Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Getting My Legs Back

        Gnarly, knotted, under-inflated quadriceps (about the size of my thumbs) were talking and complaining to me this morning on our climb up Juniper Lake Road. These upper leg muscles were once the size of my wrists or forearms but now, there is no place for the increased blood flow to go. So, they scream and threaten to cramp and revolt....I keep finding a lower gear, to shut them up!
        I definitely need more saddle time. No progress is seen if I only ride one day a week. I really have to "get after it" three or four days a week to feel real improvement. My wife would have me out there hammering the hills with her every day, if she had her way...she's retired and a half-dozen years younger.
        We go on a cycling "fitness vacation" every other year, to some place where cyclists are loved and respected. We camp and ride hills every day...classic hills that most Americans have only heard of if they follow the Giro d'Italia or the Tour de France. We do it for weeks on end, usually about six weeks, this, combined with good eating and disciplined drinking, never fails to return us to a much healthier condition. The deal is...you really have to "want it"....feeling lighter, big airy lungs, blood zipping easily through the arteries, capillaries and veins.
        Just a few days before I complete my 67th year and I realize that I won't get all the way back to how I felt on my 57th, 47th or 37th but, I am out there cranking and turning them over...knees, ankles and quadriceps getting up the hills and down the road. Getting my legs back, it's a fantastic feeling.