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Ride On, Fast Girl, I'm Right Behind You.


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.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLCRC 1/3/2014 8:26AM

    My first 1/2 marathon I heard them announcing the winner just as I was crossing the 1/2-way point and congratulating myself on being right on my planned pace.
We all run our own races, and it's good to know that others realize this as well. My current comparison goal is to continue beating the first marathoner when I run half-marathons! So far I've done it - last time by only 10 seconds, but it still counts!

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KONRAD695 12/19/2013 2:47PM

    Loved your blog. My "WOW, look at that" moment was during my first half-marathon. I'm running along doing very well for myself and notice someone caught up to me. Knowing they are faster and running well, I didn't think anything of it. Then I look over and see it is a she, and she is very pregnant.

Well, good for, good for me (finished 1:50), and great for all of your accomplishments. Keep going at it. emoticon

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GREGGWEISBROD 12/19/2013 2:24PM

    Yes! Loved this!! :-D I had an exact similar moment months ago while running a simple 5k on a path near my house. An athletic young girl, probably early twenties, just flew by me on her own run. It looked effortless for her, just graceful and easy. Meanwhile I was putting on my own rendition of the sprinkler head, lol. In that moment, I had the exact same epiphany as you did. I am me, and she is her own person. We're both out trying to better ourselves, and it's not about who's faster than the other. It's about out own journey and our own personal victories. I was happy for her in that moment, and happy for myself, as it should be. :-)

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MARGARITTM 12/9/2013 2:51PM

    OK ONMYMEDS pretty funny!!!!!!


It is hard not to compare yourself to others there is always someone ....enjoy your own journey.

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LIGHTNINGRUNNER 12/9/2013 11:15AM

    You are doing awesome. Keep it up.

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OPTIMIST1948 12/8/2013 8:49AM

    Awesome ride! great observations!

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SPEEDYDOG 12/7/2013 2:21PM

    Hmm, that is interesting. No matter how often we tell ourselves we don't mind if some young thing peddles by, it still is hard to feel a twinge. I don't mind being slower than someone else, however, if someone is going to pass me, they are going to earn it!

I just don't have a very healthy attitude about being slower than someone else! Congratulations on the long bike ride. What bike do you have?

Bruce

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TINAJANE76 12/7/2013 9:46AM

    EXACTLY! This journey is all about doing our personal best, not about comparing ourselves to other people who are different in age, experience and with different life circumstances. Keep on riding that bike like you own those streets and do it with pride in knowing you're healthy and strong!

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PMRUNNER 12/7/2013 9:28AM

    Ha Ha! Too funny! Love ONMYMEDS comment too.

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ONMYMEDS 12/7/2013 9:17AM

    I think the most important thing here is that at your age you can still spot a 20 year old woman from across a 4 lane highway!!

emoticon

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MBTEPP 12/6/2013 1:23PM

    It is human nature to second guess ourselves, and if you are competitive, to always want to be better than the next guy or gal. I check myself often on these issues. Everyone should. Measure yourself as compared to your self 6 months ago, a year ago, 4 years ago.... Keep moving forward.

The first time I got my bike out to XT, I was really nervous. It took a few rides before I found my stride too. Keep up the good work, and always run your own race.

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LIVESTRONG2010 12/6/2013 8:25AM

    Sound like a great ride and 23 miles is awesome. I know that feeling of being passed but when I started riding there was a group called the Rusty Chain Gang. Most of the guys were 65 or better and I was in my early 40's. The would blow by me like it was nothing. When I finely caught up with them because they were stopped I asked if I could join their group. It was a great thing to learn from these older men.

Just one thing when riding on the rode are you riding with traffic?
Ride strong and Pedal Safe
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SEABREEZE64 12/6/2013 2:54AM

    It is so much healthier to look at what is accomplished rather than having some "bar" set so high that nothing feels like an accomplishment. It is something I struggle with - this always thinking I could have done better.

