Sunday, November 29, 2009
Sure enough, a blood test confirmed glandular fever and rest was ordered. The only problem with this treatment is that it works. You rest and you feel better. When I sit on the couch all day I feel ok. I feel like I can start doing things. But things, like taking a shower, cooking dinner or reading don't take long to tire me out. I'm on a see-saw at the moment, trying to balance my activities with rest.
I got it wrong initially. I was feeling good and it was my birthday. So we had an extended birthday dinner or two, with a quick chat to some high school students the morning in between. It was a bit of a mistake, doing too much too quickly, and I went downhill fast. My glands swelled to the point where swallowing was excruciatingly painful and I could do nothing but sleep and complain. It took almost a week to recover from the swollen glands but a short course of steroids did wonders making my life instantly more enjoyable.
So now I'm back on the see-saw. I am so sick of the couch and watching TV and the little outings I am able to go on are gold. I am making progress and can't wait for the day when I am able to go for a short spin, then a long spin and finally get into training again. Some people will use setbacks as a sign to give up or stop but to me they show me how much I do enjoy training, competing and even working!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Not every presentation went to plan and the last talk I gave really tested me as my computer completely froze. I had 15 minutes left and was left to talk from memory, using my hands to demonstrate what would have been on the screen. Most people that know me will appreciate how unusual talk this long is for me. But it worked, so much so that the French women harassed me at every point to answer questions, even whilst I was washing my hands in the bathroom!!
I've been home for 2 weeks now. The PhD is approaching the finish line, I ensure you the sprint is about to start (and it's long and uphill). Cycling is giving me a nice distraction, I just wish Bec wasn't so strong because she's wasting no time getting me back into shape.
Sunday morning I was back out at Champion Lakes. In some ways I wanted to do the TT so sson after getting back so I would start to appreciate pain again and see how bad my fitness is. The times can only get quicker!!
The conditions were crazy! People with discs were forced to ride at 45 degrees. I don't know how so many people rode them. Good practice!! I was on my trusty training wheels, with aero bars my only source of aero equipment, it wasn't going to be fast. In the end I was happy with the ride, even if it was my slowest TT ever.
Good to see so many women out, The Tour de Perth must be providing some motivation for tough training. I hear if you register by Nov 4th you'll get your name in the program.
Look out for some pics of me with ET...
Thursday, October 8, 2009
We had almost 24 hours spare once the symposium was over. We headed out to the Hancock tower and visited the 94th and 95th floors for the awesome view. Learnt a little about the history of the city whilst we were up there. Chicago is freezing compared to San Diego and today the weather turned whilst we were in a mall, so we were greeted by a lot of rain when we finally made it out of the shops. Shopping here is crazy, anything you want and the price range is huge. I picked up some nice shirts and jewelry for under $10 each.
Anyway... have to run for the airport, we are off to Switzerland!!
Saturday, October 3, 2009
The flight over from Australia is long, in all, it's about 24 hours from bed to bed. I was tempted by the movies on the long flight and probably watched too many rather than sleep. And then, all of the exciting things happened whilst I was asleep. Turns out that the guy sitting next to us had been down the back of the plane drinking with one of the other passengers. He was allegedly encouraging her to drink more than she probably should have and she ended up throwing up and requiring oxygen. I saw her when we landed and she didn't look too good. Hopefully she made it where she was meant to.
Our first day was pretty laid back, we did some shopping, relaxing and went out for some authentic mexican. The conference started on the second day and unfortunately jet lag had really kicked in by then and I hadn't gotten more than an hours sleep the night before. So it was tough and I felt like I was slurring my words but I got some encouraging feedback.
I had to run back to my room after lunch to nap because I was worried about falling off my chair during the other lectures. Needless to say, I slept well that night.
Today was the final day of the conference and I felt much more prepared to give a decent talk. My computer on the other hand, was not feeling as compliant and played up the whole way through. The audience handled it ok and again I got some good questions and feedback.
Tomorrow we're off to explore the city, do some shopping and try not to eat too much. Monday we're off to Chicago - one of my favourite cities!!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I look forward to seeing what Fleet Elite are capable of with new management and wish them luck.
I am looking forward to riding my bike to the best of my ability, bring it on.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
State Team Time Trial, Pinjarra.
Weird weather rain clearing at the start and wind picking up at the end.
Warming up was a bit of a task in itself, I had parked in the middle of a swampland, the heavens had opened up and like usual, was running behind schedule.
I made the most of the little time I did have. Recovered from a few near disasters, got myself to the start line, had my helmet checked, replaced helmet on head and had 40s to spare.
I was riding with Anna Kauffmann and Claire McLean. Anna has been consistently performing well in Time Trials and Claire had just returned from winning two bronze medals (TT and RR) at the Paracycling World Championships. I knew I had a tough job ahead of me but I was also excited about what we were capable of.
It was a tough ride. Anna was on fire and stompin. So much so that I was really struggling 10km in. But that's how you're meant to feel, right?
I know we're not the first one's it has happened to, and I'm sure we won't be the last, but 15km in, instead of sending us right the corner marshall made us U-turn to go home. Four confirmation requests later we complied, following the lead car and returning home. I'm sure we gave all the other girls a fright as they wouldn't have expected to see us just yet.
I don't know how or why or what happened afterwards, but we were the only team to return early. We knew the course, but we had to comply with the marshall. We were offered a restart to complete the full distance, but with our hearts already poured out on the road and energy stores depleted we didn't go again.
