For the most part, it was all about fitting in an hour here and there whenever I found some time. I did, however, start swimming under the direction of training partner and swim expert Kyle Leto and his roommate and former Davis teammate Trent Richardson. Their task....and mine, is to completely revamp my stroke in order to break my bad habits from 2+ years of swimming the wrong way and slowly but surely turn me into a strong, efficient swimmer. They've been a huge help and once I get this whole form thing down, I can start adding some speed. Being able to see and feel improvement is great. It motivates me to keep working on it, because all I can think about in the water besides high elbow, finger tips down, rotate the hips, don't kick so big and pull straight through....is how much more I'll have left in the tank after the swim in a race versus being totally burnt out and exhausted when I hop on the bike.
So with the busy busy December at work, I officially started my season on January 1st, 2011. I've already had some epic runs and freezing cold bike rides. My old Michigan teammate Tommy Greenless is starting up his training again in hopes of qualifying for his second Olympic Marathon Trials next year. When it comes to running, I turn to him to help me out. One day in Walnut Creek, we ventured out into the open space after a rain. It was nasty, but it was a blast. This is what 13 miles in the mud in Walnut Creek looks like. Note to self: buy a pair of trail running shoes for the mud. Road runners just don't cut it.
Like I've said in previous blog posts, Mt. Diablo and I have been hanging out a lot. For those of you who think California is all sunny and 70s, you're dead wrong. January around here is NOT warm. Going up Diablo is OK when its 45 degrees outside because you're working hard. When it's time to come back down...not as OK. Imagine driving in a car at 30 mph in 45-degree weather without a windshield. That's what it's like coming down Diablo on a bicycle. In each of my Diablo descents, I've had to stop halfway down to get feeling back in my fingers in order to effectively use the brakes. Oh the things I do for this sport. It's a lot of fun, I swear.
Overall, it just feels great to be training again. Work is still busy, but a different kind of busy. It feels great to be back outside, although a bit chilly sometimes, riding the roads with Kyle and Kenny, and running the trails with Tommy.