I've had this question in the back of my mind for some time now, and I would like to hear input from others. Here in the 50+ Forum, we seem to pride ourselves on riding, on setting goals, on getting up off our duffs and being physical and active and accomplishing more -- sometimes far more -- than our peers who are content to lay on the couch, watch TV, and slowly but surely lose strength, flexibility, aerobic capacity, and so on.
When I arrived here last year, it wasn't long before someone had posted a challenge to Ride Your Age on your birthday. I was intimidated and anxious over that challenge, and for a while, I didn't even respond to that thread. I couldn't imagine ever riding 54 miles in a single day. Of course, I had just started back into the sport and had never riden more than 50 miles in a day in my life, and the last (and only) time was twenty five years ago.
As many of you know, I accomlished that goal and then some, doing my one and only metric century last October. There seemed to be a general consensus that the next logical step was to begin thinking about doing a century -- maybe two -- in 2006.
I find myself as daunted, anxious and intimidated by that goal as I was about Riding Your Age. Part of me would really like to do it, because it would be a point of pride that could never be taken away from me, and because it would far surpass anything I had ever imagined I could do.
But another part of me is asking, why? Is it THAT important? I find that the kind of riding I really enjoy, day in and day out, is the 10-25 mile rides, 3-5 times a week. And I find myself asking myself, "What would be so wrong with doing that kind of riding forever?" It will get me 2,500 - 3,000 miles a year, which seems like one helluva lot of miles and hours in the saddle.
Somehow the thought of training for a century is almost demotivating me, because, to be honest, it just doesn't strike me as much fun. Yes, a tough, demanding goal that would feel incredibly amazing to achieve, but -- do I really need to do that? And I'm now realizing that the concerns I have over this issue, the vacillation back and forth, has an impact on my daily riding. A voice keeps saying that if I'm to do a century, I must do more and more and more miles -- that my daily rides aren't enough. When I hear that, I stop having as much fun. Now it's a chore, an obligation, a 'commitment' that seems to spoil the spontaneity of my current rides.
So I guess I'm wondering -- should I just 'get over it,' train up and do the darn century, at least once, and then see how I feel? Or should I just let go of the century for a while, until and unless it starts to sound more compelling?
And last, am I the only one to go through these kinds of back-and-forths?