Tuesday, November 20, 2007

As The Wheel Turns, So Goes The Days Of Our Lives

Whoopsie! Soap Opera time (is that where you take your Opera browser outside and give it a bath???)

This post could turn out to be rather, ummmmm, convulated. Much like my neural pathways, which are still growing. Did you know the pathways keep growing and making new ones till you are in your mid 40's? After that, you're just bound to get dumber. Although some folks (like my folks) would say mine stopped growing sometime in my mid-teens... Hmmmph! Hey, anyone wanna look in one of my ears??? Guaranteed you can see light out the other side!

Enough of that; I gotta tell y'all that I went for a bicycle ride this morning! No, this won't turn into a "bike blog", there are more than enough of those out there, and some really damned good ones too. No way could I compete with the likes of Jill or Fatty. So I'll just sorta keep on doin' what I'm doin', and once in a while you'll have to put up with my cycling stuff --this'd be one 'o' them times.

Oh, wait: you need a bit of a backstory here (hear) otherwise you'd have no idea just how far the mighty (ummmmmm, that'd be Yours Truly) has fallen.

When I was riding all the time, my riding weight was 155 lb (contrast that to when I was in marathon running training: 135 lb; and an ideal fencing weight of 165 lb) and I could ride all day long. Yeah, I can hear you cyclists snickering, but keep in mind I'm six feet and one and one half inches tall.

I've ridden 200 miles in 12 hours unsupported in the wilds of Alaska (if you don't pack it with ya, you don't have it). 30 miles of running and 105 miles of mountain biking through the Alaska Range in 12 hours. Weeklong solo bike trips to wherever the road went.

Ok, you sorta get the picture: I used to be in GOOD shape. Note: the above crap will make for some damned good stories!

This doesn't mean that I turned into a couch potato(e) when I moved down here. Quite the opposite, in fact. My wife (The Most Wonderful Woman In The Entire World) bought me a beautiful carbon-fiber frame with all the trimmings when my old Bianchi died. It only took me 18 months to put 20,000 k on "ole rocket butt" (that's another story) before I hurt my back.

Maybe it was my back that I used as an excuse, maybe I was getting tired of staring at stupid training numbers and wattage output and intervals and all that crap (it does get old after a few decades). Who knows? Anyways, I couldn't ride for a while cus of my back and I think I was burned out (I'd been training with Cat A and Cat B riders): the back was a good excuse.

Now, some of you may know that when an endurance athlete STOPS the endurance training, they generally continue to EAT like the were training: the weight PILES on --in large quantities; usually around the waist.

Any surprise why I went from 155 lb to 190 lb??????

For some unknown reason this past weekend, I decided to stop being a slob. Well, I mean an out-of-shape slob cus I'll probably always be a slob.

This morning (Tuesday, November 20th, 2007) was my first ride on ole rocket butt in a long time. Oh sure, I'd done some grocery runs on the mountain bike and sorta toodled around a bit on rocket butt, but a real ride? I knew it would hurt, I was sure I'd hurl, and I shivered (as much as one can shiver in an Aussie summer) at the thought of my legs hurting. But what the hey, I really want to get back in shape, so, like, what's a little pain in the long run, eh?

It's not like I'm in terrible shape, heck I do water-aerobics in my pool once in a while --it usually involves me pushing off from the side of the pool with one finger while reclining in the pool furniture-- so I figured I'd be right, no worries!

Ok: get up at 5 am (don't need an alarm: I have a cat). Check the weather, check the bike, no worries.

Time passes...........

Holy Crap!!!!! I can't believe how HARD this is! I was blowing chunks after just a couple of minutes! My legs were trembling, I could barely hold onto the bar... Chest was heaving... sweat dripping from every unnamed part of my anatomy... Holy Crap: this used to be EASY... Spittle running down my chin... "My God, it's full of stars"... tunnel vision... dry-heaves... hamstrings and glutes cramping massively...

Ok, slow down... chill out, breath deep and try to catch your breath... whew... No worries! Ha! I showed em! I can still do this! Ok, I'm now ready to pump up the other tire!

Yes, I got breathless pumping up the tires to a good ole 125 psi!

Time to get the spandex shorts on... Fortunately, I'd gotten my second wind by this point so I was able to squeeze my lard-ass (and lard-thighs) into my largest pair of cycling shorts. This process took a good 5 minutes as I had to continually tuck various fat folds into the waistband of the shorts. Once I got them on, I figured the circulation would return to my feet and the tingling feeling in my calves would stop soon.

Jersey: NOT A BLOODY CHANCE!!!!!!! I wore a t-shirt and a fanny-pack (with a large waist strap in the hopes it'd conceal my ample girth). Oh the shame! A crusty old fart wearing a t-shirt out on a racing road bike worth well into the four figure brakcet... (I looked down whenever I noticed anyone staring and/or laughing at me and hung my head in shame while trying not to spew all over myself --it didn't work, the spewing I mean).

I tried to get into the drops once... Have any of you ever tried to ride a road racing bike with a "few" extra pounds around the middle? Well, you may have noticed that even on the hoods your thighs slam up against your gut on each pedal stroke. Now try to imagine what happens when you are in the drops and your ample gut is pounded by your fat thighs on each pedal stoke... Now, remember, there's only 3 (count 'em 3) things to get in the way: the two family jewels and your weenie. All 3 just happen to get MASHED into little bitty bits when you are in the drops! Needless to say, I got very adept at braking from the hoods.

But, I survived! Obviously, otherwise I wouldn't be relaying this tale (tail) to you. Gotta tell ya though:


Damn, how will I ever get the vomit off my beautiful bike?


Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

This is a test to see if my comments work.

The Short Red-Haired One said...

You know, there's a definite
masochism about these endurance
athletes. For myself, I'm a
long-distance knitter. I'm not
masochistic enough to crochet.
Yet. Though I don't deny the
possitibility in the future...
Ask Dave about the knitting,
which also demands great
endurance in the support crew.
Who else could kill a whole
hour in a yarn stor while his
other half gets touchy-feely
with how many balls of WHAT?!,
and still be smiling at the
end of it? Over many years I've
become accustomed to being a
Sports Widow; maybe this is
why one takes up the knitting?
Seriously, Ol' Rocket Butt is
a good name for it. And yes,
it's good to see the bike
back on the road. Especially
with someone perched on top. I
understand the thrill of going
fast with the wind in your
face ... it's the spewing part
I don't understand. Yet.
Give me time. Or do I mean
seltzer? At least one doesn't
spew while knitting ... or at
least, it never happened yet.

LoveANewIdea said...

This is such a FUNNY post - I love the way you tell a story!!! You definitely have much more athlete blood in you than I do - biking, skiiing...

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

Liz: Holy smokes! Were you really bored enough to read my posts from yonks ago? Or am I really that funny (looking)?