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  1. #1376
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    I did not want to even think why the bike was named Roger. It was too disturbing.
    http://www.bianchiusa.com/archives/2007/cross/roger/

    I saw one around 2007 at a local Ride of Silence and I thought it was one of the coolest bikes at the time. Bought mine used on ebay.

    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    Well, it sure looks like it's in a chop shop, so maybe he hasn't gotten around to removing the identifying markings after the theft.
    This is why I haven't ever posted even a partial photo of my garage before. Obviously, I have a big project for my first month of retirement. At least most of the bikes are clean.
    Thanks.
    Cleave
    "Real men wear pink."
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  2. #1377
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleave View Post
    This is why I haven't ever posted even a partial photo of my garage before. Obviously, I have a big project for my first month of retirement. At least most of the bikes are clean.
    Hey, that's all that matters!
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  3. #1378
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    46 minutes on the trainer last night at recovery pace. Today is a rest day, so I washed the bike - both of last weekend's rides were partly in the rain, and the drivetrain was filthy. The bike is probably a kilo lighter.
    Regards,
    Chuck

    Demain, on roule!

  4. #1379
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    Ugh, left work a bit early because I am feeling slightly under the weather. Resting in bed with the laptop on my lap. No track tonight. Hope it doesn't settle into anything significant as I was feeling pretty good and was hoping the build up to Valley of the Sun would go uninterrupted.
    Thanks.
    Cleave
    "Real men wear pink."
    See my cycling photos at http://www.pbase.com/cleavel/bicycling
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  5. #1380
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleave View Post
    This is why I haven't ever posted even a partial photo of my garage before. Obviously, I have a big project for my first month of retirement. At least most of the bikes are clean.
    I'll show you mine if you show me yours

    My garage is a disaster. It collects an unbelievable amount of detritus. Retirement project? Heavens, sometimes I think the only solution is a house fire. Horrible thought, but at times it can be that desperate!
    Racer Ex..."Don't know if the shop is under new ownership. If not feel free to shoplift stuff and break bottles in his parking lot."

  6. #1381
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    I felt less than good today too. Ex scheduled today as a sit in day on the ride if I felt too tired, and I did feel too tired (in spite of not racing this past weekend). I hope I'm not coming down with anything! I have a special training ride coming up in less than two weeks, and I want to be 100%...
    Racer Ex..."Don't know if the shop is under new ownership. If not feel free to shoplift stuff and break bottles in his parking lot."

  7. #1382
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Sara

    When I go out for a training ride and don't have anything I shut it down and go home. For me, when my body needs a day off it tells me and I grant it. I will usually have more to give on the next "hard day".
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  8. #1383
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarals View Post
    I felt less than good today too. Ex scheduled today as a sit in day on the ride if I felt too tired, and I did feel too tired (in spite of not racing this past weekend). I hope I'm not coming down with anything! I have a special training ride coming up in less than two weeks, and I want to be 100%...
    Are you due for a rest week?

  9. #1384
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    Are you due for a rest week?
    Yep, and this is it, hence the "sit in".

    Winter and cold/flue season is always iffy. Fingers crossed, take your vitamins and anti-oxidants and rest.

  10. #1385
    West Coast Weenie Esteban58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarals View Post
    I'll show you mine if you show me yours

    My garage is a disaster. It collects an unbelievable amount of detritus. Retirement project? Heavens, sometimes I think the only solution is a house fire. Horrible thought, but at times it can be that desperate!
    We rented a dumpster... Filled it... Garage is still a work in progress but at least there's room to do the work.
    just remember that home ownership is life's way of making sure you never have too much time or money.
    there is no signature.

  11. #1386
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    Yep, and this is it, hence the "sit in".

    Winter and cold/flue season is always iffy. Fingers crossed, take your vitamins and anti-oxidants and rest.
    I am and I will. Thank you! And as you put on the TRS, I will NOT go to spin tomorrow - no sneaking down there to socialize, nothing.

    I still find myself surprised at how my body works, how it responds, or how it doesn't. Or why. When it's on, it's really on. Most of the time, it's just average, but even then I have moments when it's really good even on those average days, and I do tend to ride better later in those rides more often than not. However, the important thing I've found is that it's not all "on me". I've found I really do rely on other stronger riders to "make me fast". With them around me, I can hang. If I'm riding aware in those situations, I can make moves - slingshot, I guess - to the front, or stay close. I don't have the strength to do it on my own. I'm not going to pull away from anyone by myself. I can sit on a wheel, hope that wheel tires, if it does then try a move, and then hope I don't have to far to go to get to the next helper - a downhill, another wheel, a tailwind - anything. If a climb comes along, all bets are off. Other riders can't help me climb. It's all on me. If it's short, I might be able to keep the people in front of me close, and if they get tired before me or I recover before they do, I just might be able to catch back up. If it's a long climb, I can only put my head down and grunt it out. Then I have to hope that the people in front of me are lesser descenders than I am.

