Thursday, June 28, 2007

#296- my first wed night track race!

#296 is my track number for the rest of the year. I was hoping I would get a number that would spell out something cool like, like bad or ass.... but this is all i got




oh well....

Anyway, I figured out all the logistics, and made it to the track wednesday night. that had me getting up at 5:15am, borrowing my friend's car to get to work super early, leaving here early and commuting 1.5 hours to San Jose - bah! I hate driving! This was a pain, but so worth it! Track racing is really, really fun. It was so much fun even though I really sucked ass in the races!

I got to the track at 5:30. And who did I see but Angela! Her and her husband biked there to watch! SO NICE! Angela is great and so supportive of women's racing. She just met me a couple of months ago on Tuesday night, and has been so kind and encouraging me with racing. Seeing her really put me at ease! THANKS ANGELA! Can't wait for you to join me!

I started warming up and said "hi" to Mary Maroon. She is a really fast track woman and super nice. She gave me some pointers on what to do to warm-up, and said "I am so happy I am here to see your first race!" She is extremely genuine and kind. On the cool-down/warm-up between races she also gave me some pointers which was cool. From what I've experienced, so many woman are really supportive and encouraging of new woman to try racing. This is cool!

Okay, now to the actual racing! (Sorry about all the touchy-feely crap)

There were 16 people in the "C" race, mostly dudes. We did four races: miss 'n out, point race (4x3), 10 lap scratch, and points race, 5x4 (unscored).

Miss 'n Out:
This is an elimination race. Each lap, the last person to cross the line is eliminated. (Until there are three people left; then they race for third). My plan in this race was to stay near the back, but not at the back (obviously). I wanted to draft for as much and as long as possible. To my surprise, this was easy! In fact, everyone was letting me take the inside of the track even! Shorter distance and a draft?! How am I so lucky? Upon lap 3 or 4 (yes, there were 16 people in the race), I hear "Number 296". That was me. Out. I had managed to get an awesome draft and box myself in, so I couldn't sprint to the line on the outside. Lesson learned. Stay OUTSIDE on the Miss 'n Out. Only fools get boxed in.

Points Race: This was a 12 lap race, every 3 laps people who were the first 4 across the line got points. These points add up for overall winners. I was a little bummed I got out so early in that first race, so I hoped to do a little better in this one. I figured I wouldn't sprint for points until the third round, hoping the front people would be a bit tired by them. Nope. I did better in this race, but not good enough to get any points. But at least managed to stay with the main pack throughout. I need to figure out better positioning for the sprints and where I should make a jump. I think I'll try to jump early, cause I don't have a great jump.

Scratch Race: This was a "normal" 10 lap race, first across the line wins. I wanted to do my best to try and stay near the front. I did this pretty good for the first 6 laps, within position 3 or 4. When I would get near the front I would just pull up the track to let someone else pull. This was working well. Someone jumped and I missed it for a second, so I was just off the draft. Karla was behind me and went around me, then I caught her wheel and was hanging on the back of the pack for the rest of race. I finished at the back of the main pack, I think I got 7th or 8th place, which wasn't enough to score points, but I was within striking distance at least. I was pretty happy with this. This was my best race of the night. Karla told me afterwards that if I lose contact with the pack, I should pull up the track, let the person behind go by, then hop back on the wheel and get a "free ride" back to the pack. This was helpful advice!

Here is me sitting in during the scratch race

Look at that person in the upper left corner. That's me! This was the sprint of the scratch race. I wasn't close to placing, but at least close to the front pack. (Way to go Karla on 4th place!)

Points Race 20 laps: This was another points race, but was 20 laps, sprints every 5. This was a combined B/C race. I stayed with the main pack approximately 4 laps, then got dropped. The were flying and I missed the jump big time. There were 3 people between me and the main pack, all spread out. I figured I'd try picking people off to get closer to the main pack, in case their pace slowed down and I could bridge up. I bridged up to the guy in front of me, drafted him around the curve, then passed out of the curve and bridged up to the next guy. I did this two times until I got to the last guy (before the pack). We took pulls for the rest of race. I thought we were going pretty fast. The last lap, he really picked it up-- we were about to get passed by the main pack. Now I know that if you get passed by the main pack you get negative points. I was confused why he was sprinting when we had another lap to go. Anyway, we got passed right at the finished line, and then I booked my last to "finish my race". Only to realize upon "finishing" my last lap, that everyone was off the track-- the race ends when the main pack everyone behind me was off the track. I felt pretty stupid. Then I found out the negative point rule and it all made sense. Oh well.

The track races were really fun! Karla was especially helpful and kind, giving me a bunch of pointers. She used to race at the track in Minnesota and is sick strong. She also lives in Oakland, which is unarguably cool. She also gave me some great pointers for my first crit at Fremont. Also, I met Angela's teammate, Katie, who was great to talk to. She didn't race Wed night, but will be racing soon. Exciting! It will be nice to have more women out there. Racing with guys is okay-- if I was faster I guess I wouldn't mind so much...but that just means I need to work harder to get faster, and be a smarter racer! The women there were fast Cat 2 racers-- so that isn't quite me. I am glad someone told me that, cause I just thought I was sucking big time!

I was pretty happy with my performance last night, even though I didn't place. What I was mostly happy about was how comfortable I was in the pack and moving around in the pack. With more practice, I think it'll get even better.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

sounds like you are doing awesome, lady with lots of good endurance!

I am drooling right now just reading your experiences in each race...waaah!

I got to get out there!

yeah, i agree with you - I'd love to see more women out there!