Tough Decision – No Bike Ride

I went out on my bike twice yesterday and had a strange experience on the second go ’round. After only around 5 miles, less than a half hour, I felt tired and that I was laboring to propel the bike. It wasn’t the usual fun ride. More like work.

As our regular readers know, I not only ride my bike a lot, but have been much more active this year than ever before. Checking my records, the League of Illinois Bicyclists offers a mileage log on their website which is very handy. It also gives you a chance to compare yourself to fellow riders. There are 142 of us who log our mileage. As of September 5 the average rider had logged 1905 miles. My total of 4906 miles is more than I have ever ridden in an entire year. I noticed that I have ridden every day for the past two months at least once and sometimes twice. So, this morning I had a tough decision about riding.

As I have been retired for 10 years I have picked up a lot of information on aging. Going past 60 is like nothing I ever experienced before. Often I can imagine myself doing physical sports activities, but when I try them find that my body doesn’t work as well as I remembered. It doesn’t go so smoothly in real life. There is a learning curve to late middle age/early old age that takes some getting used to.

I decided that maybe I had pushed it too far with the daily rides this year. After all, Chicago has had one of its hottest summers on record and I rode my bike a lot every day. Maybe I overdid it. Cycling is very individual and I don’t have any friends my age who are very active, so I can’t compare with them. I decided ‘better safe than sorry’ and bagged today’s bike ride.

The view of the bike path from my window.

I have to confess that I am tempted, though. My bedroom window looks out on the lakefront and bike path and I can look out and see folks on bikes. Terribly tempting.

Additionally, eating proved to be an entirely different experience, too. I usually start the day with my smoothie, then walk the dog and get out on the bike. When I come back I have burned 1000 or so calories, so I am free to indulge in virtually anything I want to eat and snack on. In the past few months to maintain my weight I have had a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter (around 200 calories) to fortify myself. I love the taste and it is great food. Today I passed on the pb treat.

My whole approach to eating changed today as I felt I had to pay attention to my ‘reduced’ calorie budget. At 155 pounds I can have 2100 calories a day to maintain my weight.

Usually, I follow up my bike ride with my high fiber parfait which I wrote about last March. It is delicious and nutritious, but amounts to another 500 calories. On a biking day this is the perfect booster. Today I passed on it.

I had a nice TV dinner of a couple hundred calories.

The day is about half over.

I will be interested to see how the evening goes when I usually have some chips and finish with chocolate.


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Filed under Exercise, life challenges, men and healthy eating

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