Friday, December 28, 2012



The big five-oh.  Half a century.  Five decades.  Way too many months, weeks, days etc. to bother to enumerate.

The beginning of every decade of your existence is supposed to be some sort of milestone.  When you turn thirty it's supposed to be a big deal.  And when you turn forty everyone acts like it means something profound.  Again at fifty - ooooh, look at you being sooo old.

Bah. I'm basically not buying it.  I know people that are the same immature idiots at 55 that they were at 25.  In other words, growing older doesn't always equate with growing up.  We all know people that hit their maturity early as well.  Folks who show a wisdom and poise beyond their years.  So it's not quite as linear as all that.

But I am in a pretty sour mood.  I have 11 days off work, using the Christmas holiday, New Years holiday and my left over vacation time.  So I get to spend some time with my son while he's off school, which is nice.  But damned if the weather didn't get all wintry on me, so instead of my dream vacation featuring days of riding singletrack I'm moping around the house.  Too much snow to do trail work too, but I did get out for a couple of hikes.  Spending some time on the bike would have really helped take the sting out of this day, but you get what you get.

And really, I tried - I loaded up the bike and headed out to the trails to give it a shot.  The snow is right at the depth where it starts to make riding impossible, but I could make some headway.  It was great - unbroken snow on the trail in front of me, almost perfect silence in the sun - but I had to turn back.  This happens early in the year - snow lying on unfrozen ground.  And that ground was wet in spots, so that I'd be doing damage to the trail if I went on.  So it was a short ride, but I stretched it out by adding some snow covered road riding - lots of fun.

But  back to fifty.  I can reassure myself that I'm more fit at fifty than I was at forty, and that is a certainty.  My strength is better, my weight is a little less, and my stamina has improved.  But I definitely feel that I have a lot of room for improvement, so I hope to make some changes this year. 

I did pretty well early in the year with my nutrition, but kind of lost focus during the summer.  I was riding five days a week and with that exercise level I didn't have to worry about my calorie input.  But after getting sick in September and then getting really busy my riding schedule suffered, and the shorter days of fall made it even worse.  So I need to get back on track with my calories and with my exercise as well.  Just because it's snowy out I shouldn't just forget about exercise.  So I have to face the ugly reality and get back to riding the stationary bike in the basement (groan).  What I plan on doing is getting back into the habit of using MapMyRide as my nutrition and workout tracker.  It's a great site, especially since it's free, and I know from experience that it can help.   So starting with the beginning of January I plan on logging in and keeping my stats every day.

Hopefully that will result in losing some weight and improving my fitness a bit more this year.  I have a lot of things that I plan to do this year, from riding and trail building projects, to work on the house and time with my family.  Being healthier will make all of those things easier and more fun.  Wish me luck.

My next post will be more 'literary' in nature - I just needed to get this stupid 'fifty' thing out of my craw so that I can realize that today is just a day, and tomorrow will be yet another day.  Might get some more snow tomorrow - maybe I'll go sled riding...


  1. Fifty. I wish I was fifty again. Actally things were going pretty good at fifty.

    But it ain't about me, it's about you!

    Happy Birthday, Steve!

    I used to love walking throgh the woods in the snow. I think. it was long ago and far away...


  2. Happy birthday and welcome to the club! (I turned 50 in September)

    Looks like you made the most of the day with th eweather conditions.


  3. Thanks guys - I appreciate it.

    Wouldn't be such a bummer right now if I could get some saddle time. But I am back on the stationary bike in the basement, for what that's worth.

    Need a mid-winter thaw for a day or two - at least get in some rail trail riding.

    Steve Z

  4. Hey Steve!
    Good wishes for you on the fifty thing. Six years ago for me and I have improved my fitness every year during those six years. I can relate to the indoor bike thing....good for you on staying with it!
    Nice pictures of the snow covered trail riding, never thought of that, needing to have the frozen ground under the snow for a good ride.
    Keep the good fight up to ward off the Old guy grouch syndrome!
    Jim Bangs

    1. Jim,

      Thanks, I appreciate it. Year 49 wasn't too bad, and I'm hoping that I come out of year 50 even better.

      Right now, as I work on getting back on a more sensible diet, it's not the "old guy" grumpiness - it's the "hungry guy" grumpiness. But this too will pass.

      Steve Z