Friday, July 2, 2010

It's not about the fat

With his recent announcement that the 2010 Tour de France will be his last, Lance Armstrong took the world's most popular cycling race, and if it's possible ratcheted up the attention even further. With cycling interest in the United States comparative to soccer (meaning it gets national attention only during the biggest events), to say this story will be inescapable is probably an overstatement, unless you read this blog.

I've always been interested in cycling, from an early age. I remember the late 80's, watching some of the stages on TV as Greg Lemond became the first American to win the Tour. I remember thinking how cool it was that they rode so fast, and climbed mountains on bicycles. And then, like most Americans, I went back to baseball once the race was over and forgot all about it. Until Lance, that is. Like many folks here in the US, I was captivated by his "invasion" of France each year, made only more amazing by the disease he had overcome.

With the race starting tomorrow, and our honeymoon in Paris happening during the Tour I feel an even stronger connection to this race than I have in years past (ie. I'll be talking about it a lot more). Though the timing of our trip likely won't allow us to see any of the stages of the race in person, we'll be only a few hundred miles from where it's occurring. And we're going to do our best to catch part of the race each day while not giving up any of our sightseeing.

The title of one of Lance's books is "It's not about the bike", which obviously inspired the title of today's post. Whether you believe anything about the most recent doping allegations that have will certainly be a sideline to this years race, overcoming the cancer to succeed in such a physically demanding profession is an inspirational story.

It serves to remind me that if people every day are overcoming far more life threatening and uncontrollable diseases like cancer, I can certainly overcome the urge to cram too much food into my pie hole. The amount of willpower it takes just to get out of bed when you're fighting a battle where the medicine is almost as deadly as the disease is just blows my mind.

I have a friend who currently is fighting Acute Lymphblastic Leukemia and is doing it right out in the open on her Facebook page. While I talk about the daily struggle to lose weight fairly candidly, I'm not sure I have the emotional honesty to share something like that. The courage that people show on a daily basis just astounds me. I can't even find a comparison to make that won't sound stupid so I'm not going to even try.

On top of all of the Tour stuff, Armstrong has already announced that he's definitely going to start doing triathlons again in 2011. He says his ambition is not to try and win the Ironman World Championship, but he hopes to be competitive and do some of the big races both in the 140.6 and 70.3 distances. Love him or hate him, he's a guy who like probably no one else in the sport will be able to put butts in the seats. For that reason alone, I think he's going to be good for triathlons. Already the single fastest growing participation sport in the country, adding Armstrong will be another big lift that could add even higher profile sponsorships, with the potential effects being felt even at the amateur level.

Of course all this inspiration makes me like a heel when I talk about my big struggle of dropping below 310 pounds. Rach and I have both been feeling under the weather at times this week, and the intensity our duration of most of our workouts since Saturday have not been where they should be. I've also been plagued with midnight snacks a few days this week, so I'm currently floating between 311-314 depending on the morning. 

At least the good news is that everything will be expensive on our trip, so I'll be less inclined to snack as it will cost too much.


- I'm going to talk a little about what I notice each day of the Tour, and try to equate what I see with what I experience when I'm on a bike or in a race. Until we get to Europe on Tuesday, there will probably be mostly short quick posts as opposed to the long winded posts like todays

- Last night I had a dream they had to cancel an Ironman somewhere because the ocean had too much oil in it for people to swim. They really need to plug that damn leak.

- 1250 yard swim last night. I know I just complained about the lack of distance or intensity in our workouts, but then I looked at what we did last night; 1250 yards in less than 35 minutes. 6 months ago I was barely able to get through 1250 yards, now I'm whining I didn't do enough. It's amazing what raised expectations will do for you.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoy the 4th and have a great honeymoon. We're on ours right now in Hawaii and its fantastic!