Sunday, June 6, 2021

Baby steps

Baby steps. Micro-goals. Linear progression.

I used to love to run. 

I remember being a teenager in Brooklyn and running through Prospect Park, through Grand Army Plaza, down Flatbush Ave  to downtown Brooklyn.

I remember being in my 20's and preparing for and running marathons. I collected scores of shorter distance race bibs along the way until they papered a wall in my office. Track intervals, Sunday LSD, mile repeats. I remember the feeling of finding that groove and just running, a human animal in motion, momentarily tireless, briefly unstoppable - breathfully alive and flowing over the surface of the earth. I remember dreaming of running.

That feeling has been out of reach for a long while. Arthritic knees and a sciatica prone back have limited, and all but eliminated, running. Nevertheless, as the pandemic case numbers dropped and the vaccine numbers rose, I felt the need to get outside, get on my feet, and move. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

After the shutdown: Renaissance Athlete.

What a long strange year. My mom passed away in September 2019 after months of a steady, rapid decline in health. Then, in early 2020, while still getting my mind around the reality of living in a world without her, the world itself took a turn for the worse as the coronavirus literally went viral, spreading rapidly around the world, shutting down business, separating people, limiting travel, creating social distance. Social upheaval: protests, political chaos, erupted. It seemed like the fabric of society itself was being stretched thin. The virus is not quite done yet but, it seems, I hope, that the worst of it is behind us. Emerging from the shut down brought on by the coronavirus -Covid-19- and the world is a different place. There is so much to unpack; it's going to take a while.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

PBP 2019 - A home movie

Part One: https://youtu.be/vV0lKIQP-U8


Part Two: https://youtu.be/JQ5JXZyEAxI

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

On the final day of PBP 2019

Thursday morning on the final day of PBP. I am on the way to Rambouillet. The sun is rising over golden French fields. I am one of several riders who find themselves together at this place at this time. We are climbing yet another long but gentle rise.

"Are you happy?" 

The question comes from the clear, almost musical London accent of a man's voice.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

A few thoughts on the 2019 NJ Pinelands 300K

Finish the Damn Ride

Finish the Damn Ride is an "unwritten" ethos of Randonneurring. Sure there are caveats, safety comes first but, if you can safely continue, that ethos  can lead to some inspirational results. 

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Bridging the gap

Winter

In the winter of 2017, I stepped away from long bike rides to get stronger. Following a consistent routine of ever heavier squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, bench pressing, and chin-ups required time to recover. So I set aside long rides in the cold for shorter, intense sessions under the unforgiving steel bar. Each session was a simple pass/fail test of will and growing strength: either I lifted or I failed.

February

By February 2018, the sessions had paid off. I found myself stronger than I had been in decades. Truth be told, physically, I am far more suited to strength training than Randonneuring. This kind of training may be the polar opposite of the endurance needed for Randonneuring, but I knew that when I took the step back to rebuild and rebalance. Yet, in the process, I had let months pass without my riding a 200K or even a 100K,

But as the days grew longer, I found myself questioning the wisdom of taking that much time off the bike. Before this break, for eight years I had maintained a streak of monthly 200K rides in part because the prospect of starting over to regain that necessary endurance intimidated me. The first go around to build it, to put it mildly, challenged me. Now, I found myself older, stronger, more experienced, but basically having to start again. 
{"I found myself" - what a strange expression. When you think about it, it becomes complex, hard to explain. Who is the  "I"? What is the "myself" that was found?  How did "I" lose "myself" and what is it about that moment of the discovery that leads to the expression "finding yourself? But I digress, let's return to Spring 2018 ...}