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The Next Level - February 2004

Greetings and welcome to Volume one, issue three, page one, line one of The Next Level Monthly newsletter. Okay, now itís line two.

This issue might be a little short, as we had quite a weekend here in Orlando. One of the local cycling teams hosted criterium races downtown, and I am wiped out after standing and watching the last race of the day, which included a few pretty good pro and local teams. They completed 100 laps at about 32 mph on a 1k loop course. Very, very neat to watch. If you ever get the chance to support your local cycling teams by volunteering or just showing up to cheer, I highly recommend it.

In the News: Congrats to Doug T, who finished his first marathon in tough weather out in L.A on March 7th. Doug has been a busy fellow in the last few weeks but stuck with the training and it paid off. Way to go, Doug!

Next to bat in the long distance race category is Thomas W, racing Ralphís Half-IM in California on April 3. Thomas has prepared for this event almost entirely indoors. Where thereís a will, thereís a way!

On the other coast, Bert and Ashley H will be tackling an off-road Duathlon on March 20 and the Azalea Fest Sprint on April 3. When theyíre not racing themselves, theyíre helping set up the races for others. Good luck with your season openers!

April 3 is a busy day, as Jill M will be competing at the Flushing Half-Marathon, in prep for the Bayshore Marathon on Memorial Day weekend. Jill has been running more than the rest of us combined! (Ok, more than me, anyway).

Meanwhile, on April 4th, Mark S will take on the Tri-America Olympic distance Triathlon season opener in Clermont, while Richard S will be shooting for a 5k PR at the Cherry Blossom 5k. Good luck, gentlemen!

Finally, chief Michigan Outlaw - Ken M - is putting in a surprise appearance at one of Floridaís oldest and most interesting sprints: The Winona Triathlon. This race consists of a 1/4 swim, a 5 kilometer run, and finishes with a 14.6 mile bike. Many of the locals (well, one anyway, a co-worker of mine) are eager for a shot at the 2003 Clydesdale National Champion!

Basically, the racing season is upon us. Stay healthy, stay consistent, and letís all kick some you know what this year.

Ok, now for some news that is strictly business. Iíve gone corporate. Incorporated, that is. Some of you may know that I plan to stick around the coaching biz for the long haul. As such, Iíve formed One Step Beyond, Inc. The premise of the name is essentially this: Take your training and racing one step beyond your competition. Life and training is a series of steps, a learning process, and none of us get anywhere without taking things one step at a time. And assuredly, the time will come for all of us to take it - one step beyond - and into the unknown, be it in life or in training. My intention is to provide guidance into at least one of these venues.

I also always liked that old Madness tune, just a bunch of music with one crazy guy yelling, One Step Beyond! (Check into it if you havenít heard Madness Ė great music).

The only way this will affect you is that Iíd ask those of you who pay by check to make your checks out to One Step Beyond or One Step Beyond, Inc. If you pay through Paypal, thereís no change. Iíll also be launching the live site sometime soon, but in the interim you can periodically check www.martygaal.com/onestep to see the development unfold. Donít check until at least Wednesday though.

Iím working in baby steps.

Enjoy your sport,
Marty Gaal
www.martygaal.com