It wasn’t long ago that Bobby Lea and I were driving through the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center, completing our medical exams for the UCI Bio Passport, where I got an email inviting me to an invite only US Track Sprint Camp in Colorado Springs. And it wasn’t long ago that I was in Colorado Springs at that camp. And now, it wasn’t long ago that I got back to Los Angeles, and I’m preparing to take off on another trip with the US National Team.
Track camp was filled with snow, rain, clouds, a little sunshine, and wind. Lots and lots of wind. It was good to be back in a place that I once called home, to see familiar faces, and to chat with all the para athletes I only get to see a few times a year. The environment of the Olympic Training Center is everything you could ask for. Training in the new strength and conditioning building, paired with the Sports Medicine department is not only convenient, but placed perfectly, so when the leg press machine decided to eject me from it, I could hobble over and get all my little bumps and bruises taken care of immediately.
While we may not have ridden outside for the entire first week of the camp, we had lots of testing to go through, including body comp, 5sec/30sec power, vertical max, and strength testing, for examples. Here’s a video posted by USA Cycling during my watt bike testing…
My very first testing effort on the track was done at 9am on a cold, snowy, windy morning. I asked coach abers multiple times if it would be ok to wear my “poof-y vest” during testing, which was frowned upon, but I did choose to wear it during my individual workouts. As you can see in the photo below, Shelby, Dana and myself were hiding behind the wall on the inside of the track to get out of the wind and cold weather that was moving in.
The best part about sprint camp was becoming a team. Our group rides turned into dirt bike path, coffee shop, and USA Cycling visiting rides. Our dinner at night became a huge laughter filled family party. And sitting in our dorm rooms became hallway conversations with music and videos.
My time in Colorado Springs closed with a massive (for a sprinter) ride with Sarah Hammer. When I lived in COS, she would chase me around during standing starts, and it was so fun training with her. It took over 2 hours for my heart rate to come down from 170 bpm at least, and I may have sucked wheels for a majority of the time, but it was so great to get off the grounds of the OTC and get out in the fresh air! I didn’t know where we were going for a majority of the time, but three hours later I was back on the OTC campus, super hungry, and really tired.
Another excited adventure at track camp was FINALLY riding the Dizzy Drome. This tiny sized velodrome, made of dirt, and ridden on with no brakes and BMX bikes is an incredible rush. I had a blast riding around in the dark of night and creating some awesome memories with the other sprint athletes.
So, after two weeks of all the above…it’s back to home. Back to real life for two weeks until I’m off to Europe with 4 other US athletes to compete in some racing in Germany! More updates to come. But the year has already kicked off way before I thought it would!
You can still donate towards my season following this link: