Yup indeed , time does fly and I find it hard to believe that its a good fortnight since I last took up the quill and wrote in my diary(!)
In a reflective mood then and since its my birthday on Wednesday..when I turn over in my grave..oops no sorry wrong track...turn 64, I will revisit what has been a very special year since I turned 63.
This time last year I had been unspectacular in the World Track Champs as I was firmly looking at doing the World Hour Record a few weeks later. At least that's what I thought at the time. In truth I was already off the boil and whilst upstaged by Carole Gandy putting in a spectacular 39km just 3 weeks before my attempt, I didn't even manage to get up to where I had thought I could get ie 38km. I fell short by a couple of laps, not helped in my quest by a mega cramp mid way..how DO you get rid of a calf cramp while on a track bike? So an Australian record followed by a declaration that I would return...ha! ha! (ironic laughter).
I then settled down to do some serious training in an effort to do a PB in what will probably be my last journey over to St Johann for the Road World Champs. Last that is unless they add a 65+ class, since its a long way to go to be competing against people 10years younger than you are and I don't go there just to compete...I go to do well and hopefully get on the podium. I didn't race much during the year but put in alot of gold class training, helped during the winter months by M Lash who supervised what Auriel my coach had laid down as THE plan.
Working from a different pattern from previous years, I went over to UK for 4 weeks worth of solid acclimatisation training...concentrating on hills. Then moved over to St J for the week of racing. I was fortunate in that 2 people who could have spoilt my grand plan didn't turn up...but ..hey! you can only race against those who are there and that holds good through all levels of competition.
I won the TT..
not in a PB as I had hoped but with a bit of a windy day and the beginnings of a cold that would linger on the edge of my being until I allowed it to take over once the racing waas done and dusted...I was both lucky and happy. But if I was happy to win the TT I was truly ecstatic to win the road race.. and from the look of the vid of the finish and ALL the post race pix, I probably caused a split in the sides of my mouth, my smile was so wide.
Below..the START of the Huberhohe with the field already split apart, followed by the finish and the podium. And the reason it was so special? I won in a sprint!
Home again after a brief week in Belgium and I was reluctantly back into training for the World Masters Track Championships. Reluctant because I had the totally expected "down" after such a huge "high".
Could I maintain it all through to the end of October? Well yes I could but only just and only by choosing carefully which events I would subject myself to. I dipped out of the Pursuit and the Points race and only competed in the 500m and Scratch race, picking up 2 more rainbow jerseys. My 500m was not far off my usual range of time despite a crap start see www. cyclingmasters.tv (the commentator got confused as to who was whom, but I'm the one in the Aus skinsuit and aero helmet) and as a friend said of my scratch race.."not bad for a roadie". Talk about damning with faint praise!!!..but she was right I did nothing but roll round and keep out of harms way..I was hooked 3 times by one competitor and so was more than somewhat intimidated....
So there we are 12/12 and I have an Aus record and 4..yes 4 rainbow jerseys....4 out of 4 in fact. Wow! I love it! BUT....while its great to be a successful role model but does my success put off women my age competing? Would I, as a competitive person, get into racing if there was someone SO far ahead that I could never see myself catching up??? Well actually I would...but would others?
And to the future? 1 week of poor diet and some in depth exploration of ETOH. 1 month of fun riding, concentrating on loooooong distance on road and trail. Then back into harness aiming at State and National champs in road, track and MTB discplines and finally at the end of 2009, the World Track Champs.
HBTY, HBTY, HBDL HBTY..HHH, HHH