I write my blog each day in my blogging chair at Johnny’s, only in Carrboro, created by Brian Plaster and his trusty staff. Brian kindly posed for this picture of my morning blog spot, holding a bottle of my favorite wine, Our Daily Red (Organic, No Sulfites Detected).
Brian is a great mountain biker, but me, I stick to the roads, and with an AAA-stent you need to think about how you ride. For instance, I wouldn’t recommend concussive blows to your lower abdomen, so don’t take the bumps in the road, ride them out on your quads. This kind of thing could turn out to be important – be kind to your body and your stent and they won’t let you down. So! When it comes to training partners, pick people who understand why you have to go easy, but don’t let them talk you into going too easy if you want to stay an athlete and not become a mental cripple.
Training partners and coaches have played a big role in my training. For instance, I don’t think that I would be half the cyclist I am today without the continuous drive of my friend Rory Conolly. Two critical psychological breakthrough rides for me were the Mountains of Misery ride in Virginia, which kicked my butt but I am proud to have finished just a few minutes behind Rory in 2009, and the AIMP East Coast Ride (San Francisco to San Diego in five days), which Rory and I also did together (what a ride – try it!). I never would have completed these monster rides without Rory’s encouragement. It has four category one climbs, that leave you wondering why you thought the ‘hills’ in your neighborhood weren’t just speed bumps. Thanks Rory! Here is a photo of Rory in a spacial from from the Stone Clinic , demonstrating why it is so important to develop a low impact running style. In spite of all that, Rory still perseveres with his running, now in Vibram Five Finger (why not toe?) shoes.
It takes a village to make an endurance athlete, but you have to chose the village members carefully. Remember the advice of Tim Ferriss about Pareto’s Principal in the 4HWW. It applies to training partners, too!
And, by-the-way, check out The Athlete’s Heart Blog. Nice site, really interesting stuff.