So not the result I hoped for but a bloody hard ride anyway.
Congratulations to Plan B (1st), EHBS (2nd) and a special congrats to the SPR girls (3rd) for winning their first medal at a State Championship.
Monday, September 14, 2009
It seemed so long since I'd done a Time Trial, but at the same time, I didn't feel ready to do my next one. I've been losing the TT headspace battle recently so I saw Shenton Park as an opportunity to go out and have fun. If you know the course you may think that I'm losing a different battle - sanity. Shenton Park is difficult because it is half uphill and the worst climb is the shortest. The straights are short and one of the turns has a nice bump in it that can get the adrenalin pumping if you hit it wrong. Since Geelong I've been finding my bike love again and I'm finally feeling a bit of fitness.
The weather Sunday wasn't exactly motivating but luckily the skies cleared as riders were starting. Most people that know me, or have seen the back of my car, will know that I am not a very organised person and leave most things to the last minute. This saw me changing brake pads in the middle of my warm up and the usual running around like a headless chook. Unlike my last TT though, I was at the start line on time.
The roads were still wet on my way to the start line, but after getting over the initial shock of cold water in the socks it was fine. The roads were even starting to dry up by the time I was finishing.
I managed to find a rhythm fairly quickly this time and was attacking the climbs rather than being attacked by them. I was playing cat and mouse with Roger Hales for a lap, he passed me on the second climb but I caught him at the corner, only for him to take off on the last climb. I then caught him at the next corner only to say goodbye to him in the straight up Brookdale. It was good to have a little rabbit to encourage me to push harder. Whatever it was, it worked and my time was a PB by almost a minute. I was happy and am now feeling a little more confident going into the State Team Time Trial this weekend.
Full results here
Thursday, August 20, 2009
There were plenty of reminders that prevented me from forgetting that I had been preparing for the Tour of Geelong since learning about it in March this year. Time trialling has been a majr focus for me this year and so the pressure was on to perform in Stage 1 of the Tour, from there some fun and learning were to be had.
Stage 1. Time Trial
Conditions were near perfect for our time trial and the wind may have picked up from a slight breeze to slight tailwind towards the end of the rollout of the women. The first 23 km of the course suited me perfectly. Rolling undulations with nothing steep to worry about.
Sucking up air on the start ramp. Photo: Brett Looney
I was riding with some heavy duty wheels and thankful that the wind hadn’t picked up as I was barely moved across the road at all.
My toys for the weekend, Zipp 1080 front and Sub9 rear disc. Photo: Brett Looney
I had passed my minute marker before the first turn 8km in and then seemed to run out of bunnies. Needless to say, I soon became Carly Light’s bunny and she passed me just before the 16km mark. This was a little disheartening, especially as I had calculated from our numbers that she started 4 minutes after me. This is where I learnt lesson number 1. Don’t lose focus on your own task and don’t assume start times! Carly had started 2 minutes behind me, not 4, so I whilst I wasn’t doing well, I wasn’t doing abysmally like I had originally thought. Carly continued to power on and I soon lost sight of her. Finally the last 2 climbs of the day came. The local primary school had sent a class out to spectate and cheer us on. I got a bit of motivation from this and soon paid for it! I finally made it over the line in 18th place, unfortunately with some TT lessons still to master.
Stage 2. Criterium
A flat course on paper, when ridden you definetly can feel the two part bump out the back of the course and the slight rise over the finish line. The course wasn’t technical at all, there was one wide turn and a set of traffic islands to worry about but apart from that it was a nice wide loop through Eastern Park Gardens. Tensions were up before the start and finally my headache had eased and we were off. The pace was on for the first 15 minutes, but without any decent corners or climbs the bunch pretty much stayed together. There were primes every second lap which kept the pace up and encouraged attacks, however, nothing was going to get away, especially with Jenny Macpherson’s team controlling things.
Keeping touch with the sprinters. Photo: Brett Looney
With 5 laps to go I decided that I needed someone to come with me to shake the bunch up. Unfortunately brain forgot that and when I did attack I was alone and quickly fading. I stayed near the front ready to go again and managed to jump on the wheel of another attack, again short lived. Davina went with 3 laps to go, again being quickly reeled in by the bunch. During the bell lap I struggled to get back to Davina and Bec, but knowing Davina’s experience left them to it. I had found myself a wheel that was quickly moving up the right side of the bunch, and with a clear line thought I had a chance of something. With 300m to go all good plans were thrown in the air with a clash of wheels or pedals (depending on what you read). There was the horrible sound of bikes crashing combined with massive sparks and someone flying through the air. Luckily, I managed to escape by taking a side escape up the grass but at least 10 others did not. At least 4 girls visited hospital at some stage and Fleet lost Bec with a broken collarbone : ( Davina managed to hold onto 3rd place with her lead out sprint.
Stage 3. Road Race
I have never been renowned for my climbing ability. With some special hill climbing training thanks to Bec and Lorraine, I was looking forward to testing my legs on the hill climb in the road race. This was not to be, Mother Nature was throwing everything she had at Port Arlington. Waiting in the van for news of the race status was rocky, and I had to check several times that we had the park brake on in case we were pushed away. Needless to say, there was plenty of disappointment around the camp.
