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transitioning out of racing...

Old 07-25-07, 09:41 AM
  #1  
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transitioning out of racing...

similar to bdcheung and cypress, i'm also taking a bit of a break.

for some reason, i've just lost interest in racing and i'm having a ton of fun just riding. it feels almost like i quit a job that was getting stale and i have freedom again. when i sat down to think about it, there are a lot of positives for NOT racing!

1. i no longer worry about massive injuries caused by a high speed crash (traffic accidents aside)

2. i no longer worry that my bike will get trashed.

3. i'm saving around $100 a month in race fees

4. i no longer get up at 5am on the weekends.

5. i have no pressure to ride in dreary conditions, just to get a workout in.

6. i can still be competitive by riding with others, chasing them down, trying to break away, etc.

7. my desire for expensive equipment i can't afford has diminished.

8. actually eating real food is very satisfying (as opposed to guzzling endurox, gaterade, protein shakes, etc.)

9. i sleep better and i'm not as worn out during the day at work.

10. i no longer resent when people put demands on my time that affect training.




but, maybe in a few weeks i'll get the itch to race again. for now, though, i'm just enjoying being a fred.
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Old 07-25-07, 09:48 AM
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You're not looking for reasons not to race , you're looking for reasons not to win. You can race and not train at all if you don't care about your performance.
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Old 07-25-07, 09:57 AM
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I decided to take a break a couple of months ago myself. I have really enjoyed it and have been much relaxed because of it. I have just been riding with my friends and by myself and having a good time. However, now I am starting to think about racing again and I am kind of focusing on next years Spring season. Therefore, I am now in "base".
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Old 07-25-07, 10:09 AM
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Ah yes, the predictable mid-summer burn-out. It's real.

Karen Bliss says that you know you're feeling it when you get to the 10-mile point of a ride and turn back because you just don't see the need.

It's a hard sport in many ways. One way is the mental intensity that it takes to prepare, plan, plot, and cover every aspect of the game throughout the season from nutrition to spoke tension.

See you in a couple months.
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Old 07-25-07, 10:14 AM
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I hear even Vino is taking a break from racing.
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Old 07-25-07, 10:15 AM
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You all are a bunch of pansies.

Enjoy the time break. Racing is supposed to be what we do for fun.
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Old 07-25-07, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by BlessedHellride View Post
You all are a bunch of pansies.

Enjoy the time break. Racing is supposed to be what we do for fun.
I miss the racing much more than I miss driving 300 - 400 miles or more a weekend to do the races. That part got really old!
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Old 07-25-07, 10:22 AM
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i am guilty of not driving 90 minutes for a 30 minute race
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Old 07-25-07, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by EventServices View Post
Ah yes, the predictable mid-summer burn-out. It's real.

Karen Bliss says that you know you're feeling it when you get to the 10-mile point of a ride and turn back because you just don't see the need.

It's a hard sport in many ways. One way is the mental intensity that it takes to prepare, plan, plot, and cover every aspect of the game throughout the season from nutrition to spoke tension.

See you in a couple months.
i actually anticipated my mid-summer burn out well in advance, because it happened last year as well. however, despite my planning to avoid the burn out, it still happened!

the funny thing is that i'm actually riding more miles and looking forward to each ride. so, i guess it's not a typical burnout where i want nothing to do with the bike, it's just i don't feel like putting all that pressure on myself anymore.
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Old 07-25-07, 11:14 AM
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You are only a Fred if you ride like one.
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Old 07-25-07, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by curiouskid55 View Post
You're not looking for reasons not to race , you're looking for reasons not to win. You can race and not train at all if you don't care about your performance.
Exactly. It's the pressure to perform and live accordingly that gets people wigged. Racing for the pure enjoyment is like an oxymoron though, so guess you have some deciding to do.
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Old 07-25-07, 11:21 AM
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There was a thread mentioning triathlon and reward a while back... The spirit of triathlons is that you win if you finish. Bike races seem to focus more on one winner, many losers. The sort of intensity that commands can help a few people focus in the most laser-like way.

One the other hand, many more people are looking for camaraderie, health, diversion and fun out of cycling and for some, racing can stretch any and all of those out of whack. My happiest cycling friends live and breathe cycling (one rides three to six hours a day on weekdays) but don't race.

I hope you find your balance point. (I still get a little upset when work or family infringes on my ride time or if the chicken salad has mayo in it.)
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Old 07-25-07, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by YMCA View Post
Exactly. It's the pressure to perform and live accordingly that gets people wigged. Racing for the pure enjoyment is like an oxymoron though, so guess you have some deciding to do.
yeah, that's the issue right there. i can't just casually race, i always end up getting all wrapped up in my training. i'll get 20th place and tell myself that i could improve by doing more hill repeats or working on my sprint. then, i'll start doing those with more and more focus. then, maybe i'll finish top 10 and work on things to improve then... it just keeps snowballing.
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Old 07-25-07, 11:30 AM
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Regarding racing: Have fun and relax, and results will follow.

For now: do your thing and figure out what you want out of cycling.

