Weight-loss Challenge Progress

Stage 1 - 4 kg down!

Monday, December 22, 2008

"Suffering is optional" Haruki Murakami

Where to start? I can't believe that the year is almost over, but we say that every year, right? Because the year has gone so fast I've started to think I'm already in the next one! But, as I'm about to embark on the next stage in my journey and have appeared to stall somewhat I thought I would review the year...

January: Australia Day Criteriums:
A racer is born. The Australia Day Crits were a rude awakening for me. I went in to the series with high expectations but in the end the aim was to finish with the bunch.

Birth of a coach. After getting smashed in the crits, it seemed the smartest thing to do was to move away from doing training through group rides and get a coach! So February marked the start of a structured training program.

March: Pemberton Classic.
Birth of belief? I was feeling strong after starting my training program. Stronger than I 'd ever been before. Then the race started! The pemberton classic leaves town up the main drag which is a drag. The girls were pulling a steady pace on the front that had me worried from the start. I coped ok on the power climbs but after a mix up on the highway left me chasing the group I didn't have much left when the group hit the killer climb. Needless to say I finished the race after spending a lap and a half on my own slightly devastated.

April: Tour de Perth
Birth of a blog!! I was starting to understand and appreciate what many cyclists talk about. "Pain is inevitable - suffering is optional" Murakami.

State Championships. I learnt a huge lesson in this race. Relocate head and stick it back on!

A holiday! No racing.

Back to work.

Reassessment of priorities and commitments.

Learning to ride Carbon. My first competition after a long break was the State Team Time Trial - all those that competed are happy to be alive as the conditions were horrendous. I was just glad that my new bike, which felt awesome, stayed upright.

Back on Track! Nerves had been getting there better of me with regards to racing on the track. But after remembering that it's not the olympics and learning how to clear my head things went much smoother.

A team is born. Fleet Elite made their first team appearance at the State Criterium Championships and Bec took away the win! I also stepped up in Time Trialling and had a few wins.

Melville Summer Crit #3

One word - exhausting! Racing stepped up during December, with weekly TTs, Track championships and club crits, I was often racing 3 times a week. I made my first appearance on the podium for a state championship but I still feel like I'm on a see-saw with my form. It doesn't take long to figure out that your head affects your racing much more than your legs do. There are a few phrases I hate to hear. One being - it's in your head. What to do? Find that place. I think I've gotten through all of my distractions bar one, and I know I can do it.

Excuses are gone now, and so is the option to avoid suffering.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A weekend of hotly contested racing

The weekend's racing started with the State Keirin Championships. In the U/19 female division, Teegan Morton grabbed the motorbike and swung off shortly after the motorbike did. There was a little bit of stalling and with just over a lap to go Holly Williams caught the bunch by surprise diving down the track to take the win. For me, it was my second ever Keirin race. The senior field wasn't as large as it has been for the last couple of championships which I was grateful for. Starting at the bottom of the track I had a good chance to grab the motorbike and did so. Sarah Kent was on my wheel followed by Danielle Longworth, Anna Kauffmann and finally Bec Halliday. Anna had a bit too much speed when she joined the train and swung up losing her position to Bec. I was a little bit unsure of what to do tactics wise as I didn't feel confident that I could overtake Sarah Kent and thought my best option was to try and keep in front of her. With just over a lap to go she kicked and I went with it but it didn't take her long to overtake me. I went with her acceleration and then lost her wheel. Bec passed me with half a lap to go but I held on for third.

Results State Keirin Championship
U/19 Women
1. Holly Williams (WAIS)
2. Teegan Morton (JETS)
3. Mel Hoskins (WAIS/Plan B)

Senior Women
1. Sarah Kent (WAIS/Plan B)
2. Bec Halliday (Fleet Elite)
3. Holly McClellan (Fleet Elite)

Joondalup City Classic (NDCC)

A Grade Women
A huge field of racers turned out to contest the last road race of the year. A grade women had 17 starters listed and the new B grade women division had 11 listed.
It may have been our first hot summer day - It felt like it was 35 degrees before we even started.

A Grade women were racing 8 laps of a 9km circuit that included 2 short steeper climbs and several gradual climbs. The pace was reasonable from the start with Sarah Fraser, Sue Johnstone and some others keeping it high. It didn't take long for the attacks to start with Sarah Kent having a decent crack before Josie Tomic and Sarah Fraser made it away.

