Contrary to popular belief, I am, in fact, still alive!
Let’s just say this spring has been…well, it’s been a little rough. Not rough like “I hate tomatoes, asked for no tomatoes on my burger, and they STILL put tomatoes on my burger” pick-that-shit-off rough, but rough like “I’ve got a fatal-convulsion-inducing peanut allergy and decided it’d be smart to eat at a restaurant at the George Washington Carver National Monument" rough…if that made any sense at all. Compared to last year’s nearly straight-up trajectory, this one has been decidedly…not. All that mopey-sadness aside, I’ve learned SO MUCH more this year than last - and that makes me stoked. Not only that, but if I were to carry the same "Cat 5 to 1" basket of badassedness into this year, I’d probably not be getting any wiser as a racer. Making the stupid rookie mistakes at this stage in my career is so much more valuable than if it were to happen two, three, or four years down the road. Plus, I’ve now got the sponsor support that really helps to cushion the blows of things like wrecks and bad races. Everyone from our staff, teammates, management company, Gita (Pinarello/Giordana/DMT US distro), Reynolds, Competitive Cyclist (title sponsor AND employer), my family, friends, and our team supporters (here’s looking at you, Barbara and John Dowd!) have been incredibly supportive, patient, understanding, and accommodating for the rookie ascending the steep learning curve of pro racing.
So, in that vein, I’ve made a pretty serious long-term career choice in moving to working with a full-time coach after some heavy-duty searching and vetting. After gathering a list of coaches I’d had interest in from various sources and speaking with all of them (as well as their clients), I finally decided working with Kevin Nicol from Dr. Inigo San Milan’s Human Performance Lab at the Univeristy of Colorado was my best option for squeezing the absolute most pedal-crushing out of my pasty body. Kevin is incredibly knowledgeable and scientific with his training methods (not to mention a total beast on the road), I’m super-pumped to be working with him and employing the methodology used by a number of top ProTour guys!
With new instruction comes new direction, and in the interest of coming back swinging for the remainder of the season, most of June has been converted from riding my guts out into being professionally lazy - AKA, recovery. This meant scratching a couple races I was really looking forward to (Mt. Hood and Nature Valley), but I’ll be back on the road crushing in a couple weeks or so. For now, short coffee cruises and wallowing in the fact that the veins in my legs aren’t totally bulging.
Bike racer problems. Seriously.