w long can this go on I muse ?
Here I am as a re-incarnation of my whippet-thin 20-something self.
How long can this go on ? This training, racing and general fitness regime ? I have burned out in the past;
In 1974 as A levels loomed and more entertaining pursuits, drinking and going out with girls, took over I slowly stopped, I only rode one or two races in early 1974.
Until I just got back going again in August 1975 when my cycling freinds called round and got me out for a ride round Lichfield. Then we hit on the idea of a Youth Hostel tour, and by late 1975 I was training again on the bike. Getting back to fitness was also because I took up boxing when all my freinds joined the army and had no more drinking buddies. Which was a good thing in retrospect, even though I missed them at the time. Then carried on keen, really keen in 1976, and trained very hard into 1977, then a girl started me off downhill again. I just seemed to loose interest in mid to late '77. Did some odd rides over the winter, rode a couple of races early 1978 but the keeness just was'nt there.
Started riding early 1979 after the cold snowy winter. Did a long ride out to Bridgnorth on the first warm sunny day, Easter. From there on did more miles and joined the Concorde RCC, back into the swing of training late 1979, raced in 1980, got a third place just when I was thinking I would concentrate more on work and my business studies course, so late 1980 trained hard into 1981 when I had my best period. This lasted until I became ill, probably due to overtraining, then did'nt allow myself to recover and started racing too soon. The end of 1981 I was as keen as ever, but buying the house and working there, and marriage in 1982 sort of decreased my training, still keen though but the beginning of a conflict with my wife over cycling loomed.
1983 raced, 1984 keen again and did OK. then Joanne in 1985 stopped my racing which was OK. Started again in 1986, but work was now really taking over.
1987 started OK. had problems with work. Late 1987 a real start-over, new job, less pressure. 1988 and 1989 were pretty well keen years. Got mtb in 1989, 1990 with David still trained, but then wife complained about my going out on Sundays, so it was all downhill from there. Started drinking after a hard day in the office, and found that alcohol boosted my confidence socially, and boy, did we socialise in Dudley. And, spending an evening in the pub seemed better than rushing home to my family, which is what I should have done. Instead I rolled in at 8 or 9 with lame excuses of too much work.
Spending more time working away led to a new-found thirst, especially for wine. Experiences with the mad Ghanain back in Cambridge during 1990 (His motto; theres always whisky in my desk !) led to bingeing becoming something I looked forward to whenever I found myself living on expenses in some
hotel. Oh boy did I stay in some good hotels and have some good nights ! (Or maybe bad nights in retrospect). Examples must be the country manor hotel in Kent, with a drunken (2 bottles of a very good SA pinotage) drive into London, and the other drunken drive into London (post 2 bottles) where I parked, went looking for an all-night club and then could'nt find my car. Eternal thanks to the taxi driver that located my car at 6 am on just a vague description of the locality).
Well this carried on until 1999, sort of had a go at getting fit, no use.
The time spent in Milan in early 2000 really did pile on the weight, too many good meals in that restuarant !
Then in early 2001 after hitting 90 kilos decided I had to do something, and the people I was working with had started walking round to Tescos and checking their BMI, and one or two were going to gyms. My BMI was 26, just above the ideal of 25. Started in the hotel gym after finding my fat was 40% and water 35%, Too high and too low. So cut out crisps and chocolate and beer.
As luck would have it, the newly formed Midland Racing Team were promoting a season of local time trials, which I decided to give a try, riding my first in mid May.
In 4 months went from 90 kilos to 72.4 kilos, started riding then racing. BMI now around 21.
So, how long will it go on ? Until I am a C or D cat at least, I hope ! I would like to race when I'm 60, thats something to aim at. There are one or two in their late 50s/early 60s that can give the youngsters a good run. So it is possible in theory to compete on my terms at 60. My terms are being able to ride and train, if not race, with the best of them.
If my wife begins to object, this time I won't feel soory for myself and find solace in alcohol, this time I maybe have another plan, involving a new life in the North.