Very good bike ride!!!!
Keep up the good work and keep these good reminders coming. Some of us need them.

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FANGFACEKITTY 12/6/2013 1:10AM

    emoticon and 23 miles is a lot further than most people of ANY age ride in one go (Sparkers excepted). For all you know she may even have had one of those bikes with the little electrical motors to assist...there is a store that sells them here and I see people on them not sure if they are sold in the US too.



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MWWENSIN 12/6/2013 1:10AM

    Great job. It's hard not to compare yourself to another when you're on the same road. It's great that you're both out there. The exercise is good for both of you.

23 miles is a good long ride. Another accomplishment.

If you get antsy with cars you can buy a rear view mirror that attaches to your helmet.

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I_CAN_AMY 12/5/2013 11:01PM

    GREAT JOB!!!! A 23 mile ride is a HUGE accomplishment! I know the feeling though, when someone passes you, for some reason we start to compare ourselves to them, even if we don't mean to! I'm impressed that you were able to chase the negative thoughts out of your head and enjoy your ride!

Ride on!!

emoticon emoticon

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EBRAINK 12/5/2013 11:01PM

    Well said. We're all on our own journeys, after all. And you get bonus points for being present in and enjoying your own ride, and not envying hers. Well done!

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JACKIE542 12/5/2013 10:24PM

    Wow! You biked 23 miles, way to go. That sure is a lot more than most 67 year olds can do for sure. Good to do the race for yourself and no one else. emoticon

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HDHAWK 12/5/2013 9:50PM

    It's natural to compare ourselves to others but you are so right when you say you're doing more than most 67 year olds. You're doing a lot more than me! Sounds like a great ride. I'd be nervous about riding on the road too. Be safe!

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ROXYZMOM 12/5/2013 9:50PM

    Wait -- so, you biked 23 miles and you were chasing a 20 something year old??

Comment edited on: 12/6/2013 9:48:32 PM

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1CRAZYDOG 12/5/2013 9:49PM

    Good job turning the thought process around. We need to focus on competing and bettering ourselves. That's what you did!

HUGS

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MASRITE 12/5/2013 9:16PM

    I hear you about riding your bike on the street. I just don't like it. I have a rode bike and everything, but, I'm a scaredy cat! My DH rides all the time and long rides, too. He just doesn't care.

great job on your 23 miles. That's terrific. You should feel very proud of yourself!! emoticon

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IMSMILEY88 12/5/2013 8:50PM

    Yes!!! We each have to run (or ride) our OWN race! Thanks for the reminder... it's so hard to get caught up in comparing ourselves to others. But, we are on a journey to make ourselves better. That has nothing to do with 'the other guy'.

Best wishes as you continue to ride!

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CHANGINGHORSES 12/5/2013 8:02PM

    Keep doing the wonderful job of being YOU!

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HILLSLUG98239 12/5/2013 7:37PM

    I'm glad your more-reasonable you reminded you to ride your ride and let her ride hers.

During my first 5K last October, a lady I passed commented something along the line of how much better I was doing that she was. I smiled, and said she was doing great - she was lapping the people who stayed on the couch. Maybe it's a benefit of age, but I ifrequently hear that voice whenever I realize I'm comparing myself to others: I'm doing my thing, and they're doing theirs, and it's all just as it should be.

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NATPLUMMER 12/5/2013 7:16PM

    Great ride!! I feel the same way when I'm out on the road.

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NWFL59 12/5/2013 6:36PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 12/5/2013 6:07PM

    emoticon

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ERLYWA 12/5/2013 5:57PM

    This blog is AWESOME and just what I needed to read today! So often I let these negative thoughts come in, sit down and make themselves at home. I love how quickly you turned yours around, and now next time they creep up on me, I will remember this blog and choose to boot them to the curb! :)

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BIGPAWSUP 12/5/2013 5:36PM

    Congratulations on an awesome ride! You are right, we all "run" our own race!

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