Today, I drove up to Philadelphia to have some testing done at Cadence Cycling and Multisport. Specifically, I had my Lactate Threshold tested on the bicycle.
Now, why would a person drive 2 hours to get pin-pricked and draw blood all while peddling a bicycle? Easy answer: I had to be honest with myself and see where my current level of fitness stands.
As an an age-group triathlete I have had a lot of success, but over the course of the last three years my wife, Jamie, and I have brought two children into the world and priorities changed, comfortable nights’ sleep became a rarity, and triathlon training began to tail off from “pre-baby” days.
I still kept my coaching package with Cadence and I continued to train, but I would be lying if I told you I never missed a workout. I’d be lying if I told you I never leaned over and purposely turned the alarm off to catch up on sleep. I’d be lying if I told you, “Ah, I’ll make it up tomorrow.” I’d be lying if I told you I’m just as fit as I used to be. I know someone who doesn’t lie. He’s called “the Mirror.”
If you’re training for our events, be honest with yourself and assess your level of fitness. Do the right thing and get a physical, look up your local tri club, check out a coach, and read a book or two. None of these things matter, though, if you’re not going to look in the mirror and have an honest conversation about where you are and where you want to go. Only when we do things things can we chart the proper course.
So, I went to Cadence, I took the test, and I got my numbers. What are the numbers? Doesn’t matter. What matters is that I know exactly where I stand in terms of my fitness on the bike. I know precisely HOW TO GET BETTER. It’s a big deal when you can take a look at yourself and say, “I’m not where I want to be, but I know where I want to go.” In order to do that we have to be honest with ourselves and take a very hard look at the person staring back in the mirror.
Who do I see? He looks like this:
What does everyone else see? He looks like this:
What does my family see? He looks like this:
In the end, we should really, really, like what we see.