Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Logon To Jackson Hole Race "Jenn Halladay rides away for win."

Jenn is a mother of five. Don't let that fool you! She is the real deal and can lap some of the best in the business on a road or crit, as she did this past summer. Think about racing 206 miles in one race, riding alone and away for over 80 miles.

In her own words:

"Logan to Jackson (LOTOJA) is a gruelling 206 mile race spanning three states and three major passes (the first pass is 20 miles long and up). I won in 2006 using Wobble-Naught and repeated this past week in 2007.

Here is how it went: The women's field consisted of 64 riders, a great women's field. We have great climbing in Boise, ID, so I have had time on the hills. My strategy was to drive the pace to the first climb and see who could stay and well, it worked. No one could stay with me on that first climb so I ended up moving into a time-trial mode, off the front for the next 80 or so miles until two other racers working together caught me and then the three of us worked together until Jackson where I was able to out sprint them for the win.

Just finishing this race is an experience alone, so winning it is pretty incredible. I had a new bike for 2007, so I took it to Tom at Wobble-Naught at George's in Boise, Idaho, wanting the same fit that worked well for me in 2006. I learned that every bike is different, for example seat tube angles (where it is behind the bottom bracket), allow me to bridge and give me the ability to achieve the correct pedal stroke, which is key. So I paid for the CAD fit, plus two hours of the Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish to watch what my muscles were really doing. My game has not been better!

In this game, being a female, being from the same town as Kristin Armstrong and other very strong female racers, everyone seems to have an idea on what you need to focus on. You don't quite look right, your saddle is too high, your this, your that, etc... (pros everywhere!) Many of these ideas come from males (or should I say male egos) whom I ride with. I do have a coach and he is great, but without the bio-feedback, I didn't really know when to fire the muscles for the very best stroke. Boise, Idaho is not that big, so you hear everything that is pointed out by someone. It was even pointed out that a boyfriend of a local star thought my fit was off, and I thought, can he see it? This statement came just before our largest event. Sometimes you wonder how some attempt to get into your head. Anyway, I stuck to my game and ended up taking most of the prims, and lapped the field that included some of the best women in the game. Kristin Armstrong won this race in 2006 with her very strong TEAm Lipton, and she out sprinted the leader of crit points, pro Laura Van Glider (Cheerwine), who had two teammates, one from Boise, Idaho this year for second. Not an easy race!

During the Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish, I had the chance to see the sEMG from Georgia Gould and Tom pointed out that she has had her best season ever! So I focused hard on what Wobble-Naught CAD suggested and Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish bio-feedback, not someone elses ideas or just eye-see. The results are in now, even without the support of a strong road team! Many times I just ride solo, knowing I can ride away from the pack. Results, results, results!

A few days before the race I was starting to get my feet beat up. The first thing in my mind was that the footbed was broken down. So the day before leaving for the race, I went to Tom to see what the problem might be. The footbed was fine, however Tom discovered that my shoe was broken down and that I needed new ones. So, with brand new shoes just before a 206 mile race, you can imagine I had concerns! Tom reassured me not to worry. After using the laser, getting my cleats mounted where they needed to be, and placing the old footbed into the new shoe, I was off to the start. Tom quite amusingly called them "new horse-shoes"! I put my trust in him that everything had been looked at, even with brand new shoes (no worries!). I worked hard on the correct pedal stroke and my past training, therefore I was able to totally control this race.

I felt great even after 206 miles, so I wouldn't change anything!"

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