When it's all worthwhile
Sometimes a result is a smile, and sometimes it's a medal, when it's both it's beautiful.
On Saturday, instead of racing at Blackburn, I was looking after Emily at the Vic titles in at DISC. The results show that she won the 500m ITT, got 4th in the sprint and got selected in the state team. That's not the full story, of course.
My day consisted of get to DISC at about 8:30, get some space set up for Em and then Brad Robins showed up, so I helped him cart some stuff around for a little while then I helped Nathan and Rhys with their repairs to the 200m timing sensor. Em and Dino arrived at a bit after 9, and we got her set up in her corner (the aboc s-bend we called it). She was wired on nerves, so I got Dino to go and look after the video camera and Em & I talked junk and nothing to do with cycling until she was ready to start her warmup. We did a thorough warmup with a few HCLR's and a couple of very short big gear starts, then it was over to the fence to wait for her start. She was seeded third, so was third last to go. The riders before her were mostly off her pace, but one set a good time and Em was starting to get psyched up pretty well. Into the gate, 30 seconds to go, and she's got eyes of steel. BANG goes the rather lame recording of a gunshot and she's off. Not the neatest of starts, but she's on top of the gear very quickly, and the two laps flash by. 42.106s. A new PB for Em. Excellent. Can the two following her beat it? No. First up and we have one gold medal in the bag. Em's got a huge smile and a new PB and she's the state champion for JW15 in her first year as a JW15. She's 12. Last year she won the Vics for JW13, so far she's undefeated in the 500m ITT at any major open, she won the 2007-2008 JW13 Vics, 2008-2009 Metros JW15 and now 2008-2009 states JW15. The cheersquad (Anne, Bev and Dino) are ecstatic.
We run a warmdown and she has a rest.
I made a bit of a mistake with her warmup for the sprints, we warmed up before the medal presentation for the ITT, she got her medal and then there was a 45 minute break, but we didn't realise there was a break. So she'd warmed up for nothing. That's quite a waste of precious mental and physical energy, which may have cost Em later in the day. We then warm up again for the flying 200's and she's third seed again, and sets a pretty good time, but not her fastest. a 14.679s (49.05km/h) which is about 0.25 off her PB for the F200 that she set at the metros a few weeks ago, which was a 14.430s (49.896km/h). She's qualified 3rd fastest this time. That's ok, but it means she'll have to work harder in her quarter final to get through.
She wins the quarter by quite a way and rides the fastest last 200 for all the JW15 quarters, a 14.756s, the other three heats were all more than 15s and won at a canter by the other girls. These may seem small things but these hard efforts add up. Then its the semis and she's up against Madeline Cardello from Brunswick. None of the JW15's seem all that good at using the bank, and Em's quite good there, but she complains that the other girls all stay down in the lane and just ramp it up. She's right, they do, and Madeline does exactly that after Em lead out and Madeline took the lead. With a big kick at a bit over one to go Em comes over Madeline to win the first heat of their semi by a whisker. That was a hard hard effort ... Warmdown, recover and race her again. This time, it goes the other way and the heat is one all with another very close finish, this time Em wasn't quite able to get over and Madeline won by half a wheel or less. The girls don't get much time to recover and they're the only two to have to go to a tie break. Em gets the lead, Madeline kicks over her with a lap and a half to go and Em just doesn't have the energy left to chase her. Em comes in to the pits with her legs shaking and she's toast. She's given these sprints everything she has physically - a few tactical things we can improve on but she's made no mistakes, she's just turned herself inside out and she's blown.
The race off for third place against Gracy Fryer is an anticlimax for Em, she's hardly able to turn the pedals during her warmup so we keep it short, in the first round Grace kicks clear and Em's never in it, in the second the tactical brief is 'have some fun on the bank, keep her guessing', and Em gets a great jump off the bank, gets a nose in front with a lap to go, but she just can't turn her legs to take advantage of it and Grace wins 2:0. So Em finished 4th in the sprint in the end. This is quite an improvement on her ride at the Metros where she qualified fastest but lost every sprint. She's got a lot of tactical stuff to learn yet, but she has the legs and has the engine and she has some serious heart. She rode eight sprint efforts for the day, including 9 warmups. That's a massive day for a 12 year old kid. She went on to back up on Sunday with a new PB in the pursuit and got selected in the Vic squad. Mission accomplished.
I went MTB riding with Rich again on Sunday at the You Yangs and rode like a huge wuss (no suprises there!) but had fun all the same.
What a weekend! Phew ...