Two weeks ago I capped off my first 100 mile week this year. It may not seem huge to a lot of people who read this, but it was a really big personal mile stone for me, as I’ve struggled to improve my training over all. Earlier in the year I had an 80 mile week but that was a case of too much to soon, as I was crushed for two weeks afterward. I decided to accept the reality that I’m 44 years old, and for all intents and purposes have been off the bike for a few years. I created a loose training plan based on one of the various “beginner” programs out there. Make no mistake this was a huge smack in the ego for me, I am a cyclist who used to do 12,000 to 15,000 miles per year. That was a different life and though the mind was willing, the body was… a little less. So I eased back in. I took special care to avoid injuries, I warmed up, I stretched, I controlled hydration, and I took recovery days, maybe too many recovery days 😉.
Other than a little back tweak last week, and some very minor knee aches, I’ve been remarkably pain free for the last few months. My back has been troublesome over the years, 22 years of jumping out of airplanes has taken a bit of a toll on my spine, I have some spondolosis, and in August of 2012 I broke three cervical vertebra, which put a little hitch in my giddy up to say the least. One exception to this is a new problem, my left shoulder. Last week I did 40 miles on the Trinity River Trails in Fort Worth and by the end my left shoulder was about a 7 out of 10 on the pain scale. I’m not sure where it’s coming from exactly, I have had a few problems with this shoulder over the years, when I was last in Afghanistan I had to have a few cortisone shots to keep on keeping on, and they did help, but it never truly went away. In any case, I think it’s something I can get under control, maybe a little fit modification will help, or perhaps a little strengthening in the surrounding area.
Last week was an 80 mile week, with a little built in rest, with the idea being that I will push back to 100 again this week, and then run an ftp test next week to see how I’ve improved over the last test I did in March. I plan to have some basic fitness tests done here soon, body composition, VO2, one or two others at the UT Sports Science center, just to establish a first year baseline, to keep an eye on myself as I age, fitness wise. When I was younger, like most people, I just bull dogged my way through things, and dealt with the ramifications through the magic of the youthful body, and the reality is that I just can’t do that anymore, nor should I try. I’m watching my diet pretty closely, I’m trying to get more sleep, and I’m drinking a lot less. I still enjoy a glass of wine or two a week though, let’s not get crazy. Incidentally, I also went over 1000 miles for the year last week.
Thanks for reading.