The month of July was a blur, a lot of training, a few track sessions, a surprise trip to Super Week in Chicago, a track camp, Paralympic Track Nats, and finally Colorado State Track Champs.
After the disappointment of Para-Road Nats and missing the criteria for making the Worlds team, I knew that I would have to preform at Track Nationals. I was facing a tougher time standard this year as a result of a restructuring of the disability categories, I didn’t have any time for games. I set about the business of doing my workouts and getting on the track whenever possible. 2 weeks out from Nats my coach told me I was going to Super Week, 2 days later I hopped on a plane and raced for 4 days. I didn’t achieve much in the way of results, but I did learn some lessons that would start paying off in the next 4 weeks. I returned to The Springs on Friday and track camp started Sunday.
Track camp was leading up to and preparing a mix of experienced and novice track riders for the racing at Nationals. Despite the varying levels of track experience, the camp ran smoothly. I hadn’t spent much time on the track this year to this point (trusting the coach on this one) so I was working on pacing and technique, but mostly planning to ride Nats off of my road power.
We started the racing with the Individual Pursuits on Saturday. The wind was stiff that day and I did not have a good race. I finished 6th, and was on the bubble for a Worlds Team selection. I was having a tough time dealing with this mentally, but I decided I had to get over it and hit the Kilo hard. The conditions for Sunday’s Kilo were beautiful and I rode to a substantial PR, a 4th place, and a selection to the Worlds Team. I had finally ridden a great race, and could allow my mind to relax. But not too much, I had to turn around and ride a Team Sprint.
The trio of Will, Sam, and I are the probable team for the Team Sprint in International competition so we were the favorites to win. Will set us up with a very quick opening lap, Sam really turned the screws on lap 2, and I just had to spin my legs as fast as I could for the last lap. We turned the fastest time of the day, and I get to spend another year with a National Title. I am really looking forward to working with Will and Sam on this race as I think we could improve our coordination and speed.
I was deep into a training hole/rest deficit at this point, but I could not slow down with Elite State Track Champs/Elite Nats Qualifier in a week. I did crack very hard during a mid-week training ride, but I was still able to salvage a few decent rides at States. I took 6th in the Pursuit, just 3 seconds out of 2nd place. I had a great ride in the Kilo and matched my Kilo from the previous week, and just for fun I rode a Team Pursuit 15 minutes later. We were slow, but it was an incredibly enjoyable race. I would love to do a TP next year with a more cohesive and faster team.
With the end of States I was finally able to take much needed and deserved break.