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Work..Training...Racing...Loved Ones...Is There A Better Way(17 posts)

Work..Training...Racing...Loved Ones...Is There A Better WayBigLeadOutGuy
Mar 29, 2002 2:45 PM
Hey everyone...The board has been kinda slow lately so I figured I would throw a topic out there and see what you all think.
I am having a tough time budgeting my time...Check it out!
I work a construction job from 730am-430pm...get home from work and go for a training ride of 1-2 the time I get home its 7pm..I shower than I eat dinner and by then I am so tired im ready to get to bed...on the weekends I race so I need to get to sleep at a decent hour the night before a race...thats not my problem though...the problem lies in where to fit time for my girlfriend and friends...all my friends have disowned me cause i never hang out g/f is ready to ditch me cause we only go out on friday night and ill see her on sunday after racing is over...Everyone is pretty tweaked with me. The strange thing is that I am not all that concerned...I love to be on my bike and if it was up to me Id ride a hell of a lot more than I am now. During the off season I am more easy with my training and dont mind missing some rides here and there...but during the season I am all about racing. Does anyone else have this problem? or is it just I ditch the girl? Tell my friends to call me after the season is over? Or do I follow my passion and just ride?
stay stoked
Once you set your priorities...brider
Mar 29, 2002 2:55 PM
Okay, so you've stated your priorities, and the people around you are balking at your decision. Well, I guess you know who your friends REALLY are. My advice -- give up the racing for a couple years, get the money thing out of the way so you can give up your job, then you'll have all the time you want to train, race, and have a social life.
re: Is There A Better Way?allervite
Mar 29, 2002 7:39 PM
I have a full time job and a wife and little boy. My solutions: A Burley child trailer; a mountain bike; a wife that rides; commuting to work as training; early morning rides and a bunch of friends who love to ride.

It's a lifestyle thing.
re: Work..Training...Racing...Loved Ones...Is There A Better WayRockyMountainRacer
Mar 29, 2002 10:29 PM
Yeah, I sure know what you mean...I'll tell you what it sure is nice to have a girlfriend that rides (and races really well!), but I was not always in such a lucky situation. I don't think you should ever give up racing if it makes you so happy--don't listen to other posts! Just remember, make your hard days hard and your easy days easy--you could definitely hang out with friends and/or girlfriend on the easy days, right? Spin on your rollers for a half hour, then hit the bars for a while (It works for me anyway!). Don't let cycling dominate your life--but keep it as a priority. Easier said than done right!! Seriously, if you remember to ride hard and rest hard you can still have a good time and not totally alientate your friends. Plus when they see you win races they will respect your dedication! (You can also get out of drinking real hard with the "I have a race this weekend" excuse, but what do I now I'm drinking real hard right now!)
dude, my social life is in the crapper toolonefrontranger
Mar 29, 2002 10:44 PM
I've been where you are now for the past ten years. I lost 4 boyfriends over racing, because they were all jealous of the time I spent training. Looking back, they weren't that much of a loss :-P None of them was that serious a cyclist, if they were at all, so they couldn't relate or spend that much time with me.

It was particularly bad in my case because in the eyes of my consorts, I was spending a lot of time with a bunch of fit, toned and fascinating Other Men, all in sweaty lycra... I'm sure you get the picture.

All my former friends disappeared, too. They were replaced by a bunch of slimy, smelly disgusting (err, I mean tanned, fit intelligent) bike racers.

Seriously, I love the cycling society, and have met scads of intelligent folks of both genders. You will win a new circle of friends. It sounds like you aren't all that thrilled with your GF of the moment, or you wouldn't be considering cutting the ties. I'd bet she's been getting all passive-aggressive with you lately, because I perhaps hear a tad bit of resentment on your end. If it's like that, let it go - you're not doing either of you any good by letting stuff fester. If she's really a great gal, and you can't think of life without, then do some damage control now, but don't let her suffer in silence.

I'm socially dysfunctional, and I'll be the first to admit it, so take my advice with a large pinch of salt. Hell, I don't even know if we're still at war (were we to begin with?) because I haven't watched TV in 3 months. My secret is that I found a great guy who's into racing and (more important) supports my hobby wholeheartedly. He sort of comes and goes with racing - some seasons he's into it, and sometimes he goes weeks if not months before he touches the bike, but he's always happy to let me do my thing.
Sweeeet! Allervite has a good Idea Too!BigLeadOutGuy
Mar 30, 2002 10:13 AM
Its nice to know Im not the only one =)
I liked allervites Idea of working and saving all my money than quiting my job and than focus on just training and racing =) That would be pretty rad....Than I might start winning some races as well as some prize money =) YaY!!!
I'm just gunna chug away with my training and race as much as possible...if my friends hate be it...I told my gf 100 times...when the season is on...Im all about racing and its gunna take alot for me to miss a training session or a race...well see how she deals...wont be the first time a girl ditches me and it prolly wont be the last!
so does your b/f have a hot sister that cycles to hook me up with?
well im off to wrench on my bike for tomorrow!
stay stoked...ill be back later
I'm an Idiot....Like you didnt know!!!BigLeadOutGuy
Mar 30, 2002 10:15 AM
My topic should have been that I like briders Idea
quit work
re: Work..Training...Racing...Loved Ones...Is There A Better Wayeschelon
Apr 1, 2002 9:43 AM
I know exactly how you feel. My ex-girlfriend always gave me endless amounts of grief for not spending "quality time". My friends went from being neccesities in life to being road blocks/hindrances to me training. My family really didn't give a sh*t since I was happy doing what I wanted to.

