Blog Archives September, 2011

My Cycling Challenges – Bill Lightner

My Cycling Challenges…………..

I have always been active (most of my life anyway) in sports whether it’s been cycling, running, playing tennis, playing golf, skiing, in-line skating or whatever is tickling my adrenaline rush. Since taking on this relatively new path of fitness and good health, setting and achieving new challenges/goals has played a very important part to me. Since I found cycling, something I can be fairly good at and be competitive without actually competing on a top level, challenging myself has kept things interesting and fun! I cycle with many that are 20 years my junior and as many they are in their 60’s and 70’s! That’s encouraging to me that I can keep up with some of the younger folks (for now) and that by staying in shape, I can continue as long as I want.

Initially when I first started cycling, my biggest challenge was just getting out every Saturday and Sunday. I would tell myself to just keep peddling, don’t stop. Each month or so, I would increase my mileage 5 to 10 miles. I started keeping a record of how long the ride took, and my average speed to track my progress. I soon build up my mileage and strength that I thought I could ride with the local Club without embarrassing myself.

When I joined our local Club, I found out what that really meant to ride with a group of people and my next challenge began. In August, my fellow Brand Ambassador, Jenna Novotny wrote a great blog about Group Training, check it out if you haven’t already. I found that I really enjoyed riding with a group of people, it inspired me. There is such a variety of ability levels within the group; I had to find the right group to get started with. The challenge became keeping up with that group and pushing myself to get better enough to catch up to and ride with the next group. During this time, I was also encouraged to take on Organized Group Rides such as the Tour of Palm Springs. The first year I did the Tour, I rode 55 miles which was a push for me at the time. Later that year and after doing several more longer 55+ mile rides I was persuaded to ride my first Century (100 miles). This was a great accomplishment for me, not to mention not an easy first time Century that included 6,800 feet of climbing. This challenge very soon grew to become a Century ride a month for one year. The year was great fun with an awesome riding partner, great friends and finished my last Tour with my first Double Century (200 miles) ride.

Now one might think, “What comes next?” Well, after a minor injury at the beginning of the following year, I got the hankering for my next challenge. The Double Century that I had done was kind-of a lead in…… My riding partner and I decided to aim for the Triple Crown (3 Double Centuries in a calendar year) and to add a “small” twist, throw in the King of the Mountain series (3, 110 mile mountain rides totaling some 32,000 feet of climbing). The year is almost over and I’m proud to say that I (we) have accomplished this great feat however it isn’t over!! It seems that there are 2 more Double Centuries in my near future to join the 1,000 mile Club! Crazy I know but I’m already being persuaded for next year’s famous/infamous Everest Challenge (a 2 day, 200 mile, almost 30,000 feet of climbing) race.

The success of my challenges has now centered on training, diet and the right electrolyte replacement drink to keep me going. Please look to my following blogs about how I prepare for these challenges.

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Sunday Funday

I was just heading out for my Sunday “long run” and my roommate asked me what I had planned after my run. “You mean besides scrambled egg whites, a half a bagel, cottage cheese with blueberries followed by a mimosa, ice bath and long nap? That’s my day pretty much.” From the persuasive look on her face I knew that my plans were pretty much going to be thrown out the window. “It’s Sunday Funday,” she said with a high pitch elation. “You have to join us. I want you there by 11:00. Plenty of time for you to do your run, shower and walk over to brunch.” She assured me I would have an unforgettable day and yes the brunch spot served “egg whites” so I didn’t need to worry.

I reluctantly accepted her offer. I mean I had my day pretty much set and I make a mean mimosa and my bed sounds so inviting!

After I ran a good 9 miles around the bay I quickly showered, put on my casual comfy clothes, pink Charger hat and flip flops and walked over to the bar and grill by our house in Pacific Beach. Two hours later after a great breakfast, amazing mimosas and even more amazing laughs with all of my friends, my roommate and I headed home to grab the beach cruisers and pedal down the bay to my friend’s house for a bar-b-que. Ok so this was technically my first time on a bike since college! That’s 15 years! The fact that I had a slight buzz going from the champagne and orange juice I downed a little while ago was either going to work for me or against me. Agghhhhh they say you never forget how to ride a bike and I was really hoping that damn old saying was true as I hopped on the pink two wheeled ride that was going to get me 3 miles down south. Ok so far so good…we hadn’t crashed into anything, fallen off or run anyone down at this point. I spoke a little too soon. Danielle decided to turn around to yell at me, “Isn’t this relaxing?” As she was looking back at me and continuing to attempt to bike straight ahead I watched her veer straight into a parked car, bounce off the door, remain on her bike all while she had no idea what had just happened. I was torn between laughing my you-know-what off and finding out if Danielle was ok. Her response of, “Quick pedal fast there was a guy asleep in that car” told me she was alright. “Great,” I thought as I was pedaling for dear life down the street, we are going to get arrested for assault with pink beach cruisers. Just what I need.”

We made it to Paul’s house in record time with no marks on our record and totally enjoyed the Charger’s season opening game. I think the carefree nature of our day along with a lot of laughs had a lot to do with my expeditious recovery from my nine mile run. You know, I wasn’t even sore the next day. I highly recommend you incorporate a Sunday Funday as part of your post-workout regime. It’s good for the soul! Just be careful where you decide to ride your bike!

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Filed Under: Milena Glusac | Comments (0)