    Then, no matter how much stronger I've gotten, I see the effects of age. I just don't have the sustained power of the younger people, and I don't have their fast responses. Lately, with increased fatigue on my part, I really see it. It's almost like it's making inroads on me that I can't overcome.

    Sure, I've gained some strength, some speed, some experience, but mostly, I've gained some insight into me. Sometimes, too, I wonder at the wisdom of what I'm doing. I've learned I really don't have physical gifts, none at all, and all the determination in the world will only take me so far. Younger, totally average riders, can and do ride right past me at times. That really causes me to question why in the world I think I can "race". I'm almost resigned to the notion that, like last year, I'm pretty sure the young women in the fields I'll be in this season will utterly destroy me. I hope I don't get so demoralized that I give up.
    Racer Ex..."Don't know if the shop is under new ownership. If not feel free to shoplift stuff and break bottles in his parking lot."

  12. #1387
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Your post warrants a thoughtful response, Sara, but that will have to wait until tomorrow, as I'm fresh out of thoughtfulness at the moment!

    Did the training crit tonight... team wasn't interested in working any strategy, so I used the race to freshen up my feel for the course (on my racing wheels) and the pack. First race of the season will be on that course, and in a 2-3-4 field that I suspect will reflect the makeup of the training crits, but without the couple of Cat1's that are usually there. So I basically stayed near the front, and paid close attention to a Cat1 who is among our regions top 3 crit guys. With everyone thinking about Saturday, the pack was pretty aggressive, and it kept coming back together. In the final laps, the pack was still large, maybe 40 guys? - the largest lead pack I've seen there since, well, a long time. And it also wasn't the smoothest... yep... this is where the Cat 4 guy complains about sketchy riders I was seriously questioning whether I wanted to be in the pack for the sprint, as I had been pushed back a bit, and folks were chopping corners and jumping out without knowing who was there. But it finally thinned on the final lap: I moved up as much as I could and crossed somewhere in the low teens.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  13. #1388
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarals View Post
    I've learned I really don't have physical gifts, none at all, and all the determination in the world will only take me so far. Younger, totally average riders, can and do ride right past me at times. That really causes me to question why in the world I think I can "race". I'm almost resigned to the notion that, like last year, I'm pretty sure the young women in the fields I'll be in this season will utterly destroy me. I hope I don't get so demoralized that I give up.
    I believe I wrote it (and said it) before but you're an outlier with your late start and gender which puts you in a spot where your opportunities to measure yourself against equal competition aren't showing up every weekend...which is understating things to say the least. As a point of fact you haven't had that opportunity yet; racing against elite kids is like me playing basketball against Kobe Bryant.

    That's why I would encourage you to do all the Senior Games you can manage, along with shooting for Masters Nationals at some point, with the caveat that the people that are still hanging around often tend to have some pretty good resumes. But I think you'll have a blast and find out that you're a lot better, apples to apples, than you might think. And you could probably throw a rock through a high school window, challenge the kid you hit to a race, and beat them.

    I'm really fortunate in that I can win a race now and then. People like Cleave who have been in this sport longer than I have can tell you how rare and special that is. That's from Cat 5 on up racing against people of your own vintage, let alone against people who were in diapers not too long ago. We recover slower, it takes us longer to maximize our potential, and when we do it's not going to be the same performance that we could have knocked out at 23.

    I think at this point most of us enjoy the process as much or more than we focus on results (I'll admit to wanting to win badly when I go to the big shows). No matter how good you get, there is always someone who can drop you like a rock.

    There's a lot of neat folks in the sport, the health benefits can't be understated, and it's pretty fun at times.

  14. #1389
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarals View Post

    Then, no matter how much stronger I've gotten, I see the effects of age. I just don't have the sustained power of the younger people, and I don't have their fast responses. Lately, with increased fatigue on my part, I really see it. It's almost like it's making inroads on me that I can't overcome.

    Sure, I've gained some strength, some speed, some experience, but mostly, I've gained some insight into me. Sometimes, too, I wonder at the wisdom of what I'm doing. I've learned I really don't have physical gifts, none at all, and all the determination in the world will only take me so far. Younger, totally average riders, can and do ride right past me at times. That really causes me to question why in the world I think I can "race". I'm almost resigned to the notion that, like last year, I'm pretty sure the young women in the fields I'll be in this season will utterly destroy me. I hope I don't get so demoralized that I give up.
    Sara, I feel your pain. But don't get negative.

