Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Growing Up in Middle Age

Regular readers may have guessed, from the prevalent post paucity of late, that I've been over-busy. It seems this thing called "real" life -- whatever the hey that is -- will have its way with me, over and over. It's all good stuff, but I find myself, one more time, drastically cutting back training goals.

This seems to happen every season. You'd think I'd learn and just set humble goals, easily met, but that's not the Velophoria way. If I'm not striving for something, I tend to develop freezer rot. You pull me out and I have that grayish-greenish hue that makes you go, "Hmmmm...."

But striving is not restricted to exercise. We're in the process of adopting a child, and the intensity that involves in terms of time, energy, and emotions is not to be trifled with. (The rewards will be worth it.) And y'all have heard about me building my private practice up; things are going slow there and they have to speed up, because I'm taking a second day per week there starting June. And that's in addition to my steady job.

The irony is, I'm more equipped at 49 to deal with all this than I was at 29 or 39 (or, believe me, I would have gotten it all done back then!). I'm in better overall condition, and I have a better emotional foundation and larger store of valuable experience.

But a middle-aged body can only handle just so much.

I was training for a century this spring, not for the first time, but this time, it looked like I was on track. My long rides reached 50 miles a few weeks ago, and the engine was just racing. I was dropping friends on hills I usually crawled up. This is the year!, thought I. I was drooling at the mental picture of the white oval sticker with "100" inside, prominently place on my car bumper. Then... boom! My energy and motivation dropped off the end of a table.

You know it's time to change something when you look at your bikes in the morning and think, "Ecch."

So, back down to the humble 30- and 40-milers for me. Hopefully with some friends, to sweeten the ride. Growing up is a bear, and it doesn't stop when you graduate high school. It certainly has its rewards, and it's a choice I make enthusiastically.

But the trade-offs are tough!

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