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A Tale of Three Races
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Joined: Mon Jan 1st, 2007
Posts: 673
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Sun Sep 9th, 2012 11:58 pm


first is Cammy's report from the Time Trial in which she rocked it for 2nd in the women's 55-59 category:

just wanted to chime in on Natz and the last ~6 weeks.... Over all it has been a hectic time but nothing that was unexpected. Going back to Calaveras {fastest female) and Patterson (could hang for only one lap / 25 miles) it was pretty clear what was and wasn't going to work for the next 4 weeks - focus on the TT. Apologies to Liz that I couldn't hang enough to provide any support at Patterson and didn't couldn't attempt it in Bend - she was incredibly strong and did a fabulous job.

The new job was as exactly what I had anticipated and hoped for but high pressure and requires a lot of energy and attention every day. Fortunately so far weekends have been fairly quiet. Possible to manage power training with my current schedule but will need some tweaks to work in endurance - fortunately I have some time to work that out.

Approx 10 days prior to Natz, the day after my last hard ride, I came down with a vicious cold only to board a flight to Atlanta (then on to Huntsville) one day later. One long and hectic day in HSV then back to SF, rested for 3 days then took it up again prior to getting in the car and driving to Bend. Didn't leave much time in Bend for all of the prerace riding and registering (when spotted me in line I must have appeared a wreck and she and Liz looked so terrific!). The TT itself was the best I could have hoped for physically - my cold was resolved enough so that it didn't interfere. I paced well, knowing that it was possible to blow on any of the 4 rollers especially the one after the turnaround and emptied the tank about 1k from the finish then used gravity and momentum to bring me in. Passed at least 6 riders. Could have done some technical things better (e.g. alternative skewer on the rear, better start) all those things add up to 9 seconds, so I am kind of kicking myself, but on the other hand the bike racing gods were generous - I am really pleased with the result and grateful that with everything going on I was able to pull off 2nd to Arrietta (she thought she had run away with it) by 9 seconds. Sorry that I could not attend the podium ceremony as I needed to be in a 9:00 meeting the next day thus on the road no later than noon the day of the TT.

Looking forward to some transition time (have started jogging!) and rest. I am hopeful that I can manage the job and racing next year.....

Also looking forward to some mellow rides with Bellas this fall ????

Bella love,

Last edited on Mon Oct 26th, 2015 03:09 am by bunny


Joined: Mon Jan 1st, 2007
Posts: 673
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Mon Sep 10th, 2012 12:02 am


next is Liz Benishin's report of the Road Race in which she slugged it out for a well deserved podium spot in the women's 55-59 category--she also was 3rd in the time trial that Cammy reported on above

Mt Bachelor RR
MW 55-59
52 miles

Wayne and I drove and studied the course, and pre rode the final hill. Unfortunately the wind shifted on race day so my plans had to be modified, I assumed tailwind on climb and headwind on the 180 into the finish. Aaaaaah, the best laid plans.

We started with a neutral promenade down the hill. Wide open and not too steep but the Moto kept the pace down, but it still was reasonable, not riding my brakes or anything. We essentially were neutral for about 8 miles till the turn off on a rolling road. The 60 yo men's group soon passed us, not sure why they started them 5 minutes after us.

There was one small climb at about mile 30 but the group stayed together. There was one attack just before the climb which I was in position to do about 10 hard pedal strokes and jump on. Since it was Arrietta the TT machine I didn't want to let her go plus now I was getting a good tug going into the hill. Blam went someone's tire (Nancy from CT) but were going at a mellow tempo and the wheels were right there so she was back in quickly. On the descent I was in front enjoying the ride and got a bee sting on my leg, which burned like crazy, I'm not allergic but get a big big red welt from those things. Better than a flat though.

Some sketchy riding for unclear reasons. I thought "and I'm gonna do the crit with these girls".
There was no neutral feed but Jill offered me a bottle, with what tasted like beer. Whats in this bottle?

Tastes like beer!


No really!

well you can have it back.

Real action happened about mile 40, start of a 1.5 mile not too steep climb. The group was all together and riding like a fine training ride. I put in a big acceleration and within a few minutes split the field in half. We had 7 at the top of that climb, and on the plateau had a rotating paceline with about 5 rotators and a couple passengers. Arrietta to my surprise was there. She is bigger than your average climber and was not even under pressure.