You said that you were not too concerned about your friends abandoning you...I don't think this is a bad thing. You SO is another matter that I won't touch.

Life is about making sacrifices and choices. I end up p*ssing off alot of people. People think I am selfish and conceited because I don't go out of the way to make their sorry lives more enjoyable by spending time with them. I'm tired to living my life for the benefit of other people. You and I have alot of things we need to accomplish in life. Who's to say that riding our bikes is not integral to that formula of happiness in our lives?

Something inside of you is screaming at you to keep on riding your bike and race. You may not totally understand the reason or purpose to riding your bike and how it all relates to the whole scheme of your life and those around doesn't matter...follow your heart and soul and continue to develop and nurture your inner self by doing what you want and as you said: "Or do I follow my passion and just ride?"...yeah, follow your passion and *uck 'em if they don't like it.
Add me to the list, toospeedisgood
Apr 1, 2002 7:26 PM
Hey BLG, you're not alone! I know how you feel (tho I don't have the SO thing to deal with.) In years past, I've tried to do the bar hopping/drinking thing along with the bike racing thing and it was really hard to maintain my racing "edge."

"Gee, I wonder why I can't get in the top 5 . . . " Oh yeah, I was out till 2 am last night drinking! Duh. So this year I've totally cut down going out to maybe once every 2 weeks or more.

At first, my friends were like, "Yeah right," cuz I like to drink. But the thing is, they didn't get all mad at me either, because I think they all understand that I'm training to race and to win. See, a lot of my drinking buddies also race in some form themselves. Some run marathons, some do duathlons and triathlons, some just exercise to stay in shape, etc. They understand the commitment I've made training and racing my bike, because they do it too, in one way or another.

Maybe your friends just don't understand, maybe they never will. Pity them, for they are those poor souls who will never know either victory or defeat because they never tried. If they're true friends, they will try to understand where you're coming from and it will take a little time and effort on your part to educate them about your passion. You can still hang out with them, but just cut down or cut out the alcohol, don't hang out ALL night, and just be choosy about which nights you can go out on.

If your friends won't try to understand, then one of two things will happen: they will drag you down or they will leave you. If they leave, good, find a peer group that DOES understand you and maybe even one that shares your passion.

My 2 pennies.
There is more to life than riding a bikeI Love Shimano
Apr 1, 2002 10:03 PM
Face it, we aren't pros. Hence, we don't really have to train like pros. I'm not saying that we should significantly decrease our time on the bike, but we should spend time with our loved ones. If you are serious about your SO, then you must spend some time with her. One day a week plus scraps from race day definitely is not enough....from a woman's POV at least. What if you were in her shoes? Imagine having no time consuming hobby (like cycling) and only getting to see your girl on Friday nights and a couple of hours after her Sunday ballet/play/ride/whatever? If you want to prioritize riding and are thinking of dropping her for the bike...then it looks like you don't really love her and should not be in a relationship with her. Ride your bike now, get into a relationship later when you are ready to sacrifice some riding time.

I see my girl Friday nights, saturdays, and Sudays. Training for me is 2 hours max during the week, and a long ride Sunday morning. Works for me, and keeps my relationship healthy. BUT, there are times when my girl whines about my Sunday rides (because I sleep earlier than usual during Satuday nights) and I just tell her "No". A firm N-O to make her know that I won't tolerate her whining and I certainly won't cancel my Sunday ride.

IMO, your girl still has a valid reason to is when she asks for you to QUIT something you love doing, that you should leave her.
It's your life, you can do whatever you wantRideLots
Apr 2, 2002 8:28 AM
Decide what you want out of life, and then decide what you are willing to give up to get there. Everything requires giving up something else. You cannot have it all.

Competitive athletic endeavors are necessarily selfish. You are training yourself to be faster than others. If they have given up family, friends, and jobs to train more than you, likely they will beat you. I've noticed almost an inverse relationship between cycling speed and social skills. Hmm. Unsure of the cause and effect, chicken or egg.