Monday, Anna and I stalked the NTID crew out at the Nationals course at Ballarat. Hilly! I’ll keep working on my hill climbing love.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
We had a 20 lap scratch race first up and when I hit the track, the bike felt funny but I had no time to worry about it because we were flying from the gun. I had forgotten how much dynamics change during a big race. Wheels chopped here and there, a few hairy moments, but mainly, track racing just hurts. I think Josie Tomic won the race from Sarah Kent, Amanda O'Connor 3rd, Bec Halliday 4th.
Elimination next up, I was eliminated after thinking I had already been eliminated. This time Sarah Kent won over Josie and Mel Hoskins .
The Wheelrace - 6 laps to run from Anna Meares as we were joined by the AIS sprinters in this race. Bec was starting on 85m and I was on 90m. Sprinters were on scratch with Sarah K and Josie off 20m and Mel Hoskins off 40m. 1 lap down still hadn't caught anyone in front. 2 laps down and the sprinters joined by Plan B had caught us. They were going fast. I couldn't get on the back of the train and that was the end of my race. But, this did allow me to see Mel challenge Anna for the win. It was close, the crowd were trying to help get Mel over the line first but Anna took the win.
I have no idea what happened in the points. I tried to go with Josie in the first sprint but have never gone backwards so fast.
Next time I will remember not to kill myself the day before with some torturous climbs.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Since I started doing TTs in October last year, this event has been a goal of mine. I knew that I was a bit excited about this event when I realised that I'd arrived in Dardanup before half the juniors (who were starting 2 hours in front of Snrs).
I'd had great preparation coming into the TT, which I have to thank my coach, Lorraine Schutz for, even though I haven't always been thankful for her taking me to my limits. I'd also hired some zipps from hirespeedwheels.com and was really looking forward to testing them out.
To the start line and then off... Well, we had a slight tail wind for the start of the course and I tried to hold back a little as I have a tendency to go out hard and crawl home. I was on target at the 7 km mark but the last hill before the turn around threw me as I didn't pick the best gear to attack it with. I knew the hills weren't as steep on the way back and hit them hard, trying to stay out of the saddle as long as possible.
My parents were out on the course and informed me (by screaming and waving) that I'd lost time to Anna. I knew it must be pretty significant by their level of excitement/desperation. Well it worked, and spurred me on because whilst the home straight was more downhill than uphill and technically easy, it was deceptively hard. I thought that I would easily be able to hold 40+ in the last few kms, but squeezing it out was much harder than anticipated.
Once over the finish line, I knew I'd given everything. My HR was higher than any other TT and there was only one place where I thought I could have gone faster (that damn hill on the way out). I never made up all of the time lost to Anna, being beaten by 4s, but was still very happy to get my third bronze medal at a State Championship. Sarah Kent, like Luke Durbridge, is still proving to be unbeatable and took out the championship by well over a minute.
Full results here
Monday, May 25, 2009
The Roleystone Circuit, used for the State Champs and previously the Tour dE Perth,is becoming quite familiar for me and was where I rode my first elite women's road race 2 years ago. The course is simple, out Brookton Hwy for 50km and then back to Roleystone to complete two 5km loops around the high school. Brookton Hwy is undulating and there are only a few climbs that can do much damage.
The pic shows the gradient for the loop and whilst it isn't a huge climb it does pinch at the top - just before the finish line.
The race was pretty quiet for the first 50km. There were no real attacks and everyone was happy to roll through keeping the pace steady. Sarah-Jeanne Fraser turned the heat up at the turn-around point and only Rebecca Halliday, Sarah Fraser and Melissa Hoskins were able to go with her. I was with them for about a minute but couldn't quite keep up the pace and dropped off the group. I was scared that I wasn't going to be able to get onto the passing wheels and had to make a real effort to get going again after going deep into the red zone.
After that I got to conserve some energy as I wasn't interested in helping the bunch chase down my team mate. The group got very close to getting back on and the support cars had pulled out in anticipation. Maybe they were a bit too complacent or tired but the gap didn't close. Sarah Kent got her group to hustle and they weren't seen again by the chasers.
Once Bec's group was clear I got to play a bit and attacked up one of the shorter steeper climbs about 30km out of town. I stayed away for close to 15 minutes, but the bunch weren't keen for another rider to stay away and chased me down. I wasn't backing my climbing legs in the last two laps and was keen to have another go to get away but my second attack didn't last long.
I was happy to see Karagullen, which meant were close to home, but was a little anxious about the last climb before turning into the circuit. Clare McLean didn't want a big bunch sprint and powered up the climb. A gap started to form between her and Lorraine Hartland and once it grew out to 10m I jumped across to Clare and tried but failed to come around her and push on to open the gap further. By the time we turned into Chevin Road Lorraine and Merissa Cunningham were making their way back to us and had caught us before the downhill. We stayed together keeping a steady pace up the hill and into Peet. I was happy to lead the bunch into Raeburn as I was concerned someone would jump when the road pinched up. Knowing what the turn is like I checked that my gear wasn't too hard, losing my sunnies in the process. Unfortunately for Lorraine, she was not as lucky with her gear changes and did a nice job of tangling the chain, forcing her to pull over.
Clare pushed the pace up Raeburn Rd and I was not letting go of her wheel. At the bottom of Raeburn Rd on the bell lap, Merissa attacked, I gave it everything to go with her but couldn't hold her wheel and her move split the three of us apart. I started to assume that Merissa had 5th place and was starting to concede 5th place because she had a huge gap on me before the final rise up to the finish line. Cars were starting to back up behind riders from A grade and I wasn't sure if there was room on the inside to pass them but found some. In my final climb I did a bit of grinding and somehow managed to gain enough speed to catch Merissa before the line. I was seeing black by the end of it though!
