Monday, March 10, 2008

Things I learned in Chicago...

1. Vision Quest Coaching is an incredible facility with top-notch coaches and staff. The day could not have run more efficiently, and I learned so much in such a short amount of time.

2. Robbie Ventura is coach extraordinaire. He is a wealth of knowledge about power training, giving us several talks during the day off the cuff. It's obvious that he loves to teach. And to top it off, he's a super nice guy.

3. My Evotri teammates are some of the nicest, most down to earth people I've ever met. They made me feel so welcome right from the start. I'm so fortunate to be given this opportunity to journey with them.

4. My swim instruction from Fitz at Chicago Blue Dolphins made a big difference in my swim stroke. My legs no longer drag the bottom when I swim. I never knew that my armpits had anything to do with my stroke - Fitz told me to thrust my armpits down while gliding to achieve better balance and elevate my legs. Worked like a charm! I might make the swim cutoff after all!

5. I really learned a lot about core strength from Nancy, who does functional testing for Vision Quest. Nancy's little, but she's STRONG - by the end, I was saying, "Yes ma'am, Miss Nancy!" She tested our strength (i.e. push-ups, sit-ups, chin-ups, etc.), our flexibility (i.e. hamstring/calf flexibility, etc.), and our stability (i.e. one legged squats, kneeling on top of training balls, etc.). Nancy made everything look so easy when she illustrated the exercises, but guess what? It was far from easy. I was sore for three days after this testing - shows how much work I have to do!

6. I was the only guy in the whole facility with "hair pants" (as Stu called my hairy legs). I've been so resistant to shaving - it's just so unnatural in my mind!

7. I was warned ahead of time about the lactate threshold testing - I was ready. During this test, you ride the bike progressively harder for 40 minutes while Robbie does fingerstick blood testing to determine your lactic acid levels at different power levels. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be - I barely felt the fingersticks. The hardest part was giving your all, which was worth it for the information we received.

8. Our team has the coolest sponsors. Rachel from Saris/CycleOps was there the whole day, and she was so helpful for me because I had never used a power meter before. She gave me a crash course to be able to use the meter that day - thanks, Rachel.

9. I'm really looking forward to working with my VQ coach Dan. He made a special effort to come and meet me at VQ that day. We sat and chatted about my goals and how I can achieve them. We also discussed the results of my testing done that day, which he will use to tailor my training regimen. I've never had a coach before - this is SWEET!

10. We also had some serious spousal support that day in Chicago. Wil's husband James was there, taking incredible pictures of us in various states of pain and laughter - the pictures in this post were taken by him. My wife Lisa also attended . I was really glad she was there to share in the magic of that day at Vision Quest with my Evotri teammates.


Wil said...

Awesome write up! It was so cool you guys could make it on such short notice, this is going to be a great year!

Stef said...

Very cool! It is exciting for me, a relative beginner in the sport, to see this unfold for you. What a day the team had there at Vision Quest.

Rock on . . .

SimplyStu said...

Nice job on the blog Charlie!!!!!

Rural Girl said...

On hair pants...I think you weren't alone. Stu had them!

I was sore for something like 4 or 5 days due to the Nancinator as Ironwil likes to call her.

Bolder said...

welcome to the team.

and, welcome to blogland.

i hope your blog becomes a trusted companion, with a set of supportive friends, just as mine has.

Tri to Be Funny said...

Sounds like it was amazing (damn you!) :-) Congrats on becoming a member of the team Charlie! I'm a Buckeye and we hate losing to LSU fans, but I guess I'm used to it!! I actually have some things I'd love to send to your family at some point. As a joke (after Ohio State got beat by LSU), a client of mine sent me a bunch of LSU stuff including magnets, croc shoes, napkins, etc. I'd love to send them to you and your family! I can't bear to look at them any longer...Feel free to visit my blog and send me an email with your home address.

Congrats again!