In my defense, it HAS been a busy several weeks. It started off with a trip I had been planning since last November. I first travelled to Santa Fe New Mexico to attend the USA Triathlon Coaching clinic in order to improve my formal certifications. To be honest, I had no idea what to expect from the 2 days of lectures. From my government service, I have found training can sometimes, well, be “challenging” in terms of how interesting it is. In my normal, “hope for the best, expect the worst and take what comes” attitude, I was prepared for it to be a needed box to check on the way to certification. However, I was pleasantly surprised, it was absolutely fantastic. All of the speakers and topics were relevant and excellent in addition to great offline discussion with many of the participants. It was great learning new things and validating hunches and directions you were already heading in. It was well worth the time and investment, and I look to put the experience to great use in working with all of my clients regardless of discipline.
From Santa Fe, I moved on to Tucson and eventually to my folk’s place outside of Tombstone AZ to spend 10 days visiting my parents and riding on the relatively lightly traveled roads of Southeastern AZ. Who knew I would have picked the perfect sweet spot for weather. As the east coast was entrenched against the assault of multiple snow and ice storms, I was fortunate enough to enjoy consistent 70-80 degree days and light winds, unseasonably comfortable even for AZ. Rides often went by seeing on average 1 or 2 cars an HOUR, absolutely amazing and charmed trip, so grateful for the good luck.
With a solid block of training in, and one last batch of my dad’s secret taco recipe in my belly, I was off again to Phoenix for a visit to the FASTER bicycle shop and wind tunnel. As an athlete and coach, I am always interested in new and different techniques in all aspects of endurance sports and how they are applied. So I spent an afternoon there going through their fit and wind tunnel process to learn what I could. It was extremely fascinating and a great experience, look for some additional info in an upcoming post.
I settled in Phoenix for 3 more days to attend the USA Cycling Level 2 Coaching Clinic. Another outstanding use of time and resources. The USA Cycling class had a different format than the USA Tri one, but was equally if not more enjoyable with a mix of both on the bike skills development (aimed at how to instruct other riders) and lectures on a variety of topics. The group was small and vocal, with coaches of all levels sharing their collective experiences. In addition, the instructors were well spoken and entertaining. Again, the 10 hr days flew by and it was another rewarding experience.
Finally, as I write this, I am once again on a plane headed west. I was fortunate to be offered a position as Team Director for the US Military Endurance Sports elite cycling team and am traveling to Tucson for the larger club’s annual training Camp. USMES is a non profit organization that essentially establishes an nationwide club/community for endurance sports athletes with military ties (plug alert, more info at www.usmes.org) One of the main purposes of the elite team is to give active duty and reserve Cat 1 cyclists exposure to national level events and learn the ropes as they step up from regional and local competition. As I came up as a cyclist I felt I had to learn a lot on my own so its great to be able to share some of my hard lessons learned (some from doing it right, and some from doing it wrong) with a new crop of riders so they can hopefully get “there” sooner.
All in all, not a bad winter, looking forward to consistently good weather and to see how my client’s winter training pays off! Thanks for reading if you made it this far.