I’ve been talking about retirement. But really who am I kidding? I love to race. I’m not going to retire; I’m going to keep going until the stage manager with the hook pulls me off. And even then I won’t go easy. Did I mention I love racing.
ITS is a race that acts as an indicator for the rest of my year. I’m either going good, or I’m going bad. I’m going to put it out there and say, after ITS I recon I’m going to have a good year. If you’ve been reading my blog, or spent any time around me in this last year, you are probably sick of hearing about this shoulder injury I’ve had. Don’t worry I’m sick of it too. But it has defined me. It has changed my perspective on racing and riding, and it is the reason I’m determined to get back to where I was and exceed my previous performances. 12 months ago, if you told me I would be racing ITS, like actually racing it, I would have said that was BS. But here I am. I didn’t have the best week, but I had the best week!
Friday RAW track. I’m currently doing get fit finish rehab and get ready for nationals in 4 months. I’m training hard and heavy. Needless to say, I’m fairly fatigued but. I’m treading a fine line towards over training, but I think my team (Carl, Andrew, Ben and Me) has got it right.
Back to Friday night- flying 200 at RAW- 12.1 BooYa, did a 5.9 first hundred, then failed to break the 12 second time. Post Injury PB, but so frustrating to be so close. Things are looking good for ITS
Saturday morning- 1RM testing time. My goal sheet for the year has me hitting double body weight by nationals. The goal for Saturday was 110- 115kg, although I actually had 118 (double body weight) in mind. The most I had lifted post injury was 101 (a few days prior). But it was at the end of a workout and I was like ‘All day!’- way too f-kn easy!
Saturday morning- 119! BooYa PB #2 in two days. Things are looking really good for ITS.
Monday- I got sniffles… I’m not getting sick. I can’t get sick. Fly out to Melbourne, get some sleep.
Tuesday- Day 1 of ITS. I woke up at stupid-o-clock. Sprints were first up. Rode to the train Station, and adventured it into DISC. 7km ride, coffee, Melbourne Trains, 3km ride, got to the track. AND my wheels were there (wasn’t 100% sure on that one. I gave them to a junior, to give to her dad, to smuggle into the NSW van to drop off at DISC. Totally worked)
Next stop- find hot water, make Lemsip. I’m not sick, I can’t get sick. Set my gears up. Rolled the track. Did a few entries. T minus 1 hour, chillin’ in my onesie, put on race gear. I got this. 30min, the guys are up. I pranced, nervous wee, re fill water bottle. I decided to do a few rev outs on the rollers as part of my warm up. I did a sprint race just before my F200 on Friday, and a went well, maybe rev out would work.
Ok, shoes, hair, helmet. I’m pumped. Time for me to go up. I get onto the track talking to myself, easy, relax, and take your time. 2 to go. Easy relax, don’t get excited. Accelerate down turn 2, power up turn 3, apex, GO. Hell ya, I sink into the apex, I got this. Power into turn 3, I got this woops hit a foam block. Throw for the line, Boom! Yesssssss! That felt fast. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
Throwing a full blown tanty. You gotta be kidding me. 12 FLAT. 12 Fricken FLAT. Stomps feet, refuses hug from Selina, grumpy, grumpy, humph.
I was so happy and so shitty. (I then got told of by the UCI commissarie for having a tanty. Oops)
My next race was up against Farina Mohd Adnan from Malaysia. I’ve beaten her in the past. I’m rider 2. Ok, race distances, patience, wait for her to turn away and jump. 3 laps, 2 laps, coming into the bell, I’m at the top, she looks away, I go! Come on legs you got this. I run at the wheel, draw level, start to… nope, not quite. She just had more speed. But yeah, I had fun. This racing business is an amazing high.
Day 2- I got a bit of a sleep in, but I was up most of the night coughing. I have my lemsip and vics ready. I went through the motions of the warm up. Saw the start list. I can do this.
Lets just say I don’t remember much about racing. My heat was tragic, I was reacting well and truly after I thought about things to do. Then just before the repechage, I was talking to Ben and said I didn’t even care if I came last. I just wanted racing to be over. I was not happy, and not having fun.
I didn’t qualify, and I was dead to the world the rest of the day.