Sarah Kent had managed to get away on her own before getting back into town and stayed away to take the win. Bec lead her group for the bell lap. Melissa opened up the sprint, but was beaten to the line by a very close finish between Sarah F and Bec.
Full results have been published with bunch times here.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Sunday 17th May - Dardanup Open and State 60km Championship.
Linda Evans was right - when the distances are short it's going to be hilly. Last year I faired ok on this course, and although slightly modified I thought I would be ok this year. Except that the modifications to the course were either uphill or downhill and I didn't realise how much they would drag.
Sarah Kent is consistently demonstrating fine form and similar to Collie; put her foot down a third of the way in the race splitting the field into several groups. Again, I got to do some time-trial practice and overall didn't have the best day on the bike.
Sarah stayed away and had several minutes on the chase crew. Mel Hoskins won the sprint and Sarah-Jeanne Fraser took out third place. It was great to see SPR's Lorraine Hartland so close to the podium in fourth place.
Monday, May 11, 2009
I was excited and looking forward to seeing what I could do. I may have been a little too excited, flying off fast, however, it didn't take long for me to pay the price. Without my trusty heart rate monitor I have no idea how hard I did go out and what effect it had afterwards. I thought I had brought it home strong but really my last 3 laps were all similar. Needless to say, I was in a lot of pain.
A PB was recorded but I've slipped down the placings. Davina was out to show how much living at altitude helps, smashing the previous Course Record.
To top off our day, the Fleet girls headed into the hills to do some recon of the State Championship course.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
The start of Sunday's race in Collie was frustrating. Despite the U19's being away in QLD for Nationals, we had a large field of 17 women, with several new faces fronting up, inlcuding SPR's Nicole Sloan. Jo Moore, Nathalie Laurendau, Linda Evans and Sue Johnstone were making their return to racing and as Sarah Kent is in between international gigs she was able to join us for the day. The field was made up by WA's regulars, Bec Halliday, Anna Kauffmann, Sarah Fraser, Danielle Longworth, Cherie Bonasera, Kelly Gray, Lorraine Hartland. I have to apologise for missing the others as I've lost my start list.
With a large field and great weather, I was starting to expect a great day. This explains the frustration as I was expecting the field would last a few more km's before the brakes were put on. But it wasn't to be and there are always a number of reasons why riders do not want to work at the front but I guess this only frustrates me more when I hear people complain about it and they aren't willing to change it, but seeing 10km/hr on a speedo in a "Premier" race is an interesting sight. Off the soapbox....
Towards the end of the first lap the two Sarah's put their foot down and really got the race going. Unfortunately, I've lost my list of excuses and can not tell you why I was not able to go with the move considering I was expecting it and 4th wheel, it's one reason why you shouldn't do anything at the start of the race.
I picked up Sue Johnstone and Kelly Gray in the chase to get back on the bunch. We worked together quite well and let me warn you, Sue Johnstone is a powerhouse. Unfortunately we lost Sue before the end of the 2nd lap and as Kelly Gray is unwell she pulled out at the end of the second lap. The other bummer was that for at least half lap I was dangling within a few hundred metres of the bunch, unable to shorten the gap.
So I finished the race on my own. I chased a few 'bunnies' which I was hoping were women that had dropped but they weren't. I finished 10th and apparently not too far behind the bunch. Some good time trial training I guess!!
Sarah Kent stayed away on her own. There were a few other attacks and bunches throughout the race, but in the end the eight women in the chase group stayed together. The SouthWest girls, Jo Moore and Linda Evans, did a good job in the sprint with Jo taking it out over Sarah Fraser.
1. Sarah Kent
2. Jo Moore
3. Sarah Jeanne Fraser
4. Linda Evans
5. Bec Halliday
6. Nicole Sloan
Monday, April 27, 2009
After a brief warm up I headed off to the start line, or should I say up to the start line. The hills were already hurting, it was going to be a long day at the office. Sitting at the start line we could see the first hill of the day, except I couldn't remember seeing it on the profile because you only see the big ones on the profile. It was a tough day but I stayed upright and enjoyed the downhills. There were a few hills towards the end of O'Brien Rd that had a real bite to them but I coped ok with most of them.
As the times started to get posted I was nervous as to how my hill climbing buddies had gone. Bec got me this time by 21 s and I was happy that I had managed to minimise the damage. My only problem then was the second lap I had to do with the girls.
1. Rebecca Halliday 1.19.20
2. Holly McClellan @ 0.21
3. Anna Kauffmann @ 1.18
4. Lorraine Schutz @ 3.01
5. Liz Leyden @ 5.19
Bring on recovery week!
Saturday, April 25, 2009
1. Sarah Kent
2. Jessica Allen
3. Rebecca Halliday
4. Holly McClellan
5. Liz Leyden
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
We were out at Wandi for Easter monday. Luckily, it is not in my best interest to do an 80km TT at the moment, so rather than compete in the ATTA championship, we were lucky enough to be able to complete just 2 laps of the course. Played around a bit with gear ratios and pedalling styles today to see what would happen. It's hard to say exactly what the difference or benefits were because I think I would have been in pain no matter what gear was chosen.
I felt like I was on the verge of cracking for the last 15km of the course. The only reason I felt good for the start was because of the massive tailwind down Wandi Rd which meant that even in my hardest gear I was spinning. The aim was to come home hard, try to blow up but hold on and I think I succeeded. There were a few points on the course that I was a bit concerned about overdoing it but I think that's how I need to race otherwise I conserve too much.
