I started seriously biking (commuting) May 19th of this year. I have been riding 2-4 times per week each week since. I love the commute and feel great while I ride to work (the way home is a bit tougher because it is almost all uphill- slightly). I feel great at work...more energy, more happy generally.
Strange thing though...I have started to forget a LOT of things at work and home. Small projects, little details...etc. that I didn't used to forget. Also, at home I was jumping into rages frequently. I would reach a flash point very easily and I would be screaming at my wife...my kids...the dogs. I could never remember getting this mad, this easily. And in the past when I was aggravated and got really angry I could usually stop myself and ask, "Why am I getting so mad/frustrated?" The answer usually came back to me that I was really unhappy with myself for putting on a ton of weight or not taking care of other things I should. But my 'temper' now was harder to explain. My wife noticed it and she wondered why I had changed. She also said, "I thought the bike riding would relieve your stress levels." I told her that when I am on the bike I feel great...happy...relaxed.... but for some reason lately I have been stressed, irritable, feeling overwhelmed, anxious etc.
So...I kept forgetting more things that I normally wouldn't....I would ramp up my anger in a flash...and I was starting to fear that maybe I was starting to lose it (mental health wise). I even wondered if I had some sort of brain tumor or the beginnings of Alzheimers. You think I'm joking but I'm not. I was very concerned. Then one day I was explaining to a co-worker what was going on and he recognized my anxiety. He asked, "How long have you been experiencing these symptoms?" I thought about it and said, "seems like it has been about 4 weeks." Then the light bulb went off. I started commuting about that time.
My bike commute days start with me getting up at 5:30 to eat something, hopefully let nature take its course, and to get last minute things ready for my ride at 6:30 AM. I also usually am getting to sleep between 11PM and 12 AM the night before. That's not much sleep when faced with the physical drain my commute puts on my large, out of shape body. Also, I was over looking another obvious fact...I'm not normally a morning person. Before this bike commutting started I was hard pressed (by my wife) to open my eyes before 7:15 AM.
The realization hit me like a brick....I had screwed up my normal sleep schedule....and I wasn't getting nearly enough sleep. Add to that that I was stressing my body like it hasn't been in years. These factors definitely would explain the irritability and the memory loss. The timing of all this is what finally 'woke me up' to what might be happening. So a few things have happened. First, I understand what's causing this so I can give myself a break mentally and just relax when I catch myself getting angry....because riding my bike is such a good long term thing....I just need to be patient as my body adjusts. Also, I need to go to bed earlier and change my body clock. Lastly, I need to be more organized and make myself lists until my body and more importantly mind come back to normal.
Does this story sound familiar to anyone? I was shocked that I would experience anything bad from taking up biking which is probably why I didn't put 2 and 2 together sooner. I look forward to your feedback and suggestions if you have any as I try to get through my transition period. Thanks.