Monday, July 07, 2008

Repentance....a story of an international (i.e. calvanist) omnium

the international omnium is perfect for those who thrive on negativity. that is, negative incentives and punishment. me, i am not only a protestant, but i am midwestern, and i went to a liberal arts college. all of these things mean i thrive on negative feedback.

you see, in a typical omnium you are scored based on doing well. positive incentives. 5 points for first, 3 for second, etc. etc. if you totally suck at one race, it doesn't really matter for your overall placing. being 6th versus 26th virtually makes no difference in the overall scoring. you are rewarded for doing well, solely.

in an international omnium -- which i believe we should refer to as the calvanist omnium -- you are punished for sucking. 6th versus 26th means a 20-point dock. so, maybe you are in the scratch race and get boxed in. you know what happens for cruising in with the pack? instead of just getting forgotten with the masses [and in larry nolan's list of "Also"'s -- those people who didn't score, but still showed up on Tuesday night] you get royally docked and screwed over in your point total. the only atonement being this: win every other race to make up for your mistakes. that is, if your mistake wasn't too big, otherwise you will burn in hell!

yeah, calvinist onmium, i can dig this. i got enough midwestern guilt built up to fill lake erie-- so i was totally ready to meet the challenge of "being on" for every race...or else succumb myself to excessive flagellation for the next two weeks. (of course martin luther gave that up when i guess he technically became a protestant, but the essence lives on, my friends!)

so we started off with a flying 200m and i will spare readers the technical talk, but i had a personal best, so i was pretty stoked. being new is always fun, cause i just keep getting faster and faster each time i do it...and that of course won't last i am just going to enjoy it while it does. hurrah! i got first in this, with 13.08.

the scratch race rolled along pretty slow, but i was not so into attacking a bunch because i was nervous about that pursuit coming up and knew i'd need to save it for that. so, if it came down to a field sprint, all the power to me, because i was feeling pretty good about my sprinting, especially after that 200m. the jumped happened really late, and i had to drop back and get around the pack as i was not in a great spot. but i chased down annabelle and got first again, just at the line, so that was cool. also good i didn't waste a lot of energy in this race.

then we had the pursuit. ahhhhhhhhhhh. i was a bit nervous about this. mostly cause i am fat sprinter, so that means i can't pursuit. so i did what any person in my predicament would do. let air out of all my competition's tires when they weren't looking. just kidding. not classy.... but i did ask BJM how the hell you do these things and he gave me some advice about "floating" or something like that. now, after having finished the 2k, let me tell you, there is no "floating" involved. floating occurs on a raft or inter-tube while drinking beer. not pursuits.

so, anyway, i asked hernando to yell me my splits, and shit man, they just kept getting slower and slower and slower. i finished feeling pretty defeated. then hernando tells me, "i was just fuckin' with you, with those splits." i guess i was actually kinda even. but, that was a good thing, cause it made me think about trying to speed up every lap, and otherwise i bet i would have slowed down. i love the mental games! 4 us were within 1.5 seconds-- which is crazy close! i was lucky to be second, but that could have easily went to any of us. but i will take good luck, of course!

after the pursuit, i sat down next to tim b. and told him how stupid i think pursuits are and how they are really boring. then i realized BJM was sitting right across from me in the middle of my tirade. so what can you do in a moment like that? just own up: "yeah, i'm totally just put my foot in my mouth." good thing BJM has a good sense of humor. i told him he can borrow my wheel next race. he seemed pretty stoked about that prospect.

so the points race was next. i was actually kind of getting a second wind. you know why? high fructose corn syrup. some people may have poo-pooed on me eating fruit roll-ups. yeah, they are kind of nasty. but all i have to say is i can buy 100 fruit roll ups for the price of 10 GUs or cliff shots or whatever. plus they come with some lick on tattoos. (and it seems cycling is all about temporary tattoos these days!) i put one on my arm before the points race, and i think this really gave me some extra mojo.

so, at this point i was in the lead and just needed to stay there, so i kinda was just going to go for points when i needed them. i happened to be in pretty good position for all the points with bell lap, so when i jumped for my sprint, i could get a big gap on the field and cruise in. i ended up winning this race.

last, FINALLY, was the 500m. whoa. i really needed to talk myself up for this one... so i started. "well, it is only 1.5 laps." then, "and the first .5 lap doesn't count, really, cause it isn't at speed." "and the last .25 lap you are almost done, so that doesn't really count either." "so really, it is only three-quarters of a lap...a problem" i think the people sitting around during this revelation gave me the: "you are weird" look... but, hey...i was trying to be optimistic.

always good to save one for the gipper, and that i did. fred always tells me to save one for the, this 500m was for you fred-o! i think i PRed in this event too... by like a hundreth of a second. 40.96. actually, this was kinda funny. so i was expecting the 5-4-3-2-1 start. leo goes: "rider ready" which is usually what they say before they count down. then he blows a whistle. i turn my head and look at him and go: "what was that for?" i was really confused. and he says: "you were supposed to go." me: "oh! no count down?" him: "nope." oops. me: "can i start again, or is the clock going right now?" i didn't know the start procedure, which is a good lesson to listen to the couple of people before you! anyway, the officials were nice, and let me go again, as it was obvious i was completely clueless. this time, i was ready to go, although not having a countdown is a bit harder to get your start right. anyway, i think i was most pleased with this event.... considering i pulled that time out of my ass after being so tired....

well, i must say i was happy to leave the track. it was a long, hard day for sure. yikes. thanks too all the people who put on this crazy event. it looked like officiating and scoring was even more difficult than the racing!

and i am happy to report i rode my rollers a lot at the track. before and after each event, and sometimes in between.... my get on/get off improved a lot throughout the day. i did put my rollers in the corner so no one saw me. and i did hold onto the pole for the most part of the day because i was nervous about people seeing me...but then by the end of the day, i was warming up normally. so that was good news. but more roller practice is certainly in order before portland. yipes!


privateer said...

Don't be so F-ing coy! You F-ing kicked ass and I had to go to a different blog to find out. Congrats!

Audra Marie said...

40.96 is a good 500 time for being on the track only what, a year? I have this old book an old teammate and I used to keep...on the fist page are some old 500 times. Guess what? You beat Mary Maroon's time that day by two seconds and mine by 4. Mary was in her first year on the track then. I was just a mediocre sprinter, no excuse for me.


Ok, hope Mary doesn't see this!

chatterbox said...

Sweeeet report! Thanks! And, congrats again on your big win.

So, if this was a Calvinist omnium, does that mean you were predestined to win, or you chose to win? ;)

Now that you know how to ride your rollers on the infield, you won't have to stress about Portland - well other than how you will manage to wear an actual team least it's not pink, right? :)

CyclistRick said...

Wished I could have watched the fireworks! Perhaps soon.

Portland is awesome; hope you get to try a couple of the nicer brewpubs and/or restaurants. And if near the NW part of town stop by the St. Honore bakery for tasty treats, though for the next couple of weeks the TdF crowd will have taken over.