How far is far enough?


So this past weekend a friend had asked me to join him for a charity ride in the countryside.

“140km”, he said, “it’ll be no problem”, he said, “not too many hills”, he said.

The longest ride I’d done in several years was less than 45km, but hey, I go to spin class twice a week and do Pilates, so “yes” was my answer.

At the feed station at 58km I felt good, despite the hills (yes, there had been hills).

However, within a few km of setting out again, my body was telling me that this was really quite a long way, something I wasn’t used to or fully ready for.

So, at 78km in, just before the next big hill, I told my friend that the 140km wasn’t going to be happening for me. So, we turned around and headed back to his house, eventually finishing at 103km total.

How did I feel after all of that? Well, highly satisfied with my effort, particularly after demolishing a cooked brunch with loads of protein.

Could I have completed the 140km? I’m sure I could have, but the level of pain that would have entailed would have wrecked me for some time afterwards, whereas the day after (as I write this), I feel exhausted but otherwise in good shape.

So, though the younger me might have pushed the whole distance, at 53 years old I decided that 140km was too far, 100km was far enough.

I guess age can come with some self-awareness.

Also published on Medium.

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