Saturday, March 10, 2007

Winter Training and Speed Skating Bellas!

It's been a wildly changeable winter, we've got degrees today in the 40s, while it was below zero yesterday morning. The Bellas have had to be creative this winter in maintaining some semblance of fitness. We had the most sickeningly mild winter until about February, when the central NY area got seriously dumped on; north of Syracuse, Oswego made the national news receiving 10-12 feet in a few days.

So, here riding on the road through the winter is not a realistic option: some Bellas run or snowshoe, some go to the ack, cough, gym, lots of us cross-country ski, and now several NY Bellas are speedskating!

Jenn coaches kids at the Iceplex in Morrisville, NY - hopefully she'll race too one of these days. There, in Morrisville, Jan-o and Sue A are completely hooked on ice. How couldn't you be with Apolo as such an appealing representative?

I went to Cleveland for the Short Track Nationals and got to see Apolo, and other top US skaters show the rest of us hacks how it's really done. So small is this sport that all the best were there and they're on the same ice as the "age class" and "masters" skaters, although the zamboni seems to take more care in giving them quality ice than for us. In any event, I tried my best to do Syracuse proud, and was lucky to have gotten 2nd place overall. Considering that there were 10 women in the 40-49 age group, which in terms of cycling, that would be pretty thin, in speed skating, that's a decent masters' women field. Over the three days of competition, you pretty much live in the hockey rink, which due to the amazing elite skaters, was surprisingly tolerable.

Here's one of the few shots of my particular races that I don't hate, though it still isn't too pretty. This is the A final of the 500 and we are duking it out for 2nd place; the 1st place woman is, erm..a bit ahead of us. Kim, in the middle, could be given honorary Bella status with her tiger style.

Ok, I can't help but put this one in too - this is in the 3000 - 27 laps - should take around 6 minutes or so to do. This is the one race I "almost won" - I stepped on a block on the last corner and went down just as I was "making my move". Oh, well.

Next post will be less self-centered! Promise!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

NY Bellas Bond at Highland Forest

Jenn, Sue, Janet, Rae
Kate, LiLynn, Sue

A group of 7 NY Bellas and a few potential Bellas, including a Junior, met up in the Hills of Fabius, NY to play in the snow, exchange work horror stories, eat spicy vegetarian chili, cornbread, Bill Stiteler's famous, fabulous raspberry brownies, blueberry cake with whipped cream, sundry other sweets and pound down beers. (Actually 3 beers were had among the entire group, and there was no pounding down to speak of.)


This is Jan-o on her big 5-0. Many of NY Bellas are in the highly desirable age group of 50+...

The upcoming cycling season holds a variety of goals for the NY Bellas: a first triathlon, a longer triathlon, working on consistency, getting stronger thru in base miles, improving time trialing, going back to Paris to do the Paris-Brest-Paris randonneur ride and just not letting age and outside distractions prevent us from having fun on the bike and with the greatest group of sporty women around.

Elsa (a Burnese Bella), Sue, Sue, Janet

To the left are some Bella ski racers at the Try-it classical cross country ski race in Winona on Tug Hill. Kate, LiLynn and Gaetane did the 25 K race and all came home with coffee mugs to show for their skiing skills.

Jano and Kate

So, we're hoping to stay in some sort of shape for the coming cycling season, although, winter is "THE" sport season for some of us, especially now that more Bellas are taking up speed skating*!

*see next post!