    I'm 58. It's a bit more than eight years since I got back on a bike after about fifteen years off, and when I was younger I didn't race, I commuted, toured, did a lot of high-volume but low intensity stuff. So I have no real way of knowing how strong I might have been back then. What I do know is that my physical potential now is much less than it was when I was 25, the more so because I spent my forties in couch-potato mode. So surprise, surprise, competing with the kids in Cat4 races is pretty tough, and the good ones can ride right by me. Bad enough in crits, which tend to be flattish. Watching them dance past me when the road turns up could make me weep, if I had the breath or energy for weeping.

    I'm going to start next season fitter than I have been since I was about 30 years old. That isn't going to save me. It's not impossible that I might win or place in a Cat4 crit, but if the field is relatively strong or contains an up-and-coming rider of any real quality, I'll be toasted.

    But turn it around. By the standards of all-age competitive racing cyclists I am pretty well down towards the bottom of the heap. But by the standards of the general 58 year-old male population, I am in what most people regard as spectacular shape. When I say I need to lose weight and get fitter, most of my contemporaries think I am insane. And I am having fun. Whether or not I ever win anything, the training is good for my mental as well as physical health, and I'll keep doing it even when I don't bother with the racing any more.

    Don't beat yourself up because you aren't as good as a talented 25 year-old. Congratulate yourself on the fact that you are an exceptional individual in your age-group, and measure your progress against yourself, not against kids with perfect knees who weigh about 100 lbs when wet through.

  15. #1390
    Senior Member
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    By the standards of all-age competitive racing cyclists I am pretty well down towards the bottom of the heap. But by the standards of the general 58 year-old male population, I am in what most people regard as spectacular shape. When I say I need to lose weight and get fitter, most of my contemporaries think I am insane. And I am having fun. Whether or not I ever win anything, the training is good for my mental as well as physical health, and I'll keep doing it even when I don't bother with the racing any more.
    This describes me as well, except that I'm 61. The younger guys I ride with on weekends know that they'll drop me eventually, but also understand that it'll take them a while, and they respect that. I enjoy knowing that I can still work hard at this stuff and see steady improvement.
    Regards,
    Chuck

    Demain, on roule!

  16. #1391
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarals View Post
    Sure, I've gained some strength, some speed, some experience, but mostly, I've gained some insight into me. Sometimes, too, I wonder at the wisdom of what I'm doing. I've learned I really don't have physical gifts, none at all, and all the determination in the world will only take me so far. Younger, totally average riders, can and do ride right past me at times. That really causes me to question why in the world I think I can "race". I'm almost resigned to the notion that, like last year, I'm pretty sure the young women in the fields I'll be in this season will utterly destroy me. I hope I don't get so demoralized that I give up.
    First, on how you feel. If you are due for a rest week, that means you've just finished a strong training block. You are supposed to feel like crap. Run down, tired, achy, out of gas, like you just want to have a couple of drinks and crash. If you don't, then you and your coach aren't on the same page, and I seriously doubt that. Just wait. Wait until you hit the gas the first or second time into your next block. Your legs are going to .

    On riding and racing. Your description sounds a lot like when I race with the pros or a strong M40+ field. I have one move, maybe two. Otherwise, it takes all I've got to hang in and surf the field. There are times when the field owns me. I know what you mean, and it's frustrating, but it is what it is. You have found ways to deal with it, that's GREAT! I am fortunate, and I believe one of the outliers here in that I raced a lot at the elite level when I was young. I was in the same field as David Phinney, Eric Heiden, Bob Roll, Wayne Stetina, you get the picture. I raced for 6 years and then quit. I went 26 years without touching a road bike, then got back on one. It all came back, and I did well in my first year returning to racing. People told me it would be like that. I didn't believe them. I could not imagine that one could spend a half a lifetime away from a sport, return, and do well. But there is something about the human body that remembers. So if you didn't have that history on the bike, then you have to start from scratch. In the small women's fields that are often open and combined, then that is extra hard if that is the majority of the racing that you are doing. It takes a lot of guts just to pin on a number when you know what's coming. I agree with your coach that focusing on age group racing from a results perspective is wise. This is exactly what I do. The M55+ criteriums are my race, the level playing field. Everything else is just for the thrill, challenge, and fun of it. Look at the schedule and find those races in your area. Heck, find them out of your area. Those are your targets. Then, whenever you race up, tell yourself at the start that this is all for Race X, Y, and Z where you are going to crush people.

