Well, my PT has had me doing some glute exercises that may be relevant. We'll see what he says.
This would be a fun bunch to hang with... I think I could make a few miles with you fellas anyway....On a serious side I hope others are enjoying the attitude of the thread. Some serious mental giants here.
Dang! This thread deserves a bump!
i got my ass, ok 1 shin and 1 foot run over by a horse trailer! And the worst thing about it was it was my own damned fault, AGAIN!
distal fratcure, so nothing like what others went through. I credit my lake 303s
My wife made a very interesting observation the other day. She said I changed completely when I went from being reward-focused to being goal-focused. Huh. Never thought of it that way.
I don't ride to eat anymore (yes, I used to -- make it through this ride and imagine what you get to eat!). I do it for the thrill of achieving a goal I never thought imaginable (4,000 miles in a year! 130 miles in one ride! pulled my asthmatic middle-aged self up Ventoux!). I can't even remember what I ate after Ventoux. I think though that I will remember the feeling (and surprising emotion) when I got to the top and saw the view and realized that IO had pulled it off. I have great photos of that, and other rides.
As I was suffering through that climb (it is truly brutal), I kept thinking about family and friends, and what they lived through with war, cancer, etc. and realized this was not suffering, this was achievement.
So, if I can offer anything -- focus on the goal.
"how do you know you can't swim until you have drowned?"
No way in hell I could have done 1/3 of that when I started.
"how do you know you can't swim until you have drowned?"
and not just any athlete, an endurance athlete
cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting
in my neck of the woods we get sustained winds of 20-30mph, on those days I have a choice go pedal against the wind one direction and have the wind push me home, or get on the trainer and ride in front of the computer.
I use both options.
I don't have too many hills around me as it is mostly flat here in the Columbia Basin, but I tend to find them and conquer them. Sometimes I have to unclip from the pedals and take a breather part way up the hill, but I keep on until I am on the downhill side where I can make up for lost time and crank out some speed.
And yes I whine at times too.
I'm not a fan of hills and wind yet. But my wife and I purposely hit the trails when the wind kicked up a couple of times. I've noticed that it doesn't feel any easier... but our speeds are increasing. 4 weeks ago we hit a headwind on a charity ride. With the wind at our backs, we were getting mile speeds at 3:30-4:30. Head wind dropped it to 6-7:30 (we were also tired by that point because we had not practiced 20+ miles enough and were riding comfort bikes).
Last time we hit a fairly light headwind (5-10mph with gusts of 10-20) we were doing 4.5 minute miles. So they feel just as hard... because we are riding into the wind faster. 12-13mph used to be hard with no wind or at our backs. Now that is our light headwind speed.
As for hills, we both stick to canal trails mostly. Which means only about a 10-15' hill up and down the canal. Steapest around us is under 5* according to my Strava readouts (feels like about 45* during!). It used to be that I'd try and dread the hills. Now I prepare and take them as hard as I can and try to get to the top with some gas left. They're getting easier. We're going to head to South Mountain next month and probably try riding up the paved road as practice. It'll get easier... hopefully because if we want to do any charity rides during the summer or early fall, it'll involve hills. Phoenix valley probably doesn't have too many summer rides
I was kind of looking forward to tax time this year, only see those folks once a year really, they do taxes out of their own home. Husband and Wife, she used to be a Nurse, she had made a comment LAST year that every lb you lost was like 6lbs off your knees :-). I was showing up there this year 120+ lbs lighter than last year :-).
I told her what my BP, H1AC, and resting pulse usually are these days, she said "those are an athletes scores"....and I thought of this thread when she said that :-).
Nice thread, and deserves reviving.
A couple of observations:
1. It is what it is. When I get to a climb, it is there, and has to be done. I might as well make the most of it, and that usually means making a challenge. Which means several things -- getting to the top, obviously, but also managing my output so I don't blow up along the way. And to lift my head and see what is around me while pedalling away so slowly.
2. We'll see when we get there. This is something Machka and I coined to each other more and more often on our travels, but it applies as much to cycling. On more than several occasions, the weather forecasts has been less than amenable, and riding partners have declined to leave the house. I've set off, and the day has turned out to be wonderful. But generally, we'll see what's there by carrying on around that corner, up that hill, to the horizon, and through that thunder storm, and more often than not, it's been worth the effort.
3. The most memorable rides usually have been the toughest. I can count on the fingers of two hands the memorable "good" rides, but the most memorable with tales attached have been when there have been tough times along the way.
4. Goal setting is very important. For the past few years, I have been in the doldrums with cycling after a "gold era" of randonneuring and touring and commuting. But my interest in randonneuring has been rekindled (I've even become president of the local state branch of our Audax club), and I have started planning some new routes for events next season. Add to this the loss since the end of 2012 or around 21kg (46lbs), and approaching my goal weight of 80kg (176lbs), and I feel ready to get riding long distances again, and maybe throw in a triathlon or two along the way!
Dream. Dare. Do.
