Category Archives: Training

Covering Up

Scott Lin

The Scott Lin

What are you looking at here?  Well, a bike helmet, obviously.  I’m still confined to riding inside, which for a cyclist bears the same relationship to real cycling as watching C-SPAN does to having sex.  So in a gesture that was, I admit, motivated almost completely out of self-pity, I decided to go out and buy myself a new helmet as a gesture of optimism that I might, you know, one day, actually be able to stop watching C-SPAN.  Apart from its consolation value it was also practical.  Several times over the past few days, when I’ve been dreaming of riding outside, I’ve remembered that I in fact no longer have a helmet (or rather I have a souvenir piece of foam and plastic with scuff marks and  a big crack in the side).

So why did I buy this particular helmet, a Scott Lin?  Because it is a helmet that might be the harbinger of a fundamental change in helmet design.

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So. . .What’s Next?

A crucial part of my preparation for the Iron Distance race this year was to have a plan for after the event.  That was something I didn’t do the first time, despite having the example of my partner’s experience with the post-Ironman-letdown in front of me.  Looking back, I think I was simply so overwhelmed by the Ironman training (even though I kept telling myself that I wasn’t really overwhelmed) that I just had no mental or emotional energy to try and think about what would happen afterward.  The post-Ironman depression is a real issue and not just for first-timers; I’ve seen it strike experienced and novice athletes alike.  You finish the Ironman, it is an epic experience, you are pumped, you vow to just take a couple of weeks off and then get back into training, maybe pick up some late-season races. . .and before you know it, it is January, and you are sitting slumped on a couch in your underwear and pulling navel lint out of a belly that has doubled in size in two months.

But enough about me.

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What makes a village?

Most of the time, doing an Iron distance race seems to be about anything and everything except the basics.  Indeed, as I sit here in our rented condo, on the eve of Rev 3 at Cedar Point, and look at the jumble of bags, the discarded wrappers, the piles of carefully sorted food, the elaborate checklists that are crossed out, asterisked, scribbled upon, starred, lined and creased, I’m reminded again of the old adage that an Ironman is a logistics event with a little bit of swimming, biking, and running thrown in.

But today I was thinking about how it really does come back down to some very basic things, things like showing up.

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Wide Open Spaces

Rev 3 Cedar Point Bike Course Preview

Recently I had the chance to ride the entire 112 miles of the Rev 3 Cedar Point Iron Distance bike course course with other members of Team Z.  I’ve jotted down a few thoughts while impressions were still fresh in my mind.

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Laying Off the Hard Stuff

I clawed myself awake on Monday morning and then immediately wished I hadn’t.  My head felt as if there were a Frenchman living in it.  My tongue felt like a Bolivian unicyclist’s jockstrap (this week’s similes brought to you by classic British comedy series).  What kind of bender had I been on?

Oh, that’s right, an Ironman training weekend.

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The Balance Sheet

The first truly long ride for me for the season (which I define as 80 plus), a nice little jaunt with the team out of Davidsonville, about as flat as it gets around these parts.  I was looking forward to a great day out, but it was decidedly a day of mixed blessings.  Let’s break it down.

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The Daily Grind

The title and subject of today’s post suggested themselves to me when I was biking home yesterday wearing one of my favorite bike jerseys: the Uphill Grind was the place where the Team Z cheering station was located during Ironman Wisconsin and Mary grabbed me a jersey from there, which just happens to fit really well and look really cool.  It serves as a reminder of how much fun Wisconsin was, the massive amount of Team support that helped get me through the day, and that the nirvana combination of bike and coffee shops does exist.

So the jersey got me thinking about the prep for this year’s Ironman (sorry, Irondistance. . .aw, screw you WTC and your “branding,” I’m going to call it an Ironman) coming up in Cedar Point at the end of September.  I realized that I hadn’t updated this blog for quite some time.  The reason is pretty simple.  Nothing particularly significant has happened during the training so far.  That fact itself, however is pretty significant because it reflects a marked different in both my training and mental approach this year.

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