Back in Wisconsin from Eric
July 6, 2004
I'm back in Wisconsin again and it's great to be back. The raspberries along the roadside are just coming into season and yesterday I stopped to eat my first one. The rains I was hearing about while I was in Colorado seem to have stopped and the weather has been absolutely beautiful. Highs in the 70's and 80's with pretty low humidity by Wisconsin standards. It's nice to get back to some of the projects I've been involved with at work too. The variety is nice, though it certainly is a lot more difficult to get my workouts in when I have work obligations. A big thanks again to Graber for letting me trim back my hours this summer to focus on Athens.
I do have some more pictures from Colorado I want to put up but they'll have to wait until next time. We had a great time out there and I caught a lot of the team members playing between our workouts. I'm going to be talking about these guys for the rest of the summer so I may as well introduce them.
My three weeks in Colorado definitly saw some big gains. I won my token crit for the year (I always seem to win one, and only one) two days after I got back. Back on my single bike for workouts now, I've been very happy with the amount of power I'm putting out. One of the other pilots at camp was telling me I'd be amazed at how strong I'd be when I got back on my single bike. And I am truly amazed. Even more amazing is my weight. I'd settled in at about 195 lbs for the last couple of years and this year I actually started the year at 202. Now I wasn't super trim but I didn't think I was a real porker by anyone's standards either. At least, I didn't think so until I got to Colorado. Glen, one of the other pilots, told me that I was loooking quite a bit more fit than I had been in San Diego, where, when he first saw me he thought "there's another one of those chunky sprinters". My coach added in by implying I wasn't a real racer until the skin everywhere on my body was as thin as the skin on the back of my hand (road racers have followed this rule for decades when preparing for big races like the Tour de France). Despite all the positive encouragement I just mentioned I continued to fill my plate and go back for desert every day I was there. San Diego had gotten me down to 196 and even with my healthy portions in Colorado I still left there at 194. Now I'm back in Dairyland and I've continued to fall all the way to 190.5. I guess I was being more sedentary than I realized.
I can't say I feel any lighter but I definitely feel healthy.
The next few weeks are filled with lots of training and a little bit of racing too. I'm in Blaine, MN on July 10th for Match Sprint Madness, my only sprint competition until August, before coming back to Wisconsin to race on the road with the professionals at the SuperWeek races in the Milwaukee area. I'm going to squeeze in a canoe trip with a friend over the 4th of July weekend too, and that's probably the end of my social life for a while. There's a lot to get done between now and September.
Matt and I are tentatively planning to meet in Minnesota to train for about two weeks on the 250 meter track there. It's our only chance to train on a 250 m track before racing on one in Athens. From there I'll do the Wisconsin and Minnesota state championship track races as a final guage of my fitness before heading back to Colorado Springs in mid-August to continue our final preparation with the entire team.
Sept 10th we'll board a charter for Athens. Cycling competition starts Sept 18th. Our schedule consists of sprints on the 18th and 19th, the kilometer time trial on the 20th, and the road race on the 25th. Paralympic rules allow us to race the road race, despite having qualified for the track events, so we'll be out there having fun and doing our best to support our teammates Jason and Glenn, who have a great shot at winning the road race.
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