Sunday, February 28, 2010

Age Denial?

Pikes Peak from Ute Park after a fresh Snow
An “acquaintance” asks me almost every time he sees me if I still do all that crazy biking and running. I ran into him the other day, he was drunk, with a bunch of his beer guzzling redneck friends, and started ragging me. In a nutshell he said I needed to grow up and act my age. Quit running around and riding a bicycle like some little kid. He went on to claim that the only reason I do all that crazy “shit” is cause I’m in denial of my age. Huh? Boy (“Man” I guess I should say) who knows what kind of ragging I would have taken if he knew I was vegetarian. The whole scene got pretty annoying and I left.

This “acquaintance” is about 5 – 7 years younger than me, at least 70 lbs overweight, on blood thinners, has high blood pressure, and pre-diabetic. I guess he is acting his age. It seems the “norm” these days is to be kept alive by a handful of drugs. It’s generally accepted as part of “getting old”. Am I missing something? Why is something as simple as exercising and eating healthy such a difficult concept to grasp? Why is taking care of what we have been given so abnormal that people have to critize it? Why is it the accepted norm that living life on drugs (or as we like to call it “medicine”) is inevitable after 50? Umm sorry I digress. I guess he annoyed me more than I thought.

Back to this age denial thing. I know how old I am. But what does “old” mean? Sure I’m not anywhere near as fast as I was 30 years ago. But 30 years ago I couldn’t run 100 miles or mountain bike for 24 hours. When I’m out riding with a bunch of young 20 – 30 year old studs and the pace picks up and I’m struggling to keep up, I find if I think about how old I am, i.e. “You’re 52 years old! What are you doing trying to keep up with these guys?” I get dropped. However, if I block that out of my mind and focus on strong smooth pedaling, staying relaxed, and breathing, I often stay with the young guys and sometimes even drop a few of em. A friend turned 50 this week. (He’s also very fast and enters into my age group this year, Yikes!) He is celebrating by spending the weekend mountain biking, running, & skiing. Maybe he’s in denial too. Maybe he should just be sitting back on a couch taking pills and complaining about how old he is. I know some “old” people who have turned their lives around from the “norm” and went on to finish marathons, mountain bike races or other feats that they previously thought impossible. I believe overall, they are much happier and feel much better about themselves. I don’t think we are ever too old to be kids. My response to this age denial accusation: I rode 87 miles Saturday morning, helped my son move Saturday afternoon, then went to a concert in the evening. Ran 21 miles Sunday morning and spent the rest of the day helping my son move.

Max and his Stick

Training: Training went very well this week. For the most part energy levels were high and I rested when I needed to. Tuesday morning, did a series of Time Trials on the bike 20 min, 15 min, 10, min, and 5 min all out. Five min recover between. Probably the highest intensity bike workout this year. Tuesday evening ran home from work. Wednesday rode to work then an easy run with Max in the snow after work. Thursday a very hard running interval workout that pretty much left me wiped out the rest of the day and into Friday, so I rested Thursday evening and Friday. Capped the week off with a long ride on Saturday (6.1 hrs, 87 miles, 6000+ ft of climbing) and a long run on Sunday (3 hrs 21 miles).


Mon: Strength
Tues: AM: Bike (TT Intervals) 1.7 hrs, PM: Run (run home) 2.1 hrs
Wed: AM: Bike (Ride Work) 1.1 hrs, PM: Run (easy) 1 hr
Thurs: AM: Run (Warm-up, 5 * 1 mile tempo w/ ½ mile recovery) 1.5 hrs
Fri: Rest
Sat: AM: Bike (6000+ ft climbing) 6.1 hrs
Sun: AM: Run (Santa Fe Trail) 3 hrs