Friday, January 28, 2011

Recovered Sprinter

Several months ago I wrote about my journey from sprinting to endurance.

This past week in Beijing, I was outnumbered by sprinters. The USA athletes included Bobby and me (endurance)... Cristin, Liz, and Jimmy (sprint.) It was as if I was let out of my full-time rehab facility (National Team Pursuit Program) to test the rehab progress... like letting a someone in AA go to a bar. Will she slip back into old habits?

Two funny stories confirm I am no longer a sprinter.

In the San Francisco airport, my coach, Neal, bought a American super sized Snickers bar. He told me he was putting it in his bag until the end of the Omnium. If I were to get a top 10 result, he would split it with me. Fair enough! A little more inspiration.

The first night in Beijing, we had a full team meeting in the coach's room... endurance and sprinters together. The sprinter girls noticed a Snickers bar (not Neal's) and started talking about it. Jamie, the sprint coach, announced that if they got a top 10 in the Team Sprint, that he would buy them A DOZEN Snicker bars. Neal and I looked at each other and couldn't contain the laughter.

The inequity. Endurance girls get 1/2 a Snickers bar for a top 10. Sprint girls get 12 Snickers bars for a top 10.

I guess I passed the test back in SFO when I truly thought 1/2 a bar was good enough for inspiration. Endurance brain.... check. (And, yes, I did get that 1/2 a Snickers. And, yes, I did it eat it in one sitting.)

Neal and his Snickers.

The next was a conversation that Liz started when she asked what wild animal would be depict a sprinter... and then later a enduro. The conclusion- a sprinter is clearly a lion.

You see, sprinters are really good at laying around and sleeping most of the day. But, when they wake up, beware. They are hungry. They can go from sleeping to violent movements in .01 seconds. Once they satisfy that hunger, they can instantly go back to sleep mode.

Endurance athletes (omnium in this case) on the other hand are constantly busy. Antelopes best describe our state. Always grazing, always moving.

The analogy can be taken much further but you get the point. We laughed quite a bit about lions and antelopes.

See, I kind of stink at relaxing. It isn't something I am proud of and something I would like to get better at doing... but, it is rare that I can take a nap. There is always something to do... clean my room, send another email, stretch, fill a water bottle, eat an apple, play on iTunes, make my bed... you get the point. I am an antelope.

Seriously, those sprint girls were ALWAYS sleeping. They are true lions.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Actually Beijing...but I don't really get to see it when I'm there, so it might as well be Paris! I know I was in China because I have a plane ticket to prove it and don't think I need to have a bowl of rice for a while!

Our interpreter/helper. She's a student and spoke great English.

The roof of the velodrome while laying on the floor.

What was different about this trip than other trips this winter? First of all, I was not traveling with the women's endurance team and I did get used to that. Hm, Jennie should be here for coffee any minute! On the other hand, I did get to travel with my coach, Neal Henderson, and Jamie Staff, US National Team sprint coach. It is great to have these guys at competition with me. I have been working with Neal for about nine months and glad to have him there to see my progress (and success!) during my transition from sprinter to hmmm...well...something else! I look forward to having Jamie in LA when I train there in the future...and I am very impressed by his "indoor voice" that can heard over all the velodrome noise and still reach me through the pain of my final pursuit laps! Thanks (and the staff) are great! Look forward to the next one!

Picture of USA Cycling Staff- Alec, Andy, Jamie, Neal


I love to race. In the Omnium, you get plenty of racing. All kinds of racing and all of it at the highest level. Seven (including a qualifier) races over two days. Highlights for me...a PR and top ten in the pursuit. On the other side of things, there was the crash in the Elimination on the first day that didn't help. There is the adrenaline of the crash, but then there is also the comedown afterwards. But that is the point of the Omnium, dealing with something like a crash and coming back in the next race. It is not all about one race, but who is still standing when it is all over and the smoke clears!

I always manage to carve out my own little corner for my bag explosion. Heated floors at this velodrome!


Best described as cycling’s own version of the decathlon, the Omnium tests the all round track racing abilities of each competitor demanding skill, speed, endurance and tactical abilities in order to win. Riders score points according to their placing in each event with fewer points awarded the higher the placing. The rider with the lowest number of points overall wins.

The Omnium at the Track World Cup consists of:

Flying 1 lap time trial

Points race 20 km for women


Individual pursuit 3000m for women

Scratch race

500m time trial

A couple random photos:
This store was so busy at the airport. We discovered that those walls are packed full of duck... in a bag. ?? Spring festivals are next week in Beijing.
The local landscaper and he wheels.

This was how I kept track of my "countdown" until I was back in Boulder. How many more meal cards?

Friday, January 7, 2011


Feeling sentimental tonight...

