After a great deal of thought, I have decided to postpone my world record attempt until next summer.
Primarily I made this decision because I don't believe that my body (and especially my left knee) can tolerate the strain of training for the world record this summer. A lifetime of imbalanced training has left me with an imbalanced body -- strong in many areas, but too weak and inflexible in others. I'm afraid that pushing forward with this year's training schedule as planned will break one of these weak links, either forcing me into a lengthy recovery or compromising my performance on race day, as happened last year.
With this in mind, I plan to spend the rest of this year researching injury prevention and using this knowledge to build a strong, flexible, balanced, and resilient body that can handle the hundreds of hours -- and thousands of miles of skating -- that I'll need to log to break the world record. I'm also looking forward to attending another Eddy Matzger seminar and working on my form and technique, which is the weakest part of my skating.
Additionally, I've been considering some new ideas regarding the character of the world record attempt. Originally I had intended to make an unofficial, cheap-skate, plain-jane attempt that would consist of me skating laps at Denver's Washington Park one summer weekend (you can read about my reasons for wanting to do an informal attempt here). However, with time I have realized that this is a bad idea, for a number of reasons: the city denied my request for permission to skate overnight; the typical weekend Wash Park traffic of pedestrians, cyclists, dogs, and kids on tricycles hinders me considerably; and Wash Park has hills, as well as sprinklers that soak the course at night with reeking pond water.
So I'm now looking for a closed, flat course where I can set an official Guinness World Record. I'm also considering organizing an event with multiple skaters vying for the world record over the same 24 hours, and combining all of this with a charity fundraiser. All of this will require a lot of energy and time to plan, which is why I'm starting now. I will be posting details as the picture becomes clearer.
I'm a little disappointed to be postponing an event that I've been looking forward to for more than two years, but mostly I'm happy that with the extra time I will be able to organize an exciting event, and most of all that I'll be able to give the world record my best possible effort. I wish good fortune to Philippe Coussy with his own world record attempt this fall, and I look forward to hearing about his result. Godspeed, mon ami!