Kind of a Cry Baby

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Yesterday I had a new experience.  I didn’t start a race I was present at and I don’t think I was sick, and know I wasn’t hurt (anymore than usual).  It was a decision.  We’ll see how it plays out the next while.

I rode horrible the night before at The Brady District criterium.  I felt gassed.  I’d downloaded my Garmin and I was shit.  Like power 1/3 off from season’s high and heart rate off the 2016 charts.  What is up with that?

Anyway, I got a pretty good night’s sleep, over 8 hours and was hoping I’d be better for Sunday. The day started a little off, trying to find some shade for Tucker so I could go out and ride an hour.  I finally found a  shaded area and got ready to ride.  I headed out and it seemed like it was going to rain.

I checked my phone and it said 100% chance the next hour.  I decided I needed to warm up more than not get wet, so kept going.  I felt like shit.  Like no power and super hot.  When I get over heated, I breathe from my lower diaphragm.  It kind of gives me a stomach ache.

Anyway, I rode 10 miles out, up the river and started back.  I was thinking that maybe I wasn’t that bad.  Getting back close to the course, I was riding up a small hill and some big dude, (by big, I mean extra big) , with a backpack, comes riding by me and recognizes me.  He proceeds to talk, and talk, not breathing hard at all.  I was gassed.  I told him he was riding pretty great and he said the weight helped.  Go figure.

Anyway, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  I decided that I was just going to have to spectate.  I watched the women’s race.  Skylar Schneider kicked serious ass.  She is only 18. Then I watched the first half of the men’s race.  It was unsettling sitting there listening to the announcers talk about me publicly like I was out there racing.  I had to leave.

Anyway, I’ve had a night to sleep on it, but haven’t really thought about it much.  I wasn’t going to be good, but I’ve done a ton of races not good and surprised myself.  But this seemed different. I’m not sure if it is lack of sleep at altitude or too much humidity or if I’m just in a huge slump, but something was off, real off.

So, I’ll let it soak in for a few days and not dwell.  Like I said yesterday, disappointment in sports is inevitable.  If you don’t know how to deal with disappointment, then you picked the wrong pastime.   Back to the drawing board for a little while.

The 1/2 field was huge. The last corner of the race is off-camber, kind of tricky.

The 1/2 field was huge. The last corner of the race is off-camber, kind of tricky.

As close as I got to racing yesterday.

As close as I got to racing yesterday.  Tucker wasn’t much into the heat either.

I saw this police car parked at the race. I'm not sure about this. It kind of says, if you break the law, we take your shit. I'm not exactly sure that is the message the police need to convey to people to make them stop being criminals.

I saw this police car parked at the race. I’m not sure about this. It kind of says, if you break the law, we take your shit. I’m not exactly sure that is the message the police need to convey to people to help them stop being criminals.

29 thoughts on “Kind of a Cry Baby

  1. Stephen Schilling

    barring an unknown medical issue, that’s pretty much over training, isn’t it? And your mind is trying to rationalize it, to trick you into keep pushing. Even as an unlicensed, recreational amateur, I can see that. Time to take a week off.

  2. Dave Reed

    Police can seize your property they believe may have been used in a crime and force you to prove that it wasn’t. Even then, that doesn’t guarantee you get your property back. ‘Merica!

  3. Here we go again

    It kind of makes me want to be a drug dealer so I can have a cool SUV. That rig is WAY nicer than mine and I have a legitimate occupation.

  4. Ron Wade

    it is called Civil forfeiture, and unfortunately they can pull you over for any reason, if you have something they want, you have to prove you were innocent whatever they say you did…. we are in a police state. No longer is it one of innocent until proven guilty. And when it comes to the 4th Amendment it is thrown out the window.
    Amendment IV

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

  5. Mark

    Steve, you need to get a good coach. You say back to the drawing board but your drawing board is more like playing pin the tail on the donkey! You constantly blog about having a bad day on the bike and then the following day go out and do the opposite of what it sounds as if your body is telling you it needs…If I were a coach I would offer my services to you for free. It would be excellent publicity/advertising for a coach if he/she could turn you around! Undoubtedly, you are an athlete with a special biological make-up but as Father Time catches up to you even you will begin to resemble us average Joe’s.

  6. Mech9


    It’s the heat and humidity of OK/the South. This year across the nation has been a much cooler spring, and definitely a much cooler start of the summer until this last week. The last 8 days we’ve finally hit summer type temps, but you’ve been where its still cool. The scientist say it takes a couple of weeks for your body to acclimate to exercising in the heat. Until you are acclimated you can expect the exact things you are talking about. Lower power, and higher heart rate. Once you get acclimated your blood plasma levels will expand and you will start to get your power back.

    Just keep riding and doing some efforts on the hot humid days and in another week or so you will be better.

  7. Joe

    Like any good racer, you are a little obsessive about riding. How about a little no-pressure bike tour to just enjoy the bike?

  8. De Flahute

    The aging athlete is stubborn enough to coach. But the aging elite athlete is especially stubborn, ornery & in perpetual state of denial regarding their own mortality/weaknesses.

