Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Winter Wonder

So having obeyed the dictates of the Junior Woodchuck Guide to Cycling and set up my goals for next year, I went back and read chapter two.

Good thing, too, because it imparted some mighty wisdom to my feeble mind.

Apparently, if you set goals, you need to prepare to meet them. This bit of lucidity eluded my tortured mind until delving into the tome of wisdom so dear to my Junior Woodchuck heart.

Actually, truth be told I was not searching for cycling wisdom so much as a way to untangle the Gordian Knot...information also found within the pages of the Junior Woodchuck Guidebook. But as with all great literature, once I picked up the Guidebook I kept turning pages, enthralled by what I was learning.

Anyhow, the wisdom it imparted was that to achieve goals that are currently beyond my physical ability, I must needs train specifically to achieve those goals.

Inspired, I traipsed to the library to acquire for a period of time access to The Cyclist's Training Bible by Joe Friel.

Yeah, I know, it is for the serious cyclist. I know that because the blurb on the front says, and I quote, "The best-selling book for serious cyclists".

As all who know me know, no description containing the word "serious" without some negative modifier is apt to be designed with me in mind. However, I cleverly used the loophole of the self check-out machine to avoid the watchful gaze and escape with my intended reading in hand.

As such, pursuant to the wisdom found in the Junior Woodchuck Guide to Cycling and my 4th edition library book I have been setting up a pretty stout training regimen involving large doses of pop tarts, Mountain Dew and popcorn...oh, wait, that is for the couch potato Olympics. Wrong training regimen.

I have been setting up a personalized program intended to improve my hill climbing and distance abilities.

Funny thing is, both the Junior Woodchuck Guide to Cycling and The Cyclist's Training Bible are in agreement that my training shows a huge hole; mental toughness.

The longest training ride I have done is about an hour and a half. I struggle to complete intervals not because they are too difficult but because I do not want to. I stop pedaling not because my legs are worn out or because I have something else to do but because I have been pedaling for a while and just...stop, even though I know I should ride further.

I should have my Junior Woodchuck Cycling Merit badge ripped right off my shirt. It probably would be but for two things.

First, I never earned the Junior Woodchuck Merit badge for cycling.

Second, even if I had, when riding the trainer I seldom wear a shirt.

So this is to make public my struggles and hopefully shame myself into doing better.

My goal is a two hour trainer ride at no less than 22nd gear before the end of the year and a 4 hour ride by the time spring rolls around.

Lets see if I have the mental toughness for that.

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