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  1. #2301
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    As I've aged (and grown a bit in the process) I've become less and less needful of 'stuff'. Cycling and eating out are pretty much the only places I spend discretionary income. Well, there is always something going on with the house to put money (and effort) into, and I don't consider money going towards kids discretionary. It's perhaps a rationalization, but I validate what I spend on cycling with the fact that it has been a huge boon to my mental (and of course physical) health. I spent much of my life fighting depression, and went through some real lows. I messed up my life pretty bad, throwing away a lot of what I had built (career, possessions,$), by the way I handled a horrid marriage. I essentially tried to run away and hide from it all. It took many years to climb out of the dark fog of depression and get back moving in a positive direction. I was someone who had to 'bounce off the bottom'. It wasn't until I understood that I wasn't going to kill myself that I really started climbing because, well, there was just no other choice. One of the keys for me was leaning towards a Buddhist approach. I don't consider myself a Buddhist, I just lean towards the teachings. The temples I've tried attending are too 'religious' for me. They are 'Westernized' for want of a better word. There is a Thai temple close which is not, but the language barriers are extreme. Anyway, once I accepted how things were, what had happened, and who I was, I was able to slowly develop a positive approach. As I did so, I started riding, and cycling pulled me in. Cycling has helped take me from a recovering depressive to a truly happy guy. I believe lot of it is that I need a oodles of exercise to keep the chemicals in my brain balanced. And I need to be racing to put in the level of training I feel I need to stay healthy.

    I'm 100% in agreement with Chasm. On those long solo rides, I just "am".

    Having taken the route I've briefly described, I find myself in a position where I'm slowly rebuilding retirement funds, but don't have enough time to really build them up sufficient to 'retire'. I am good at what I do, career wise, but of course find that less valued by the corporate world as I age. Seems like only yesterday that I was the 'wonder kid'. My job is definitely ending on June 1. The company I work for (owns several grocery chains) has been gradually failing, selling off chains, consolidating, etc. My function was consolidated into one in Boise. Everyone else in the department has been gone since last September, but they paid me retention bonuses to get me to keep a job I wasn't planning on leaving. Gotta love stuff like that. I've been looking around, but my default scenario is to return to consulting, with the company I was part of before the current gig. In fact, I consulted for this grocery chain for years until they finally said I needed to either go away or come on board as an employee. So I 'came on board' just in time to have the department moved. Gotta love that stuff too. But this job has been great from a quality of life standpoint. I can commute to work, the demands aren't great, etc. Going back to being pimped out by the consulting firm will likely mean ups and downs income wise, as when not on assignment you are "on-the-bench" and unpaid. Having spent most of my career in small businesses I helped start, the over-arching plan is to fill in the bench time with a business venture, and have that business to support a "semi-retirement".

    Probably 'TMI', but it's just my nature to lay it all out there...

  2. #2302
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    No TMI, it's fascinating stuff.

  3. #2303
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    No TMI, it's fascinating stuff.
    It was very personal, AzT, but it was a wonderful insight. I'm once again struck by similarities....
    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."

  4. #2304
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    All interesting stuff.

    I have always been fascinated with that state sometimes called the zone, or in the flow, or harmony. More often than not, I experience it when I am on my bike.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  5. #2305
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    . . . Having taken the route I've briefly described, I find myself in a position where I'm slowly rebuilding retirement funds, but don't have enough time to really build them up sufficient to 'retire'. I am good at what I do, career wise, but of course find that less valued by the corporate world as I age.
    There are a lot of parallels between your story and mine, except I got really fat in there too. I’ve been through many jobs. Something that looks bad on a resume, regardless of the fact that about half of those companies have gone under. Of the rest, many shipped my job offshore. (My current job involves shipping jobs to Mexico. It is what it is.) One was a case of whistle blowing, where I made the mistake of not lawyering up first. I got really screwed on that one. Corporate offices were raided, along with several branches. The branch I was at, one of the worst, was not raided, and the board walked away smelling of roses. Some members of that board were very well connected politically at the national level.

