Made it back! I am back in the Republic and happy that the week from hell is done. People often say to me "you must be SO lucky to travel!" I am my own worst enemy. I'm good at what I do, I love it in fact and love expressing passion for technology to all kinds of people around the world and have been blessed to see literally all reaches of the globe from Brazil to teh Far East to Eastern Europe. But secretly as soon as I take off on the plane towards my destination it becomes a countdown of minutes until I get back to see my beautiful wife and boys. I mak a game out of it in my head to help me stay focused by counting the days down. I can't imagine what a soldier (kid) in Iraq does to pass that kind of time.
This trip was tight. Lots of meetings between two cities (London and Amsterdam) so in all sincerity I get to do nothing for myself for a week. Nothing. I'd love to pack a bike but it just ain't happening. Maybe next time... The Amsterdam leg was packed but I got to see the country side via car window when going to visit some cool companies in the out lying regions of Holland (and while staring out of the window watching a boat load of mini pelotons of local club cyclists roaming about making me salivate...and then the salivation turns to semi-depression of how much work I have to do to re up the fitness when I get back). When I got to Amsterdam for meetings, we hit this vantage point in the City out of the train station where my bud snapped this pic with his camera phone (thus the shitty quality). It is tough to see but acres and acres of classic Amsterdam townie bikes that look like a bad weed control problem. It was hilarious. Behind me as far as the eye can see are just klunky steel bikes piled up on each other. As is customary in the City, you may seriously not find your bike when you get back from whatever it was you were doing....so you grab another one. There are 7 million people in Holland with more than 18 million bikes there. Sweet. In Amsterdam alone there are something like 1 million bikes dredged from the canals of the City each year...discarded by people who steal them, ride to their destination and then hurl them into the canals.
So I am back home (still sick...I won't bore you) and amped to be with the fam. My boys stayed up late to watch their daddy come through the door and i got this grin that I couldn't wipe off when they came running full steam at me, tackled....and then of course proceed to interrogate me for special presents I may have brought home for them from these far away places.
The RM Crit is this weekend. No racing (again) for me but I need to try and get down and support but I am like a mental void at the moment. Couch and the other team managers really pulled it together and make this race hum logistically. This is why I love being on this team but I got the hall pass for this race 'cause the fellas know my situation at the moment.
My training program ramps up this coming week so I need to square away the health issues so I can start moving towards the Fall with a good first (and healthy) step. I'm working with a guy (and friend) here in town who knowns my exact situation intimately and is intrigued with it and has a unique plan to help me remain competitive and try and do something special later this year. All his PhD's and studies on science and training aside, and teh pros he works/worked with, it is his ability to not look at me as a vanilla athlete and apply teh same plan which is so cool. He knows that my life is not that of a 21 year old who can eat/train/sleep and I have commitments (like traveling) and knows how to apply a unique and achievable formula to situations like mine. Yeah, yeah, things like periodization, watts, kilojoules, etc etc play into it, but so do things like stress reduction (and I'm not just talking about being 'zen' an doing yoga to reduce life stress....but how to avoid over compensating on the training side and gradually ramp up to reduce the stress on body and mind in addition to a solid 'sleep' plan! RAD! For me, my training for years (when I start getting to the cross season) has been like turning the power on the stereo, then just JAMMING the volume from 0 to "11" and nearly blowing the speakers. Interestingly, I've been able to quickly ramp and peak like this for a few seasons and win some races but it's no good and the body and mind are not there any more to do that. It's been good for the head a bit to know I have someone like him in my corner and eases the stress a bit to try and figure out how to ramp up for the periods I need to have the engine humming at.
Back home and moving forward. Life is good.