Please excuse my absence... I've been busy!
I'm happy to report that I just capped an excellent 4 week block of intensive training today! Despite the snow, cold, work related stress, Norwalk virus that's hitting everyone I know, etc. I've been able to "get r' done" on the training front and have attained a notable jump in fitness as a result. Knock on wood, but based off of the key workouts I've been laying down, I think that this is the fittest I've ever been in the month of February. I feel as though I'm 2 training cycles (8 - 9 weeks) away from being 100% ready to roll.
First off, thanks to CycleOps, I am the proud new owner of a PowerTap SL 2.4 wireless power meter and CycleOps Mag+ trainer. Let's just say that I have put both to VERY good use this month. I'm tempted to divulge some of the numbers that I've been laying down as of late during key workouts, but I'll keep it on the DL. You'll have to try to pull the specifics from Dean "the machine" Phillips over at Fitwerx2, as he and I share training tips and power files from time to time. For those of you not in the know, Dean is, hands down, the fastest short course cyclist and one of the very best elite triathletes in all of NE. He set the new course record at the Charlie Baker TT (Concord, MA) this past summer, averaging JUST under 30 mph for the 9.9 or 9.8 mile course. To put things further into perspective, the old record was held by professional cyclist and former US Pro Champion Mark McCormack. I'll also note that Dean broke Tyler Hamilton's old mark over at the ECV TT this summer as well. If you're looking for help with your TT position and gear selection, look no further than Dean. I trust him, Marty and Mark over at Fit Werx2 in Peabody, MA with ALL of my cycling/TT related needs.
Anyway, I enjoyed a very consistent and progressive 4 weeks of training and am looking forward to an active recovery week (on the cycling and run fronts at least!) this coming week (2/25 - 3/2).
Looking forward, March will be a very interesting month. As it stands, I'm feeling absolutely sensational in training and the wattage meter is confirming the fact I'm well ahead of schedule fitness wise. I have a couple of key cycling sessions lined up for next month that will really allow me to gauge where things stand and what I'm capable of on "the battle field." If the engine is firing the way I think it will be, then I might have to book a round trip ticket out to California to kick my long course season off a little earlier than expected.
As for the sponsorship front, I hope to announce the specifics of my new team, "Craft USA" within the next week or 2. Also, for those of you who were wondering, yes, I turned down a spot on the 2008 Team Timex pro squad and went with Craft instead. The Timex offer was a very, very generous one, and I'm still hoping that I made the right decision, but ultimately, family is most important (my brother Corey is the marketing manager at Craft).
PowerBar, my sponsor of nearly 12 years, is back on board for 2008 and 2009! As is the case with every sponsor/supporter I associate myself with, I would never utilize or promote a product that I did not firmly believe increased my chances for success on race day. I rely heavily upon PowerBar products during both training and racing and truly appreciate their grass roots support.
I'm also extremely excited about the fact that I'm receiving some great support from Zipp this year. I've always known that Zipps were the fastest wheels on the market... I just haven't always been able to afford them!!! I rode a set of their 808s to a very high degree of success in the second half of 2007, and have decided to stick to what works and roll on a set of their 808 PowerTap clinchers this season. I'm also looking forward to putting the new Zipp PowerTap disc to good use when it's available sometime later this Summer. If things continue to go as well as they are on the training front, I'm very confident that these wheels, when coupled with a correct pacing strategy (thank you PowerTap!) will lead to some pretty nasty bike splits out on the North American 70.3/long course circuit.
That'll do it for now.
See you out on the roads soon. Spring is right around the corner!