Not knowing what else to do I attacked HARD on the second climb. In tow were Mary Ann from South Carolina (multiple nat'l champ that I beat by fractions of a sec in the TT ) Leslie Jensen,& Arrietta. Leslie was falling off, and after my big punch I tucked in behind the 2 girls but lost my mojo and fell off, regrouped with Leslie and essentially dragged her up the last 5 k. I kept flapping my wing to have her come through but she was wasted, she maybe gave me a smidgen of rest, and of course someone bridged up (Nancy the flatter). Relief came after 3 k, one last nasty hill then level, bit of downhill, round the corner and sweet tailwind. Dang if Nancy didn't outkick me at the line.

Arrietta shredded off MaryAnn, finishing a full minute ahead of her, then we were about 1 min back of MaryAnn.

I'm not sure if the hard attacks on the hill made sense or not---definitely for a podium but not the win. Needed Cammy to put in her killer punches on the climbs for sure, and I know Lauraleen would have been super aggressive on the climbs.

My second medal of the championships! Course a win would be sweet but this wasn't the year.


Attachment: liz.jpg (Downloaded 5 times)

Last edited on Mon Sep 10th, 2012 12:08 am by bunny


Joined: Mon Jan 1st, 2007
Posts: 673
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Mon Sep 10th, 2012 12:07 am


and finally, here is my report of our ride in the 90+ Mixed Tandem Time Trial that I rode with Jeff, of course


Or perhaps, Pop!, goes the tire.

A whole lot changes in that one moment.

And of all the possible outcomes for this day, that wasn't one I had thought of ahead of time.
So now I find myself having all sorts of different thoughts and emotions than I had planned for.

You know me, at least many of you do who are reading this. I am the definition of a Girl Scout. "Be Prepared" doesn't begin to describe my philosophy. So we had everything dialed for this race from our training to our injury rehab to our number pinning to our bathroom schedule. But it just goes to show that you can't control life. It just happens. Where did that piece of glass come from? Why hadn't we hit it on any of our other 4 passes by that section over the previous 3 days? Questions we'll never have answers to.

It's easy to come up with lots of bad things about flatting out of your Nats Time Trial. The Event that you've dedicated much of your year to. The Event you've been trying to come back and be competitive at for 3 years. It's easy to think of everything you've sacrificed for the opportunity to compete at this Event and to feel disappointed and sorry for yourself. In fact, during the usual post-time trial low of the last couple days I've had difficulty thinking about anything else. But I doubt that most of you reading this need or want me to spell out the enormity of the loss I feel--you've been there before and know what I'm talking about.

So I'm going to try to come up with some good things that have come out of this. I try to come up with 5 positives after a poor result at a race before I can say anything negative.

1) Being here at this race was an accomplishment in itself. Last year we didn't make it here at all and the year before we were there but not adequately competitive. We've had to overcome some significant injuries, both acute and chronic, to get ourselves to this point.

2) And we were competitive. We could feel it in our legs, in our time at the turnaround, and by our finishing time despite the time lost with the flat.

3) We functioned well as a team. Both in preparation all year, this week, and after the race in defeat with support.

4) We learned a lot about the course and how to train for it and race it which may help us a lot next year if we decide to try again. Which we probably will. You know, like you forget how bad childbirth is so you have another kid.....

5) And most importantly, we looked marvelous!

6) (you get bonus points if you can come up with more than 5!) If I hadn't raced, I wouldn't have seen the sign at a local diner in Prineville the morning of the TT: "Welcome Cyclists! Biscuits and Gravy $1.25".

7) (i think i'm in double bonus point territory now) My dog loves me. He is now a certified therapy dog after the number of unhappy racers he has consoled this week!

So now I vow to get back to some semblance of normal life. I have been meaning to try some tennis with a friend of mine, I've been wanting to go bowling, and we have a backpack trip planned shortly. Things I haven't had the time or energy to even consider for some time. Last, but not least, I plan to spend more time during the off-season naked with my partner than I spend with him on the tandem!

Last edited on Mon Oct 26th, 2015 03:10 am by bunny

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