Coming out of the last bend I really wanted to power home and got out of the saddle. About two strokes later, sunglasses falling off, drool dripping down my face and just not looking pretty in general I was snapped by a very eager looking photographer. Not looking forward to seeing those snaps! I know, I know, TTs are not about looking pretty. Anyway, shortly after the start of my power surge I realised how far there was to the finish. Yikes - I quickly reassessed and made sure I didn't take it to a full sprint because I definetly would have died before the line. Luckily there were no photographers on the line, I'm sure Mouse had a bit of a chuckle.
After a short recovery Bec and I crawled home. I showered, ate and then proceeded to sleep until dinner time. My brain has still not recovered.
Jess Allen managed the fastest female time for the 20km, this time by 20s. I came out on top of the Fleet girls and it's good to see we've got a bit of friendly rivalry going on at the moment, and we're all hungry to beat each other.
Full results here
Friday, April 10, 2009
A win was not to be. Two girls were travelling faster, Michaela Anderson (7s) and Clare McLean (4s). None of us managed to break 40km/hr, I missed out by 12s!
Full results here
I feel like my aero position has slightly improved after some last minute changes but still could be better. A huge thanks to Liz King for the booties, whilst they're not everyone's cup of tea, I love them!
Have just picked myself up off the floor after being put in a coma after my hills ride with the girls and now I'm off to finish my Easter shopping. Enjoy your Easter, ride safe.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
We had a great turn out of strong women to race A grade on a new course in great weather. The race was tough and, apart from slowing down for the boys in the middle of the race, was fast.
The race winning break-away was made by Sarah-Jeanne Fraser (Eddy Holland's Bicycle Services), with Mel Hoskins (Plan B), Liz Leyden (Hub Racing) and Jess Griffiths (Cyclemania). Jess couldn't stay with the group and came back to the peloton.
Sarah won the sprint over Mel (2nd) and Liz (3rd). The bunch sprint was won by Jess (4th) over Bec Halliday (5th, Fleet Elite). Sam Woods (Budget) had started the bunch sprint with about 300m to go and was fading fast in the last 50m, I was gaining on her but I don't think I caught her by the line in the fight for 6th place.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
In non-cycling news, I had a very flattering comment published recently regarding a paper that I wrote with my supervisor. I guess it is also cycling news because we illustrated some of our points by referring to cycling and in particular, Lance Armstrong, which has provoked some further interest and comments.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
We had the pleasure of being measured from head to toe. Guess who had the biggest head? For clues see below. We then proceeded to be tortured by some sports scientists, thanks Andy, with some 2 and 10 minute all out efforts. I wanted to run for the hills. It wasn't that bad in the end! The pain stops when it's gone.
Friday we were lucky enough to be blown away by Monash University's Wind Tunnel. I unfortunately, am not very aerodynamic and have affectionately been termed a brick! I think it's a good excuse to get massaged more regularly and get on my own bike so that I can get in a better, more aerodynamic position. FYI, all of the other Fleet girls are BLADES - so watch out as they come slicing past you.
Saturday and Sunday were the real highlights, hanging out with the AIS and NTID girls, Martin Barrass and other National coaches; getting to ride the potential World Championship course and shopping (I wish!). Other unforgettable moments were hearing about Anna Wilson's climb to the top and her experiences on the world circuit and seeing how many bikes/people could fit in a very small, slow lift.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Despite the very early rise time it was nice to be up and about to watch the sunrise. The team were super organised and excited about the day.
First up for my team was the crazy Frenchman Olivier in the 400m swim
He was not joking around after the swim leg though and made a very quick return to the transition area with a time of 9 min 16s
I got to run with my bike, a new experience and not far down the road felt the effects of it. Luckily the wind was behind me allowing me to recover a little
The ride was awesome although 10km can still hurt. The run back in to transition was the toughest as you can see I'm not as happy on the way back. Time of 18 min 48s (fastest sprint time)
Michelle took over from me to do the 4km run. Time 19 min 53s
Overall, our team came 5th in the Corporate Mixed Division, not bad! Lisa Wood's team came in third just ahead of us.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Despite this year flying by I can't wait for next weeks news and I feel like a child waiting for Christmas at the moment, counting down the sleeps.
In other news I had a tumble on the track last night, silly really. I'm blaming it on Bec and Bella even though they were nowhere near me. Surely they planned it! It didn't get me out of the smash fest point scores DB had us doing though, despite my protests and tears.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
A stacked field had come out to play, it looked like almost 20 female riders had entered. We had Olympic Silver medallist, Emma Pooley. Recently crowned Australian Champs Josie Tomic, Sarah Kent, Melissa Hoskins and Clare McLean. Fleet Elite girls Bec Halliday, Anna Kauffmann and myself. SPR riders Lisa Wood, Lorraine Hartland. Jess Griffiths from NSW. WAIS rider Bella King. Sally Robbins, Kelly Gray, Sue Johnstone, Sarah-Jeanne Fraser, Rebecca Wheadon, Jillian Scanlan. It seemed like an endless list.
I knew it was going to be a tough day. Riding down to the crit my legs didn't seem as sore as expected after Saturdays power efforts, but apparently Bec's were! I would like to say that Fleet's plan was for me to cover early attacks to save Bec for a late race winning attack with Anna to help cover things in between and chase when needed. Coz that's kinda what happened and would have looked cool if it came off. Unfortunately, like most plans, something is bound to go wrong.
