Sunday, January 9, 2011

Mauled by a Grizzly

They say if you’re out in the wilderness with a group of people and a grizzly bear suddenly charges at you showing its huge claws and nasty teeth you don’t have to be the fastest runner in the group to survive. You just have to be faster than the slowest runner.

As it has rained day after day this winter I’ve found myself hitting the trainer for rides a lot more than I would like to. Trainer rides are decent for keeping your fitness level up but what you may not know is they are really great for giving you an incredible sense of determination. Trainer rides are mind numbingly boring to say the least so in order to keep going you’ve got to talk yourself into not quitting. That’s where the determination comes in.

If you were to see word bubbles by people while doing trainer rides I’m sure you would see statements such as:

“Don’t quit, don’t quit”
“What the heck was I thinking?”
“I’m the man, I’m the man, I can do this, never mind”

Trainer rides are tough mentally.

Lately, my training motivation has been to avoid getting mauled by the grizzly. I know it sounds kind of strange so let me explain.

This summer I’m planning on riding the Seattle to Portland (STP) ride in one day again but this time I’m going to be riding with a bunch of buddies. We are planning on doing a lot of training rides all over the northwest this spring leading up to the big day in July. I think about these upcoming training rides a lot while I’m sitting on the trainer grinding away at the miles. Sometimes I visualize being at the back of a pace line with my buddies and watching them slowly pull away from me. This visualization gives me an extra boost of energy and motivation as I struggle to virtually hang on because there is NO WAY that I’m ever going to let that happen. I will not be the slowest and thus will not get attacked by the looming grizzly.

I don’t have a need to be the fastest rider in our group putting the hurt on the rest of my buddies but when it comes to being the slowest rider in a lot of pain just trying to hang on the back that’s just not going to happen if I can help it. My goal is to be one of the riders in the middle of the pack laughing it up with the rest of the goof balls and enjoying the ride. Of course I’ll take my pulls in the front when it’s my turn but my training this year will be all about the enjoyment to be had in the middle of the pack.

The funny thing is it takes a lot of hard work and determination to get to the point fitness wise where you can be that guy in the middle having so much fun. So during the wet winter month trainer rides there may be a lot of virtual grizzlies trying to chase me down but trust me, none of them are going to catch me because I’ll be safely tucked in the middle of the pack right where I want to be.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Confessions of a Cookie-aholic

Hello, my name is Mike and I’m a cookie-aholic.

(This is where you say Hi Mike, it’s OK to say it out loud, I’ll wait)

Let me tell you a little about my story. It all started at the beginning of Christmas break from work with a simple plate of chocolate chip cookies. As I toiled and slaved around the house, every time I would walk by that lonely plate of cookies I would free one of them its isolation by eating it. I did this with full knowledge that I could quit eating those incredibly delicious and warm chocolate chip cookies any time I wanted because I have unbelievable willpower; but I just didn’t want to. As I finished up my chores I noticed that the plate of cookies was empty. Hmmmm….. the kids must have snuck in and polished them off when I wasn’t looking. It couldn’t have been me!

Well, lucky for me Jenny went on a cookie making binge after my first cookie encounter of the Christmas break. The next batch that she made were peanut butter cookies rolled in sugar with a Hersey kiss on top of them for an extra boost of energy. Remember when I said that I had unbelievable willpower? That might have been a little bit of an over exaggeration because while I cleaned up the kitchen one day I polished off at least 25 of those bad boys. I probably could have eaten more had there been more to eat but alas I ate every last Hersey kiss cookie in the house. I may have over done it a little bit but my mom would have been proud of me because I was a good little eater and finished everything on my plate and everyone else’s too.

The next batch that Jenny made were peanut butter cookies rolled in sugar with a peanut butter cup in the middle of them. These cookies are the mother of all cookies and make chocolate chip cookies look like a bat boy in the minor leagues. They are the Super Bowl and World Series of cookies all rolled into one. They are that good. Willpower? Who needs willpower when there are peanut butter, peanut butter cup cookies in the house? Not to be out done I polished off all of those too. At this point my cookie eating episodes had gone from a social event to an individual endurance sport.

Finally, I had to ask Jenny to quit making cookies because I was starting to even impress myself with how many cookies I could eat in one sitting.

As of today I have been cookie free for 4 days! It’s a challenge but I’m succeeding.

So maybe I have a little bit of a cookie eating problem but I did do a lot of trainer rides for at least an hour during the break so I’m sure it evens out. Don't do the math for me. It evens out! Now I just need to figure out why the dryer has shrunk my pants to the point where they are really tight.

Carrot stick anyone?