Shortly after their attack the bunch was starting to get organised when a split second of inattention resulted in a touching of wheels and several girls coming down. Mel Hoskins and Clare McLean had some decent cuts and bruises. Sue Johnstone and Micheala Anderson must have also acquired injuries as well as they did not rejoin the race. It took half a lap for the chase group to rejoin fully and start working to catch the break. Working to chase were Anna, Sally, Sharon Suckling, Bec and myself.

The heat was getting unbearable for me and as I've been unwell I decided to pull the pin on the race after 3 laps. Several other riders had the same idea leaving less than 10 women in the race after the crash. Sarah Kent attacked the chase group and made a good job of bridging the gap during the fourth lap. I'm unsure of whether she made it across because Josie was still out the front but on her own after the fourth lap, followed by Sarah K then Sarah F. Sally Robbins then attacked and attempted to bridge across. She passed Sarah F but never got across to the front markers. Bec H and Liz Leyden worked together and passed Sarah F and looked like they may catch Sally. In the end the order stayed the same and Bec out sprinted Liz for fourth.

B Grade Women
The B grade women's race was just as exciting as A grade and it was great to see such a large field of new faces. The bunch mainly stayed together until the second lap when Lorraine Hartland attacked, which may have seemed early to the rest of the group but proved to be the winning move. A few laps later Emma Giles and Jillan Scanlan attacked, unfortunately another touching of wheels and Jillian was down. Emma stayed away to take 2nd and there was a bunch sprint for third. It was great to see Jillian complete the race after coming down.

Results - Joondalup City Classic
A Grade Women -
1. Josie Tomic (WAIS/Plan B)
2. Sarah Kent (WAIS/Plan B)
3. Sally Robbins (WAIS/Plan B)
4. Bec Halliday (Fleet Elite)
5. Liz Leyden (Hub Racing)

B Grade Women -
1. Lorraine Hartland (South Perth Roulers)
2. Emma Giles

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

New kids on the block

Ok, so we've been around for a while but check out our new kits!! Yesterday the Fleet Women made their debut at ATTA's Early Birds TT in Champion Lakes. This course has been a favourite of mine and the shorter distance made it even more favourable.

It didn't take long to figure out that the wind was strong with the occasional gust. It took me a few kms to get into a good rhythm but the home straight with the tailwind really helped break up the effort. Overall, I was a little slower than last time and almost a minute back from Davina. Cameron Meyer must have been chasing the 50km/hr barrier because he came pretty close, averaging 49.1 km/hr for the 15km course!

Female results:
1. Davina Summers (Fleet) 0:23:02 (39.1 km/hr)
2. Holly McClellan (Fleet) 0:23:58
3. Rebecca Halliday (Fleet) 0:24:11
4. Anna Kauffmann (Fleet) 0:24:24
5. Shannon Arnott 0:26:33

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

No time to think

Track Summer Series Round 9 - 28th Nov
23 riders started the C grade 10 lap scratch and I was 2nd last off the fence. Bugger. It reminded me of the first C grade race I did with all the juniors and newbies. Scary. I decided that the back of the pack was not where I wanted to be and gathered a few people to take to the front. 3 laps later and I was in a good position however my legs were stuffed and I think I was at least 5th in the sprint.

In the Sprint Challenge I got to try out a few tactics - firstly, hold the wheel of a good sprinter. This was tough as the pace was up and down and we were going up and down the track. I lost the wheel and couldn't make up any places after that. In the second round I was up against 2 sprinters. Whilst they were eyeing each other off I took off from the top of the track (2 laps to go). I must have had a small gap at the start but because I took off so early they caught me
with half a lap to go.

NDCC Criterium - WA Newspapers circuit - 30th Nov
A circuit designed for me. Flat with long straights. We had a strong headwind coming into the home straight which may have died down a little towards the end.

Halfway through the race I had decided to get near the front and see if I could get in a breakaway. There were a few hairy moments - on my way to the front someone clipped me but we both got out of it ok. With such a large group the attacks that did go didn't last long, the wind probably didn't help that. Halfway through the race I followed Mel Hoskins as she chased an attack, shortly after the peloton rejoined there was a crash that took out a large chunk of the group. Sounds like at least one rider had a serious injury but most rejoined the race. The pace settled and before I knew it we had the bell lap. I was conscious of my position but lost a few places coming into the home straight. I picked up a few riders in the sprint and should have finished top 10.