Plan B really wanted to dominate today. Sally Robbins was keeping the pace up from the gun and Josie and Sarah Kent were taking turns to attack the field. I was struggling early on but kept covering the attacks. Recovering and making my way up the field to try again. I wanted to get in a break and away from the fluctuating pace which was really hurting me today. Unfortunately it didn't happen and in the middle of one of my sad sack sessions at the back of the bunch Josie got away. Luckily (as planned :) Bec made it into the break, which also contained Sarah F and Jess G.
It was then wait and see time as Emma Pooley hadn't made it into the break. I forget the exact happenings after this as I was still doing my best to cover attacks. Bella got away but for some reason didn't finish the race. Then again whilst I was moping at the back Sarah Kent and Emma Pooley got away. I tried to help the bunch chase her but I just didn't have it. With 3 laps to go Mel put it in a big surge and I went with it but was suffering. She was brought back and then I saw Bec on the side of the road with a flat. I can help I thought! We swapped wheels and she raced back to the Commissaire only to be told she was too late - being bell lap couldn't rejoin. We should have known but when the blood is in your legs your brain doesn't work. So neither Bec, nor I finished the race which was won in fine form by Josie who had a large gap on Sarah F. Jess G outsprinted Sarah K and Emma Pooley for third place.
A hard race! I hope those new to racing aren't too discouraged. Today they got to see where the bar is at. It's not easy to bridge across but if you want it you'll go for it and keep training.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Some memorable performances:
Men's Team Pursuit:
WA went in to the gold medal ride off after qualifying a very close second. They changed their order slightly, went in with a great plan and rode it to perfection, almost. The race was neck and neck with the lead swapping every couple of laps. WA were in the lead when the Vics lost third wheel but surprisingly, at the next time check the Vics were ahead. What we couldn't see was a clip of the wheels and a slight easing of pace. WA gained the lead with 1km to go and just smashed it home. It was an awesome ride! During a race, the riders can try and communicate with each other, ease, 3 riders, go etc, but in reality under aero helmets all of the words sound the same so you can imagine what would happen when one rider yells ease but the other hears go. It's amazing that they do stay together.
Women's Team Pursuit
Winner, Belinda Goss cemented her position as the points race expert but I couldn't tell you what she did in the race. I was lucky enough to be watching the race with Bec Halliday's mum, Bec was going into the race for experience and to have a play. Unfortunately very early in the race Bec had a mechanical, her chain had broke (the second time on the trip). Luckily, our super team mechanic, Bobby Barnes fixed it in no time and Bec was able to resume racing. Unfortunately, DB was pushing her out and back into the race during a sprint lap which left Bec chasing. A super effort got her back on and before we knew it she was in an attack. This lasted long enough for Bec to place in two sprints and suddenly she was in 4th place. A bit of excitement towards the end of the race resulted in a crash taking out WA's Davina Summers and third place getter Tess Downing. Bec was unable to gain any more points but did a fantastic job to finish 6th.
Men's Points Race
Frieburg was on fire in this race. Sitting patiently he waited until about half way to take a lap. After a quick recovery he took another lap! We didn't see DB asking him to take another lap but if he did it would have been up there with ride of the series! Burger had to finish in front of the American to hold on to 3rd place and it was a fight to the finish, but he held on.
U19 Women's Keirin
Mel Hoskins was WA's only finalist in this race and rode very smartly. She got straight onto the wheel of the seemingly unbeatable sprinter, Annette Edmonson. Again, another patient rider, Mel went with all of the accelerations but had me worried she wasn't go to try and take the win. Coming out of the last bend she went for it and stormed past Nettie. Hopefully someone has a photo because the look on Mel's face was priceless.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
I'm afraid that I may have taken my coach, Lorraine Schutz for granted. Not only does Lorraine put in a lot of time and effort writing programs for us, but she listens to our whinging, sets us straight and had us well and truly prepared for the crits. Like I've said many times before, last year I was lapped on all bar one of the courses at the perth crits and this year with the help of Lorraine things were very different.
So, thankyou Lorraine, for taking me to my limits, teaching me how to jump in and relocating my head when necessary.
Monday, January 26, 2009
The racing dynamics in Perth hasn't always been the best and has been the subject of many discussions and at the beginning of last year a small number of people attended a forum on this subject. Racing can be quite negative especially when there are 1 or 2 very dominant cyclists in the field who become marked continuously. Teams racing and increased numbers as well as positive community support are going to make women's racing better in WA. With two established teams, one team in the making (rumours of Eddy Hollands Bike Services) and the potential for many more teams (SPR, Southwest, Broad, Budget, Cyclemania) we are well on the way for some exciting racing.
Last year I was recruited by Davina to ride for Fleet in the Perth Crit Series, and whilst I only finished one race it was great to be part of a team. From a development perspective, I've gone from not being able to help out the team to being able to lead a team in a year. I am very grateful for the foresight and commitment shown by Davina in encouraging new riders like myself to keep going.
Signing up for your first race can be quite intimidating as in the past the racing community may have appeared quite closed. Fortunately there are now many approachable groups out there, Fleet Elite are very willing to offer advice to cyclists new to racing and there are many friendly groups out there for your development in your pre-racing career (such as South Perth Rouleurs, CycloSportif, TrackCycling WA)
Perth Crits Stage 4 - City of Perth
To make the race interesting several sponsors had offered primes. It seemed like Primes were being offered for every lap or two making it feel a bit like an elimination race on the track. Team Fleet were going for the win and therefore conserving energy where ever possible and coping with the frustration of not fighting for a prime. Sam Wood really cleaned up and showed her strengths as a sprinter winning quite a few of the primes.
