Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Good Side of Bad

If there's any up-side to finding out 5 years ago that my blood pressure was the equivalent of an 80 year old chain smoker who snacked on sticks of butter wrapped in bacon it's that every few years I get to see cool pictures of my heart. Must be the nerd in me talking, but seeing all the valves and everything work is pretty frickin cool. Fortunately nothing I saw looked like the turbo on G's car spewing fluids everywhere... I'm pretty sure that would have been bad. I'll wait to hear from the doctor before declaring myself healthy or anything, but if recent rides on the bike mean anything, something is working right.

I've said it before: Don't assume everything is perfect because you're in shape and active. I was probably the "healthy" guy next in line for a heart attack. It's not much more than a minor inconvenience to get yourself checked out regularly.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 6

After a couple months of intense slacking, I went for the aforementioned LT test which seems to have been the much needed kick in the ass. Today was my sixth straight day of riding. Yay. Granted the last 4 have been in the cozy little corner I set up in the basement, but it's January in Massachusetts... that's what we do. Things look good to hit the pavement both days this weekend again after a nicely timed "rest" day tomorrow ("rest" because there'll be no riding, but I am playing hockey). I can only hope that this is the start of a nice trend.

Oh, and there will be some upcoming big news over on my rarely used other blog. I'll try to remember to flag it here, but feel free to check it out periodically.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Reality Check

Last night I went down to visit coach guy for a little LT testing since it's time to get off my ass. Let's just say it was a sobering reminder that I've got me some work to do. All things considered, it probably should have been worse. I've probably pedaled a bike about 6 times since the end of October. Somewhere around that time I did nothing at all for about 3 weeks. I basically went into this cold. It's ok... I just need to do some rearranging in the basement tonight so I can set up a nice spot for the trainer. I lost my heated trainer room to the kids and the couple times I've ridden in the garage in the past couple weeks my feet went numb it was so cold. That's not going to do much for motivation so I'll just do some cleaning and be good. It's only January... no worries.

Oh and an old teammate from high school is pulling me into an alumni vs. students charity basketball game in a few weeks. I basically told him I suck about as much as I did back then, but I'm at least in shape enough to run with the kids. Should be entertaining. If anyone wants a laugh, the money is going to cancer research and tickets are only 3 bucks. I can post info if there's any desire. If you're on FB you may just get the info there.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Goals - What's "too late"

All this reflection and planning and prognosticating by some people these days got me thinking about an old goal of mine. I ran competitively through high school, college, and for several years after. One could argue I was even pretty good at it. I sort of became a middle/long distance guy focusing on the 800m and 1500m on the track and 5k to 5miles elsewhere. I've had mixed success above and below those ranges, but suffice it to say I spent lots of hours banging out hard short intervals. I'd have to check my list, but I believe my PR in the 1500m was 4:05 point something (and I know it was at the D3 New England Outdoor Championships at Williams College in 1996 :) ). For a long time I was pretty certain I had the ability to get under 4 minutes, but leaving the structure of college and not being able to afford a coach then, I never made a serious push for it. Tack on 3 kids, a lot of years, and aspirations of being a bike racer and here we are.

The past few years I've gotten pulled into this fun little event in June where the local clubs do a "marathon relay": 26 people each do a mile (and someone sprints out the .2) for bragging rights and a few medals. It's been a fun event because mentally I'm programmed to run the mile (there's an approach to this race and not everyone gets it) so I can use it as a way to measure general fitness, although not running fitness so much since I've barely run at all leading up to it. A good sign is that my time has come down 3 years in a row. Last year I ran a 4:54 (granted it's 1600m which is not a full mile and you get a running start, but still...) with just a handful of running days and one pace check on a track a day or two before. It got me thinking: What if I actually trained for this? Last night I was thinking to myself that this year I should really honestly train for it, but still as a secondary goal to bike racing. Today I started thinking a little bigger: What if I really honestly gave it another shot before it's too late? But that sounds like a lot of pressure... oh no, if I don't do it now I never will. I don't need that shit.

The fact of the matter is, the more years that go by, the harder it will be for me to pull together what it takes to go that fast. There's a reason I gave up running as a primary sport... it hurt too much to do it that hard every day. With a smart enough approach it's still not outside the realm of possibility, but it would have to be kinda soon. I have my name in for Leadville this year and I wanted to do something even bigger next year (to be announced later). Maybe if I don't get in to Leadville I'll ponder the idea some more. It's just big enough that it would have to be THE goal so I have to think about it. We'll see....