Thursday, December 05, 2013
I did a long slow bike ride today. I suppose it turned out to be slower than I thought it would. But it was fun and exhilarating.
I got off to a nice pleasant start. I'm new to this, so I never know what to expect. I placed my Timex GPS watch neatly on the handlebars, so I could see what was going on, speedwise, and distancewise.
Was doing a comfortable, for me, 12 mph for about 11 miles or so. I was in traffic on the road. Since I had only recently started to use the actual road, instead of the sidewalk, that's where I was today. On the right side of the road, pedaling along. Hoping no one in their comfortable car-cocoon would fail to see me and plow into me. Maybe this fear goes away after riding a while, but I'm new enough to riding in traffic that I still fret about it and hope the drivers coming upon me are watching.
It's still warm in Florida, and today was no exception. It was in the high 70s and climbing. I tend to overheat quickly, when doing any kind of physical exertion. My DW calls me "sprinkler head" so that might give you an idea of how I perspire. So, it's warm out and I'm slowing down, this is not just a casual ride. I'm still working it.
I am on the right hand side of a busy 4 lane road, right there in the traffic. I happened to look across the street and see a young lady. What? 20 to 30 years old? I can't tell from that far away, and probably couldn't even if I was looking right at her -- they all look young to me. She's riding her bike on the sidewalk, with some kind of carrier on the back, and something else on the handle bars. Not a racing bike, just a cruiser. And damn her, she's easily cruising along faster than I am! I'm sweating and working it, kind of pushing and she's almost flying by me. Thankfully she's across the street and I'm not further shamed by her passing directly past me, I thought.
These thoughts flashed in my head instantly, like how easily she appeared to ride, and how hard I was trying to triathlon train, yet she rode quite a bit faster than me.
But, now comes the ahah! moment. I don't know her level of expertise or condition, and for that matter, who cares? She is she, and I am me, and what either of us is doing matters not a whit. I am training to better myself. It matters not how fast I am going. I remind myself that I am an older person, and my personal strength is endurance and failure to quit. Not necessarily athletic abilities or conditioning. Those things will come with time and training. I ride, run or swim to do something new. To challenge myself. And, that's what I'm doing today. Challenging myself to ride a little farther on my bicycle.
I ended up riding 23 miles today, and I was very tired when I stopped. It didn't take long to recover, I feel just great right now. No big deal to so many, but kind of cool for me, it's my longest bike ride to date. I'm slow and old, but hey!, I rode 23 miles more than a lot of other 67 year olds did today. I feel great. I am slightly embarrassed, just enough to stop myself the next time, that I had allowed negative thoughts to creep in. That I had been passed by someone who looked like they were out for a nice casual little ride, while I was kind of struggling.
The mind can and will play tricks on us, try to fool us into not attempting new things which are uncomfortable. The mind wants us to stay comfortable with our old, easy ways and not do new and challenging things. No matter that they are easy tasks for others, if they are difficult or stressful for us the subconscious does not like them.
I intend to continue to run my own race. I am doing this for myself and no one else.
Thanks for reading and have a great day.
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
I can have moments of excessive pride. Having just turned 67 a few days ago, I was feeling pretty good about myself. Having recently overcoming some big challenges, and crossing a few things off my bucket list. Like completing a full marathon, doing my first triathlon, swimming a mile non stop. All of which I have some pride in accomplishing.
Last night, I was cruising my Netflix account, and thinking I might get some inspiration from the Discovery Channel's "Surviving the Cut" series. I'd previously watched a few of them, I remember the Navy Seals and Army Rangers and Special Forces (sometimes called Green Berets) shows. Special Forces soldiers will be quick to inform you that a Green Beret is a hat and Special Forces soldiers is the correct designation. But, I digress. These shows they take the viewer through the typical several weeks of extreme challenges these superb young men must overcome to become a Seal or Ranger, or any other type of special forces soldier or sailor.
So I did watch the Marine Recon episode last night. I don't know how accurately they depict a this particular schools challenges, but this episode was not unlike the Rangers or Navy Seals episodes. Just pushing these men beyond what one would imagine is physically possible.
Watching these shows will give one a different perspective on ones own accomplishments. What is difficult and what is bordering on inhumanly difficult. Watching these guys push themselves so hard and refusing to quit (those who've read my blogs know I that I'm strongly against quitting) despite extreme hardship is very humbling and very motivating. I guess you'll have to watch them yourself to understand.
I hope you can find and watch them if you have Netflix.