Anna did a great job for the team by keeping the pace high at the start. Lisa also did a great job keeping an eye on Davina and blocking her when possible.
Halfway through the race Michaela Anderson launched an impressive attack, catching Fleet by surprise. Unfortunately Davina was straight on to it and whilst Bec and I did our best to get on they quickly formed a gap. The gap stayed consistent but seemed graspable. The chasing came down to Bec and I, with Felicity from Broad attacking to attempt to bridge on her own. I caught her within a lap or so and kept the charge up to catch the two ahead. Today was all or nothing for Fleet - we were out for the win, we needed to beat Davina to win the series. We just had to beat Davina.
Turns out that beating Davina isn't always an easy task! She worked well with Michaela and they stayed away. We probably got within 100m but we did our best. I really enjoyed the race. Bec and I were shattered by the end but ecstatic with our results, gaining 2nd and 3rd for the series. Again, thanks to my team who worked so well together and gave everything; Adrian, Iain, Jack and co at Fleet; Alex, Matt, Brett and Bianca; the mums, dads and family supporters; Trievents and the councils that put on such a great event; Riders Choice and other event sponsors.
1. Davina Summers (Plan B)
2. Michaela Anderson (WAIS)
3. Kelly Gray (KD Cycles)
4. Holly McClellan (Fleet)
5. Bec Halliday (Fleet)
Perth Crit Overall Results
1. Davina Summers (Plan B)
2. Holly McClellan (Fleet)
3. Bec Halliday (Fleet)
4. Kelly Gray (KD Cycles)
5. Liz Leyden (Broad)
The heat, nerves and exhaustion were testing my preparations for the third stage of the crits. We had to make a choice - go for overall or go for the series win. We knew Plan B would be marking me heavily for this course and with the nice hill in the course I was a little bit worried. Watching the support men steadily get dropped and lapped all I could think about was my race here last year when the same thing happened to me very early on in the race.
Fleet's great support crew kept us cool and calm and I got to the start line feeling good despite the headache and nausea I'd been experiencing that morning. Fleet had to keep an eye on Plan B's Davina and Bella and that we did. Sally Robbins set the pace for most of the race with very few attacks going and those that did go were short lived. Sally, Liz, Bec and I all tried to get off the front. Half way through the race we noticed that Bella was in trouble and upped the pace again. Soon it was Fleet vs Plan B with Sally taking charge in the final laps. With half a lap to go I moved to the front with the plan of leading Bec out for the sprint. Davina managed to get between us but in the end, Bec chose wisely when deciding which side to sprint on and being protected from the wind stormed home with a late acceleration to just beat Davina. I held on for third.
1. Bec Halliday (Fleet)
2. Davina Summers
3. Holly McClellan (Fleet)
4. Liz Leyden
5. Sally Robbins
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Well, it's a little nerve racking wearing the Leader's jersey! However, I was pretty excited because it meant I was back in PINK!
Lucky I did because the attack was meant to drag Bella to the front. We caught up with Sally on the corner who did a marvelous job of sweeping for Davina, however, after spending so long out the front couldn't match my sprint. Great result for Team Fleet and a special thanks to the girls again for having faith and working so hard to protect our position in the series. Unfortunately Davina will wear pink in Vic Park. Will history repeat?
Leederville Criterium Open Women
1. Davina Summers
2. Holly McClellan (Fleet Elite)
3. Sally Robbins
4. Bella King
5. Bec Halliday (Fleet Elite)
1. Davina Summers 20 points
2. Holly McClellan 20 points
3. Bec Halliday 12 points
5. Sally Robbins 8 points
6. Sam Wood 8 points
Friday, January 23, 2009
I only realised the other day, from flicking through cyclingnews photos that Jens Voigt is at the Tour Down Under. That characteristic look he has when pulling on the front is unmistakable. I felt a bit like Jens last night, first of all when I attacked. Which happened without thinking really. A few attacks had already been attempted; I thought Liz Leyden was going to go from the gun (which would have been cool coz I was with her), Davina tried a couple of times but was marked and then I found myself going.
It was only 5 minutes or so into the race. Holy Moly. Sally Robbins soon bridged across (a bit too easy for my liking) and we worked together for a few laps. Sally then rejoined the field and the commentator Gary Suckling reminded me that Plan B now had a reason to chase. But I held on for what seemed like the longest 30 minutes of my life.
A big thankyou to my team-mates; Bec Halliday, Anna Kauffmann and Lisa Wood for helping out in the pack. My coach Lorraine Schutz, watched me get lapped early on on the same course last year and started coaching me soon after the series ended. Lorraine has not only set me up with training but made me see that winning is achievable. And a big thanks to Adrian, Fleet Cycles for giving us a chance and supporting us (Jack you are so patient). And to the supporters, my family, SPR crew, Fleet support crew, thankyou thankyou thankyou. It seemed like every lap there were more people cheering. It was awesome. And thanks Alex for putting fear into me and keeping my legs turning.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Where will we be? For detailed information and maps, click here.
Friday night - City of Joondalup Criterium
Best viewing location would be Grand Promenade, otherwise sit yourself on one of the corners. The women start at 6:45 pm, racing is 30 minutes plus 2 laps.