  9. chris

    When I feel that way on the bike it is usually multiple issues. I wonder if you are feeling the heat/humidity (not acclimated yet), coupled with some over training and other stressors, bad start positions? I have to say that those two criteriums looked ballistic. I remember riding the back of one of those with Gene Samuels and Carl Sunquist; a crash opened up the gap and the three of us couldn’t get back on…during an Olympic year! Sometimes things just don’t come together. You’ll be back next week I am sure.

  10. Craig

    An in OK they can take your credit car, debit card and prepaid cards and use up the limit/cash!!! And you never have to be convicted of anything … ‘Merica …

  11. Bruce Gilbert

    Two good comments were posted.
    “The aging athlete is stubborn enough to coach. But the aging elite athlete is especially stubborn, ornery & in perpetual state of denial regarding their own mortality/weaknesses.”
    “Like any good racer, you are a little obsessive about riding. How about a little no-pressure bike tour to just enjoy the bike?”

    Many years ago, I used to race and ride with Francois Mertens. He has always been a terrific bike racer. But, he used to do some relaxed touring rides with his wife. The riders with him had no idea that he was such a tremendous racer.

    This year, I became aware that my body is not made of stainless steel. I found out that I had massively high blood pressure (240/140). It sure put a dent in my training. Don’t need the stroke, thank you. With the correct medicine balance, I now seems to be at 130/70 most of the time. But, there has been some penalty on the overall performance. As we get older, things happen to our bodies. Sometimes you just have to modify plans, methods and projections to make everything work.

  12. Logan Hester

    Saturday was hot as hell. Was talking to people on the grand that said it made the HHH a walk on the park. Hope the weekend wasnt a total loss.

  13. Brad Hallett

    Hi. Please pay attention to your body’s feedback.

    Four years ago, I survived two heart attacks and now advocate for clean living / eating via mostly fish and by way of FOK, Forks Over Knives (

    Be sure to know and understand your blood panel. You’re describing classic symptoms of possible advancing heart disease, which is sadly very common in endurance athletes. Yes, it’s common.

    Q1: Have you experienced any shortness of breath?

    Q2: Have you had any arm, jaw or facial pain?

  14. numbnuts

    start training the next generation of racers! amazes me that more experienced riders don’t train others, with all that vast amount of experience and lessons learned from years and years of riding the wave.

  15. numbnuts

    ekkks.. I know a top level tri fella who suffered this, had to have bipass surgery. Heart can only take so much pounding, thus many athletes only last 4-5 years. Amazes me that some go beyond that (riding hard for years and years)…

  16. Rod Lake

    Steve has mentored more young racers than you can count. Just because he doesn’t have a formal coaching service doesn’t mean he doesn’t do that already. Many in the past 30 plus years racers have been benefitted from Steve’s generous sharing of knowledge.

  17. Tman

    No advise here just a question. Steve, you’ve posted about monitoring your HRV. You’ve mentioned that your numbers have usually been good even when your not feeling your best. What are they reading now?

  18. Krakatoa East of Java

    I think what Steve needs most, is some medical insurance. He seems hesitant to do physical therapy (when absolutely needed) and has a lot of lingering issues with previous injuries he hasn’t properly rehabbed from. I rarely see him discuss having a regular “local” doctor, instead preferring to make “bro” visits to docs in the faraway places he travels to. Steve needs (at this point in life) to have a regular go-to guy (or girl) who knows his history, etc. Any doc will tell you that knowing the history is the key.

  19. mike crum

    steve, why dont you leave your dog in a kennell or have a neighbor kid dog sit him for a few of your trips? give him a break from traveling with you..

  20. mike crum

    jus my opinion, an my oinions based on reading this blog the last few years. steve’s egos way way way too big for a coach!!!!!!!!! so many posts over the years how hes in a “funk” but does nothing about have eric heiden and BMC’s coaches that would probably take a few minutes of their time to help you..choose one or the other, or both.. hell, im a new cyclist only at it a few years and only do tt’s , and probably 25 years younger than you and i even know to rest your body… with you being so much older, put your ego aside and rest more…

  21. sillypuddy

    Me personally I would rather b 5% under trained, than 1% over trained . IMHO, you attempt to race to much. And you need to start leaving Tucker at home.

  22. George Romonoyske

    Every year after returning from Colorado I am a little off. Altitude, lack of sleep, and lower intensity due to the altitude screw me up. I’m usually flying a week later after some rest. We’ll see if it holds true again this year.

  23. James

    I’m with those that say get coached. You can get the best for free! Is Mills’ client list not proven enough?

    Question: maybe you’ve covered this in the past, but did you ever consider the 12/24 mtb circuit? You’d seem to be a natural for it. And lets face it, in your mid 50’s you are not going to find some new level of top end. But ultra endurance! I’d bet you’d get results straight off & earn another paying gig.

  24. numbnuts

    good to hear… important… esp with the vast experience he has. Be a waste not to train others with all that experience. Good to hear!


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