconds. Hmmm, well, I thought I would still go for it. Why not? So, the race bible explained that the sprint was 5 miles into the first lap and 1.5 miles after our first right hand turn. I sat towards the front of the field for the first 15 miles looking for the "50 MPH" sign where the sprint was to happen. Saw the sign but no officials. Ok, then, no sprint I guess. As we role through the Start/Finish line finishing our 1st of 3 laps, I hear the official say some girls name who won the sprint. "Lame Act" number 2 on the race/official/whoever. Oh well, 3 seconds is only 3 seconds. I do realize that putting on a race is tough work and I appreciate what race promoters do BIG TIME.
There were big rollers on this course and my goal was to make it to the end with the lead group/pack. I thought there would be some serious attacks going on by the 3-4 teams that had big numbers because the girls in 1st and 2nd place after the TT had no or limited teammates. But, no major attack/counterattacks. There were jumps and some people tried getting away in the hills but the teams never seemed to work to counterattack and get their people off the front. I stayed active but didn't try and instigate anything.
"Lame Act" number 4 was the fault of the road or the girl in front of me who didn't point anything out as she swerved to miss the huge pothole as we were flying down a descent. The good news is that I didn't crash and as far as I know, nothing is broken. The bad news is that I nailed a hole in the street and my bars jammed down into the totally awkward position for the rest of the race. There was neutral support but they were busy with a flat so I decided on riding with them like that instead of getting the fix and chasing to get back in the pack by myself. So, it ended pretty lame with me not being able to reach my brakes or shift when my hands were on my hoods AND being in a strange position with my hands in the drops. Uncomfortable is lame and out of control is even lamer.
The finish was in the hills so I thought for sure the girls would blow the pack apart in the hills on the last lap. Not sure if we lost people or not because I did everything I could to stay near the front. With about 2k to go I found myself with 4 other girls with a small gap off the front. I don't know if people didn't realize we had a gap or the gap wasn't big enough but nobody wanted to work it so the pack was catching up. At the 1k sign the pack was just catching the back of us and I decided to try something way outside my comfort zone. I jumped. Now, for me, that is early. I did get a gap and thought for a second that the move could stick but I was caught with 200 meters to go and totally sat up for the finish. "Lame Act" number 5 was not sticking the move. Oh well on that one though. It isn't like me to try something new but I also know that to be a road sprinter, I need to learn to sprint longer. Not only did I think it was the instinctive move with the pack catching the back of our small group but I also didn't want to be in a pack sprint with my bars all messed up. It would have been really lame sprinting in an unsafe position. Now I know that maybe 1k to go is too long for me :)
Tomorrow won't be lame... promise!
I had some great downtime yesterday with my mom. We went and saw "It's Complicated" at this cheap theater. Only $3.25 for all current movies... $1 on Tuesdays. I'll go back there and catch up on the movie watching for sure!!!
Although I race today, I couldn't help but go ride one of the Tucson classics. Actually, I was riding out to see the TT course and forgot that I had to cross Gates pass to get there (and back).
Tucson has seen more rain this year then they are used to so it is a bit colder then normal. I had to bundle up for the ride but at least the sun was out. The warm weather is supposed to move in this weekend but it doesn't really matter when you race at 6:55 am! ouch.
The TT is today. Yesterday I ran into some other girls out on the course on some fancy TT bikes. Can't wait to see if I can put those bikes to shame :)
Yesterday I traveled down to Tucson to hang out with my mom and grandmother... ok, also to ride my bike a lot.
I never realized as a kid how fortunate I was to have family in Tucson. Growing up we traveled out here several times a year from Atlanta to visit my grandmother, uncle, aunt, and cousins. Of course then, I never rode a bike. It wasn't until a couple years ago when I started racing/riding that I realized a free place to stay in Tucson was a HUGE bonus for a cyclist.
Well, here I am.
I start the 2 week training block with a 3-day stage race. I do love racing. I will see how much I love racing this weekend after only 2 weeks back on the bike :)
Tomorrow starts off with a TT... let's hear it for racing a TT with clip-ons. Oh, wait, I still need to see if they fit my bike.
Saturday is a RR and Sunday is circuit race.
I did this race a couple years ago and the field was smaller and there weren't many people from out of town. I just checked the start list this morning and, uh-oh, things have changed! There is some talent living and training in Tucson this winter.
Like the London Velodrome, this year is all about building towards 2012!
Lots of it starts with lifting steel and other heavy stuff in the (new Boulder) gym...I love being a "gym rat" and can't wait to get back to lifting REALLY heavy stuff and not this "I'm just getting back in the gym" weight!
A successful season has mainly to do with your own effort, but you can't overlook your team! Nicola Cranmer has put together a great trade team this season as Team Twenty 12/Peanut Butter & Co...below is the new vest from our kits (testing out top secret fabrics here in Colorado)! I have also added a new coach to my personal team with the addition of Neal Henderson. He joins my other coaches Mark Tyson and Jon Carlock of the USOC (and my husband!) as my core group.
With all the hard work and training, this year I will also be putting a big emphasis on rest and recovery...a often overlooked, but very important part of training! Looking forward to lots of time taking naps and drinking coffee in my SKINS!