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  1. #1
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quick question: Head Games

    I rode 38 miles today, trying to get ready to ride my age in miles next month (55). It was hard. Really hard. Although the area was flat, there was a constant wind (maybe 12 mph?) which made it feel hilly. My knees and butt started to hurt at 30 miles but I kept going because my goal for the day was 36.

    Okay, I'm home now, and there are a couple of hours of daylight left. I'm sore, and I'm stiff, but part of me says get out on the bike and ride some more -- at least two miles so I can claim 40 for the day, or twelve miles so i can claim 50, or even 14 so I can claim 54 -- my current age.

    My brain is telling me I'm this close, and given how I'm feeling physically, I may not be this close very soon.

    Big problem is the thought running through my head that goes, "IF you CAN'T, or DON'T ride your age in miles in October, which was your goal, you area LOSER."

    There, I said it out loud. I know that it's not true (38 miles is not a loser's ride) but I can't shake this stinkin' thinkin'.

    I want so much to be able to come back to the board and proudly boast of my accomplishment, but I'm afraid I won't make it. On October 2, there's a 50 mile sponsored ride in San Diego I had planned to use as my birthday ride (my b-day is 10/19). But I'm afraid I'll pay the money, start the ride, and humiliate myself by quitting somewhere short of 50 miles.

    So -- my goofy brain says go out and get the darn miles this afternoon, ride through the pain, and be a winner. Should I? Or should I let the knees and butt rest up a bit? I don't even want to take another long ride (35+) before trying for 50. And after that, I want to slide back to 10-15 miles during the week, and 20-25 on weekends. This is supposed to be fun!

    Sorry to ramble. My brain won't stop spinning.

    I can assure you I will ride for at least 2 little miles, to claim 40. Hmmph~!
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
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  2. #2
    Senior Member lookinUp's Avatar
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    Gary,

    When I rode my age last weekend (65), I had people with me. Having someone to talk with and give encouragement was really helpful - the miles just melted away. The longest I'd done prior to the 65 miles was 50 - all alone. By the time I was done with it, everything hurt. Somehow, after the 65, nothing hurt! I was tired - yes - but no sore butt, neck or back.

    Also, I didn't push too hard - around 14-15 mph for the first 25 and then slowed down for the rest. Here in Florida, wind is almost always a consideration and I find that going into the wind really decreases the speed, but going 'downwind' makes up for it and my average speed isn't much different than a day without wind.

    I used to bike in the mountains around Knoxville, TN - when I was in my early 50's - and going up a mountain at 5 or 6 mph for 30 minutes or more was mostly a big mental challenge. I look at the wind that way now - just take it easy and enjoy the view. Eventually, you'll turn a different direction (or go downhill for a while) and it is easy.

    Don't get discouraged... I know you can do it! If a very overweight woman who just started riding a bike again (5 months ago) after 15 years can ride her age, you can too!

    Trek Madone 5.2 wsd

  3. #3
    rck
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    Hey Digital Geee,
    Speaking from personal experience, when it comes to physical exertion the mind is always more knowledgeable than the body. This holds true until tomorrow when it happens that you must get out of bed. At this point you will be hearing a LOUD "I told you not to but do you ever listen?" from your body. So the point to this ramble is-listen to what your body says, at this point it knows a lot more than you.

  4. #4
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I concur with lookinUp. Great advice!
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
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  5. #5
    Senior Member glassman's Avatar
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    Well, I have those arguements between my brain and body sometimes and its hard to decide what to do. Whatever you decide to do, you are not a loser, keep on riding, you will make it.

  6. #6
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Thanks, everyone. I did go back outside and ride two more miles so I could have bragging rights for 40, but I was also smart enough to say for today, enough is enough. I'm still puzzled, however. I should be feeling fantastic with another personal best, but I can't help thinking I could have gone further, and that spoils the mood.

    Oh well, it was a great ride. And perhaps by tomorrow I'll stop being a knucklehead.
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
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  7. #7
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Only 38 miles!!! Better than I did yesterday after a week of lying in the sun and finding that I do have different muscles in my legs due to the number of hills around our Hotel on holiday. I only had 10 days off the bike, and my 20 miles yesterday proved that I missed the joy of tired legs, butt pain and breathing hard on the hills. Yes I had the lot, along with not carrying enough water on the bike, so an extra stop to find a coffee.

    The 50 miler you have planned will be easy. 38 miles now on your own is hard at your stage of riding. When you do the 50, there will be others around to help you along and give you encouragement. There will even be people slower than you, and even more people walking up the hills, and most will be people far younger than you. Don't worry about failing on this ride- You won't.

  8. #8
    Senior Member capejohn's Avatar
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    Personally I would go with a physical over a mind thing. My first though would be technique. There are riders older and less fit than us who do these things all the time.

    It is a good idea to have a knowlegeable rider critique your pedaling. Many only push, and lose so much energy. Imagine scraping **** off your shoe at the bottom of the stroke and you will experience a whole new ride.

    I guess it's not PC to say **** on this forum. Crap
    Last edited by capejohn; 09-12-05 at 01:31 PM.
    Bike riding New England gentleman.

  9. #9
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Do the organized ride! Don't hesitate! Sign up today!

