Monday, August 15, 2011

Going for 10mph -- again.

Yesterday ended a lot brighter than it began. By noon I had more energy and less stiffness, and things kept improving as the day went on. Maybe it was the relaxing lunch at Elmer's and the gabfest on the patio back home with our son and his wife. Anyway, by bedtime I was feeling very good about my recovery.

And by this morning, after a good night's sleep, I had made up my mind. My legs still feel a bit stiff, as though they could stand a little more rest, but overall I feel full of life and eager to get "Back in the Saddle Again," as that old Gene Autry song went. So I will ride, tomorrow, taking the same route as my previous two rides, trying again to hit that elusive 10mph average for the final 20.8 miles.

If I succeed, it will not be from trying harder. I feel that point is important. At my age I believe "trying harder" is silly, if not dangerous. As I approach my physical limits, my control of my bike falters, and I become more accident-prone. As I gasp for breath, I wonder whether I am inviting cardiovascular malfunction -- so I avoid exertion that causes gasping. No, I'm not going to try any harder tomorrow. I'm just going to see whether my muscles have grown any stronger, and whether my endurance has improved, so that without trying harder, I'm still going faster.


  1. I guess that's what happens as you improve. Years ago I used to say something like "When I'm in shape it won't be so hard", but as time went by I learned that in reality, as you get in better shape, you are still working at your sport aggressively, so it never feels easier because you keep pushing yourself the same and you are just going faster for the same amount of perceived effort.

  2. Sounds like you're doing great with your training. Time in the saddle is what counts. That makes you stronger. Nutrition and rest are important also. Especially as you get older (I'm 67). I recently rode from Los Angeles to Boston with a man who is 75 and he did almost every inch (had to SAG a few times). Keep up the good work!

  3. Thanks, guys. Wow, LA to Boston at 75! Maybe if I keep training ...