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Race catagories - degrees of separation

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Race catagories - degrees of separation

Old 10-02-10, 03:20 PM
  #176  
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
I don't know about the suffering thing. I subscribe to the "it doesn't hurt any worse -- you just go faster" camp.
Me neither... at least it felt the same for me in the beginning as it does now. When you get tunnel vision, want to puke (or do), lungs are on fire, and the legs just can't be persuaded to turn the pedals over anymore... and you wake up the next morning feeling like a truck ran over you... then you probably didn't "hold back".
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Old 10-02-10, 11:16 PM
  #177  
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Some people don't know how to suffer though. On one extreme you have people hoping to push so hard that they will puke their guts out. On the other, people who need to rest after the first sight of sweat.
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Old 10-03-10, 11:44 PM
  #178  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Well put.

For me (43-year old mid-pack Cat3) it's: Cat 2, wife and kids, job. Pick any two.
Yep - can't remember where I heard it, but you have time for 2.5 things in your life. For most people, 2 of those are family and a job - with a 50% effort going to a sport, hobby etc. That's it with me - I want to treat my wife with respect and spend time with her and the kids - I also need to keep money rolling in for the family to keep functioning normally. With the final .5, cycling takes a decent chunk of that.

We all have the choice to chuck out family and a job - we truly do - but where would that leave us in our lives? Cycling is an amateur enjoyable sport - it is fun to ride, race and particularly with Power meters etc it appeals to men and their predisposition to measuring, graphing and comparing.

I look forward to continuing to be at a level where I can have fun and be competitive - I just got upgraded to "B" grade here, not sure whether I want or would want to get up to "A" grade (open to Pros etc).

People also mistake the importance of the mental part of the game in thinking that "I would if I could" - mental blocks on ability (in sport, academia, professions etc) block a lot more people from their full raw talent potential than anything else - and this is key. There are few teenagers would be keen to get up and train at 5am on a Sunday morning when it is hailing outside - but it is the mental toughness of those who do that really sets them apart.
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Old 10-04-10, 05:04 PM
  #179  
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Originally Posted by mike868y View Post
If you didn't have a blog documenting your experiences, I honestly would be hard pressed to believe it. Congrats again.
here i am crushing him with masterful cat 4 uphill attack. see him bow his head in awe.
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Old 10-04-10, 05:50 PM
  #180  
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Originally Posted by fatallightning View Post
here i am crushing him with masterful cat 4 uphill attack. see him bow his head in awe.
Wasn't I in that race as well? How the ef are you not wearing any arm/leg warmers in march in ct?
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Old 10-04-10, 06:07 PM
  #181  
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Originally Posted by mike868y View Post
Wasn't I in that race as well? How the ef are you not wearing any arm/leg warmers in march in ct?
yes you were. looking through the pics, literally every single other person was wearing arm and leg warmers. i'm just dumb. or a "belgian aesthetic connoisseur."
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Old 10-04-10, 06:09 PM
  #182  
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Originally Posted by fatallightning View Post
yes you were. looking through the pics, literally every single other person was wearing arm and leg warmers. i'm just dumb. or a "belgian aesthetic connoisseur."
A belgian aesthetic connoisseur would have matched better...
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Old 10-04-10, 06:34 PM
  #183  
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Originally Posted by kensuf View Post
I've only met one guy who went from 3's to 2's that was immediately successful. I know a guy who upgraded to a 2 at the start of this season and is now a 1, but if you ask him, he'll tell you he's had a crappy season without any real results. Of course, his "result meter" is out of calibration because of how much success he had as a 3.[snip]
I wish that I had looked into this thread earlier, but I didn't.

And if you go back in time Eric S didn't have any real good results as a 4 either. With him his tactical sense was always ahead of his physical presence. And his physical presence has grown a lot!

In the 4's that killed him because he was racing with idiots. In the 3's being smart was starting to work in his favor. In the 2's he had an edge.
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Old 10-04-10, 07:05 PM
  #184  
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Suffering has nothing to do with category. It's highly personal.