To top it off, I got my period. I try to pretend that it doesn’t affect me, but it does. It just magnifies any grumpiness that I have. Racing sucks.
Day 4- I was feeling better. At this point I had gotten over the worst of my grumpies, and my cold. But I was still not 100% and I felt like I was still on empty. I got to the track, warmed up. Put on a happy face. But then I got a msg from my mom. She wanted me to call her. I ended up getting a hold of her and she told me she had an aggressive form of cancer, but no full results on what that meant. And that was all. I’m an adult you would think I would have my shit together/be able to deal with shit, but sometimes life is just one of those roller coasters. Thanks to everyone who put up with me when I said no to the question RU OK? I just needed time to process, I was ok with not being ok. This was just another stress to process while away from my usual support network, but I’m pleased to say the track community totally rocks and it was good to know I had people around me in Melbourne. It’s ok not to have everything together: even if you are an athlete competing at an international event.
I did a 12.2, I was all over the place.
Time to re-focus. Next race was against Anis Mira Binti Rosidi from Malaysia. In the marshalling area we draw. I’m rider 2. Waiting for the race before to finish, I notice her coach explaining the tactics. He’s obviously done her homework for her, and conjured up a plan. I turned to Mick Marshal (my awesome handler extraordinaire!) And said watch this, I’m going to take the rider 1 position and totally mess up her game plan. We line up, whistle blows, Mick pushes me, I take rider 1. Anis looks like a deer in headlights. No plan. I got this. I kept her on my hip, and then jumped when I wanted to. She never had a chance. I was back racing.
Next race ¼ finals. Time to make it hard for Steph Morton. I’m rider 1 this time. I had grand plans of going long… Well we lined up and I continued my day dreaming. I didn’t even realize I was on the track, and woosh, nap time. I just slipped off the track. Ya, that was embarrassing. Re-start. Little faster this time, Steph started to give me a bit too much space. 1.5 Laps? Sure! Go time, I bolted. Hell yeah, I’m feeling good. Then Turn 4 on the last lap. I got rolled. Still so much fun. I’m feeling better, and the racing is coming back. Bring on Day 5.
Day 5- Melbourne Cup on wheels Day- racing plus smack talk with club racers. Yeah, totally chilled. Warm up, did a few accelerations. I’m super early. Time for food, coffee, more smack talk, catching up with mates I haven’t seen in yonks. Keirin round 1- wheel sucker , first 2 through. I got steph’s wheel and rode it to the finish. Round 2 for me!
Round 2- geez, it was tight. I got boxed on the final straight and nearly lost it on the finish line. But I’m into the B Final.
*as a side note, I was on one side of the track, and beer was on the other. I spent all day looking at people sip on that amber liquid from the gods. At some point, I made sure the guys knew I wanted some refreshments after racing, and to have one ready after the final.
*I told myself I needed to win, or at least race hard and put on a show, to deserve that beer as a reward.
Show time, Race time, Beer -o-clock. I line up. The motor bike comes, I’m second wheel, Not good not bad, basically don’t get into the wind, don’t get boxed. The bike peels off, there isn’t much movement. 2 to go, still not much, 1.5, boxed, yep good one Lizanne, don’t panic. Bell goes, turn 1(boxed) turn 2, ooo a space. GO! Hello legs! Where have you been all week. Let’s go get that beer! (ya actual dialogue, time stood still like the squirrel in over the hedge). I was racing, and it felt awesome. Final straight, I got this. Boom, threw for the line, I won. Not only did I win, but I was racing. I had the confidence to make the race mine, and it worked.
ITS was a roller coaster. I went into racing with no expectations. I’m several years into being a master’s rider, I’m just coming off injury, but I had the advantage of racing with no expectations. I had nothing to lose, so I could race with my heart on my sleeve, and the only consequences were I got to have fun, grow as a cyclist, and maybe entertain the crowd. My memories or racing are all off the last race, and how good I felt after week of emotions. It was the worst week, it was the best week
To wrap it up, I’ve come out of this year’s racing with confidence. That ‘I’m going to rock’ kind of confidence. When you have that, you make good decisions, and are confident in the ones you make. Can’t wait for the rest of the season.
Thanks to Biker Jun and St George CC for the photos!
and a huge thanks to Temple Brewing for the victory Beers!