Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas and Updates on Boulder!

Had a great Christmas with family and friends this past week. Spent Wednesday/Thursday with my family in Cedar Rapids and then gathered with the Nicoll's on Thursday for lunch! Was great to see my family one last time before I leave for Colorado on the 30th. Going to miss everyone so much, especially Bethany, my parents, aunts/uncles, siblings, grandparents, and especially my niece Brooklyn! She is growing so fast!

Spent actual Christmas with the Nicoll family! Went to a very nice Christmas eve service and had some great food. Paula's goal in life must be to make me the most obese athlete ever, because everything she makes must be eaten, its so good! :)

Presents are always great, but spending time with loved ones and celebrating the birth of Jesus is always so much better. Can't forget to name some gifts though :) A brand new Garmin 310xt GPS watch, Columbia Jacket, seasons of the Office, gift cards, large containers of Almond Butter, Nutella, etc = great success on the present front!

Anyway, next is the update on Boulder. Will be leaving on Dec. 30th, driving straight through with my Mom tagging along to help haul some stuff! Very excited, but I am also becoming so nervous. I have never lived this far away, and I don't want to leave anything or anyone behind. It is going to be very rough on me mentally. It is nice to have a great place to live and work in Boulder, which is going to help!

Training has already been going great, and I am eager to improve my running to compliment m previous ability to swimming and cycling!

This is going to be an amazing year as I try for my pro card and place very well at the 5150 Series events, hopefully accumulating with a top 15 at the Hy-Vee 5150 Championships in the Elite Amateur race.

I'll post more pictures as I move to Boulder this week!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Recent and Future Happenings!

Since my last post, I have finished up with my graduate coursework at the University of Northern Iowa! Now, all I will have to do is preview/defend my thesis in front of the College of Education before May in order to get my official degree. Very exhilarating, but also hasn't set in yet. Will be cool to have a M.S. behind my name!

In the mean time, I have been trying to get my life in order, before my big move out to Boulder, Colorado to accept my full-time position as physiologist and coach for FasCat Coaching. Will be heading out today for the week before Christmas to get acclimated and perform some exercise tests on athletes getting ready to start their seasons. Instead of your traditional VO2 max tests to set training zones, Frank Overton and FasCat use a Maximal Lactate Steady State (MLSS) protocol. This was the first time I had heard of this test, but it seems to be very reliable and valid from what research I have read. You can read more about it here!

Additionally, yesterday I finished putting together my new ride for the upcoming season. I have never ridden anything other than a Trek, so it was a bit weird moving on to a Cannondale! But you look at how well a team such as Liquigas and professional triathlete Chrissie Wellington have done on the Slice, I am stoked to give it a try!

Traveled to Des Moines yesterday and had a Retul fit done by Bill Hardin at Bike World. This fit is awesome, and uses LED lights to establish angles/measurements for your fit, which in real time gives you the most accurate fit possibilities! Bill is very passionate and knowledgeable about cycling and fitting. I have interacted with a few fitters before who were not personable and only stuck to the protocol and didn't really care about the person. Bill is completely different and I would highly recommend him to someone in the area looking for a very in-depth and personal fit!

After having my road bike fit early this fall, I was very impressed by the change in position that occurred, and how much more fluid it made me feel on the bike. So Bill and I dialed in the Cannondale, and I am eager to head out ride it!

Will try to post a bit more often with some pictures, training updates, etc. as I get settled into the Boulder area in the next few weeks!

Have a Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Big Changes!!

Hey everyone, been a while since I have posted, but a lot has happened since then!

I am a little more than 2 weeks away from being done with school at UNI. All I will have to do is defend my thesis and I will be an official Master of Exercise Physiology! Will be extremely weird not calling myself a student, but it will also be a great change. I wonder what it will feel like to go home on the weeknights or weekends and not have papers to write or study, or go to a coffee shop and just relax! I am looking forward to it!

Training has been going pretty well. Have been doing some minor base work so far, and will continue building up the hours over the next couple months, getting ready for next season.

With nothing much going on in training, I have a bunch of other stuff to say! This past weekend I traveled to Boulder, Colorado for a job interview. This is the mecca of endurance sport in the United States, and was quite the trip. I was interview for a position as a physiologist/coach for FasCat Coaching. This company is owned by Frank Overton, who is a very big household name in coaching and racing across the United States. One of his most notable athletes I believe would be Tom Zirbel. He is growing his business very well, and is in need of a full-time physiologist to conduct metabolic tests on the athletes.

It was the first time I had ever been out of the airport in Colorado, and I fell in love immediately. Spent an afternoon crusing around Boulder and investigating the city. Then had a great dinner at a cycling themed burger joint with Frank and Jason Hilmire, another coach for FasCat. I immediately realized that these two guys are awesome. Very nice, humble, and obviously very talented coaches. The next day, I went for my formal interview day at the performer center. This center is in North Boulder, and is located in an absolutely amazing place. There is an Italian restaurant, a coffee shop, bike shop, FasCat, and a Mexican dinner place in the same strip mall. Everything I would need to be happy. It was also a fun day as local pro and ex-Iowan Amanda Miller came in for her on metabolic test. It was nice to see her again, and met her coach Meredith Miller as well.

Moving on to keep this post shorter, Frank and I went to dinner before I left and flew back to Iowa. During the dinner, he offered me the job! I was so stoked, I am sure if I would have had food in my mouth, I would have choked! This is the job I have wanted my whole life. Not many recent college grads can say they have the job of their dreams right after graduating, and especially in a location such as Boulder. I will be able to coach/work with some of the best athletes in the United States, and also continue my quest as an endurance athlete. I may also try do some research with UC Boulder and get my name published in some scientific journals. It will be a great experience, and I am ready for the challenge.

*Professional Greg Henderson doing some testing (Not a bad client to work with ehh?)

It has been great living in Iowa these past 23 years, but I am ready for a change. I will experience new weather patterns, new cyclists, new food, etc. It has been great racing against everyone in Iowa, and hopefully some day I'll be able to race again at some local stuff. If anyone is ever interested in coming out to Boulder for some training, just let me know!

Time is of the essence, I move out at the end of December!!!