Monday, December 13, 2010

Bend Rules! Podium at Nationals: Sunday, 12/12/10.

For most, Nationals is the culmination of all the hard work of the season and an end to a job well done. For me, it was the 2nd weekend of my second season. A week of training, ending in a battle royal. Against teammates, nonetheless. I was nervous heading to Bend. Portland had gone well. I was coming back, but it felt like October, not December. That is a good thing in the long run, but it was a long week of riding, waiting, preparing, cheering and then finally racing.
First things first. Thursday was Wendy Williams 40-44 masters championship race and Tim's TT. I got Tim all set up at the TT and then rode to watch Wendy. I ran myself silly, sick to my stomach watching the back and forth of her and Gina Hall, only to end in a huge celebration and a victory for Wendy. Damn, that was hard work! And stressful. And Tim got 4th in the TT. A good day.
Friday was Tim's race. It is really stressful to watch the person you love most race. I knew he had worked hard all season. He won Saturday in Portland, showing he was in good form. And he was. But sometimes things beyond your control make it difficult to achieve goals. He got caught behind a few crashes early on, but was still in the fight for a podium. There were about 5 guys that could take 5th. But then it happened. A crash on a corner. By himself. And that was that. He rode valiantly. Fought hard. Never gave up. Tim had his best nationals finish ever: 8th place. I worried he would be disappointed, because that is how we are. Always wanting to do better. Yes, there was some disappointment, but also victory, knowing he left it all out there. Knowing he did the best he could. And knowing there was always next year.

Sunday was my turn. I was nervous. But I was also confident in my fitness. I wasn't 'peaking', per se, but I felt good. I was ready. I was determined. I decided I would go for it at the start, but secretly hoping to tuck in behind Georgia and hold on as long as I could. Plan didn't quite work, but I did get a great start and stayed out of trouble. Georgia rocketed by, but I remembered what my coach said. Race my own race. I stuck to that plan. It almost backfired when I took myself out on a stake near the end of the first lap, but in the end, I relaxed, I reset, I fought hard and the goal was achieved. A podium finish. My first at Nationals. It wasn't the exact step I wanted, but again, are we ever satisfied? I made mistakes. I had some shifting issues in the 'sprint' or lack there of. But in the big picture, there were 20+ of us that wanted to be on that podium and only 5 make it. This year was my turn. I made it. And the plan is to be there again. It was so exciting with the amazing crowd willing me to the finish. I must say that was one exciting race and one I won't easily forget. As was the men's, as our gracious host, Trebon, fought for the stars and bars, racing his heart out and finishing a bit short in the end. And now it is on to the next chapter of my season. A few more world cups (with Ryan tagging along), home, and then back for a few more and worlds in St. Wendel (if all goes well). Life is good.


allison mann said...

Awesome job!! Congrats on the podium and great race.

Brian L said...

Life IS good. And keeps geeting gooder. Congrats!

Kyia said...

Good luck @ the WC's, we are cheering for you! Congrat's on the Podium at Nat's!