Sunday, April 29, 2012

Benchmarks and Targets

My target last year was simple and straightforward: ride 80 miles in 8 hours on September 29. This year's target is more diffuse and difficult to define. Basically, I want my legs to be less stiff. That's my target.

Benchmark? My legs are usually stiff. Sometimes very stiff. Often. At awkward and inconvenient times.

They are very stiff when I wake up in the morning

They are so stiff after sitting for an hour or so that if I have to walk down stairs that don't have a railing I am quite literally afraid that I am going to fall. After I've been on my feet a while, I'm a bit more confident, but only a bit.

I play in two orchestras, and to get to my seat I have to pick my way between music stands and chairs, and step across instrument cases, while carrying my music stand in one hand and my violin in the other. My legs are so unsteady that I'm always afraid I'm going to lose my balance and fall on top of somebody or something. When I get up after sitting and playing for a while, it can be even worse.

Last spring I was feeling the same way. I remember especially that my legs were so stiff after sitting for two hours in a movie that I couldn't stand up without stretching for a few minutes, and even then it was difficult to walk.

But last fall, after training all summer, I could go up and down stairs without concern, even if I'd been sitting a while. And getting up after a movie was effortless. My legs were steady. I could trust them.

My target is to be as limber as I was last fall. I feel optimistic, because I've had good energy for the past couple of days, and I can sense some improvement from the training I've done in the past two weeks.

More details as I go along... and I'll be honest about my progress or lack of it.

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