Wednesday 22 May 2024

Will I be past it?

I watched a youtube video about burnout. Link. And it got me thinking. I'm a couple of years away from being sixty. A lot of what I see and read, or maybe take more notice of is about what happens as you age. A decline that starts in your thirties increases in pace. I got concerned that the fitness and strength I had achieved would disappear. Instead of decreasing exercise, I increased it. I thought my lack of motivation was caused by boredom; so I cut a little from my cycling and started running. But that just gave me another way to increase the load. I started running around three miles daily, then increased it to six. 

I tried to compensate by eating and sleeping more; both good strategies. Less so was more coffee. It was hard to stop, but eventually I had to. I now have days when I just go for walks instead of a ride or run. I wait for my motivation to return as a sign that normal training can resume. I do hate to use that word training though.

What am I training for? I'm not an athlete. I had the half marathon that I completed last weekend. And now I've signed up for the Brighton marathon in April next year. I'll have to be careful not to use this as another excuse to overdo it.

Should I use "keeping fit", or "maintaining good health"? Maybe that will reduce how I view all that I do; help me to sometimes switch off a little.

I've had "milestone" birthdays, but they never really bothered me. I saw them as just another day; nothing special. But sixty does seem to be building in importance. I guess I don't feel old as I expected to, but I'm aware of a decline more than in the past.

If I'm going to stay fit and healthy I'll need to adjust my outlook, otherwise I risk doing harm. I don't want to have to stop completely, it's a mental health issue as much as a physical one.

This could mean that I'm starting to wonder what that next decade will be like in a way I haven't before.

Monday 13 May 2024

Not so grim up north

transpennine way

I stayed with my brother in Warrington, and what a glorious weekend it was.

Great to catch up with him and Fraya, his daughter. The weather was brillaint and we got out on the bikes.

I borrowed his mountain bike, and he rode a brompton. This did slow us down and cause him some breathlessness but he still enjoyed the ride. The Transpennine Trail is a disused railway line so it was fairly flat, but the surface was very changable. It goes coast-to-coast between Southport and Hornsea and is 215 miles (346km) long.
A north-south route connecting Leeds and Chesterfield, a spur to York and a spur to Kirkburton means there are approximately 370 miles (595km) of Trans Pennine Trail available. We have plans to make a multi-day trip of it to explore more than we did this time.

We completed a meandering path covering nearly 30 miles. Steve did well on a bike not built for this terrain. Why didn't I take my bike? I still don't trust the rail companies; I will have to at some point. 

It took a short time from his house to join the trail. And then it was largely car free for the rest of the day.

The views were inpressive and I can image they improve as you get further into the Pennines.

We rode alongside the Mersey and crossed many canals.
Manchester Ship canal
Manchester Ship canal

 We were headed to Lymm for lunch, stopping at the Golden Fleece.
my steed for the day

The rocks were soft sand stone I think. It seemed someone had started a tradition of scratching your name onto them. We didn't partake in this vanalism.

Lymm dam
Lymm dam

Golden Fleece Lymm canal view
Canal view; Golden Fleece to the right, the other side of the wall.


The return journey extened past where we had joined in the morning and took us over a bridge across the Mersey.

bridge across the Mersey
bridge across the Mersey

An overview of the route.

It's well worth exploring this area, and next year we'll hopefully be able to do just that.