Hello from Javea, Spain where the weather has been sunny and warm, allowing for several nice days of training. I arrived here from the US on Monday December 10th and have enjoyed being with the team again, seeing familiar faces, and getting to know the new ones. The trainings have been nothing special, just general base miles and socializing. We've put in some nice time on the bike, especially because we've had nice weather, but it has not been intense riding or overly specific, especially for my group, #3. The team was split into 3 groups: #1, the group for Australia; #2, the group for the spring classics; #3, the rest of us, more of the stage racer type. In any case, it has been good to be back with everyone, share conversations over the dinner table and catch up on what everyone did during their time off. I've been trying to log a few extra kilometers each day in order to give myself a "buffer" for the potentially cold and nasty 2.5 weeks I might face during Christmas in the Midwest. Other than the riding, we've been slowly taking care of logistical items such as race calendars, bike fits, insoles, shoes, etc. All the small things that make a big difference during the season. These are the important things to change, fix, or get in line at this time of year before you are doing long miles or intense efforts. Overall, I'd say everything has been quite smooth and relaxed.
Today I want to make sure and say congratulations to my wonderful and bright wife, Lisa, for her official graduation from the university with her doctorate in social psychology. I'm very sad to have missed the actual ceremony, but I am hoping that either her parents, my parents, or our friends in Las Cruces are helping her feel special and proud of her accomplishments on this day. And I hope I get a picture or two to document it!
There's two more days of training left in sunny Spain before I head back to the the US, so I hope to get in two more nice days on the bike. Then it will be home for the holidays to see the family that I miss so much when I'm overseas, then it will be back to Europe at the beginning of January for our second training camp and the beginning of the 2013 racing season. Incredible how fast everything goes; off season, the racing season, everything! I can't believe I am already going to be in my fourth year as a professional cyclist. I can still remember my first days in Tucson, AZ as a neo-pro on the newly founded Team RadioShack. I'd have to say I am a whole different person and rider since that time four years ago. It's like being a freshman at college versus now entering my senior season. I hope I can bring some of that experience and leadership to the table now, and I'll even hope that I can have similar level results to my senior year of college running. All I can do is prepare now, control what I can, and hope that the rest will take care of itself! Thanks for checking in.