Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tour de Syracuse - May 20, 2012

It was a beautiful, sunny (HOT!), day.  The course took us down by the lake and then up in to the farmland and definitely had its' fair share of hills.  It was fun for me to be part of the peleton for the first time as we cruised along the lake.  The field spread out quickly as the first hill hit.  Everyone had a great race.  The food from the wagon at the base of Song Mountain was an excellent post-race treat!
Here are a few photos from Eric's phone of some of the Mission in Motion women finishing after that last brutal climb. :p





Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mission in Motion ladies Du the Lakes!

On Saturday May 12 six Mission in Motion ladies competed in the Du the Lakes Duathlon in Fayetteville, NY.  Many of them competed in the event last year, so this was a great race to aim for improved times and personal records.

Angela, Dana, Tiffany, Delana, and Marsha before the start of the Du the Lakes Duathlon!

The course begins with a flat 3 mile trail run, followed by a 20 mile time trial (with a challenging finish climb), and ends with a repeat of the 3 mile trail run.  Sounds simple, right?  Well I challenge you to whiz through that second run without hurting a bit!  Ouch.  But we all made it through!

Delana coming to the transition area!

Congratulations to Dana, Delana, Marsha, Tiffany, Angela and Stacey (competing as the Mission in Motion team!) for braving the long race on the warm spring day.

Each of the ladies who competed last year were able to see improvement!  Tiffany, Marsha, and Delana each improved their times from last year considerably.  Congrats to the MIM duo of Angela and Stacey on their team finish!  And a big congratulations to Dana Cooremen who had a great second place finish in her age group in her debut duathlon!  I was able to squeak by as the third place in the 25-29 age group.

Delana and Dana, 3rd and 2nd in their age group!
Congratulations to all of the finishers.  Great job to Chris Jones of the RUUD Racing Team!  He won his age group and took 9th over all.  We cannot wait to Du the Lakes again next year!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Binghamton Circuit Race - A good day for Mission in Motion, past and present!

The weather at BCR has typically been rainy and cold.  This year we were pleasantly surprised to see clear skies and even some sun rays shining down on us the morning of the race!  The winds were brutal at times, but the Women's Cat 4 race was lucky enough to have relatively calm skies.  A great way to start a big day of racing for Mission in Motion!

Personally, I was unsure about how the racing would play out.  10 days before BCR I severely sprained my ankle on a measly training run, and I hadn't put in any significant efforts on my bike in a while.  I know my body well enough to know that I do respond positively to rest, but was 10 days TOO much time away from the bike?  Time would tell.  My warm up felt okay - I did a short run with Tiff and a few laps with some good efforts up the small hill on the familiar Singer loop.  Ankle didn't hurt, legs felt strong.  I peeled of my layers and let the sun warm me up.  Maybe it'd be a good day...
Delana and Jen, pre-race!

We lined up at the start. WOW - 9 Mission in Motion racers lined up with several teammates present to volunteer at the local event and cheer us on.  What a showing!

Ariana, Tiff, Elizabeth, Delana, Jen, Jackie, Angela, and Dana at BCR!
Before we knew it we were lined up and Jef yelled "GO!". The Corning women promptly took off.  I scooted in behind them, standing and pushing hard to be sure I was present as we made it to the top of the decent.  It worked and I managed to hang on to their surge and be part of the first group as we whipped down the hill.
The first few laps were brisk and it would appear that the pack was trying to figure itself out.  There were about 9 of us, and we all did appear able to hang.  5 laps down and we heard a bell - sprint lap!  The pack stayed together as we swept down the hill and into the headwind of the back stretch.  Over the flat section we zoomed.  Dana was very present at the front of the pack, and I knew that she'd likely contest the sprint.  Up the hill we went, and sure enough Dana moved to the front.  But wait, why was no one following her up the hill?  They were going to let her go?  Well jeez, I thought, I'd better go too! So I chased her up the hill and even pushed to try for the spring points (who doesn't like swag from Chenango Point Cycles??).  Dana edged me over the line, but by the time we made it to the top of the hill we had a bit of a lead!  C'mon, let's go!  So onward we pushed for a lap to widen our lead.  I know that Dana has the endurance to go go go forever, but I hoped that we weren't being foolish by moving so soon. But remember it was only a 12 lap race after all... 
After a lap of pushing, I didn't quite have enough to stick with Dana and I sat up to re-join the pack.  I kept quiet and sat in to the group of about 7 women, happy to let them do some work into the wind. As we continued around the Singer loop I still really didn't know what to expect. Eventually I realized that Dana would most definitely be able to keep her lead as long as something crazy didn't happen.  We can up to Jackie and she was really supportive - she said that she had high hopes for my finish! Really, my finish?  She believed that I could place in this race against women who I know are soon-to-be Cat 3's?  I decided at that point that I'd surely do my best to do her proud on our home course. 
Dana takes number 1!
With all those MIM kits on the course, the other racers couldn't tell where anyone was and Dana was able to hold everyone off! Dana took the big WIN overall - way to ride, Dana!  She'll surely have an upgrade this year!