    I wound up unemployed for a year, by choice, and barely survived a gut wrenching walkabout. I came back to the world to start over in ‘04. The fact that I once again became a homeowner is nothing short of miraculous good luck. (I sold my home in LA halfway up the bubble, which helped fund the walkabout. Fortunately I was unable to buy back in until after the crash.) I also connected with an old friend at a thirty year high school reunion (what drew me back to the world in ’04). We have been together since. It is a rocky relationship, but beats the hell out of being alone.

    I too don’t know what will become of me if this job goes away. It was luck that I got it. The offer came out of the blue from a college friend I had semi stayed in touch with. At the time I had been laid off for a year from the construction industry since ’09. I doubt I would get a manufacturing engineering job like this if it goes away, and am starting to scramble for ideas to take the entrepreneur route, which will probably be my only recourse, short of working for McD’s.

    Now down to about 220 from a high of 305, I am thinking of racing. Since my racing weight should be about 170, I have no illusions of being able to be a top tier competitor. It is more an extension of the afore mentioned walkabout. I have come close to giving up that journey, but it is still necessary to my mental health, even though my circumstances have improved considerably.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  6. #2306
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuteCommando View Post
    Since my racing weight should be about 170, I have no illusions of being able to be a top tier competitor.
    Some of the toughest guys I race against are big, tall, strong guys, 6' 3" and up, 170 or more. They are so strong. It can take all I've got to keep up with them in the hills, and I'm a little guy. w/kg is an important metric. Racing smart and the willingness to suffer are at least equally important, and those things, my friend, are all mental.

    Take a piece of the advice in your sig and don't count yourself out before you've tried.

  7. #2307
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuteCommando View Post

    Now down to about 220 from a high of 305, I am thinking of racing. Since my racing weight should be about 170, I have no illusions of being able to be a top tier competitor.
    ...yet. Keep losing the weight, you know how to do it. And give it a shot.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  8. #2308
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    OK guys and gals, this is going to sound like an excuse for my drinking habit, but bear with me.

    We're all familiar with the sensation in our muscles when recovering from a hard effort, right? That slight feeling of warmth, almost of effervescence in one's legs a few hours after completing an interval session? I have always associated it with the process of reconstruction and repair, the thing that makes one stronger as one's system responds to the stress and damage of training.

    I did an interval session yesterday morning and had exactly that sensation during the afternoon and evening. Today was a rest day apart from a light spin on the rollers. Not surprisingly, since it is more than 24 hours since the intervals, the sensation I am describing was long gone. But this evening I had three glasses of wine, and as they took effect, my legs returned to exactly that post-exercise feeling.

    Now, alcohol dilates the blood vessels. Is it possible that by doing that it is increasng the supply of oxygen etc to the muscles and therefore assisting with, or accelerating, the ongoing recovery process? If so, I may have made the most appealing discovery in the history of athletic endeavour.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  9. #2309
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Who cares, as long as it was good wine.

  10. #2310
    West Coast Weenie Esteban58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    Who cares, as long as it was good wine.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrwFkByhlJo

    and of course always remember: Life is too short to drink cheap wine.
    there is no signature.

  11. #2311
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Esteban58 View Post
    Best performance of a Neil Diamond song in history, and yes, I know that's not saying much. But I love Reggae, and love this recording. Enough that I can actually sing it - even the parts that sound like gobbledygook.

  12. #2312
    West Coast Weenie Esteban58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    Best performance of a Neil Diamond song in history, and yes, I know that's not saying much. But I love Reggae, and love this recording. Enough that I can actually sing it - even the parts that sound like gobbledygook.
    This is one of my favorite songs to 'play in my head' while climbing...
    there is no signature.

  13. #2313
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    Some of the toughest guys I race against are big, tall, strong guys, 6' 3" and up, 170 or more. They are so strong. It can take all I've got to keep up with them in the hills, and I'm a little guy. w/kg is an important metric. Racing smart and the willingness to suffer are at least equally important, and those things, my friend, are all mental.

    Take a piece of the advice in your sig and don't count yourself out before you've tried.
    I’m 5’9 (was 5’10 when younger). The BMI gurus tell me I should be 155, but given my age and where I started, 170 is a more realistic goal.