    Riding at a reasonable pace, with other cyclists for encouragement, some supplied rest stops and other support and you are ready to make the 50 miles with your current level of conditioning! And you have some time to get into better shape.

    My longest single ride before I rode my first metric century last year was just over 38 miles. The day of the century I started out in the wrong direction, so I ended up riding 68 miles total. You have accomplished 38 miles solo, you can do 50 with the encouragement you will receive just by being on an organized ride.

    Don't be shy about letting anyone on the ride know this is your first try at this sort of mileage, you will be amazed at the amount of encouragement you will receive! Everyone there, if they aren't on their first long organized ride, was at some point. You will have something in common with every rider there. After you warm up, if you see a group riding at about your pace, get yourself hooked up with them, good company will make the miles roll by.

    I had people out pace me, but remembered me as I pulled into a rest stop as they were pulling out... and giving me words of encouragement. I had a couple on a tandem encourage me (and provide music for as long as I could keep up with them).

    I finished the ride, and was crying from the sheer joy of completing the last gruelling miles when I got off of my bike! And your last few miles will probably be hard... but you CAN do it!

    If you look at many training suggestions for recreational centuries, they will not have you ride 100 miles on a given day before riding the century... the century is the goal! You don't have to ride 50 miles until that day, and then YOU WILL!!!
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

    People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  10. #10
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    One comment I forgot to mention. Because your goal is 55 miles... If I were you, I would do an easy couple of miles to warm up before the ride, and possible the whole additional 5 extra you want to do. That way you won't have to do too much (or any) extra at the end.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

    People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
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  11. #11
    Very Senior Member MikeR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    Thanks, everyone. I did go back outside and ride two more miles so I could have bragging rights for 40, but I was also smart enough to say for today, enough is enough. I'm still puzzled, however. I should be feeling fantastic with another personal best, but I can't help thinking I could have gone further, and that spoils the mood.

    Oh well, it was a great ride. And perhaps by tomorrow I'll stop being a knucklehead.
    You did 40 this last weekend and you have 2 weeks to go before you do your age - that's do-able!

    Remember that improvement does not come from a big ride, it comes from a big ride AND a rest so the muscles can rebuild.

    Stretch before, after and during your ride - any time you start to feel tired or stiff. You'll get many more miles out of your body.

    Don't push to hard - you're going for endurance not speed.

    Drink lots of water the whole week before your big ride.

    Take it easy the last 2 or 3 days before the big one.

    Remember - You CAN do it.
    It's better to cycle through life than to drive by it.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    Congratulations on the 38-40 miles Gary.
    It is no easy task, I think particularly if you are solo. In my warm up to the B'day ride I rode 30 miles one Sunday, 40 the following Sat. and then 51 the next Sat. During each week, I toned down my 10 mile excersize ride from my usual timing increase average speed mentality to a more subdued how was I feeling type of ride. Just staying consistent in my aerobic heart zone. I also didn't ride every morning. I rode two days, then off then one normal day and the day before the big ride I just rode the 10 miles at a nice even pace. As you know I haven't been at it any longer than you so I do not know if my way would be a recomended regime or not.

    Even working through 30 and 40 I had some doubts about the 50+. I had a nagging feeling I would somehow mess up and not make it. I believe those thoughts are normal.

    My family was behind me even though I was riding solo. I think if you head out next weekend and do what you did this weekend (40) you will be fine for the 50+. I just tell myself to take it easy and just enjoy the ride, just get over the hill don't try and conquer it and before you know it your'e on the downward leg. When you get within 10 miles you just feel that of course you can ride 10 miles, you do it all the time.

    I really am running on here, but just want you to know we are all routing for you so keep going!!

  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    Mike R has a good point. Drink water, not just on the day of the ride, but starting now. On the day of the ride you must really drink water. I believe if you feel thirsty you are already dehydrating. Stapfam had advised me about water etc. and it was great advice.

  14. #14
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    You're focused on the WRONG THING! Ignore your fears about not making the distance - it really doesn't matter. If you ignore the numbers and focus on the now of the ride, you'll make it without stress. If you can ride 30, you can ride 50 - no sweat. I'm planning on doing 53 on 10/8, myself. My plan - ride for fun & slowly increase distance. I'll make it on the 8th - no sweat. If I can do it (currently riding up to the same 30 miles you're doing on weekends) you can do it too. If, by some bad luck, you or I **don't** make the 5x miles on our birthdays, SO WHAT? We're still fitter than we were, healthier than most our age, and blessed to be able to enjoy such a great sport!

  15. #15
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    See, I knew if I came here and posted what was going on in my head yesterday, I'd get lots of great coaching from people who thoroughly understand, and I was right! You all are terrific and I'm darned proud to be among you.

    Tonight, as I took a quick 10 mile spin just to stay loose, I remembered one of the highlights of yesterday that I completely forgot to mention:

    I re-learned how to ride no-handed!

    Yep, somewhere along the way I thought about it, tried a bit gingerly, and then said WTF and went for it. 'Twas easy! And fun! And gave me a bit of relief from the usual riding position.

    So, anyway, I have come full circle. I now believe I CAN do the fifty in October, and I'm already looking forward to it. And for all of that, I have all of you to thank!

    THANKS~!!!
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
    2012 Masi Evoluzione
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