I started my last blog entry with the sad news of my sponsor withdrawing and I'm grateful to start this blog with a new sponsor coming on board and supporting me. Team Craft Racing, thank you for taking me on and I'm looking forward to more things to come and giving as much exposure to you as I can.
Firstly -- Just a wrap up of the SA Omnium champs...
As Murphy's Law had it, I got sick a week before Champs. In the 2nd last week leading up to champs, I started feeling a little bit "under the weather" so I backed off with training immediately. I started feeling better and I thought I had it under control, but that was not the case!
When I got sick I was really upset, I thought to myself why could one get sick if you do everything "right" - taking all the meds, cutting down on training, getting enough sleep, etc. Thinking a lot about this, I realised that stress has such a huge impact on your health.
I had a deadline to meet for Think Sport Journal. They asked me to write an article about...(I will leave the topic out just yet) hehe... Being me, I didn't find the time to write in the entire month bracket they had given me. Ultimately when the deadline had to be met, I just had to sit down and WRITE! It caused a bit of stress for me, and low and behold, the next day, I was "woman down". I went to the Dr and got a VIT C drip to boost the immune system, and also to get the go ahead to race that weekend on the track.
This exercise made me realise that you need to find a way to "control" your stress. It also made me read up about it, and I will be more aware of how I deal with stress and not causing it to affect my body/immune system. It plays a direct role in your health.
Enough about the bad part, now time for the good part.
I can proudly say that I'm the current SA Omnium Champion - Yippy!
I was really looking forward to riding good times and maybe do a Personal Best in the 3km Pursuit. That thought became very distant as I did not get on my bike at all in the week. Up until the Friday morning, I was still coughing as if I was smoking three packets of cigarettes a day!
In the end all worked out well, I won all six events. I didn't intend to go for a PB in the pursuit, as neither my coach nor Theuns could give me a schedule because of work commitments.
I spoke to my coach prior to the start of the pursuit and he suggested I "ride the man". Myself and Mikayla were last up for the pursuit, so I started off the pursuit riding her.... well, for four laps at least.
I saw on the 5th lap that she started tiring. I kept my rhythm going thinking I would just back off a bit later. Things changed when I saw that I would soon get her in the same straight. Being a fighter, and never giving it "just" 90%," I went to lap her. I could feel the lactate build up in my legs -- it was hurting a lot! The words of Boyd (coach) played back in my head...."just ride her, and take it easy, you're not 100%"
I can almost say I was regretting going so hard. During the final three laps, a monkey climbed on my back, then on the secondnd last lap, his friend joined. On the last lap (this is always a fast lap for me) ... the Elephant decided to hitch a ride as well and join in the party! I was only thinking one thing when I crossed that finished line.... that better be a PB!!!
I looked up to see my time... and yes, it was indeed a PB for me!
What made it even better was that the track was super cold that morning. Everybody who that knows track, knows that the temperature of the track plays a massive role in going for Personal Bests and records.
I'm really excited to get on the track again with my coach and scheduled lapped times, to see if I can go for the Western Province record, and ultimately the National record. Going for the National record will require me attempting it on a wooden track, as wood is so much faster than concrete.
The weekend was a wrap-up with Western Province winning the Interprovincial Champs held on the Sunday after Omnium champs. We are definitely the most dominant Province on the track at the moment, and I'm proud to ride in white and blue colours.
Winning the Omnium Champs puts me in a very good UCI points placing. An athlete needs 90UCI points to qualify for an Olympic event, and I'm secured with 105 points. At the moment, only Bernard Esterhuizen and I qualify to be selected to go to a World Cup, Bernard being a sprinter and myself being an endurance rider to ride the Omnium event. Nolan Hoffman will be chasing after some UCI points in order to qualify as well.
On the Road side, the Lights by Linea Crit Series took place during the month of September. I felt very strong in these races keeping up with the men, and trying to push myself for a result amongst them. I secured the overall series win in the Ladies Category. Wayne, from Lights by Linea, put on a tremendous showing of this crit type of racing. I hope that it will attract more of the pro women in South Africa as it has attracted the top men of SA cycling.
My training and racing schedule looks pretty full up until the first week in December for all the local and national races. I will be racing every weekend with a combination of both track and road.
I really need the international experience of racing the World Cups. I have worked so hard, and will continue to work even harder, but the racing experience on that level plays a big part on developing to be a top rider. Our racing in South Africa is just not there at that level, and as much as I race with the guys, there's always a voice saying: "It's okay to be beaten by them, cause they're guys".
I'm hoping and praying that I will get the funding to go to World Cups. CSA unfortunately don't have the funds to send me, but they will assist in letters stating that I will represent my country. If any of you know of companies wanting to sponsor and get involved with my journey, please contact me through my website here.
With the first World Cup being a month away, time is becoming an concern. I'm definitely keeping positive though!! Even if I get to do two of the World Cups, I will be very stoked. You need to do all three however to qualify for World Champs.
World Cup dates and Countries:
Guadalajara, Mexico 07 November 2014
London, England 05 December 2014
Cali, Columbia 16 January 2014
Paris, France 18 February 2015
On that positive note, I'll love and leave you. Perhaps just before I sign off, here's a bit of reading you might like to do: click here.
Until my next insert...
Stay safe out on the roads, or come to the track :