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Your Story of Mental Toughness

Old 09-04-07, 12:32 PM
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Mayonnaise
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Your Story of Mental Toughness

Iíll go first.

Before a night race this year I spent the day outside in 90+ degrees with 80 % humidity refinishing furniture. Nothing too stressful, fun even. Of course, sweating like a pig. And because Iím stupid sometimes, didnít think to drink any water.

I got to the race and had a warm up. No problems. The gun went off. Still no problems. A racer whose talents and strengths I know well took off. I can match him effort for effort most all of the time. I went with him. 50 meters into the break something went wrong. My heart rate shot to 200 bpm and I had nothing in my legs. I rejoined the pack, figuring Iíll take a rest and save a bit for later.

My heart rate wouldnít come down no matter what I tried. I couldnít catch my breath. My legs still had nothing; a very different kind of pain. My head and thoughts started spinning. I fell to last place in the pack. Theyíd accelerate and leave me behind. Oh man, to close that gap was a curse. Just stop and rest, I heard myself say. Just stop.

But I didnít. The gaps kept opening and Iíd struggle to close them. Almost quitting each time. I usually get lost in the moment of the race and let it all go, not this time. This time I was watching the clock, praying it would go faster. It never did.

I managed to roll across the finish line with the pack, in last place. I had finished, but just barely. From the very beginning I told myself to stop. Never before had I been that miserable.
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Old 09-04-07, 03:35 PM
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I assume you mean in a race? Having not raced I don't have much to contribute, heh. The best I can offer is from a short brevet last month, where I had spent a good deal of the event in front of the (admittedly small!) field with a riding buddy. I was determined to finish in the first group w/ him and so I fought a nasty hamstring cramp for over 25 miles to do so.
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Old 09-04-07, 03:39 PM
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an oldie but a goldie.
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Old 09-04-07, 03:43 PM
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Crashed in a criterium. Slid across the road, hit the curb, got up, took my free lap, kept going. I was bleeding, my shorts torn and tattered. Finished with the pack. I'm not the first to do that, and I won't be the last, but I was proud of myself.

Though it would have been better not to fall over.
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Old 09-04-07, 03:47 PM
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I end most rides on an uphill grade that I really hate. Still, I do it.
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Old 09-04-07, 05:54 PM
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I once read a BF thread and waded through ALL of DocRay's posts.

It's hard just to recall that day. Please don't ask me to speak of it again, you're triggering my post-traumatic stress syndrome.
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Old 09-04-07, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by webist View Post
I end most rides on an uphill grade that I really hate. Still, I do it.
I end every ride on Mt. Doom (the nickname I have given my hill). 375 vertical feet of elevation gain over a mile (average grade is about 7%) with a couple of 17% grade spots. My road is called Long Vista Lane. Yes, we do have lovely scenic views from our house. There is no free lunch when you are a cyclist however. So you pay for those views on a daily basis.

When I bought this house 10 years ago @ age 39 I was younger and dumber (if that's possible). I figured the climb would make me a great climber. I was profoundly...

incorrect.

But I over-dramatize. As we all know the actual Mt. Doom is located in the heart of Mordor. That would be the pitching mound @ Yankee Stadium in da Bronx, and that's about 55 miles from here. The Orcs (Yankee fans) are everywhere around here. I feel like Frodo in Minas Morgul.
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Old 09-04-07, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
I once read a BF thread and waded through ALL of DocRay's posts.

It's hard just to recall that day. Please don't ask me to speak of it again, you're triggering my post-traumatic stress syndrome.
I was going to post something serious till I read this and now I cant stop laughing
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Old 09-04-07, 06:30 PM
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i did a 35 mile race, attacked off the front after 5 minutes, ended up winning it by over 2 minutes, chased all the way by a pack of about 10. almost the whole route was into headwinds and cross winds. not THAT felt good!
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Old 09-04-07, 06:51 PM
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In my first collegiate race I was in a five man break when someone skidded out in a corner in front of me. the guy next to me reacted and pushed me in a curb that was about two feet from a 6' high chain link fence. the curb stopped my front wheel and I used my face to lever myself over the fence.

