Getting Old sucks

A cozy spot for triathletes and other multi-sporters

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3385
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Sun Oct 06, 2019 12:21 am

My back was sore but I thought I would take a chance and try out my mountain bike one more time. My theory is that if I stuck to mostly city based trails, I would get a good workout and not risk an adverse outcome. So off to Bowmount and rode for about 11.5 K and with 180 m of elevation gain. I finished the ride and was shocked to find my back actually felt better. I was doing just enough climbing that I seemed to have actually stretched the back and connecting muscles out. Drenched in sweat and felt a great one hour work out. It was less than a 20 minute drive and neat thing is there are a number of interconnected trails so one can find an almost endless series of loops. I skipped Side Show Bob - the most technical section but was encouraged enough that I will have to try this once more. It is a trail cut into a fairly steep bluff so I feel exposed.

Then went over the picked up the tires - a mom had bought the tires for $300 last year but with the snow and extreme cold, never used them and it sounded like her son was not going to this year. They had placed an ad over five weeks ago and I think I was the first offer at $100 and they accepted it. They were brand new and so does allow me a few options for a relatively low price.

During the ride today, used the bike path a little and so now really looking forward to the urban bike. That is coming in a few more weeks and is working well with the plan to continue to mostly bike but less duration. Hoping to get in a few more road bike rides this year and this week. Head down and powering as fast I can pedal is literally something that gives me a reason to live and enjoy.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3385
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:30 am

The question I continue to struggle with was it worth it. The pain. The Suffering. The missed golf games. The $1,000 or more in treatment. Was it worth it to ride 100 miles and then a very fast, for me, 100 K in September.

Oddly, the answer is both yes and no. Yes in that if I never did another "fondo", I have literally been there, done that and even have a t shirt. I do not have that one nagging question, what would it be like to ride to the top of the Highwood Pass from the south side without having to worry about the local grizzly bears. That I knew but now I really know any ride over 100 K is not for me. That I found my true passion and that riding a road bike as quickly as I can.

The answer is no for I feel I have lost a year and did not really need to do so. The first time I did 100 miles back in the fall of 2017, it was a truly miserable experience. Cool I rode that far but it was close to torture for the last quarter of the ride at least. There was not so much a sense of accomplishment as relief my long rides were over. Early in the training for this one, I quickly realized it would not be fun as I imagined it might be in theory but a grind. I was in fact ground up. $500 and over 8.5 hours in a car to get an "official" time on a course and roads that were not nearly as much fun or interesting as I remembered from the year before seems silly. Especially when I was having more fun getting on my bike in front of my home, riding as hard as I could for 40 - 60 K and finding an even greater sense of satisfaction.

But I did confirm my body is done. That there will not be any long rides of over 100 K. That I can have a great deal of fun riding a pure road bike. Just yesterday before another blizzard hit Calgary, my legs were feeling heavy, I was feeling slow and yet on a slight down hill and flat section aided by a 45 kph tail wind, I was the 3rd fastest out of 240 other riders ALL TIME. I was in pain before and after as the accumulated damage from this year flared up and made me regret trying not to have any regrets. Ironic. But today, I feel much better and so maybe confirming my limitations was a worthwhile endeavour. To confirm something I instinctively knew that I was at the breaking point.

I have to admit I am little sad about this. Being a senior person in my unit, it seems my days are putting out one major fire after another with the dread of what have I missed. So having a silly and fun distraction that seemed to be super important or at least constructed it as such in my mind was nice. To run marathons or finish on the podium of my age group in a trail run. To ride faster and then further than before. To have a series of distractions, er I mean goals and objectives was a nice mental sanctuary. I was on my bike and pedaling hard with a 45 kph cross wind and one last ride before winter struck again for a few days and I wondered why. I will have a ride but in nine months. But there was no need or even burning desire to preserve the best power and strength I have ever had in my legs. To continue on and maybe even improve. But as noted, there is some fun event in nine months where I do plan to be as fast I can but if I am not, so what. But then again … there is Strava and I am not sure how long this will last but it is fun to go after certain segments. Even if I have to create them myself.