Nice thread. I agree with the hills. I have a route with lots of hills outside my door that I tried to ride early on. I couldn't go 400' up the route without stopping for air. Now just 3 months later I haven't ridden less than 2,000' of incline in almost 6 weeks with the longest incline on a ride being just over 4,000'.. I'm still slow on the hills, but every time I ride them I feel stronger.
I think one of the most difficult challenges to improving yourself is peer pressure. Whether you're a 16 yr old high schooler who would rather go to the gym over hanging out with friends. A serious ahtlete who would rather watch his/her diet and take care of their body over bar hopping with friends. Or an overweight person finally turning the corner by eating right, exercising, and changing lifestyle to a more healthy one. The constant pull of negative peer pressure is a serious obstacle. It may not be negative, but it's atleast not supportive. It can be a pretty lonely trip. You need to be able to find joy and motivation from your own accomplishments, because normally there won't be anyone there to pat you on the back.
Push on all....
Well, someone has to offer some balance:
I think those who exercise because of personal insecurity or peer pressure are essentially -- running scared.
Real athletes I have known and respected, and I mean accomplished athletes, do it because they've made it part of them. It's like taking out the trash or brushing teeth. There is no show-off, no bragging about hills or effort or sweat; perhaps as Gary Gilmore once said you "just do it". My two cents is those that talk the talk are unlikely to be the ones that walk the walk in the long-run. I remember what my tennis coach told me, 'the player that's working the hardest is likely the loser... real athleticism is grace and conservation of energy - not sweating'.
And, athletes are great bar hoppers too. Now, y'all go crazy....
Those that understand need no explanation, but if we can try to describe it maybe others will look for their "thing"......that can verge on madness at times :-).
I think FrenchFit has taken exception with my use of the term athlete. The message of the thread was aimed at fat, out of shape people working hard to get more active and live a more healthy life. In my opinion inorder for the change to stick, it needs to become part of you. The intent of the thread was not to send any sort of message to “real athletes”. Or to debate what a “real athlete” is. My last post was to discuss the mental battle you must win to make it stick. And we shouldn’t feel any different than other people trying to make changes in their lives. Peer pressure can be difficult if you are not motivated by the right reasons.
I would like to say not all “real athletes” are bar hopping God given talents. Some actually work fairly hard to achieve their “real athlete” status.
Last edited by HelpMeRhonda; 04-02-15 at 10:05 PM.
All of this reminds me of an interview I saw many years ago on the David Letterman show. John Kruk was the interviewee. For those that don't know, Kruk is a baseball guy. A player for the Padres, Phillies and White Sox and now a broadcaster for ESPN. He wrote a book entitled, I Ain't an Athlete, Lady!, which leads to the point of this post.
Letterman asked Kruk what it was like to be a professional athlete during the interview. Kruk responded by saying, "I ain't an athlete. I am a baseball player".
For whatever reason, that has stuck with me and helped me to grasp that not everyone who enjoys or participates in athletics is an athlete per se. This is not necessarily a bad thing but only an observation on my part. Some people love multiple sports. I, as a young man, played everything and anything involving a ball and lettered in multiple sports over multiple years in both high school and college. But some people find their niche, or passion, in just one discipline. There are plenty of people out there who are "cyclists". That is all they do. They love it. Perhaps excel at it. They are cyclists - but not necessarily athletes. Give a cyclist a baseball glove and they could possibly hurt themselves whereas an athlete can look comfortable in just about any sporting situation.
Another perfect example of people who are not athletes yet excel at a sporting skill is NASCAR drivers. I love NASCAR, but to call Jeff Gordon or Dale Earnhardt Jr. an athlete because they drive a car with great skill is a bit of a stretch.
So you may be wondering what the point of all this is. I am not so sure now myself to be honest other than to say regardless of whether you consider yourself an athlete or a cyclist - own who you are. Who gives a flying f&%* what someone else says. Considering that this forum is for cyclists I would say to be a cyclists and be proud. And maybe you can one day get to the point where you own it to such a degree as Kruk owned being "just" a major league baseball player. And then, when someone asks you about being an athlete you can say, "I ain't an athlete. I am a cyclist".
PostScript: Kruk retired in possibly the coolest way I have ever seen. During a game in Baltimore, Kruk went to the plate needing a hit to get his career batting average up to .300. He walked to the plate and proceeded to get a single. Upon reaching first base, he called the coach over, took off his helmet and gloves, handed them to the coach and retired on the spot. He walked off the field and that was the end of his career.
Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Friel also says the worlds best cyclist probably never rode a bicycle, and he and she sit on the couch, smoke cigs, and eat cheetos, they never even got on a bike :-), same for some of the worlds best everything else :-).
The "best" are selected from those who even bother to TRY the sport :-).
As to NASCAR, probably you might not be able to judge if a NASCAR driver is an "athlete" or not by their time on the track :-).
But some of the attributes of an athlete are a low resting pulse and a high LTHR, and a lot of cyclists have those :-).
Last edited by Willbird; 04-03-15 at 06:38 AM.