I try to pay attention to my form when I ride... to spin and not mash... not to hunch up my shoulders... keep my elbows bent... don't lean forward on my hands... all that stuff. You know.
I've come to a couple of conclusions...
First, after 20 years of sluggitiude, the belly is hard to bring around. Sometimes I find myself putting too much weight on my hands, especially after I've been out for a while and I'm not as "fresh" as when I start. I realized it's because my core is weak. And the 50+ belly just doesn't snap back into shape that easily. I'll need to focus more on that, it might be holding my progress back. And I wish I could learn to keep my shoulders relaxed. Any helpful hints for that? Or do I just need to stay aware and work on it until relaxing becomes a habit?
Still, there are improvements...
Climbing is still hard; I guess it always will be but it's easier now than it was before. I'm finding that my legs my get sore and tired as I climb but once I get to the top, they snap right back and I can ride with ease. Used to be that once I got to the top, I was cooked. The climb became the "thing" and now it's just a way to get from point A to point B. It has opened up my world a little more. But the real limit is my breathing. I can't stress enough what a limiter asthma is for climbing. My body holds up OK but if you can't get air into your lungs, you've got problems. Oh well, just gonna have to live with that.
But the real thing -the area where I just need to learn to trust my body, I guess- it's my feet. Onne of them in particular. I find that, as I pedal, I tend to rely heavily on my right leg... it does a lot more work (or feels like it does, anyway) than my left. OK, I'm right handed so that's part of it. But the big issue is that, years ago, I broke my left foot and it need to be kind of patched together and there was nerve damage so a good part of it is mostly numb (or burns) all the time. Well, that's an issue with pedaling and I find that it becomes more bothersome as I go along. I try to push more with my left leg and the foot just feels more and more numb. Plus, I just have a fear that if I push too hard, it'll all come apart again. I'm not sure what to do about that... Help me Mr Wizard!
You know me... none of this will stop me, I cannot be stopped. But it sure would be easier if there were some kind of answers. Or is it just the way it is with a 55 year old body?