I hope everyone had a nice holiday this week. I spent a few days in Crested Butte with my family before heading back to Boulder on the 26th. I was fortunate enough to miss the heavy snow on the way home, but I did see a number of folks off the road and I hope everyone managed to make it home safely; even if their car did not.
While I was in CB I was rummaging through a drawer of photos and memorabilia when I came across my training journals from 2002. They contained notes and stats jotted down in those black and white composition books which I often associate with high school science class (Chemistry, I think) more than anything else.
The interesting aspect of the first journal is that it came from my first summer in Boulder in 2002. My venture to Boulder that summer was not for training, but for an internship with Inside Communication Inc. (Inside Triathlon, Velonews, Velopress, Velogear, etc) in the editorial department. I don't think that they, or I, knew exactly what I was originally coming there to do, but I eventually found myself working primarily with Charles Pelkey, and secondarily with Cam Elford (Cam is with Triathlete last I saw. Pelkey still writes for VELO). My primary duties pretty much involved content update on the website, some editing, press release posting and an occasional race report/story/summary written by myself (though that was quite seldom). I occasionally did some stuff on the VELO site as well, but my understanding of bike racing was rather limited at the time (its better today, but there is so much to follow its hard to say that I'm on top of it).
At the time I was heading into my senior in college (at Texas A&M) and I normally spent my entire summers working at Camp Longhorn near Austin, Texas. My decision to not return that summer was a very difficult and emotional one for me. I had been working there since I was 17 and it was more than a job to me since some of my closest friends (to this day) worked alongside me. That, and I loved the job. However, triathlon had a growing presence in my life and I thought that perhaps I could find a career that was related to it. Racing professionally was not on my mind at all at the time, but a job involving sport, I believed, could be.
The internship itself went well, but the entire experience of Boulder was probably the most educational aspect of the summer. I was renting a tiny basement room in North Boulder that had nothing more than a mattress on the floor and my radio. The house did not have cable or Internet either so I had little option other than working or riding my bike. It was fun to look back in the journal this past weekend and read some of the comments and stats I provided. I recalled getting absolutely crushed at my first Master's session, unclipping on some climbs, freezing my butt off in Ward, and totally burying myself on a long mountain ride with Kevin Reinsch (which I still recall as being the most tired I've ever been on one single day).
I still keep a training journal, but its not quite as exciting as the early days. These days they are online (trainingpeaks.com) and involve more numbers and stats so that my coach and I can track progression more closely. They don't include jokes I heard that day on a ride or a line I thought of from the Simpsons when I was bumming around the Boulder county roads. Its just the results of the day now.
I encourage all of you, especially those starting out, to keep a training journal. Its certainly great to look back on your past performances and training numbers (especially when comparing to today), but its even better when they help you relive some memories that you might have otherwise forgotten.
Additionally, I wanted to mention that I recently did another photo shoot for EAS a week before Christmas down in Denver. The shot is one of me running and I assume it should be out some time this Spring where you normally see the ads run. I think it came out really well and hopefully everyone else felt that same way.
For those that are interested, the company behind the EAS ads is called Mighty Karma www.mightykarma.com.
See you in 2008,