Thus I am both glad and sad I did what I did this year.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3385
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:33 am

I did not realize how much FOMO has impacted my life until I used some legal cannabis to relax and unwind. FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out may also be another term for being too connected. To always being "on". To comparing yourself to others on a personal or even theoretical basis. I have over trained and over did it this year but there are people on facebook doing multiples of what I am doing. Or the 70 year old multiple ultra runner or the 80 something Ironman finisher. The work I Phone has become an appendage of mine and not a night or weekend goes by when there is not that ding were as Pavlov's dog, I do not answer.

With my physical hobbies, it can be a matter of not wanting to lose any of the gains I made through blood, sweat and tears. Or I have a nice toy so I "have" to use it. And as noted, compare myself to some 20 something with actual skills. My "escape" can become a trap where I use up valuable energy and resources rather than build up the reserves.

And last week, I needed to access the reserves of energy as I had to make a decision involving $6,000,000 US. It turned out great and I was metaphorically carried on the shoulders of my coworkers and management in a virtual office but I know how badly this could have turned out. The rush, the excitement was quickly replaced with the dread of what could have happened. Of how fine the line was between victory and disaster.

I do not enjoy getting high so for months have not used a certain cannabis product I still have that results in a high. I made sure I did not consume too much but enough to allow me to "disconnect" and contemplate life when sitting in my sauna. It felt good to not have any expectations or goals or an image to maintain. And fate or the universe had me go onto the BBC website as I was coming down where I discovered JOMO. The Joy Of Missing Out. Of disconnecting and not comparing yourself to others. Of recognizing, accepting and even embracing your own limits with joy. I have to explore this concept in greater detail and depth but right now, it seems to be very appealing.

One example is that with the snow, fat bikes are coming out of storage and being used. There is always the one guy who says everything was great. So after hearing that, my mind went to how mad will my wife be after just buying a 3rd bike would se be if I bought a fat bike. And could I use that fat bike to do the local hills my current mountain bike is more than capable of doing. So buy the fat bike but sell the mountain bike. This was all stewing in my mind when on my morning walk I ran into a neighbour who has the same model of fat bike I once owned. He told me that conditions were miserable when he went. The snow was deep and unconsolidated. It was a slow grind with some pushing the bike up hills. My mind then went back to such rides that were not only no fun, the strain on the back, the shoulder and the knees meant it could actually be harmful. With that, FOMO turned into JOMO. Having said that, there seems to be a cultural pressure and presence supporting FOMO. Yes it is hard and can cause an injury but there is something noble and honourable about doing something so hard on a voluntary basis is a philosophy espoused by Dr. Sheehan with specific reference to marathons. Or the idea that if you are not moving forward, you are regressing and either metaphorically or even literally "dying". My dad and mother in law have the philosophy. You cannot be satisfied with your golf swing, my dad would say and so off to the driving range to eventually hit 10,000 balls. You cannot be satisfied with what you are doing, you must improve. Or my mother in law that we must be connected to the world and be informed about an apartment fire in some far away place.

The backlash to all of this is starting to emerge. The Subtle Art of Not giving a F*ck is one book and as noted, the Joy of Missing Out is another. It is okay to be just okay. To be content with where you are and even accept you may be "worse". There may only be a handful of days left in the year to enjoy a road bike with the summer kit but if one is not feeling it on such a day, no need to have to ride.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3385
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:33 am

I did not realize how much FOMO has impacted my life until I used some legal cannabis to relax and unwind. FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out may also be another term for being too connected. To always being "on". To comparing yourself to others on a personal or even theoretical basis. I have over trained and over did it this year but there are people on facebook doing multiples of what I am doing. Or the 70 year old multiple ultra runner or the 80 something Ironman finisher. The work I Phone has become an appendage of mine and not a night or weekend goes by when there is not that ding were as Pavlov's dog, I do not answer.

With my physical hobbies, it can be a matter of not wanting to lose any of the gains I made through blood, sweat and tears. Or I have a nice toy so I "have" to use it. And as noted, compare myself to some 20 something with actual skills. My "escape" can become a trap where I use up valuable energy and resources rather than build up the reserves.