    I understand how you can get discouraged, especially so early in the progression when you have never tasted the success of winning. I've never met you, but from what you've written here, you seem to be a competitive person. You are not afraid of suffering in order to be successful. You measure yourself against others and want to beat them. You are very smart. You have picked up on a lot of the nuances that take beginning racers a lot of time to figure out. To me, that means you won't be satisfied with taking the town line sprint on the group ride. You ain't no Strava Queen. You are a racer, even though you might not feel like one now. Keep up the hard work. It is the structured training base that will build success in the future. You have a great coach. He will help you, guide you, crush you, and ground you. It's all a part of the progression.

  17. #1392
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    +1 Very well stated Shovelhd.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  18. #1393
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Very well stated, EVERYONE. Thank you all, so much, for your insight, encouragement, and most of all, for your friendship. For accepting this over the hill non-athlete woman into your fold, putting up with my whining, and pushing me along. I cannot express, not even begin to, how much that ALL means to me.
    Racer Ex..."Don't know if the shop is under new ownership. If not feel free to shoplift stuff and break bottles in his parking lot."

  19. #1394
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    I'll add an extension of what Ex was saying. Because there are so few people in your age/gender category, and those are likely really into it, strong, and experienced, you don't have nearly the opportunities for positive reinforcement that the rest of us have. We each had a lot more people we could compete with, right out of the gate. There are a lot more old male not-so-serious, obviously overweight racers than there are women. The women who race are almost invariably very dedicated and disciplined. Very strong. They are tackling what is largely a male sport, and there is a certain intensity that goes along with that. In fact, when I'm on a race or ride, and there is a woman or two participating, I assume they are very strong. So when I started racing, and hired a coach almost immediately, I was able to leapfrog a bunch of people, and see people behind me early on. That certainly helps feed the fires, but.... there are still non-racers who can drop me whenever they feel like it, and cracking the top say 10% of my age group will be really really hard... those guys are frickin' good, and they put as much time and effort into the sport as I do.

    So just keep in mind that you are comparing yourself to a small percentage of the population. You can trounce the vast majority of the people in the world. And also remember that it's a journey, and enjoy each part of it. Savor each improvement, like holding a wheel you would would have lost in the past. Measure yourself against yourself. Look inside and you'll see a lot to admire!

    TallWife is ambivalent about my racing. She considers it an addiction, and feels I don't have to be so "all-in" to get the benefits. But she is wrong. Because, if I didn't have the competition driving me, I just wouldn't be able to continue the effort. Why ride in 110* if you don't have that racing goal? There is just so much you can get out out racing. Not just the races themselves, but the process of racing, and training to race. It's the best thing there is, for me, and I believe the same is true for you. So accept the downs... embrace them even as they show you are working hard. And hard work means progress. Progress that is not always immediately visible, but progress. Don't compare yourself to last week - compare yourself to last year, and I bet it helps your perspective!
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  20. #1395
    Senior Member VanceMac's Avatar
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    Sara, I will pile on to all the great feedback above. One of the many great aspects of cycling is the tidal wave of positive reinforcement early on... watching the scale drop almost daily, moving further up in your group every week, changing to a faster group monthly. It is intoxicating. Well, inevitably, the gains become smaller, and harder to achieve. That can be depressing. And we've all seen people give up on cycling and move on to something else where they can experience that addicting growth curve again. That is one of the primary reasons I like the racing community, despite not being hyper-competitive: it forces me to strive for that continuous improvement even when the effort required becomes much harder and the incremental gains much smaller. Put in perspective, the 1% gains later on should be every bit as rewarding as those massive percentage gains when you first started cycling.

  21. #1396
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    I should put in a few things for the record.

    Ex has told me, in person, all of what he wrote. You'd better believe me when I say he's a gem. If you are lucky enough for a chance to have him coach YOU, jump.

    The bulk of the insight and nuance I have learned has been from Shovel, AzT, Chasm, EricM, Hermes, Ex, and AJ. Even after gaining the fitness, it took a little bit to understand that going fast is NOT something that one can do on their own. I remember quite well a thread where Hermes stated, quite simply, that it is is almost impossible for a rider to sustain over 20MPH on their own for any length of time. That was an epiphany for me. There have been MANY other simply stated, clearly spoken thoughts here that have been just as powerful.

    I believe I've stated my history, that I was NEVER an athlete in any way shape or form, and when my way shape and form became a 183 pound blob, I started to MOVE. The intention was to loose that weight, and that was all. A bicycle was the "easiest" way I thought I could do that ("no pain, no pain"), as I sure as hell wasn't going to put on sweats and go out and run in sight of those beautiful young things in their spandex (pushing strollers). Besides, of all of the things I could do, running was the thing I hated the most, followed closely by swimming. So, it was the bike. Short story - the bike bit and took. It took me in ways I never expected - NEVER. (And I became a triathlete, a competitive 10K runner, and ran a half marathon along the way).

