I attended my first UCI Masters Track World Championships in 1999, then again in 2001, 2003, 2005, 2008 and 2009. I turned 55 in 2013, so my goal was to go to worlds and break a new world record.
Three weeks before the big event I was taken down in a track race and broke four ribs and my pelvis. The road back to fitness, strength and speed has been a long one, but the journey has been the reward for many reasons.
Truthfully, I wasn't going to break a world record last year. I just wasn't fit enough and my head wasn't on right. My father passed away and I lacked focus and purpose. I also made the rookie mistake of thinking I could hold good fitness for a long racing season (wrong!)
For my 2014 comeback, I looked for patterns in my past training and quickly realized that when I set "big hairy audacious goals", then every training session and every race had a purpose. I carefully laid out these stepping stones to help me get to Masters Track Worlds.
My BHAG is to win a world championship with a new world record on Monday, 6 October in the 2,000meter pursuit.
A special thank you goes out to friend, teammate, 1988 and 1996 USA Olympian Mike McCarthy for teaching me to dream big. And, the reason I am dreaming so big is because of my competition. The current world record holder (James Host) returns to Manchester after breaking his hip last year, so he will be highly motivated. Plus, silver medalist (Stephane LeBeau) from last years 50-54 age group turns 55+ this year. Because I haven't attended since 2009 James and Stephane will have the advantage of starting after me and knowing my time. If I don't place top two I don't earn the chance to race for the gold medal. Knowing this, it's only logical to try to break the old world record. That way I'm assured the gold medal ride.
Finally, even if I race poorly at this years worlds, I can look back at the path that got me here with pride... a much longer recovery than I ever expected, helping new racers at the Early Birds in January, off to camps, Valley of the Sun, San Dimas, Sea Otter and nationals with the juniors, then the build up to worlds through elite and masters state track, masters track nationals, masters road nationals (with my 2nd criterium title and 50th national championship) to the last three weeks of motorpacing and tapering. The Journey has been the reward!