My 2c
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Old 07-25-07, 11:32 AM
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I was having a great but frustrating day. Riding the MI Masters District Crit that day I know I'm the strongest rider in the field. Setting up the last turn for the win I get caught up behind a crash (a normally reliable rider in 4th crossed a wheel in front of me). Riding later in the 1/2 Crit again I'm the strongest rider left in the field. Kept attacking a couple of riders blocking a break, couldn't get anyone to chase with me and eventually got caught in no mans 1/4 lap behind a 4 man break and 1/4 lap ahead of the field. I chased the break for 10 laps or so, pulled off on the back straight and rode to my truck. Threw my stuff in the back and never raced again.

For me it wasn't burnout (trained smart), lack of results (was faster at 40 than at 30), or fear. I just got tired of all the mental and physical preparation and time spent getting ready to race at a decent level.

Since then my Job is much better, my family is better off, my Golf game still stinks and my Bowling average is up 30 pins. I ride when and where I want to (and can still hit 38 on the flat when I need to make a street light). Only occasionally do I get the itch to get back out there.

I miss the competition, miss race day, miss old freinds and aquaintances (amazing how few of your cycling "buddies" stay in touch once you leave the game), miss the travel, miss coaching. But not enough to get back in and start grinding it out again. I never say never, and may lace em up again and do battle with the old dudes. But at this point I've found a better balance in life w/o racing and feel like I would loose more than I would gain.
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Old 07-25-07, 11:45 AM
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For everyone burning out on racing, you might be interested in Eric Hörst's thoughts on mental training.
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Old 07-25-07, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin View Post
Regarding racing: Have fun and relax, and results will follow.

For now: do your thing and figure out what you want out of cycling.

My 2c

Everyone says have fun. You think they tell boxers to just have fun? What about downhill skiers? Football, tennis, auto racing? It just doesn't work that way if you are trying to "compete". Those that are having fun aren't truly trying and aren't truly worried about how to get across the line first. That's okay for them, but not for the majority of decent athletes. Hence the big question many of go through, "why should I compete"?
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Old 07-25-07, 12:04 PM
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I transitioned out of racing back in 2000. I had raced for 3 years and had become weary of all the politics, but I still wanted a bit of a challenge .........

So I transitioned into Randonneuring!! Very challenging, without the competition!

In 2005, I transitioned back into racing again ... long distance racing ... 24-hour TTs!! And I love them!
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Old 07-25-07, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
I transitioned out of racing back in 2000. I had raced for 3 years and had become weary of all the politics, but I still wanted a bit of a challenge .........

So I transitioned into Randonneuring!! Very challenging, without the competition!

In 2005, I transitioned back into racing again ... long distance racing ... 24-hour TTs!! And I love them!
wait, so you transitioned into something that takes MORE of your time?!
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Old 07-25-07, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by YMCA View Post
Everyone says have fun. You think they tell boxers to just have fun? What about downhill skiers? Football, tennis, auto racing? It just doesn't work that way if you are trying to "compete". Those that are having fun aren't truly trying and aren't truly worried about how to get across the line first. That's okay for them, but not for the majority of decent athletes. Hence the big question many of go through, "why should I compete"?
IMO, incorrect. You can try to do well while having fun. I find I do my best when I'm having fun. It relaxes me, and allows me to think more clearly, which leads directly to better results.

When I'm worrying about winning, that's when I tense up, make stupid moves, handicap myself, and do relatively mediocre. I'm not saying that when I'm relaxed I'm not worried about winning, I just push it into a different part of my head, if you get what I'm saying....

Its hard to explain, but it works for me.
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Old 07-25-07, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin View Post
IMO, incorrect. You can try to do well while having fun. I find I do my best when I'm having fun. It relaxes me, and allows me to think more clearly, which leads directly to better results.

When I'm worrying about winning, that's when I tense up, make stupid moves, handicap myself, and do relatively mediocre. I'm not saying that when I'm relaxed I'm not worried about winning, I just push it into a different part of my head, if you get what I'm saying....

Its hard to explain, but it works for me.
Time and energy spent actually racing is such a small percentage of the overall picture. Racing is fun, training to race at a higher level is often work and always time consuming. Many don't see that until they are out of it because by nature we tend to be goal oriented people.
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Old 07-25-07, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by timmhaan View Post
wait, so you transitioned into something that takes MORE of your time?!
Time wasn't a problem for me ... in fact, I wanted to spend more time cycling and less time fussing with meetings and politics etc.

I got out of racing ... and my quantity and enjoyment of cycling immediately increased. It was GREAT!!!
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Old 07-25-07, 12:51 PM
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I personally know a couple of 60+ year old dudes who race because it's fun and relaxing for them. And that's why I'm still doing USCF TT's. Those are fun for me. Mass start racing is not. But the group rides with the racers (which is like sand lot bicycle racing) is.

Do what's fun. F the rest. I'll see you at the Runcible some Sunday TH : ).
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Old 07-25-07, 01:04 PM
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I personally would not use the word "fun" to describe racing and training. It's rewarding, invigorating, and inspiring, but not necessarily fun.

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Old 07-25-07, 01:18 PM
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Racing hurts, but it is fun. Training hurts and it isn't so much fun as it is satisfying. For some reason I love to train.
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