For the last 3-4 weeks, I’ve been suffering delayed post Worlds blerhs. Mine was a delayed reaction, probably because my strong sense of denial helped stave it off for a while. At least, I think it’s post Worlds blerhs, cos it sounds very much like the disease Mdm Hr has been struggling with lately, and I feel the muggy, rank, dankness of it. You hop on the bike because you know if you don’t, all that hard work you've done so far will be wasted, so you do enough to keep ticking over. I've been doing for it, but it’s just not doing it for me.
So yesterday, my two henchmen and I went to Maryborough for Day 2 (IP and scratch) of the Country Track Champs. I hadn’t intended entering, but fellow Warragul member, Karen M goaded me into it (Thanks for doing that for me Kaz! You're a winner and a gem) . I wasn’t excited about it, but thought it would be a good opportunity for some pursuit practice under race conditions. So I picked up Coach at 5am and we drove across town to meet up with Mini Me Coach, moved all my gear from my car into his, and took off down the highway for a day of fun and frivolity (ie I got paid out on a lot, which was lovingly reciprocated).
Highlights (cos the caffeine hasn’t kicked in yet for verbosity):
- More WMAS entered than elite women
- Remembering everything but the kitchen sink and the extra spacer needed for my aero bars. This lead to some interesting work by Coach and Mini Me with coke cans, until they realised I meant spacer not shim. Fortunately Mr McCoombe came to our rescue and I rode the aero bars in the IP instead of sprint bars.
- The awesome work by my mechanic and soigny. It was a real treat to not have to worry about my bike, and to have drinks handed to me, someone to catch as me as I fell off the bike after each event and take my bike back to the car etc. Thanks to the best henchmen a girl could have!
- Being nervous before the heat. Nervous??!!?? It’s a training run at Country Track, so what’s with the nerves??? I wasn’t that nervous at Worlds!!! I guess having your coach there, and doing your schedule for you ( a first for us) made all the difference
- Doing a new best worst time, then realising everyone (well, nearly everyone) was going slow, thanks to the wind and the large bumpy track
- Losing my IP heat in the final 2.5 laps. Oops on the classic but fatal pursuiter’s error.
- Thinking what the hell am I doing here, and what the hell am I doing pursuits for, after my heat
- Losing my final but going 2 seconds faster than the heat, and remembering what’s so good about pursuiting.
- Looking forward to the scratch race, and having my butt kicked in the final lap with nothing left in the legs to kick on with when the other 3 girls jumped for the sprint, and having a total ball.
- Getting new kit*
- Looking good in my new kit in the scratch race, despite coming in behind the little bunch. Looking good is as good as winning ;-)
- Remembering what track racing is all about: it’s not just the racing, but the comraderie, the friendships, the community that sits around the track and supports its own, and the thrill of the chase out on the concrete.
- Coming home totally in love with track again.
* Two of the Scott Peoples Foundation recipients wore the new Scott Peoples Foundation kit yesterday. It looks fantastic, so I managed to score myself a set, which I wore during the scratch race, and look forward to wearing in future racing and training. Coach and I are also Foundation grant recipients, so it’s great to be able to promote the Foundation and the good work it’s doing to help regional juniors with their training and racing. We are both working at the Scott Peoples Memorial Cycling Festival weekend after next, and now I can proudly wear the kit over the weekend.
PS photos coming