Meanwhile, the pack pulled around to the hill on the final lap and I positioned myself toward the middle of the pack on the outside.  I knew this hill - I ride it all the time!  I knew how long it takes, I knew how much it hurts but how quickly it's over.  Quickly we were at the base of the hill, and then moving up it. Tami made her move and there are a few reactions from the group.  I left a myself a lot of gear and I stood to start hammering up the hill.  Around a few women I moved, and suddenly it's just me and Tami!  She moved quickly ahead of me, but I'm moved quickly too!  No one passed me!  I don't hear anyone behind me anymore, just cheers from the crowd!  I saw Marsha and Heather on the sidelines, and I pushed harder.  I made it over the line before the other women in the group, good for third over all.  All together and great race for the MIM ladies past and present!  
Jackie and Tiff finishing!
Congratulations to all of the racers and thanks so much to the volunteers!  Thanks to Kathleen for the great photos of the race!  Thanks to the Corning women for being such great competitors and teammates throughout the years. We look forward to continuing to grow and excel with all of our new racers and riders this year.  Keep and eye out for the pink and green kits at all the local races throughout the season.  
Delana, Dana, Tami - a MIM (past and present) podium!

Check out complete results at the USAC website. Thanks to the for Tioga Velo Club for hosting such a great race and to the weather gods for cooperating! Congrats to all of the other local finishers.  Several of the RUUD Racing Team men had wins and top-ten finishes.  Quite a day for Southern Tier cyclists! 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Binghamton Circuit Race!!!!

What a rush!!!   I'm not an early bird at all, so naturally I'm running a little late the morning of the race.  Uniform.....check.  Shoes and helmet......check.  Bike......check.  Baked goods.....check.  So, I'm off to Binghamton.  Ten minutes down the road, I realize I forgot my cycling license!!  Debating whether to turn around or not as I'm already late, I decide to go back and get it.  Speeding down the highway my heart rate probably is in the 130's already and I'm worrying about getting there in time.  It's the longest hour and half of my life.  Finally, we make it with about 30-40 minutes to spare.  Barely enough time to get ready and get somewhat of a warm-up in!

The race starts and Tami, now a racer for Corning, takes off in a crazy sprint and I'm struggling to get into my pedal before everyone takes off down the hill.  I manage to get in and pedal like mad to catch back onto the lead group.  The group comes to the hill and everyone seems to be playing a bit, seeing what everyone else has got as far as climbing ability since the race will likely be won on the hill.  Riders are shuffling around as we do a few laps.  Coming across the finish area a bell rings on the third lap or so.  I'm thinking, "what was that?  It's not the last lap already!"  I forget about it until we approach the hill again and it dawns on me -  it's for a prime!  I figure what the heck, I'll go for it!  Sprinting to the finish line, Delana challenges me and I barely get it.  It was so close I had to find out afterward who actually won it.  We come together and I take a glance back and notice we have a decent gap on the rest of the field.  We work together for the next lap and try to increase our lead.  Back at the hill again, I charge up as best I can and realize I'm alone and Delana is back with the rest of the group.

I get a bit of a sick feeling in my stomach.  All week, I was thinking about attempting an attack with maybe 2 or 4 laps to go depending on how the race was going and if I felt good, but now I'm alone with 8 laps or so to go!  Still not having a ton of racing experience or confidence, especially at the front, I debate what to do.  I decide to just go as hard as I can and attempt to hold everyone else off for as long as I can.  I'll wait and see if I have anything left when they catch me and maybe I can draft a bit again and rest until the final lap, but at least either way I'll get in a great day of training.  Round and round I go and with two laps to go, I think, "wow, maybe I can actually pull this off?!?!"  My thighs are burning and every time I climb that hill it gets harder and harder and I'm using easier gears.  Finally, last lap and I win!  My first road race win!  Soon after I turn around to see the rest of the field coming and sprinting up the hill.  Next, comes Tami and then Delana!  Woo hoo.... two MIM racers on the podium!  I'm totally elated and what a rush!

Later, talking to Delana, I find out that some of the riders didn't even know I was out front until a couple laps to go!  Good thing or the field would have been able to organize and catch me!  A BIG thank you to Delana, for not working in the paceline they did try to form! 

Overall, it was a great experience and I couldn't have asked for a better day with so many MIM riders there racing and helping out for the day.  Great job everyone!  What a great team we have and it was so nice to have everybody there to help Delana and I celebrate afterward!  Special thanks to Marsha and the rest of her crew for organizing such a fun event!