Jumping back to the OP, because I was thinking about this during my ride today:

4-3 for me was inconsequential. I was still racing mountain bikes primarily anyway, so fitness was not the issue. And I only spent one race as a 4 anyway, the rest were collegiate.
3-2 was quick and easy once I stepped away from the mtb (ie, actually did enough races in one year to upgrade), but felt like a big step because you are essentially going from 3 to pro, in terms of the guys on the front of your races. But I got my 2 after Fitchburg, stopped road racing for a bit (back to mtb), and came out swinging the next spring with 2nd in my first p/1/2. So while the step felt big, and the races got much harder, it didn't matter too much.
2-1, basically no step at all. Racing the same guys, in most of the same races. Just get to feel like a ****** for having a 1 on your license. And a bit more respect from the local fields.
1-P, I've taken a different path, but imagine this would be the end of my success. I would be pack fodder in most pro fields. Perhaps an occasional result, but that's it. In P/1 races, I am stronger than a lot of the 1's and weaker than many of the pros.

What am I getting at? The biggest leap when upgrading is going to come as you hit your physical limits. For those destined to be 3's for life, going to 2 would be a prohibitively huge gap. Same for life time 4's going to 3's. The ability level gaps, viewed objectively, are probably somewhat equally spread from 5-pro. But one of them is going to be your last, and it will likely feel the hardest.
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Old 10-04-10, 07:12 PM
  #185  
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This is probably going to derail this thread again, but what are your future plans as far as riding ze? Are you just going to keep having fun as a 1 while furthering your journalism work?
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Old 10-04-10, 09:41 PM
  #186  
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Originally Posted by fatallightning View Post
here i am crushing him with masterful cat 4 uphill attack. see him bow his head in awe.

naturally you are crushing it uphill. You're riding an Orbea.
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Old 10-04-10, 09:46 PM
  #187  
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Originally Posted by mike868y View Post
This is probably going to derail this thread again, but what are your future plans as far as riding ze? Are you just going to keep having fun as a 1 while furthering your journalism work?
As far as I'm concerned, I got close enough to a contract (as in, real close) to check it off my list without actually having to spend a year living on nothing, riding in ****ty vans with a bunch of dudes, sleeping in crappy hotels, and not seeing my girlfriend enough.

I have much better things headed my way. And I can still do just about any race I want. I think AToC and Quiznos are probably the only two in the country I couldn't ride if I really wanted to, and I wouldn't be riding those as a pro anyway.



It was a tough decision at first, but now I look back and am absolutely positive I made the right choice.
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Old 10-05-10, 08:24 AM
  #188  
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Originally Posted by ZeCanon View Post
As far as I'm concerned, I got close enough to a contract (as in, real close) to check it off my list without actually having to spend a year living on nothing, riding in ****ty vans with a bunch of dudes, sleeping in crappy hotels, and not seeing my girlfriend enough.

I have much better things headed my way. And I can still do just about any race I want. I think AToC and Quiznos are probably the only two in the country I couldn't ride if I really wanted to, and I wouldn't be riding those as a pro anyway.



It was a tough decision at first, but now I look back and am absolutely positive I made the right choice.
Interesting read - based on circumstances I can appreciate your decision. I would have gone pro in 1995 if I had not stopped riding (hit by car) and made peanuts. Now it is about having the opportunity to get back to where I was though I am old as f@ck now (38) but very goal driven. I always believe in big dreams.
Congrats on your success.
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Old 10-05-10, 08:43 AM
  #189  
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I am apparently older than ****
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Old 10-05-10, 08:44 AM
  #190  
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Originally Posted by Grumpy McTrumpy View Post
I am apparently older than ****
They censor "dirt" now?
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Old 10-05-10, 08:48 AM
  #191  
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Originally Posted by Grumpy McTrumpy View Post
I am apparently older than ****
Which makes me older than **** ****.
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Old 10-06-10, 02:03 AM
  #192  
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
I think that many people have to train themselves to deal with the suffering. I don't think it comes down to cat lines, but I do think that many people new to racing having necessarily learned what it is to dig deep.
I'd go further and say that you have to learn to deal with the specific type of suffering the sport demands. I got into bike racing after being involved in high-level alpinism for 20+ years. I would have told you at the start that I knew how to suffer and how to dig deep, but it turns out that knowing how to suffer for days on some cold mountain is really different from suffering for ten minutes to get over a climb with the front group. "Digging deep" in the context of bike racing means sometimes being willing to go over the line explode spectacularly; even after three years of racing, I often find this to be a mental barrier that gets me dropped. (I'm working on it)

Relating to the OP, I think ability to suffer (in any particular way) is just like physical fitness: it can be improved through training, but people's ultimate potential varies. Some people can suffer beyond their physical capabilities from the first day, others need to learn. (As an example of the latter, I'll throw out my wife, who admits she is a much better athlete post-childbirth.)
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Old 10-08-10, 09:02 PM
  #193  
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I am finding being stubborn and ability to suffer aren't the same.
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Old 10-09-10, 08:21 AM
  #194  
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Originally Posted by dbikingman View Post
I am finding being stubborn and ability to suffer aren't the same.
+1

for reals.
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Old 10-09-10, 08:51 AM
  #195  
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Couple things on suffering.

