Saturday, April 17, 2010

The “joy” of aging

I seem to be having trouble getting 2010 on track from a cycling perspective.  A unique mixture of no motivation, work (lots of work), health issues, and even a crash is taking its toll.  As I write this I am recovering from my second cold of 2010, which kept me off the bike again this week.

Part of the issue is that I am getting older.  Not old, just older.  I was actually thinking about this the other day and decided that in my mind I am still in my mid-30’s.  In reality, I turn 49 next week.  Still, I am in some of the best shape of my life so I can’t really complain.  Plus, there are 20-year olds at work who have no desire to ride with me because their afraid they can’t match my pace or distance.  That helps me feel younger and always adds a bounce to my step.

However the signs of aging cannot be ignored.  For me, this has nothing to do with gray hair and wrinkles.  It’s not even my overall health, which I feel is excellent.  No, it’s the changes in how the body responds that I am noticing the most.

Let’s start with overall fitness.  I took less time off in this off-season then in years past.  I participated in Coach Tim’s indoor training clinics from November through February.  And still, I did not enter this season feeling as strong.  WTF?  So I am noticing that my fitness falls off just a touch faster and takes just a tad longer to regain.

I’ve already mentioned I am on my second cold of the season.  I used to have 2 years between colds, not 2 months.  I can’t ever remember a time when I had 2 colds so close together.  Once again, it’s the impact on fitness that is the most damaging.  I am recovering quickly from the symptoms but I can tell my strength is not there yet.  All of this means I will now have to work harder to get back to where I was before the cold.  Can you see the theme? 

Three weeks ago I had a minor crash.  It really was no biggie.  I went down on my left hip and bounced more then slid.  This left me with a decent bruise but no real road rash.  I was even able to ride home.  When I got home, I started the recovery process.  Still, the next day I could hardly walk.  Not because of pain but because of stiffness.  The whole left side of my body just didn’t want to warm up.  There is still some black-and-blue left from the bruise today, 3 weeks later.  In my younger days that would be long gone by now.

Surprisingly, aging is also impacting my motivation.  When I was younger and running the trails of Annadel the harder it rained the happier I was.  There was something about going head-to-head with Mother Nature that made me feel alive.  Now, not so much.  If the weather is bad I am much more incline to reach for the coffee pot for a refill. 

april clothes Don’t even get me started on how I dress.  A few years back, wet weather Annadel runs called for shorts and a long sleeve shirt.  Today, if the temperature is below 50 I am in tights.  If it’s below 45 I’m looking for my sweat shirt.  On any given winter ride you can bet I have on at least one more layer of clothing then everyone else.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am not whining about getting older.  Hey, it happens!  There’s nothing any of us can do to stop it.  I am just trying to be realistic about the effects and it’s impact on my life.  I am guessing if I manage it correctly, I may continue to get older but I won’t slow down.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go ride my bike.


1 Comment(s):

amy said...

I am blaming the weather for the prevalence of colds this year. It feels we've been stuck in winter since November (and it's supposed to rain this coming week) and so the longer it lasts, the higher chance of getting a cold. You're not the only one suffering!