Monday, September 23, 2013

Graduations and racing

I finally decided that IMAZ in 2014 was a fantasy for me completely due to my lack of focus and training so I decided to ask for the token $150 refund. About the same time I started thinking about registering for the inaugural Challenge Family Atlantic City Full since it looks like a great race for me.

My mind went into hyperdrive. I'm in such bad shape now that doing a full next June would be a reach. A better choice would to do a HIM instead or an Oly to get back into the race game. I looked at the date and saw that Rev3Quassy (a course I hate anyway) was probably a little late for a shake out half but found that Bassman the first week or so in May could work nice. I could do the Memorial Day Fireman Ironman camp at Placid, mix in a little NY Fondo (a ride I hate too), a Montauk Century training ride, and everything was coming together. I even started looking at the race fees but then realized something.

The date of the Challenge Family 2014 Atlantic City race is the same date as my daughter's high school graduation.

Now, I am not a fan of graduations. I didn't like when I graduated years ago and my mother made me go by threatening to kick me out of the house if I didn't participate. There was no chance of me going to my MBA graduation. If I decide to go back to school now, I wouldn't dream of going to a graduation ceremony. I think kids now celebrate many minuscule milestones unnecessarily but finishing HS is a real accomplishment and worthy of recognition. It would be hard to sneak out and race this race during intermission or something so the 2014 version was out. Luckily I realized this before sending in all the money.

My  younger daughter will graduate in 2016 so that year would probably be out too. But 2015 is looking good. It gives me a chance to get in shape in 2014 and go for it in 2015.

I told my wife the plan and she said that could work. She did say it would be a good idea to actually race a race that I've registered for. That means training and everything, not just sending in the money.

Time to give that plan a chance. What a novel idea.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Purposeful cycling

As I am transitioning from slug to an out-of-shape athlete wannabe, I'm actually doing a lot of the workouts prescribed by my coach (all will come soon). One of the workouts that I did do last weekend involved bike intervals outside intervals on a flat course. It called for a set of 5x5 minute harder sessions interspersed with other sections that I viewed as just cruising as recovery. I thought I nailed the power targets during the harder bits but got an email after I posted my workout from my coach which said:

"Are you pedaling then briefly coasting frequently or is your power dropping to zero a problem with your power meter?" 

Busted. I answered truthfully that I was pedaling then coasting as I watched the scenery go by. His response was:

"More pedaling and less coasting next time please :)"

This made me think about what I was actually doing and why. There is riding and there is training - they are not necessarily the same thing. I was riding when I should have been training. I did this ride on a 4 mile loop that I went around a bunch of times. Yes, I could have checked out the scenery during my warm up lap or in my cool down but when it was time to train I should have been riding with a purpose. I will claim the invention of the term "purposeful cycling."

This week's plan was posted and includes a similar workout, extended a little longer with the comment "try not to coast." I am sure my mindset will be dialed in to purposeful cycling mode. I'm sure that'll make him happy and soon will become the norm. 

Just like it was before.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Things I remembered I missed while riding my bike.

This morning I was delaying going on my ride, inventing fake reasons why I would do it later. Yesterday I did the same thing but I delayed it to the point where I never did it at all. I didn't want that to happen again so I decided to just get on my bike and ride around the neighborhood for a while. I didn't want to get too far away from my house as one of the reasons that I was inventing ("it was going to rain") was actually based in fact.

During this ride I realized there were a whole bunch of things that I missed while riding. Thought I'd jot a few down and read this when I find myself procrastinating yet again.

Good things:

  • Fresh asphalt.
  • Cue markings for bike rides that were done before.
  • Passing one of those portable speed sensors that say speed limit/your speed and it shows you are going faster than you think.
  • The head nod given and received for/by riders going in the opposite direction.
  • Riding a road that you never had ridden before.
  • Climbing a hill as others bomb down it going the other way. 
  • Having people working on their lawn say good morning as you ride by.
  • The sound of a woodpecker.
  • Thinking of quotes from Caddyshack as you ride past a golf course.
  • Church bells.
  • Not getting rained on even though the ground is wet during parts of your ride.
Bad things:
  • Broken beer bottles on the side of the road. The people that put them there should be mandated to drink only crappy canned beer for life.
  • Old people cutting you off with their car, oblivious to their surroundings.
  • Pot holes.
  • The smell of road kill.
  • Riding over an acorn and having it shoot out at a speed which approaches the sound barrier.
  • Dogs barking from inside a car that passes you.
  • Puddles.
  • Leaves and twigs while on a road bike (note this goes to the good thing category on a mountain or cross bike).
To be categorized things:
  • The sting of sweat dropping into your eye.

Got any to add?