Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Notes from today

I had been trying to ride mostly on the road last year for training and to build my endurance up. I get tired of doing the same roads down in the Foothills area and the variations. I had found a nice route down through the casino area to add a few miles and some different scenery.
Lately I have been hitting the trails behind the house. It is easy to get an hour or so in. I usually dont wear a heart rate monitor on the trail, I know I am working at a higher rate anyways. I wore one today and found that my hr is a good 10 beats higher just on the single track. Normally I can cruise big ring in the 130-140 area and I was seeing 150 or more out there today. That has to be good for my endurance and race pace since you rarely challenge yourself on the roads that way.
I miss being able to ride up to what was called the helicopter pad. Back when the Foothills was just test roads for heavy equipment there was a helicopter pad at the top of one of the hills. It had a great 5 minute climb and a fast single track descent on it. Quite a bit of fun to do some reps on it to build power.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

What does it take to really become a champion?

I have been working on a book for a while. Actually several books, some fiction some non fiction. I had been exploring writing a bicycle racing book. After all I have been racing since 1984, and have won a few races over the years. I figure that I have a little something to offer, at least for a beginning racer, or someone trying to step up to an elite level. It's not like you are going to write a 400 page book and tell someone how to win a Grand Tour, that takes years of work, you don't start training on the Friday after Thanksgiving for that one.

I got to thinking a bit about some of the characteristics in what makes a champion. I have won a few State Championships, and didn't think anything super special at that time about any of it. Some people just perform at certain races, and success comes from experience and putting the right tactics together. What really got me thinking is what has changed for myself, and some other master's racers over the years from when we raced elite and now. It's obvious we enjoy what we do, but that doesn't necessarily make everything right. Enjoyment doesn't get you out at pre dawn hours in freezing cold.

I started to boil things down to obsession. There are small and large obsessions in our lives. Many think negatively about that word as well. Yes, in the wrong hands, just like a weapon, obsession can be misused and cause damage to oneself and others. A healthy obsession however can pay massive dividends if applied correctly. I realized that when I was younger there was a certain obsession involved in riding at a very high level. Those that feed it, and fully explore it's boundaries seem to take that next step up. Those that use it wisely have some success. Managing it in your life can change you forever.

At our advanced ages, with some desire for success in whatever we do, how do we artificially create an obsession without that motivation? That I am still searching for. How to start that water boiling again so to speak. I have found books about combating an obsession, but few that help in creating one. Observing and mapping out one's energies from day to day, and how to really focus them is very difficult, we lead scattered lives, with little strings pulling us in many directions at once.

So my partial conclusion on what it takes to become a champion is a healthy obsession. Now for how to do just that.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Worst month so far

I had been reading about Steve Tilford, and several others have great months. Very inspiring, and with the stars and stripes jerseys being handed out last month it makes you want to get out and ride.

My last month in a word: sucked.

I changed doctors and went on Armor for my replacement therapy. Calculations were a bit off and my TSH skyrocketed up to .99, the goal is to stay at .1 for suppression purposes of any thyroid tissue. I have never had such bad headaches ever before. I also got run down and now have the worst sinus infection I have ever had before. I am not exaggerating a bit. When you get out of balance so far, it is amazing what you go through.

I wanted to be out riding all December. I was looking forward to having 2 months training for the the first races of the season. I know atleast I can do some riding and my heart rate will be 100% better than last year. My max wouldnt reach 180 last January, now I can hit 200 again, and have some abilities back. I look forward to racing, but my early season plans are destroyed. So I will postpone what I had hoped, and will try for a strong late spring and summer.