Just Ride

The last few weeks I’ve struggled both on and off the bike. I was in one of those down periods that we all experience from time-to-time and it was affecting my riding more than anything. Prior to this week my weekly riding mileage was on the decline with totals of 58, 45, and 35 over the last three weeks. I knew I needed to ride more but was struggling to get out of bed in the morning to get it done. It seemed like I was tired each morning or was just too lazy to get my butt out of bed and get it done. It was becoming too easy to just try and get one or two weekday rides plus the Saturday group ride. I was in a downward spiral and I knew it. This past weekend I got my weekly email from my nutritionist Kelli. I explained to her what was going on and she had this to say: Sometimes, you have to force motivation by just taking action. She had other things to say but that sentence really hit me. I was struggling to find the motivation to get going again. I was trying to find it but couldn’t. After reading the sentence above it made perfect sense. I just needed to take action to get started again. No detailed training plan, no motivational video, no pep talk. Just ride. So that’s what I did this week. I made a commitment to ride 100 total miles for the week. Tuesday through Friday I rolled out of bed, got kitted up and rode. No worrying about what...

Interview with David Mills – Author of The Distance

Today I have a special treat in the form of an interview. David Mills has written The Distance where he talks about his quest to complete an Ironman Triathlon after watching two friends accomplish this amazing feat. Most importantly, David isn’t a professional triathlete. He trained while balancing the demands of being a husband, father, and Officer in the military. In other words, he has a life like most of us do. His book is geared to help the Average Joe complete an Ironman. You can place a pre-order at The Distance Book. BTL: Completing an endurance event like an Ironman Triathlon takes goals. Did you have a strategy involving short and long term goals in order to succeed? David: It’s so extremely vital to set multiple small goals in your triathlon training, that I really can’t emphasize it enough. A 140.6 mile triathlon is far too daunting; it’s got to be broken down into smaller, more manageable goals. For example, during the marathon, I viewed it as simply doing a one mile run – 26 times. I knew I could always run just one more mile. And with aid stations located at every mile marker, it was easy to mentally run to the next aid station. BTL: I’ve written posts before about balancing training time and family time. How did you do it? David: Balancing training with real life can be hectic and messy if not approached properly, and this is really the cornerstone of my new book. Most of us are not pro athletes with a masseuse and a chef and 30 hours a week to train....

Can Bad Rides Be Good Rides?

The last couple of weeks have seen me have Saturday shop rides at both ends of the spectrum. Good and bad. I detailed in on of my recent posts about how awesome of a ride I had Saturday before last. The ride this past Saturday wasn’t nearly as awesome. In fact, it downright sucked for a few miles. The stats at the end of the ride told the real story though. A couple Saturdays ago I had one of my best experiences riding in the shop group ride. Everything seemed to click, I got a lot of pulling time in, and I had learned the route good enough to be able to rejoin the group after stopping to help someone. It was an awesome ride. This past Saturday saw me doing the same shop ride with a lot of the same folks. Everything started out great and I got a good pull in within the first five or six miles. At about mile eight though things started to unravel. My energy levels dropped off and I couldn’t maintain the 19-20 mph pace anymore. In fact, I was struggling to keep it at 17. I wound up getting dropped but eventually was able to re-join three other riders at a stoplight. After another mile or two I decided to go ahead and suck down a Hammer Gel at the 50 minute point of the ride. My energy levels came back up and I was able to finish the ride strong. I didn’t feel too great though knowing that I had been dropped from the main group and knew my numbers...

Four Tips to Overcoming Group Ride Fears

Saturday morning was kind of a big milestone for me in that I made myself go ride what I consider my first local bike shop group ride. I know that may sound crazy to some of you but I’ve been putting this off for a while and I’m not sure why. Actually, I do know and I’ll explain. First, let me explain why I consider this my first local bike shop group ride. I did a group ride last year with one of the local bicycle clubs and we started from a restaurant vice at a local bike shop. About three weeks ago I did a group ride that started from a local bike shop but was actually a group training ride for the Tour de Cure. There was a big turnout for that ride so I don’t consider that a good example of a typical Saturday morning shop ride. Two days ago I got up the courage and showed up at one of the local stores to do the normal Saturday morning group ride. I’m glad I did. The Fear of the Group Ride I think showing up and riding with a group can be a big hurdle for newer cyclists to get over. Why? Because of the unknowns. Will you be welcomed? Will you get dropped by mile five? Can you handle riding in close proximity with others? Is it OK to not have carbon wheels or a full team kit? And so on. Not knowing stuff like that can be a big deterrent in not showing up. There’s the social aspect too. Let’s face it, cyclists...

The Big Four Zero

I don’t write this post for the Happy Birthday comments. Instead, I’m going to ramble a bit about turning the big four zero and what it really means to me. Turning 40 is, apparently, a big deal with a lot of people. Kinda like when you turn 13, 18, 21, and so on. At 13 you’re officially a teenager. At 18 you can vote. At 21 you can drink legally. What do you get at 40? Besides a dose of reality and tacky birthday cards? I guess it’s not much of a coincidence that I just heard on the TV that by the age of 40 we could look like a road map of pain. I resemble that statement. Over the last 20 years I’ve treated my body like a virtual amusement park. It might be a better description to say that I treated it like I was on the roller coaster to hell and it was a one-way trip. Binge eating, little to no exercise except when I was forced to by the military, steadily rising body fat, weight, and blood pressure. Shortness of breath at even the slightest amount of exertion and so on. A wonderful recipe for somebody wanting to push daisies at an early age. Today I turned 40 and, like many people my age, reality has set in. It actually set in a while ago but turning 40 just reinforces it. Aches and pains aren’t going away, I’m not in very good shape, my diet is terrible, I’m overweight, and I’m on the exact road that my dad was on when he had his...

I’m Riding the Jax Tour de Cure

I mentioned this the other day in my New Year, New Goals post (it’s goal #2). Why the Tour de Cure? I’m glad you asked. Why the Tour de Cure? For those of you that don’t know, the Tour de Cure is a series of fundraising cycling events held in 43 states nationwide to benefit the American Diabetes Association (ADA). It’s a ride, not a race, with events for every rider. Noob to seasoned veteran. The funds raised by the Tour de Cure go to support the mission of the ADA. From the Tour de Cure website: Last year, more than 50,000 cyclists in 80 Tour events raised nearly $17 million to support the mission of the ADA: to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. Personally, I’m riding the Tour de Cure and raising money for the ADA because diabetes has impacted both mine and my wife’s families. My mother, sister, and an uncle all have Type 2. My wife has several family members on her side of the family that are impacted by this disease. With diabetes impacting our family so much, I thought riding to raise money to support the ADA would be a good thing to do. And it’ll be good for me. What this will do for me There are several benefits to riding the Tour de Cure. They are: I’m doing a good thing. Raising money for a great cause is always good. It helps me get into better shape. Signing up for this ride is going to force me to ride my bike. I’m...
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