October is the time when my birthday arrives, and I got myself an early present: I met my (original) bicycling mileage goal for the year! Actually, it was 2,600, for 50 miles per week, so I could cut my riding time in half and devote those hours to writing this blog and the book that is in progress. As for the rather long and unwieldy title, it got longer when the Clash song came to mind (Annie Lennox version). Alliteration appeals, apparently. Despite a decent bit of discomfort and alot of precipitation, the work paid off. I did the Mamma Jamma breast cancer ride, which was rewarding, and that might not have been possible without doing putting in more time. So it’s been a good month, and year so far. I delve a little into the statistics for those into such things. That’s you!
My bendy breathing time continues to be a solid 30′ daily practice. However it’s pretty slow, gentle, on the floor, and fairly repetitive. Part of that is due to an issue that will be getting looked into soon. If I can change it to earlier in the day, along with bike rides, maybe it will become more vigorous. But as a way to wind down and de-stress the muscles after biking, I’m happy with the practice. December 6 will mark 5 years of uninterrupted asana, and that’s a pretty big deal. There is always more to learn, but I’m doing what I can. I did use a video with Yoga With Adriene when friend and possibly returning rider Saurabh was over and requested or maybe I suggested it. So to mix it up I hope to do that more. She’s so cute and goofy that it’s entertaining as well.
I’m doing it, 500 words or 30 minutes a day, though it’s usually more. Monday, Wednesday and Friday in this blog, and the other days on the book. There’s plenty to do and say about that, but for the purposes of this post, I’m just putting in the time and effort. Since brevity is the soul of wit, I will yield back writing’s time to other areas.
This added practice is ongoing and I have stepped things up a little with the new shoes I began using September 1. So often I’m hitting 1.5 miles in 30′ instead of 1.3. Not a big improvement, but it’s an upward trend, so I’ll take it. About 50 miles a month more walking is a huge improvement even if I’m not seeing any obvious benefits. More sleep would help so I’m not stumbling around in the morning. Maybe I’ll give running a try, or perhaps just jogging or walking faster would be better on my joints, being a fathlete as I am. Getting more fresh (city) air, Vitamin D, and just seeing what’s happening in the neighborhood has been a really good experience. I should have had this habit but it was never emphasized so now I do. Maybe next year (or if needed sooner) I’ll split it up into two 15′ walks. But for now, 30′ is still doable and feels like an accomplishment.
I threw in the last full week of August to illustrate the point that I rode six 100+ mile weeks in a row. I came close to making it 600 miles in September (572) but cramming them in at the end didn’t matter once I met another milestone, which was surpassing all my previous monthly totals (543 was earlier this year) except for one. So my second best month is nothing to sneeze at. (The highest month was when I rode the MS 150 and made it 202 miles in two days. A record I’m not likely to beat, but that’s ok.) I’m not sure why or how I did it, but I did it. Another nice thing is that I rode most of it on Sophie the Fairdale Weekender Archer. This weekend I finished strong with a 30-mile ride, but I got two more flat tires.
I don’t mention other pursuits like eating better, and I alluded to sleep. These things are ongoing struggles, important, but not amongst the key practices above. Still, I need to improve and focus on more than just biking alot of miles. So while it’s been a good year, there’s still more to go. I hope to benefit from the momentum of what I’ve been doing, while also being very aware that Libra time is particularly strong in the month of my birth, if one is to believe such things. (Hey, lunar tides are real, and we’re made of water too. Just saying!) So while things change and who knows, maybe I have to give up biking tomorrow? I’ve at least met and beaten a life goal. And that’s pretty fly for a white guy.
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