And last week, I needed to access the reserves of energy as I had to make a decision involving $6,000,000 US. It turned out great and I was metaphorically carried on the shoulders of my coworkers and management in a virtual office but I know how badly this could have turned out. The rush, the excitement was quickly replaced with the dread of what could have happened. Of how fine the line was between victory and disaster.

I do not enjoy getting high so for months have not used a certain cannabis product I still have that results in a high. I made sure I did not consume too much but enough to allow me to "disconnect" and contemplate life when sitting in my sauna. It felt good to not have any expectations or goals or an image to maintain. And fate or the universe had me go onto the BBC website as I was coming down where I discovered JOMO. The Joy Of Missing Out. Of disconnecting and not comparing yourself to others. Of recognizing, accepting and even embracing your own limits with joy. I have to explore this concept in greater detail and depth but right now, it seems to be very appealing.

One example is that with the snow, fat bikes are coming out of storage and being used. There is always the one guy who says everything was great. So after hearing that, my mind went to how mad will my wife be after just buying a 3rd bike would se be if I bought a fat bike. And could I use that fat bike to do the local hills my current mountain bike is more than capable of doing. So buy the fat bike but sell the mountain bike. This was all stewing in my mind when on my morning walk I ran into a neighbour who has the same model of fat bike I once owned. He told me that conditions were miserable when he went. The snow was deep and unconsolidated. It was a slow grind with some pushing the bike up hills. My mind then went back to such rides that were not only no fun, the strain on the back, the shoulder and the knees meant it could actually be harmful. With that, FOMO turned into JOMO. Having said that, there seems to be a cultural pressure and presence supporting FOMO. Yes it is hard and can cause an injury but there is something noble and honourable about doing something so hard on a voluntary basis is a philosophy espoused by Dr. Sheehan with specific reference to marathons. Or the idea that if you are not moving forward, you are regressing and either metaphorically or even literally "dying". My dad and mother in law have the philosophy. You cannot be satisfied with your golf swing, my dad would say and so off to the driving range to eventually hit 10,000 balls. You cannot be satisfied with what you are doing, you must improve. Or my mother in law that we must be connected to the world and be informed about an apartment fire in some far away place.

The backlash to all of this is starting to emerge. The Subtle Art of Not giving a F*ck is one book and as noted, the Joy of Missing Out is another. It is okay to be just okay. To be content with where you are and even accept you may be "worse". There may only be a handful of days left in the year to enjoy a road bike with the summer kit but if one is not feeling it on such a day, no need to have to ride.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3385
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:08 pm

I thought I may not be a total idiot who grossly over does it but rather the Crestor might be responsible for the on going muscle pain as that is a common side effect of that drug. So I stopped taking it for a few days and I am just as sore as ever. So I am as dumb as I thought. But there is some room for hope.

A neighbor who recognized me was moving back to the States. He told me that he would miss my fat bike trail reports and shook my hand to thank me for writing those reports. His fat bike, the model I had was about to be loaded into the moving van and I thought to myself, there is a $1,600 fat bike that would more than suit my needs. But he did tell me of the miserable conditions. And this today, I went for a morning walk and an afternoon jog followed by a basic weight training set and a sauna. It hit me that walking and some weights over the winter would be far superior any fat biking. So the idea of another fat bike has left my mind - although to be fair, it is for now. Should I win a lottery then …

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3385
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:11 pm

When I was a kid, it was hockey and soccer. Then as a university student, hockey. As a young adult, soft ball with a few light and simple weights. There was some golf and then a lot of golf. That transitioned into running and a full gym membership. Then races, marathons and then trail running. I eventually moved into cycling. Continue to love road cycling, was fully committed to fat biking until that just about killed me and have decided the occasional mountain bike on an easy trail will work for me.

It was the same pattern: I would fully commit to something, get hurt enough times and move onto something new. I also dabbled in cross country skiing, down hill skiing and snow shoeing. Never liked any of those three things.

