Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Unsolicited parenting advice.

My baby lives out of the trunk of my car. Go ahead and call social services. I freakin' dare you.

I can only imagine what parents must deal with.

Like many new parents, I am constantly receiving advice on how I should be training, gear I should be using, things I should be reading, etc. Some of this advice is good, and I often pass along the advice to others. For example, 1) Born to Run (running) or Total Immersion (swimming) are great books, 2) never wear new clothes on race day (chafing), 3) never eat something new on race day (yacking), etc.

Then there is some advice that I really don't appreciate. It is either unwarranted, or doesn't take into consideration the plan I already have mapped out for myself, or negates it entirely. Or maybe it's just the source of the information, like people who don't know you at all.

Yesterday I met a guy in Cupertino who sometimes rides with my meetup group. He sold me his pass to the Strawberry Fields Forever ride this weekend, which is my first time trying 60 miles. He asked me what I was training for, so I told him. Then he asked about distances, and when I told him the half Ironman was a 54 mile bike ride, he said, "Oh yeah, 54 miles isn't very far around here," meaning that cyclists around the Bay Area have access to much longer rides and many will do 95 miles on a Saturday just for fun.

Well jackass, I understand that 54 miles may not be a long way for you, but it is a long way for me. AND I have to train to swim over a mile before, and run over 13 miles after I ride that mere 54 miles.

Of course I didn't say anything. He then went on to tell me what I needed to train - I need to download Strava, I need to find a real bike club, I need to do this ride, or that ride. I had just met this guy, and he just seemed a little too eager to give me cycling advice.

Then I went to my new gym for a swim/run day. I've been feeling really sluggish in the pool, and I really want to be stronger and faster but I'm not sure how. So, I started asking questions of the lifeguard on duty who gave me some really good tips on my swim stroke. Apparently, I'm just not pushing the water strong enough underwater so I'm not gliding along the water like I should be. I worked to push harder for a few laps and I was super tired.

I still feel pretty defeated, but I definitely appreciated her advice and will keep working on it. I might even pay her for a few lessons.

Some of the advice is good, and some of it is not very constructive. This is my baby, I spend a lot of time with it, and I generally know what I'm doing. When I want your advice, I will ask. Thanks.


  1. People are so "helpful," aren't they? ;)

  2. That guy is totally wrong. You don't need Strava, you don't need a bike club, you don't need any of that.

    The ONLY things you really need if you want to ride a bike at the highest level are 1) a heart rate monitor, and 2) a cadence meter. You're a musician, so you don't need a cadence meter, just sing to yourself at whatever tempo it is you're aiming for.

    Everything else is a waste of money.