2012 Race Results
I have raced tandem bikes since 2009 with added enthusiasm and excitement each year. My goal was to participate in the 2012 Paralympics and win a medal for the USA. The 2011 season ended after the US Track Nationals. Rather than taking a break from training I went directly into preparing for the 2012 race season. I figured I needed to train harder and remained totally focused. I chose to do this as it would give me a better chance to qualify for the 2012 Paralympics.
Starting in January of 2012 I started to feel worn out. I continued to train each and every day, feeling I might have caught a slight cold or something. As time went on I had to push myself to get on my bike or go to the gym to train. I kept reminding myself: Keep going, my training will pay off when I qualify for the 2012 Paralympics.
About the middle of April I had no energy. After talking to numerous bike racers I realized I was burned out. I pushed myself too hard and was so focused on participating in the Paralympics I left out recovery in my training. At the age of 50 that is not good. As a matter of fact, it's not good no matter what the age. I backed off in training to see if I could recover. I slowly worked back into my training yet I was so burned out that I could not recover. By the time the 2012 US Road Nationals took place my body did not recover enough, and my pilot and I didn't qualify for the 2012 Paralympics.
After the US Road Nationals I took a few weeks off. I wasn't sure if I was going to begin training for the US Track Nationals, which were to occur at the end of September. I almost gave up on racing tandem bikes altogether.
After really thinking about how much I loved competition and more so love to race, I decided to start training for track racing. I would not train as hard like I did prior to the US Road Nationals. I would start slowly and work up to a level where I would feel strong and powerful!
On the initial tandem page, I said racing was something that had been missing in my life before I started to race tandems. What is very unique is that the year of my boat racing accident I strongly felt I was going to win a national championship. Yet that didn't happen because of the accident. Twenty-five years later I was racing and what I really wanted, participating in the 2012 Paralympics, didn't happen. I wanted to do this as much as I wanted to win a national championship in boat racing. I'm sure that was why I was so focused on qualifying for the Paralympics.
My goal for the US Track Nationals was to do my best and give it everything I have to win a national championship. I trained and made sure to include recovery so I didn't reach the burnout phase. This mind set really paid off. My pilot Bob Springer and I won a gold medal for the Kilo and the flying 200 meter events. We are now both 2012 US Para Cycling Track National champions! I have reached a goal that has been with me for 25 years. I recognize now my perseverance, determination and my competitive attitude. All of this, along with the help of many people, enabled me to win a national championship!
Summary: My fourth year started out on a down note. I was so focused on qualifying for the 2012 Paralympics I pushed myself very hard while training. I backed off training in April and it was too late. I was burned out! I could have thrown in the towel after the US Road Nationals; I felt so tired and somewhat discouraged about racing bikes altogether. I didn't give up and the results at the US Track Nationals were awesome. See the 2012 US Elite/Para track national video.
May 6 – Bong 20K time trial, Kansasville, Wisconsin:
June 3 - Bong and a half 30K time trial, Kansasville, Wisconsin:
June 10 – 33.3K time trial, Harvard, Illinois:
June 25 – Augusta, Georgia, US Road Nationals:
June 21 – Augusta, Georgia, US Road Nationals:
June 23 – Augusta, Georgia, US Road Nationals:
September 28 – Carson, California, US Track Nationals:
September 30 – Carson, California, US Track Nationals:
Bob and I discussed what we could do for this last race of the year to be the winners. We decided to put on the biggest gear setup we had and would crank the living daylights out of it. Normally the kilo is done with one team on the track at a time. Since we finished last year in third and the other team finished second, we would go first. At least, that is what I thought. I was really focusing on cranking as hard as I could when it was time to put the bike in the starting gate. A few seconds later the countdown started and then we took off. It was great as Bob and I were cranking away and really cruising on the track. In no time we crossed the start finished line and Bob yelled out, "We won…we won…we won!" I said, "What do you mean we won? The other team hasn't even gone yet." Bob said, "They were on the track at the same time." I said, "Are you kidding?" Bob replied, "No way, we won!" I threw my fist in the air and yelled very loudly, "YES!" This was much better than winning gold the other day. We beat an awesome team that annihilated us in the 4K pursuit. We finished with a time of 10.651, which was .35 seconds faster than the other team. Not much, but a win is a win!
As I said before, I thought I was going to win a national championship when I raced boats and it didn't happen due to the accident where I lost my sight. Twenty-five years later I won a national championship. I'm a 2012 Para Cycling Track National Champion!