I do have to say that this winter was challenging thanks to the constant snow, then ice, and cold, cold winds for most days. We all had our patience tested on several fronts (people stealing newly shoveled parking spots) and got to the point where it started to accumulate and the though of “when it would all melt?” was plausible. But Mother Nature rules the show and no sooner did we have a few nice days, even one where I wore a tshirt and shorts, that things are looking green again. It certainly wasn’t too difficult getting use to the cold to the point that 30 degrees is actually really warm and comfortable. The ground has been hard, you have to watch your step, wear the right gear, and make sure you adjust your intensity and do the proper ice down afterwards (and BioFreeze rubs). I am finishing my final base work and have attacked my hill work almost on a daily basis. I have lost some serious weight, and Gina had to make sure the clamps were on, but I owe that to the volume and hill work this month of February. I also had my physical and followed that up with a stress echocardiogram since Dr. Stark thought I had a too low a heartrate (was in the 40′s at my 5pm appointment). So much to the point that the nurse practitioner thought her ECG machine was busted. But everything was “structurally sound” and I knew there wasn’t much to worry about, just precaution on his part. I have to admit, it was the best physical exam I have had in years. Blood work, full checkup, hearing tests (yes Gina is right I got issues, say what?) and the echocardiogram – never rushed, all taking about an hour.  Great job to the crew over at Garry Stark’s Medical Office here in town (www.garrystarkmd.com).

I have also made great progress on my book, finally finishing my second draft. I get to work on it during the weekends, and since we haven’t driven anywhere due to the weather, the time has allowed for more focus towards the book during these days. I have to admit that I don’t like to use the computer when I get home on the weekday since I’m looking at one most of the time at work.  Any time outdoors is a good time. Finally the sun comes up around 6:30, the days are getting longer, and March means time to put the show on the roads. Time to get a little more intense, time to pick up the pace, and time to get some racing in! I have a few road races coming up on Long Island to get an idea of how well my base has been. The weather should be getting milder, the layers will come off, and I can really kick it up a notch. This next month I will switch gears for this intensity and I will continue to focus and practice on hilly, rolling profiles to best mimic every detail of the Vegas race course for Worlds. I am completing entry forms and booking flights for races and trips into June. The Wilson’s have confirmed and are ready for me for Buffalo Springs. The Kahunas are planning Hood to Coast, and Gina and I have did the preliminary detailing for Worlds. We look forward to trying to get in a few weekend local getaways now that we can venture out with the car. All good.

I am excited and happy to renew my sponsorship with Team Odwalla. A bigger, broader team has been selected, and it will be a pleasure representing the brand at 5 races this year, and offering volunteer work at a few more. Great product, great brand, great company. So far, most races on the schedule listed in my January journal are still on, except one or two local events which have new dates which conflicted with our schedule. But I am excited and eager to start getting out there and testing the MC-hine after my result in Charleston, sandwiched by another 8 weeks of base work. I’m looking into other ventures as things develop and in constant discussion with G in each.

Shout out to my man Brian for his usual yearly tax filing services. We get it in early, he gets it done quick. Also to Gina’s father, Arthur, who turns 90 this weekend! He’s older than Gina and me combined!!

Speaking of family, big time props to the Colvin/Bushman home baking skillz as we now have biscotti, improved cookies, and yes, the whoopie pie!! My sister Lisa has been sending us treats from here favorite sweet shop. Gina has also jacked it up with some scrumptious cake breads. I myself am pleased to have succesfully developed a formula for a cereal/peanut butter bar that actually tasted good. Thanks also to my co-worker Matt Rivas for his weekly hook up of papusas for dinner, and lest I forget, big thanks to Dunkin Donuts for their line of chocolate special donuts for the month of February. Fridays at work have been worth it. Big time Team efforts here – Yum Yum!! Oh yeah, and Rita’s opening day is March 3rd!!!!!!!!!

For now the transition is about to begin and Lent isn’t too far off. I look forward to shifting my gears and representing on the race courses. The seeds have been planted and it’s time to sprout!

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