Saturday - Leederville Criterium presented by the Town of Vincent
A technical course that should be fun to watch. A lot of action down at the Leedy end of Oxford St the course. Women start at 4:15 pm
Sunday - Victoria Park Criterium presented by the Town of Victoria Park
The hill when the race comes back on to Albany Hwy could separate the field and make things interesting. Women start at 4:15 pm
Monday - Perth Criterium
A hot dog course along Riverside Dr that allows most of the action to be seen from any vantage point. Stick around for the fireworks afterwards. Women start at 1:30 pm. Bring your blow up pool it could be hot.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Friday night Track Racing: I got off to a good start in the scratch race but I missed the final move and had to work hard from the back of the bunch. Came home strong but 4th.
After 1 slightly good race everything seemed to go downhill. In the keirin I had a plan which didn't work because the motorbike took off much slower than I exected. To be a good bike racer I need to be adaptable, and I am, just not in the right way. My change in plans had me sitting in the wind for the entire race trying to hold position near the front. I decided not to go with the move (why I don't know) and was buggered when I actually did try to go. Apparently I am not the only one to do this kind of thing. The elimination wasn't any better I felt knackered and didn't have anything. Sprinting every lap is pure evil.
Sunday Crit Day
My legs were shattered on Saturday (too much real life Friday) and so I was apprehensive about how they would go in the crit. I had 2 aims for this last crit before the Perth Crits; a) stay in the front half of the pack, b) get in a break. I had Lorraine in the back of my head telling me to race harder and a few other mottos about decision making. Very early in the race I had made my way to the front of the pack. I was careful not to be on the front but I was 3rd/4th wheel for a while. I went with a few attacks but nothing really stuck. With such a large bunch on such a flat course it was unlikely that a break would stay away. But I was here for the training and not the glory so it was good to test my legs with the accelerations and cornering. I trust myself so much more when cornering - others not so much. After a few attacks had been attempted my legs were suffering from the accelerations, soon I was going backwards. I got back into the bunch, well onto the back of the bunch. Not where I wanted to be. After recovering for a while I had another play at the front before again being spat out towards the back. This week I tried to move closer to the front earlier for the finish but again, some scary cornering in front and around of me limited my progress. The final turn was hairy as well and I finished behind the main sprint.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
My real life escapades involved a trip to Busselton for Southbound a 2 day camping music festival. My goal was not to get fried or dehydrated and have some fun.
It was good cross-training!! If Patience, the lead singer from The Grates, hadn't slipped and hurt her ankle during her set I would have suggested she try cycling. She has so much energy and didn't stop jumping the whole time she was on stage (until she fell, yikes)
Tegan & Sara were the highlight for me but Architecture in Helsinki, Santogold, Blue King Brown, Sharon Jones and The Grates were also favourites.
Hope you manage to experience real life as well.
Monday, January 5, 2009
I was not looking forward to this time trial. Compared to my favourite courses (Champion Lakes, Freeway) The Lakes is hilly, although they are mainly gentle undulations there is one long climb (3km) to start. Luckily, because it was out and back it meant that the home straight was going to be fast. A mental challenge for me - because I'd not been riding crash hot and I have a fear of hills.
Come race day I was excited. The only problem was that I'd knocked out the plug to my alarm in the middle of the night and so in the morning when I was wondering why I felt so awake before the alarm had gone off it was because I'd actually slept in. Aggghhh. So my pre-race plan and timetable was thrown out the window. Clothes were chucked on and the bike and food was thrown in the car. I still had a red bull in the fridge and felt like I needed it. I also prepared a new concoction of protein and carbs in milk to consume in the car.
I left the house at a reasonable time but it felt like forever before I got to the course. After getting a hitchhikers hopes up at the The Lakes I found the rest of the TTers and warmed up. I'd drunk my red bull and choc milk in the car and wasn't feeling too good on the bike. Spoke to D about my crook guts but thought it could be nerves as I wanted to do well.
Once again, before I knew it my warm up time was over, except this time I missed my start time! I started 30s late and a little under-psyched. Oh well, maybe it was for the best because it didn't take long (metres) before the first climb started. I'd done a recon on the course and thought I had some idea of what to expect but I was wrong. The climb was long but I was coping well. I was struggling to get my HR above 160, despite the fact that 3 mins in I'd vomited. Glamourous sport really. The vomit continued but settled by the turn-around. My family were out taking photos and I've learnt a little bit about pacing because of it. When I noticed them watching I wanted to go faster but as soon as I passed them I realised what a mistake it was and suffered. I didn't do it on the way back.
The return was nicer in that there was more down hill than up but still a few little surprises. I watched the record tick away but was happy to be within reach of it. I ended up with a time of 1:20:17 (Ave HR 172, Max 186) and am unsure of whether or not that is adjusted for my late start. Scarily, Davina's crank detached itself from her bike halfway through the race leaving her stranded until the knight in shiny lycra, Andrew Mackie, came along and reattached it. She lost a few minutes because of this but still romped it home to take the win ahead of Kate Bevilaqua and then myself.
I've learnt not to mix red bull and milk pre race. Sounds stupid in print I know. I think Rebecca learnt that real life (a day at the races) and TTs don't really mix.
1. Davina Summers 1:19:26
2. Kate Bevilaqua 1:19:29
3. Holly McClellan 1:20:17
4. Sally Robbins 1:20:49
5. Rebecca Halliday 1:26:56