The other thing about the pattern was I would burn myself out doing something, take a year or so off, gain a ton of weight, have a doctor tell me how unhealthy that was and then stumble upon the next passion and obsession. I stopped playing hockey when I entered the work force after concussions, hips, etc. The company soft ball team was a great place to network but a concussion and two root cannels and it was time for something new. My wife was told by her neurologist as an epileptic, golf was the perfect game. I played a little as a teenager but was so frustrated I quit and told my wife it was the dumbest sport in the world when she gave us lessons one Christmas. A few years later, I had played 84 rounds in one year. I was losing some interest in golf and found running as I was looking for a way to improve my stamina for the last few holes. One race in 2002 and the rest is history; 2011 my body refused to run. 2015 was the compression fracture in the lower back for hard hill repeats. And now, I do not seem to be able to physiologically or psychologically find a reason to run.

During this entire period of time, there was always one consistent. Walking. Now I would not walk much, it all at the peak of my training whether that be on my feet or on a bike but otherwise, I would try and walk. The problem is that as I have aged, if I threw out my back or just pushed to the limits, I did not seem to have the motivation or energy to walk. But lately, I have been going on a daily walk.

As I have been walking, my mind went to when I would hike, especially with my dad. I have to say it is the one big regret in my life that I stopped hiking so I could chase what now seem to silly and artificial, meaningless goals and objectives. I have said it thousand times before and will say it another thousand times, the biggest mistake I ever made was NOT to stop doing races after qualifying for Boston the second time. Maybe have a 10 K or two but one early in the year and one late. In any event, then serendipity hit.

I was looking to see if I could sneak out and get in a quick mountain bike ride in the city. There was a lot of snow followed by cold and so searching for a quick and easy ride. And I happened upon the Hike Alberta facebook group. The primary post seems to be photos of hikes but it stirred something in me. I had come across a three day mountain bike ride in Moab. And 3 or 6 days near by. Or a series of trail runs. I might have been momentarily intrigued but then I would think about the expense, the pain and how miserable I would be. But I think about the occasional hike I have done over the years and I smile.

I had been a little depressed that my official event days were over. That I will not have an epic adventures in awesomeness to brag about but I realized that is okay. That what is more important than chasing personal bests or official results is the act of moving. So tomorrow I am off to buy some hiking shoes as I was never much into back country slogging. To go on a hike when the mood strikes me. And it may be in one of our urban parks. My city/fitness bike will be here in the next few weeks and looking forward to having some fun exploring the city bike path system. Tomorrow, if the forecast holds, a fun 30 K ride on the road bike. And maybe a mountain ride or three before the snow flies. Then the studs go on for a short winter ride here and there. And I will definitely have to golf more next year. And of course, walk with the occasional weights thrown into the mix.

The funny thing is I never accepted the premise that what we did was who we are. But it was easy and convenient to say I am a golfer, a runner, a marathoner, a cyclist, etc. But despite my logical and rational rejection, emotionally I must have been a golfer, etc. For it seems to be very weird to say that I am "active" rather than one specific thing. But that does feel and sound oddly correct and right for me.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3385
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:45 pm

What really sucks about getting old is that I am an idiot and now cannot get away with anything.

I have been riding once a week at most on my road bike for the last few weeks. Work and weather more than anything. But today, 16 degrees, sunny and light winds. So I was off on the bike and had a notion of doing 60 K. On the way out, I was averaging more than 32 kph. The legs are as strong and powerful as they have been. My lungs, my stamina not so much. So I decided to make a turn and keep the ride between 45 - 50 K.

After a brief struggle, all of sudden, a second wind. I see this other rider ahead of me. This is where my idiocy comes in. I start to make up the distance between us. He looks over this shoulder and his nice comfortable pace increases. So I increase my pace. And the race is on. My back is a little sore but I tell it to shut up. The legs respond, my lungs and heart do not but I push forward. I come close a few times but then he really hits the gas. So I ease off a little, turn off and have 12 K to go. But then I see another cyclist. This one does not respond to my attack and I pass them. A woman who has way more sense than me.

Long story short, 32.5 Kph of this ride. I though at best I could do 30 kph and I know my lungs and heart had hoped I had only gone that fast. But the glory of this "accomplishment" is short lived. I am achy but much worse, so stiff I can barely move. I am still looking forward to a great next year but now, hope my fitness bike gets here quicker than anticipated so I can have some fun just riding around rather then fall to temptation and race around. I have the speed but I really do need to let my body heal.


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