A couple years ago my cycling took a strange turn in late summer when a series of flats took me out of action day after day. It didn’t take a genius to ascertain that my tires were worn from a summer of riding, but when I put new tires on the bike, two more flats came along!
I’d taken some bad advice from a guy at the bike store who insisted that some thinner tires would hold up in day to day riding. So I put them on and got one flat from a piece of road debris and another from a pinch flat. Too thin. Too bad!
There had been a similar series of flats before, and I made the mistake of barking about the constant need to change tires when a buddy noticed my complaint on Facebook and said: “Do yourself a favor. Stop running over shit.”
That is some very…
Good advice. Ranks right up there with the time a college roommate heard me bitching about the pace of our team’s winter training and advised me: “Cud, you just need to shut up and run.” I took his advice and set all my indoor PRs that winter.
But there is still something to be said for bitching out loud when things don’t go right, if only to hear yourself whine.
There is also something to be said for listing your complaints so that you can see what has gone wrong as well as what’s gone right.
So here’s a suggestion, make some Reverse Resolutions. That’s right, rather than looking ahead and throwing blind promises at the New Year, take a look behind at the old year and figure out where you went wrong. It can teach you a lot about yourself.
In the spirit of self-deprecation, here is my list of Reverse Resolutions for 2012:
1. No More Bike Wobbles. The bike wobble that sent me crashing to the ditch in September 2012 resulted in a broken collarbone, surgery and physical therapy. It also deeply bruised a hamstring that took months to recover. But having never heard of bike wobble before the crash, I cannot be entirely blamed for those miserable results. What I’ve learned since has convinced me that Bike Wobble is essentially preventable if you pay attention to the warning signs and learn a bit about what to do if it comes along again. Press your knees to the top bar, keep pedaling and loosen your grip. What a great resolution for the old year to take into the new.
2. Don’t train the same stupid pace all the time. It seems simple, but in 2012 I simply did not train hard enough or easy enough at times. Always kind of hammered the middle ground, and had middling fitness as a result. There were legitimate Life Stuff and Events that prevented me from better variety, but looking back at 2012 and ahead to 2013, that is one thing I plan to change. Get up and GO now and then.
3. Don’t forget about strength training. I know bloody well that strength training keeps me from injury and improves overall performance, especially in running. So why do I (and so many others I know) neglect such a simple problem prevention technique? Usually it’s for lack of focus. 2012 was full of that. Which doesn’t mean I hope to be “full of it” in 2013, as in making false promises to myself. But keeping up the strength work would be the nicest thing I could do for my mind, body and whatever else enters the picture.
4. Run and ride like you mean it, not like it’s an obligation. How many of us go out the door with that sodden attitude that we “need” to go for a run or “have” to lose some weight. What a crappy way to live. Instead, we should focus our gratitude and thankfulness toward the fact that we CAN run and ride. If that’s the only Reverse Resolution we all keep in 2013, things are guaranteed to go a lot better.
Tarsnakes are real, and they are also the product of our ignorance and imaginings. That said, there have been several other trip-ups during the year 2012. Wearing a pair of training shoes too long. But there have been positive results and possible averted disasters by paying better attention to riding safety and accepting that the brutally hot weather of last summer in Illinois really did affect one’s ability to train.
Those are my simple Reverse Resolutions for 2012.
Happy New Year to everyone for 2013! Thanks for finding this blog that started up in August 2012 and swings into 2013 with hope and excitement. Best wishes to all of you!