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Monday, March 14, 2011

does getting beat equate to winning at times ?

I think it is all how we view things in the big picture.
Sometimes we just have to take our lumps to get ahead of the curve. I know it generally works this way for me.
I am super competitive, I'll be the first to admit it. I wouldn't use the word hate, but I would have to say I strongly dislike to lose.
This has played out for years in everything I do. From life, to business and on through sports and activities. Fortunately, I am a pretty humble looser. This comes from many attempts at success and coming up short.
I have had my fare share of wins, and sometimes I discount the impact and importance of them. Only to get back out there and chase that invisible carrot. Other times I let it soak in and revel in the glory of what took place and what it took to get there.

I have talked allot about cycling in the last 2 months.
I have felt more comfortable on the bike in the last 3 weeks than I have maybe ever felt.
Am I in my purest race condition or at optimum race weight ? No, not really.
I'm 45 years old now and have to realize I can never get to the pure condition I was 15 or so years ago.
But what I can do is use my years of experience to get in the absolute best condition for this time in my life, right now.
I can continue to go out and train in swim,bike, and run.
Moving on.
This weekends long ride was penned out as a 67 mile route that would have some fun, flat sections. Some short,stiff climbs. Some long tedious false summit suffering grinds. And some flat out can't pedal any faster descents.
There was a misunderstanding on my part with Patrick from We rode out together as normal. It was great to see him as normal. And we started our ride. I got talking with another rider and past friend about this upcoming race season and didn't get in the normal chat time. Before I knew it we were 18 miles deep in this ride and some hills were coming. We made our 1st stop for regroup and headed on our way. Having not been on a ride in this area for along time, I had forgotten that the hills not only keep coming, but they just get deeper and steeper.
I was trying my new tactic of staying in the lead 4-6 riders of the group. There is always shelter to be had in numbers, so long as you take your turn up front, you'll almost never be denied a place.
By the time we got to our next turn off and regrouping spot,our pace line and group of 16-20 riders was down to 9. It was then I realized there was no announcement of the ride group split. Patrick obviously decided to go the other route, and talking time with him was now non existent.
For the record Patrick, If I would have known this I would have planned things differently and rolled together.
At this time we are about 25 miles deep into the ride which puts me at about 30 or so. The pace is fast and yet still friendly. Then I start realizing we are on a major rode that crosses over a mountain pass.Not that we are climbing over this said pass. But this road starts on an incline and never really stops until the summit.
Our trek takes us up about 4 miles and then starts traversing over and through all the most recent (past 10 years) suburban developments.
Someone behind me calls out "uggh, now the real fun starts". I'm thinking WTH ?
As fast as he said it, we merge left and start a false summit climb that absolutely cracked me within 1000 meters. It was one of those things where, you haven't done it and you can't see an end in sight.
When I say cracked I can assure you I didn't stop or quit, but I did continue to watch every man but 2 slowly pedal away. I don't know what the exact climb elevation right there was, but I can tell you I hadn't done one this long in 2 decades.
We made it to the bottom for a regroup and nature break. I was relieved to get there, having gone through every last ounce of liquid I had left on that climb.
Defeated mentally ?
Admittedly a little.But I also know that climb will never, ever be that hard again.
From there is was more meandering through cities I had never visited, with some short burst climbs and some very fast downhills. Along with a 5-7 mile pace line rotation with the last  7 of us on board. 2 had said We are out the back and done, don't wait.
Bonus to this pace line was 2010  So Cal masters time trialist was one of the players and not even the strongest of the day. Needless to say the pace and tempo was high and fast. Taking pulls only as long as you cleared the first mans wheel. Then it was clear and the next man was already in the wind. It was so synced we never said anything accept clear and last man for miles.
Finally back into local territory and heading back in through Newport back bay towards PCH.
We again got into a rhythm but at a safer more relaxed speed. Anticipating the turn onto PCH and the flat out 5 mile sprint to the end.
I held onto the chain for as long as I could, dropping out the back with another rider and then picking up one of our other club members who had strayed away from the other group ride and was slugging it out on his own head into the wind.
He was happy to see cavalry and I was happy to help.
I was thinking to myself about how I couldn't wait to get off the saddle and grab a flat seat for a few. Only to then remind myself I still had another 8 mile ride after that to get home.

Total ride completed at  78 miles in 4:33:57, climbing just under 3,000 feet.
 Just over 6,000 calories burned. Max speed 40.1 mph, Average 19.6 mph.
I was really wrecked after this ride, although I feel great today.
I got my butt handed to me quite a bit in this ride. I was also able to dish some out early on and then later in the day. I could see it as a loss, but I see it as just another step in the ladder of getting where I want to be.

This is long, so I hope you read it and didn't get to boared. Or maybe even pulled something out of it.

Train hard, train smart, be healthy 


  1. That sounded brutal, but awesome. That qualifies as an epic ride in my book. Well done.

  2. I'd probably still be in Lake Forest

  3. BC- I can't write epic ride stories. I'm no writer, thats Patricks job. Brutal it was.

    Patrick, not a chance. No man left behind on my watch. No different than you'd do, or have done !

  4. Just found your blog. That sounds like a pretty tough ride.

  5. What an absolutely awesome ride. I too am loving cycling now more than ever. Actually the bike is where I have seen most of my improvements.

    And I doubt Patrick would have minded. :)

  6. Those brutal efforts are usually lookd at fondly in retrospect, glad it went that way for you.

  7. Those tough days on the bike with the spring headwinds set you up for a great season because the dividends and mental toughness you went through