When you're not fit, it really hurts to do anything. So as a new racer, going balls out for 30 minutes is killer. You get the taste of blood in your mouth, everything is sore, etc etc etc. This is a case where the body's systems aren't balanced out.

Once you're fit, it takes a lot more to get up on the suffering scale. I can't go that hard not, at least not on a bike. As hard as I go, I explode before things get too "suffery". My aerobic system is pretty poor but the rest of my cycling systems are good, so my heart rate goes up, my legs feel strangled, and I blow up.

Having said that I've suffered less than I should for the last 10-15 years. This year I started to suffer a bit more.

Also, as pretty-much-lifer Cat 3, I was always amazed at how fast P123 races go. I'd be sitting in at 30-35+ mph thinking "Who the eff is pulling?!". Did a P123 race long time ago with (at the time World Professional Pursuit Champ and US Pro Crit champ) Mike McCarthy and some other hot shot pros. For a while (like more than a few minutes) we were sustaining 35-36 mph. I closed 2 or 3 gaps then blew. Could not believe how fast we were going.

I'll explore some P12 races next year. Should be interesting.
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Old 10-09-10, 09:50 AM
  #196  
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I find it takes a while to get use to suffering. Once I've figured out that I can handle a certain level of perceived effort, I can usually always handle that level and begin to push beyond it. For example, when I start VO2s, it takes a couple unsuccessful attempts before I finally finish the workout. Then I'm good from there. I think next year I'll work up to VO2s--if I'm doing 5x5's at 110%, I'll start out at 105, then next workout at 108, etc.
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Old 10-09-10, 01:08 PM
  #197  
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I think it's a lot of, once you've suffered enough and seen the gains that come out of it, you realize that suffering is worth it. It doesn't bother you as much after.

If I can see the rewards of training in metrics, then I'm much more likely to be proud of myself and suck it up and keep at it because the rush after the suffering is so much better than the suffering was bad.
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Old 10-09-10, 04:15 PM
  #198  
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Every sport has its own kind of suffering. I've played competitively baseball as a pitcher (the most "suffering" position on the field, especially for starting pitchers late in the game and I was a starter), basketball, fencing, and road racing. I have suffered mightily in all of these sports. The suffering is different in each, but in each one there comes a critical time where you have to overcome the pain you are feeling and do what needs to be done to be victorious. As for me I find that the pain I need to endure is greatest in road racing, but that might just be because of all of these sports I have the least natural talent in that. I do love it, though.
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Old 10-09-10, 04:42 PM
  #199  
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btw when I say suffering, it's a "systems working hard" suffering, not a "systems breaking down" suffering. Breathing hard, muscles tired, etc. Any sharp pain I sit up, get off the bike, and figure out what went wrong. When I ignored sharp pain I suffered for a few months, but that was 25 or so years ago. Since then I've never had joint problems - tendon etc. Suffering smart is fine. Suffering stupid is stupid.
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Old 10-09-10, 05:07 PM
  #200  
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
btw when I say suffering, it's a "systems working hard" suffering, not a "systems breaking down" suffering. Breathing hard, muscles tired, etc. Any sharp pain I sit up, get off the bike, and figure out what went wrong. When I ignored sharp pain I suffered for a few months, but that was 25 or so years ago. Since then I've never had joint problems - tendon etc. Suffering smart is fine. Suffering stupid is stupid.
It all depends. Golibitsky was the first ever 3 times in a row World Champion in foil (a fencing discipline). In one of his championship bouts he tore a meniscus in his knee during the finals. I'm sure that it hurt like hell. His comment was something like "It was may last bout and I could rest/recover afterward, so I decided to finish the bout. If it was an earlier round I would have withdrawn."

That is HTFU.

He did win the bout and once again was WC.

Golibitsky is to foil fencing is like Eddy to road racing. He was/is the $hit. He was the greatest ever. Golibitsky had his Aldo Nadi as Eddy had his Coppi, but most folks would see the difference.
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