Been Around

November 21, 2008

This is my first post following the initial one. As usual, I have several brands in the fire and lose track of some on them. My blog being one but not my training. Imagine my surprise to find three replies to my introduction page. I read them all with satisfaction and thanks. The training is going as well as can be expected for this time of the year here. There has been considerable rain where I live and this drives me to stay indoors. I admire Lance and his acceptance of the wet stuff. I find it very annoying and a pain to clean up after a ride. My training has thus far then been mostly on the trainer. I get up at 4:30 in the morning to do my vitamin thing and then hit the trainer. I have lots of old taped footage from the OLN days of Tour coverage with Phil, Paul, Bobkee and unforunately Mr. Al Trauwig. Great motivation when you are half asleep. It really gets the blood flowing for the rest of the day though. A very nice side effect is that I now have more energy than the middle school students I teach. This bothers them to no end I think. One downfall I see in the near future as a result of my comeback is the added expense of all the new equipment I am going to need. My rig for criteriums will do very nicely, however I think I will need to do something about my road race set up. I am looking at the SRAM Red group. With the asking price, looking may be all I ever do. I will definitely have to do something about my TT rig. That is the one place where lots of time can be made up through the purchase of more event specific equipment. I am still a firm believer in the best trained athlete will win out over the best outfitted athlete. If you saw my current set up however you would understand my concern. Needless to say, I am in the midst of starting to look for a second job. Nice thing about being my age is I read that I should need less sleep than athletes at their prime. Naturally I will temper this thought with common sense and try not to burn the candle at both ends.  Currently in my training I am going through a body cleanse segment. I aim to drop 5-10 pounds of body fat through diet changes and specific training goals, take three days off for good behavior then hit the first block of conditioning. This block will last four weeks and concentrate mostly on core training and overall strength. There will be some on the bike training but mostly gym type stuff. The hard thing is not overtraining at this time of my off-season plan. Been there, done that in the past and failed, then wondered why. They say that wisdom comes with age. I have found that wisdom is actually your reward for listening over the course of your life. I know some others my age that still lack wisdom because they think they know it all already. It is the very things we think we know that prevent us from learning what we really should know. Anyway, enough of the philosophising and back to my plan. I am on a 12 week plan which will take me up to just before the season starts here in Hawaii. If the coming season goes as past editions, it will consist mainly of ITT’s and not much else. Just prior to that start I will begin a four week block of specific TT training so I imagine my early efforts will not be worthy of writing home about. Since there’s little else for the first couple of months, this fits my schedule just fine. By the time the mass start races begin I should be well into a build-peak-race training schedule. The timing will be a bit tricky to work out but no struggle, no gain eh. Besides, half the fun will be trying to time everything out to maximize my results. Fancy talk I know but what else do I have.

  That is my plan in a nutshell. Happy to report that so far so good. I am within 8 pounds of my high school weight of 172 lbs. I have built in at least one more weight loss week so between the training and correct diet, I should be good to go by early January. Guess that is all I have for now except to reiterate that I am doing this for me and for no one else. Pushing the ego aside for a moment though, I would like to say that if perchance I happen to inspire someone else to chase and possibly exceed a goal, the teacher in me would feel gratified regardless of the outcome of my own lofty expectations. Turning my ego back on, I have to say that I need to chase my goals with all the strength and tenacity I possess. One thing I can say for myself is that I have always been a competitor and likely will remain so throughout the rest of my life.

Adieu, garyc

Needless to say, my journey back has been sidetracked and sidelined for some time. Note to self, life happens and so does age. Never thought I would be one to play the age card but it has happened. Strange how the mind never forgets how to do things. The body……….that’s another matter all together. Been sidetracked by work for far too long. Now that furloughs have hit the teaching ranks here in Hawaii, I thought I would have a little extra time to get some riding in that has eluded me for some time. Guess again smart guy! Age has a way of reminding you of reality. Played football with my students during lunch and came away with some aches and pains that have yet to go away. A month down the road and no riding, no soccer, no fun. Finally went in to see a sports trainer after several massages and shiatsu treatments that did not help. Well, it seems to be muscular in nature but could be an alignment problem as well. What the heck happened to my youth! I used to be able to bounce back from most anything. As I stated above, the mind remembers what to do but the body sure complains a lot. They say even Lance does not train at the volume that he used to several years ago. Don’t know why I should be able to. Hard to acknowledge my age and all that goes with it. Damn!! Just have to accept and move on. Time will tell. All for now. I’m getting depressed trying to get my mind around my words.

My Cyclo Challenge

September 24, 2008

Hi guys. My name is Gary and I have started on a quest today. Actually it started a few days ago when I heard to announcement that Lance Armstrong was making a comeback to cycling. Like Lance, I never got very far away from the sport I loved. Unlike Lance, I never got close to reaching the level he attained and maintained for all those years despite he battle with cancer. Like Lance, I too was impacted by that terrible disease. Unlike Lance, mine was an indirect contact. I lost my mother to pancreatic cancer when she was just 68 years old. I have been angry ever since. I now know how to channel that anger and but it to use. I have chosen to come back to racing (never been very far away as I still train) and win the state championship road race, criterium and Time Trial series here in Hawaii.

    I have spent the past several years in and out of the sport. I have had coaches and have tried doing it by myself. Suffice it to say that I have been around the block several times and then some. I have had some success but it has been inconsistent. Some of this has been my doing and some is due to work and family commitments. Each year has brought a new challenge and created a new time sponge. Not that I dislike doing for my kids or the love of my life (Naomi, my wife), but I guess I have discovered that despite my having reached the age of 54, I have yet to completely grow up. I still like to race bicycles and pit my self against others. Age does not matter to me when I compete as I still see myself as I was all those years ago when I was in the shape of my life. I just don’t look too long in the mirror and the image does not shake me back to reality. Perhaps it is nothing more than the belief that athletics was the only thing that ever gave me a sense of self worth (the husband and father thing aside).

    At any rate, I have found a new guru who has given me the mental thrashing I have needed all these years. His name is Graeme Street and he is ever the voice of enthusiasm and just good ol’ “get up off your butt and do it” kind of motivation. Thinking back to my younger days, I always responded best to that kind of coaching. So Graeme, here it is. My goal, as stated above, is set and the wheels are literally in motion. Despite my kid’s school and sports commitments and all the other duties that go along with making and keeping a marriage alive, my goals are set on the road ahead. This is going to be good. The races that I have cited above are at least half a year away and I have time to work out the scheduling challenges that have always plagued me in the past. I feel like with your help and the new found motivation (the pent up anger and Lance’s comeback) I cannot lose. As the title of one of Lance’s books said, “It’s Not About The Bike”. It’s about taking up the challenge and seeing it through to the end. No matter what the outcome. Although I suspect that in Mr. Armstrong’s mind, the outcome was never in doubt. That is a powerful conviction that I intend to mimic.

    I believe that is all I have to say for now. Whether or not anyone ever reads these or any of the words that may follow, it make little difference to me. After all, this isfor me and not for anyone else. My aim is to put myself to the ultimate test. That is, set my sights on a goal and see it to its successful conclusion. No excuses and no whining. Just winning! Ready or not, here I come.

garyc

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September 23, 2008

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