Jan 11, 2012

It's a new year: recaps and updates

The new year has been here for almost two weeks and I haven’t had a single update – shame on me! Here’s the latest roundup of old and new.

Finishing out 2011

Last year was a good year for me on the bike. It wasn’t a great year, but it was definitely a good year. I lined up for about 40 starts last year, with mixed results, but overall saw fitness improve as the racing season came to a close.

For the number geeks among you, I rode a total of about 8,600 miles and climbed 520,000 feet in 2011. I also likely burned enough calories to fill a truck with Big Macs. It was definitely my biggest volume year to date, and I hope to keep the trend of increasing yearly volumes in 2012.

New for 2012

There are a few changes happening this year. The main one being that for the first time since 2008 I will not be in a Colavita kit. As much as I enjoyed the company of my former teammates, I made a decision that to further my own advancement, it would be better for me to have teammates in races and be on a team that is more local, so riding with said teammates on a regular basis would be possible.

In light of the above, I’m happy to announce (for those who haven’t yet heard through other channels) that next year I’ll be racing for/with Squadra SF, a team formed as a result of a merger between Squadra Ovest and Audi. I feel it’s a great change for me for several reasons. First, I found what I was looking for - a team with teammates in my age group/category who are in or very near San Francisco. The second very important aspect of Squadra SF is the sheer amount of talent and accomplished riders from whom I hope to learn lots and lots of important things about racing and becoming a stronger rider. Lastly, and this is probably most important, my new teammates are great guys and fun to ride with and be around. Can’t emphasize the importance of the last item enough.

All in all, I’m in a very happy cycling place right now.

Training update

As of a few days ago, my cold has finally cleared up and my crash wounds are almost gone. My guess is that another week will take care of the deepest gash in my side, but everything else is new skin and nothing hurts, so whatever is there isn’t really bothering me on the bike.

The last two weeks of base are upon me, which means the largest volume of the year - 17 hours this week and 19 hours the next. There are only two ways I know that those hours are achievable while working full-time (doing the lion’s share of the hours on weekends isn’t the best alternative) and you have to use both of them: (1) realize you’ll have no life outside of cycling for two weeks – frankly, I like cycling, so that’s not that big of a deal; and (2) resort to two-a-day workouts. The latter has been a little harder to get used to. I can definitely do a workout in the morning and then follow it up by another in the evening, that’s not the hard part. The hardest part is to drag myself out of bed the morning after the evening workout to do it all over again. Luckily, I’ll only have to do it a few times before the hours get reasonable.

The legs are finally starting to feel good and I’m beginning to introduce some tempo and threshold work as I go from base to build. Last night’s 10-minute power test also showed that the legs are in decent form for January. The key going forward will be monitoring fatigue, getting myself into races that suit me and hopefully seeing some positive results throughout the season.

This upcoming weekend is the first of two team training camps this winter, and I’m all amped up to soak up the sunshine and warmth in San Luis Obispo!

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