It's Friday and I am enjoying doing nothing. Really, when I say nothing, I mean nothing. There is nothing left on the internet, I ran out of podcasts, TV has rotted my brain, and I am about to start a new book. Fun, eh?

Sometimes people think the life of a professional cyclist is always exciting. And, frankly, the fact that I get to sit here and do nothing is actually really exciting for me. It means I am doing my job; my job today was to rest so I can be ready to kill it this weekend in workouts.

But, the downtime here in LA has given me the capacity to reflect on how exactly I am sitting here in a rented bedroom in Huntington Beach.

It was 5 years ago (actually June of 2006) that I decided to actually try this track bike thingy. Greg and I got married in the summer of 2005 and in the fall of that year I did my first real bike race, a stage race in Taos, NM. Greg convinced me that I would love the velodrome and to sign up for a beginner clinic in the spring. It's a long story but the short version ends with... by the end of June I was taking part in a National Team Sprint Camp at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and way in over my head.

Here I was.... working 60 hours a week, traveling 3-4 days a week for work, running on the treadmill in various hotels across the country, and hurrying home every Friday night so we could be weekend warrior athletes. Then, I rode a track bike and my life drastically changed. The only constant has been the support of the husband and the dog :)

From designer suits to dirty sweats... it has been a hell of a ride the last 5 years.

My evening ride here in Huntington Beach.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Be Here Now

Actually, as much as I would like to be living in the moment on my last leisurely morning in Boulder, I can't help this lack of Zen balance in my life today! I've got luggage from one country (is this a bag of coffee from Columbia?) and have to switch to over to bigger suitcases and bigger bike boxes for a longer trip to other countries. Lot of coffee today! My passport has seen more action than...prize for the best finish of this sentence!

Where have I bean (that's what the Canadians say!)? You know the lull between Christmas and New Year's? Sure...right! Packing for Canada on Christmas Day. Off to a suburb of Vancouver, Canada for the UCI Burnaby Four. That is a six-day (condensed into three nights of racing) and a final full day Omnium. Translation for "normal" people...four looong days of racing! Neal...can I get a day off? Flying on Boxing Day?

Props to Jeremy Storie, the Burnaby promoter, for a true World Class race! Unlike certain tracks (you know who you are!) that could care less about women's racing, Jeremy went above and beyond to have a stacked women's field that included three World Champions and five different countries. Thanks you for your support of women's track racing! It is not often that I am able to line up with a field of this quality outside a World Cup and work on trying out different taking a lap...ha! No pressure racing at that much fun!

Picture from Burnaby.

Now what? After a couple nights at home, I am back to LA for a week of Omnium training before the next National Team pursuit camp next Monday. Two weeks in LA and off to Beijing to World Cup #3. This will be my second WC Omnium. I love this because I love to race my bike...and you get six different races! Look forward to some great results in China!

Madison winners at Nationals, 2010.

Before stepping on to my first flight in 2011, I would like to take a minute to thank all of my personal sponsors that made 2010 a great year! Peanut Butter & Co/ TWENTY 12 for their great support! Tiemeyer for the best custom track frames (total of 11 National Championships on Dave's bikes!)...D2 for the best custom cycling shoes (call Don!)...both from Colorado! SKINS for providing the recovery clothing layered under my jeans on every trip! Zipp for all my track wheels...including the new Super 9 rear disc...short range missile!

Omnium Pursuit, Nationals, 2010

Last, but not least...I want to thank a hand full of people that put in lots of hard work making "it" all couldn't happen without you!

Neal Henderson of Apex Coaching for helping me through a crazy transition from sprinter to...pursuiter? Oh man...never say never! But if you do, I got the guy for you!

Mark Tyson for being there at the track everyday on the moto. Hey, pull the throttle already, baby...or I'm gonna smash that roller again! Looking forward to lots of lunches in 2011. Thanks for answering phone calls from the other side of the globe in the middle of the night! Don't worry, Noreen...just another crazy female trackie!

Ben Sharp, US Women's National Track Team coach, for all his hard work (and the other USAC staff). Wish I had been there when you told your buddies over a beer how easy it was going to be to coach women! Trial by fire, Benjamin! You can sleep after London! I hear Tyson is writing a book about dealing with women athletes...

And Nicola Cranmer, GM for Peanut Butter and CO/2012. Thank you for all your dedication! Looking forward to my third year! Every year is better than the last...and it doesn't just happen! Some of us know that it isn't a job for is your life...and this "job" is my life, so thanks for all you do! my hubby for all his support...I couldn't do it without you...I miss you so're hawt...hahaha! WOOT! When we stop laughing about all our personal inside jokes on this one...from our favorite 2010 Twitter, FB and blogs...whew...comedy! Seriously, enough people... you are killing me.

And for Tony, a moment of silence. Wait...Tony wouldn't want silence...I'm going into 2011and going to turn the volume up to 11 just for you Tony!