The new year came and went without much of a splash in my inner conscious. I was just coming off of the epic flu having chanced a sub 30 degree bike ride in Chicago (big mistake). Even with all of the warm clothes I could muster, I suppose being in a house with 2 other sick people just took its toll (+ the 20 degree wind chill on the bike). Early January was a month of big excitement for me though as it was when the Pewag Racing Team announced my name on the 2018 roster of professional athletes. For me, and for any athlete looking to make it in this sport, a sponsored team is undoubtedly the most amazing experience. At my level, it's the equivalent of a full-ride scholarship.
Me and Pewag
First off, I wasn't expecting a place on the team until 2019 but my coach and team manager, Rene Vallant, sent me 6 rapid fire texts at 4 am saying we needed to talk. Fearing the worst, I cautiously moved into that conversation but was left in shock on the tail end of that call. Finally! I've wanted to represent Pewag since my first trip to Austria 3 years ago, my first full-distance triathlon. The team, their community and ultimate love for the sport is exceptional and something I knew I wanted to be part of. So here we are....I'm a Pewag athlete. This means I'll be representing 3T Cycling, Storck Bikes, Sailfish wetsuits, Castelli Cycling, Shimano, Schwalbe, INFINIT Nutrition and definitely Pewag! You can learn more about all of the great things they do here and more about the team by clicking HERE - OH and check my race schedule for the year - it's pretty awesome!
Thus far, 2018 has been spent elsewhere, not at home where my family is getting shiz done. Karen has been working hard as an esthetician, nailing down some regular clients and overall slaying facials and Microderm abrasions. Yup, we've been apart a huge amount of days thus far and it's not going to get easier BUT I'm doing everything I can to get her to more races. I spent the end of January in San Diego with a great guy and stellar athlete, Kyle Hummel. Him and his wife let me crash in their mother-in-law suite and we basically thrashed each other with hill repeats for about 10 days before my former coaches camp, The Braveheart Games. San Diego has to be one of my favorite places to train with the Great Western Loop, Swami's Loop, rides on the coast, puke-fest rides up Mt. Palomar and long days in the Laguna Mountains. There is no doubt that Karen and I could live there, but honestly, St. Pete is a bit more quite and chill so we like that too. After that camp I was home for about 3 days before heading to Clermont, Florida for my first Pewag Racing Team training camp. Yup 13 athletes all crammed into one house, representing Austria, France, Belgium, Russia and the good ol' USA. For me it was great to be surrounded by such talent and overall I enjoyed cooking and cleaning for these fella's. It's what you do for your team.
Some more pictures....OH AND I bought a new Truck...and sold the Baby Blue Soooob! Finishing up the month of February meant the second annual TRIBAL EPIC LIFE CHANGING Camp here in Tucson, AZ. Here we hit a full schedule, 10 days of fun. We climbed Madera Canyon, Kitt Peak, Gates Pass (kinda), Mt. Lemmon and also hit up plenty of social rides on the loop. We also ran Sabino Canyon, Saquaro East and swam at the Oro Valley Aquatic Center. We had athlete from Florida, Hawaii, Washington D.C and Wisconsin come out for some pre-season fun. This is a staple trip for me and whether I'm running a camp or just training hard, I'll be here every year! All in all we put in a 30 hour training week with a few very long, 7 hours days. Great work by all.