    Shovel, well yeah, I'm competitive. I think I said once that to survive for 37 years in a "male dominated" profession such as aviation I had to be. Somehow I knew that, but I never connected that competitiveness to anything else in my life. Then, I realized that I got a little angry each time someone passed me when I was on the bike. I had been raised to think that only boys behaved like that! Ooooookay.

    Ex is right on about the people. I love, LOVE being around my cyclist friends. Oh, those Cat 1 and 2 gals at the start line in the races are not the friendliest people, but they have their race faces on and a job to do. I get that. But, on a group ride or even the town sprint, I've never been around a group of people (even pilots) who were as willing and open as other cyclists have been. I only hope I am as good a person as they are.

    Yes, I know, I'm behind the eight ball with my age and gender. I thought (as I tend to do) that maybe I was different, I hadn't aged that much because I had never done anything earlier in life. Well, I have learned the opposite - that if I had I'd be better off now, with muscle memory and cold skills. It might be only incremental, but it would have been something. Instead, even as I have learned the skills and gained the fitness, I've had to face that pale truth that I am ordinary. What's that line - "put lipstick on a pig and it's still a pig"? I'm a faster, stronger, more fit pig, but I'm still a pig. However, Chas - you put that into perspective for me. I am thankful for the gift I have received from all of this. It may never be a podium, but it is health and likely longer life. And a boatload of happiness.
    Last edited by sarals; 01-16-13 at 11:49 AM.
    Racer Ex..."Don't know if the shop is under new ownership. If not feel free to shoplift stuff and break bottles in his parking lot."

  22. #1397
    West Coast Weenie Esteban58's Avatar
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    Can we arrange to repeat this same discussion every 3 months or so? Its really helpful to hear the individual stories of how we got here and the perspective about the process that we're going through.... Thanks for the original post Sara.
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    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Esteban58 View Post
    Can we arrange to repeat this same discussion every 3 months or so? Its really helpful to hear the individual stories of how we got here and the perspective about the process that we're going through.... Thanks for the original post Sara.
    Esteban, thank you!

    No worries, I'll start fretting again in about three months...
    Racer Ex..."Don't know if the shop is under new ownership. If not feel free to shoplift stuff and break bottles in his parking lot."

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    Senior Member VanceMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleave View Post
    Ugh, left work a bit early because I am feeling slightly under the weather. Resting in bed with the laptop on my lap. No track tonight.
    Sorry to miss you last night, and hope the feeling was fleeting. It was good to get back on the pine after a month away.

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    Sara,

    Training for racing is not about winning. Training for racing is about, well, training. It's about the slow, and not always steady, adaptation of the mind and body that allows one to handle increased levels of stress. If practiced correctly, the byproducts include, but are not limited to, an increase in fitness, strength, , reflexes, weight loss(or gain), and motor (handling) skills. But in the the end, training is about teaching the mind and body to cope with stress. Ergo, it's stressful.

    When the physical and mental lows occur, they are not only to be expected, they should also be welcomed as a sign that things are progressing as planned. The goal after all, is to induce stress in larger and larger amounts, and teach the mind and body to cope. This is where a coach can be indispensable. Most any coach can draw up a training plan and track the progress of the athlete. The real payoff for someone new to the training is having a coach that can push you to the edge, and then pull you back before you fall off and hurt yourself. Near as I can tell, you are already a "winner" in this regard.

    If someone is new to the sport (racing), it can be easy to measure your training in a metric that is associated with winning. It's tempting to measure yourself against others in a group ride, spin class, whatever. Remember, training is about training, not winning. The payoff for all the stress is ( insert goal here). Very few people in the world have the gift of a linear path of accomplishment, and in fact, it only looks smooth to us mere mortals peering from our bowed, sweat stained heads. Try and disregard whatever limitations you have (real or perceived) and focus on the training at hand. This includes the rest and relaxation that training affords those of us who's livelihood does not depend on the results of said training.

    Winning comes, or it doesn't.

    With some exceptions, I race to win.

    With some exceptions, I love to race.

    With some exceptions, I love to train.

    If I didn't love to train, I wouldn't race.


    Well, that's as clear as mud. It's also why I don't post much "advice" or give opinions often. In the end, the way I see it, we do this for fun. When we get wrapped around the axle about whatever, it's time to let off the go switch, breath through our nose, and smile.




    See, it works.
    Last edited by nacler22; 01-16-13 at 12:53 PM.

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