At certain times of your life priorities may change. Do whatever you want now, and don't allow anyone to tell you you are wrong. You have one life to live, live it the way you want. Just don't expect anyone to approve or support your decision, though, for they have the right to live they way they want, also.

Nonetheless, as I have found, once have have made certain commitments, you may be duty bound to follow through with them and sacrifice some cycling.

Focusing on efficiency helps. No junk miles. No television. Trainer sometimes instead of road. Quality time when you are with friends/family.
whatever makes you happyColnagoFE
Apr 2, 2002 10:17 AM
if cycling does it for you then more power to ya, but dont expect the GF to always be there if you can't find some middle ground. be prepared to make sacrifices for what is really important. you can't always have it all, but you can get as close as possible. i think you have way more time than you think you do though. you have no kids, no wife and work pretty normal hours. think about all the time you spend doing stuff that isn't that important to you--for instance lunchtime--can you get a quick ride in? weights? how about getting up earlier to ride the trainer or take a short ride before work? are there activities that will keep you in shape your GF likes to do such as hiking? running? you could always do some of that. i love cycling and racing, but i'm not willing to give up my wife and 2 kids and decent paying job for it. you have to find a balance that works for you.
The Balancemass_biker
Apr 2, 2002 4:23 PM
First - no television. Funny how much you can get done without that droning away in the background
Second - pick a time period with a block of races to build towards? If it is Spring, do lots of hard (cold) winter base miles.
Third - if you want to balance the needs of non-cycling loved ones with the all-consuming vortex that is bike racing/training, figure out what you want to get out of your season (once that "season" has been defined), do what you can to achieve it, and then if you don't, don't have any regrets. My days of "oh - I'll race all summer and hope for the best" are gone. Now it's "I'll race from Spring to July 4th and try to do well in the following races". This actually HELPS your performance as it forces you to focus, instead of just showing up.
Fourth - cut out the junk miles. I get 2 (max) weekday rides in and at least one long (4+ hour) weekend ride in and remain competitive. During the weekday rides, work on specific skills/form drills. Use weights in the cold/dark months. And use the one long weekend ride for base miles and gradually, intensity (i.e. group rides). Weights and rollers/trainer are your friends
Fifth - seek balance. Too much of one thing blurs the mind and makes you lose perspective. I am sure that the non-cycling influences/pressures inspire you to get out and ride and race (i.e. for escape, to test yourself). The fact that you have other things going on helps you better allocate your time and can help you be more productive (i.e. train smarter and thus race faster) on the bike.

dude... you just described my lifeDuane Gran
Apr 5, 2002 5:49 AM
Man, you just described my life. I'm going through the same debate and it is hard.

My biggest concern is that our notion of happiness changes. At this time I'm happy being an obsessive cyclist, but I know that wouldn't have worked for me five years ago. I'm 28 and a part of me is saying that I should get serious about relationships before its too late. From what people tell me, it totally sucks to date in your thirties, mostly because people have too much emotional baggaige and the women hear the clock ticking. Sorry if that offends, this is just what I've heard.

In short, I totally empathize. If you are under 25 I encourage you to live it large and enjoy yourself. If you are approaching 30 (as I am) it might be good to really assess your values and consider the possibility that some parts of life will pass you by if you obsess with cycling.

Now for a little rant... personally I don't understand why women in general make such demand on a man's time. If my gf wants to do something without me I'm totally cool with it, but with every gf I've had it seems like I'm pulling nails to do my own thing. Maybe I've met the wrong people, but I think serious athletes really need independent women in their lives. I'll tell you if I ever meet one. ;)
dude... you just described my lifeRideLots
Apr 5, 2002 10:29 AM
"I think serious athletes really need independent women in their lives"

Ideally, independent, secure, and also a serious athlete in the same sport.

While we're at it, let's throw in mature, intelligent, caring, moral, non-judgmental, nice looking, and wealthy.
Funny storyBipedZed
Apr 5, 2002 12:24 PM
Last December I was sitting at the gate at Baltimore International Airport on my way back to Denver from US Cyclocross Nationals. I meet a guy who asks if I raced that weekend. He says he didn't race but he's there to support his wife who was racing. His wife...Alison Dunlap, current World MTB Champion, and National CX Champion. The funny thing was that he was very modest and was very unassuming that I would even know who she was.

I mentioned how lucky he was to have her as a wife and training partner. He's a former Cat 1 and still very fit, but mentioned that they don't really ride together since she only rides at a top mens' Cat 3 level. Lucky SOB. :-)
Ya'll are with the wrong womenshirt
Apr 5, 2002 5:07 PM
If my wife had a thousand sisters they'd all be gone in five minutes.

But trust me, they're out there.