    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    Now, alcohol dilates the blood vessels. Is it possible that by doing that it is increasing the supply of oxygen etc to the muscles and therefore assisting with, or accelerating, the ongoing recovery process? If so, I may have made the most appealing discovery in the history of athletic endeavor.
    Talk about dilating blood vessels, I have a prescription for a med that I have discovered is on the USADA banned list, called Nitrostat. (this is the one that mixing with Viagra or Cialis could kill you.) I don’t actually take them as they are to be taken “as needed”, and if you are needing to take them, the other hand is calling 911. I have taken them and can attest to that “warm feeling”, like a mellow wine buzz, but different, followed by a mild headache. I prefer the wine, though would not want to take either before a workout. I think the danger (possibility of sudden BP drop) outweighs any performance enhancement.

    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    Best performance of a Neil Diamond song in history, and yes, I know that's not saying much. But I love Reggae, and love this recording. Enough that I can actually sing it - even the parts that sound like gobbledygook.
    Bit of trivia, that band took their name from the official government form in Britain for filing for unemployment benefits (UB40)

    Sitting down with a bottle of Six Buck Chuck, wishing I had copped the extra ten bucks for the J.Lohr.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  14. #2314
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuteCommando View Post
    J.Lohr.
    One of Mrs. Shovel's favorites.

    I do not drink wine.

  15. #2315
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    2'20", mainly at endurance pace with 3x10 sub-threshold intervals.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  16. #2316
    The Crank
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    I've been giving a lot of thought about starting to write specific things related to athleticism and meditation, and perhaps partnering with some coaches.
    Yes, this is something I would like to see explored. It is probably more relevant in the modern world with so much distraction. On the bike you can be truly 'alone'. However, I have to be careful that the Monkey doesn't take over the un-distracted mind and I probably need some coaching on how to stay mindful on the bike.

  17. #2317
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    1 hour of pace at Oh Dark Thirty before work this morning. Criss cross tomorrow....
    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."

  18. #2318
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Had a great interval workout yesterday doing 4 x 1:30 intervals with rolling OTS starts. Average watts was way up there. After that I did 4 standing starts in 53/16 followed with some carpentry work that I began before the ride. Later in the day the shoulder began aching big time. Two steps forwards then one step back.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  19. #2319
    So it is LAJ's Avatar
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    Hour and a half of a little climbing, and opener type stuff today. What a crap week for training. Internet out, stuff breaking, co-workers cars breaking. Not much to write about this past week. Road race at the Air Force Academy tomorrow. If nothing else, it will be nice scenery to enjoy with 74 of my best friends.

  20. #2320
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    Did two days of commuting and a 15 mile ride on the TT bike at Z1 pace this week. Z2 ride with my club this morning. Not sure about tomorrow but I'm leaning towards a long, easy day.
    Thanks.
    Cleave
    "Real men wear pink."
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  21. #2321
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    10k on pace. Getting better. Still not good enough to enter my first tt. 18.5 mph. Back to intervals and dropping pounds. Goal is to maintain pace of>20 for 20k.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  22. #2322
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    One hour of pace and intervals on the trainer at 0530. Actually, it was 30 minutes of each. The intervals were 3 x 5 minutes at just below FTP. At that time of the day, THAT hurts. No worries!
    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."

  23. #2323
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Back to my roots today. Touring bike, 6'27" in the wind and rain, mainly Z1/Z2, just dandy. Rest day tomorrow.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  24. #2324
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    Back to my roots today. Touring bike, 6'27" in the wind and rain, mainly Z1/Z2, just dandy. Rest day tomorrow.
    I've been watching a lot of "Top Gear" and "Wheeler Dealers" lately. It seems it's always raining over there, Chas! However, it certainly is a green place - beautiful.
    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."

  25. #2325
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarals View Post
    I've been watching a lot of "Top Gear" and "Wheeler Dealers" lately. It seems it's always raining over there, Chas! However, it certainly is a green place - beautiful.
    Try not to like Top Gear, Sara, Clarkson is a sexist, self-satisfied ****. Actually where I live gets about the same amount of rain as the SF Bay area, and rather less than Paris. It's the west of the country that is more seriously wet. Still very green, though.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

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