I got back in, eventually. However, on the last corner someone clipped a pedal which caused three guys in front of me to go down. well. two went down, one went straight up in a most fantastic front flip. I pulled over and let the entire field and some straglers pass me before I rolled accross the line. there are limits to mental toughness.

Climbing back to my bike from the other side of that chain link fence was one of my hardest bike racing moments.
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Old 09-04-07, 07:07 PM
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Two words: SERE school.
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Old 09-04-07, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by blonduathlongrl View Post
I was going to post something serious till I read this and now I cant stop laughing
If you really want to start laughing tune in tonight's Mets/Reds TV broadcast and get a load of the Cincinnati Reds Cheerleaders on top of the home team dugout.

Or of course watch any regular season Cubs game.
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Old 09-04-07, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
If you really want to start laughing tune in tonight's Mets/Reds TV broadcast and get a load of the Cincinnati Reds Cheerleaders on top of the home team dugout.

Or of course watch any regular season Cubs game.
At nine games back the Red's should be required to dance on the dugout, Griffey too.
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Old 09-04-07, 07:34 PM
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I rode my bike home from my vasectomy.

--Steve
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Old 09-04-07, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by zimbo View Post
I rode my bike home from my vasectomy.

--Steve
That took balls.
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Old 09-05-07, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by RockyMtnMerlin View Post
Two words: SERE school.
Two more Robin Sage...
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Old 09-05-07, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Greg180 View Post
Two more Robin Sage...
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Old 09-05-07, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by botto View Post
What a great warrior...Unfortunetly his life ended like many other "mercs" of that era. Shot in the back of the head while drunk in a cab with a "senorita" in a south American S**t hole. For a man with such a great career, it was a real waste.
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Old 09-05-07, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Greg180 View Post
What a great warrior...Unfortunetly his life ended like many other "mercs" of that era. Shot in the back of the head while drunk in a cab with a "senorita" in a south American S**t hole. For a man with such a great career, it was a real waste.
I always thought he topped himself.
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Old 09-05-07, 05:32 PM
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OK, I'll bite. I ride about 12 miles on a windy sub 20ļ day (14ļF when I left the house) on my knobby tired MTB. I get to the LBGS (Local Bagel Shop) and my iPod Nano is FROZEN SOLID. The controls won't respond.

I toughed it out, waited for the Nano to thaw, got it working again, ventured back out onto the tundra and rode home. It had warmed up to 18ļ F by the time I got back up Mt. Doom, but the windchill factor was similar to the surface temps on Neptune. In all honesty I can't really take the credit for being so tough. It was the iPod that gave me the strength.

F the stupid weather. Pcad rides.

Next Episode: The Snow Squall.
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Old 09-05-07, 05:47 PM
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The other day I was watching TV when the electricity went out. I managed to survive for nearly 10 minutes before it came back on and I was able to resume watching the show, although missing a few plot points.

What if it had happened right before the climax of the show? I shudder to think.
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Old 09-05-07, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by classic1 View Post
I always thought he topped himself.
Nope...Shot behind the ear on the Antigua Highway in Guatemala. He was still caught up in the whole Guerrilla training in central America. Was a very lucrative time for mercs. He P##sed on the wrong people and was out there alone...rumor has it.

He was the reason I became a medic...but that is a different story.
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Old 09-05-07, 08:07 PM
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State RR one year on a Tough hilly circut. Most youngsters on the board don't realize what a District RR used to be like. In the "Old Days" you had to qualify for Nats by placing in your district. So your local district RR would see Cat 1&2's comming out of nowhere and everywhere back home for this race. They were epic affairs.

The field split early, and I stuck with the lead group of 25 or so in a driving rain. I'de abandoned this race the year before so was determined to finish well (meaning finish, climber im not). On the second lap I got dropped on a climb but carried on. I ended up doing 40mi solo in a 50F rain and finishing top 20 (I never passed a soul but some in the lead group had abandoned).

It was a grind but as a bonus I did have a great PR face at the end.
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