If you are interested, found the link below - you can navigate from there to find other videos. Sorry, but there's a short advertisement before the video plays.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Failure isn't permanent. It is an opportunity for a new beginning. What you do after you fail is most important. We all know this, but we may forget to apply this reasoning to ourselves.
There is an almost endless list of those who have been perceived as failures who've begun anew and excelled , performed better than ever in their passions.
Refuse to quit. The rewards, when you do so, are countless.
If I may steal a quote from Napolean Hill, "Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit".
Refuse to quit.
Sunday, November 10, 2013
I couldn't help but compare this race to last years Savannah Marathon. Most all of this years attempt was better. But, not all.
Had a good night's sleep in my comfy RV. Woke up on time and had my usual pre-race breakfast of oatmeal, banana and coffee.
DW and I made the walk to the start line and waited for my corral to start.
I had estimated a 5 hour race, which put me in corral 14. I met some nice young ladies while I stood there, and DW got some pictures.
The start got off went well - being a larger race it was slow to pick up speed. Not a bad thing, because I wanted to start slowly anyway. Whenever I got behind slower runners, I'd just start walking, and resume running when they got far enough ahead. That worked out fine.
The beginning miles racked up slowly, and I felt great. The streets were lined with cheering supporters. I was enjoying the crowd support and funny signs people made up. I interacted with the crowd when it was convenient, and thanked them for being there. I didn't feel any competitive pressure, and I wanted to enjoy the atmosphere more this time.
I ran comfortably for a long time. We split from the half marathoners at mile 11 and we were in it for the long race now. I passed my half marathon mark at what I thought was a good time. I didn't make a note of it, but it might have been around 2:20 or so, a tad too fast, but okay.
I never felt tired until around mile 18, then I could feel it. This time, when I was at the Savannah State University around mile 15, I still had lots of energy, unlike last year. I was very tired at this point in 2012, so it was nice to talk to the students and tell them how much I enjoyed their enthusiasm. They are so full of energy, and couldn't be more supportive. That was, again, my favorite part of the race.
So, as I said, around mile 18 I was getting tired. No cramps or real discomfort, though. Just before mile 22 is the uphill onto Harry Truman Parkway. This is a 'bad' part of the race for me. Two and a half mile of steady incline, and it hurts. I had to slow and walk a lot here, but at least it was not hot like last year. The sun was fully out, though, not 'cloudy' as the weatherman had promised us. There we some cramps threatening to rear up, I could feel twinges, so I slowed even more, and walked as necessary. I plugged along.
Finally reached the top of the hill, no downhill, just a flatter running surface to the end of the race, another mile and a half to go. I'm pretty tired, and not enjoying myself so much. The banter from the crowd was not so amusing at this point, but I appreciated the effort.
Eventually I got to the finish chute, and the spectator support was truly unbelievable! They were cheering and screaming at us, just wonderful. Even though I was pretty beat up, I really appreciated this, as I chugged down the corridor and crossed the finish line.
Dw got this picture. From a distance, but not a bad shot.
I did my usual smiling/posing pictures, but she also got a candid shot of me looking as I really felt.
Went to the after race festivities at Forsyth Park to rest up a bit before the walk back to my RV.
The bad thing about this race was my level of pain and discomfort upon finishing. I could hardly sit down, or even get up once I finally did get seated. My feet and legs were very stiff and painful. Not at all like last year, where I was relatively pain free. I'm thinking my cardiovascular fitness exceeded the strength of my old limbs, so I was able to push my body harder. Just my best guess on what happened. I did have a much better finish time, so it seems I was able to push myself harder this year. My time was 4:58:50, not bad for a geezer. This was good enough for a 3rd place in my age group. Last year I won 3rd place too. But, it was taken away when an error was discovered. Apparently there was a chip malfunction of some kind on the actual 3rd place winners chip. Let's wait and see if I really won this year.
So, there it is. Another marathon in the books. I enjoyed the challenge, now to relax and take some well deserved time off.
Thanks for reading and have a great day.
Saturday, November 09, 2013
Intermittent wifi doesn't allow me to thank each of you individually for all the comments on my sparkpage and on my recent blog. But, thank you all.
I got up at 5 AM, I'm ready to walk to the start line soon. It's about 3/4 a mile from here, so that will be a nice warm up.
It's cool now, about 44F and the weatherman is calling for spectacular running weather here in Savannah! A high of 68 and mostly cloudy. Perfect for me, as I tend to heat up quickly.
I'm looking to have a fun race, and am feeling well after just coming off a head/chest cold.
Should be a great day for number 14085 today!
Thanks for reading and have a great day!
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