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Is Exercise Ruining My Life?

RSNBiker's picture

I pondered this question during the rest of my wasted weekend after bonking on the 36-mile TTT training ride in the 100-degree heat on Saturday.

Two good things did happen during the weekend – I posted my fastest average speed for the distance and I got to spend some time with roadskater and eebee. And the September issue of Bicycling magazine arrived in my mailbox.

Besides catching up on what the pros are doing, salivating over new bikes and dreaming of my first grand fondo, I really enjoy reading the Bike Snob’s column. “Fit To Be Tied” was the title of his September column. In this issue he asserts that “Being in shape is a wonderful thing – until it ruins your life.” If you read the column, you’ll see that he equates winning the “fitness lottery” and wanting to hold onto that feeling to a gambler on a hot streak.

He writes: “You’re fast now! So you act like it. You preregister for a bunch of out-of-town rides and pick up that $2,000 wheelset you’ve been eyeballing. You even hire one of those enablers known as coaches, who promises he can keep you flying high.”

Let me recap some of the things I’ve done recently to hang onto this feeling:

Registered for a bunch of out-of-town rides: The Great American Peanut Tour in Skippers, VA, in September and Bubba Fest in the Florida Keys in November. Fellow Taters and I are already making plans for New York’s Five Boroughs Ride in May 2012 and talking about a Texas ride so that we can visit Lance Armstrong.

I bought a brand new bike, ahead of schedule, because I was caught up in the moment. 

I hired a nutrition coach to ensure that I continue to lose weight while improving my performance on the bike.

The Bike Snob’s column gave me pause. I’ve decided to take it a little easier this week. No workouts outdoors unless it’s below 90 degrees and only one sport per day. I’ve had my first cheat meal already on my diet and am looking forward with great anticipation to my next cheat meal on Saturday.

Financial Guru and radio talk show host Dave Ramsey says: “You are looking at the problem in the mirror.”  I can apply this to many areas of my life.

This is supposed to be fun! I need to remember that.


roadskater's picture

So What Ride Are You Rolling This Weekend

My confession starts with hacking web stuff too long while three pals were on the site at once, then blowing past my self-imposed deadline for closing the laptop lid, then rushing out, without my GPS (oh no! no credit!), but mostly realizing it'd be darker than I was comfortable with sooner than I wanted down in the lovely little gaps of Country Park. Those are excuses and I know it. 

Anyway, to my question...which ride do you think you'll do Saturday before the 2nd free meal? Tour de Furniture is now name Tour de Triad (which is NOT the same as Mike's earlier Tour de Triad). They have options from 8 to 80 and were I to go I'd like to try 50, despite how hard 37 was last weekend. There are 2 distances in the 30s. I think it's now $40 but don't know if it goes up higher. 

I guess I will slog in the usual places unless the taters or spare tires are out somewhere slowballing. Doubtful to find a skate partner or the bucks for the good cause TdTriad. 

eebee's picture


So far the forecasts are for it to be about 10 deg cooler in GSO this coming weekend than it was last Saturday. I hope so. 

RSNBiker's picture

Pumping it up indoors Saturday

Roadskater, I have a gym workout planned for tomorrow morning. It looks like rain and I need to keep tomorrow's workout short. I am looking forward to Sunday morning's Tater ride. Sparky is out of town, but if we get a plan together, I will post it.

eebee's picture

You mean you didn't buy it for the pink bottle cage?

I see what you're saying about needing to keep things in perspective, but I doubt you'll get a resounding 'yes' from road-, park-, trail- or other speed-type-skaters as to whether exercise was ruining their lives :-D. We do tend to be an all-or-nothing bunch (and I tend to make blanket statements about everything). I would say that NOT exercising ruins my life every time I go longer than three days without any. 

But these days I'm not fast, and don't act fast. Maybe if I acted fast, eventually I'd be fast? :-)

Sometimes it takes a few years to find your own winning balance of training, exercise nutrition, and what else to give up so you can spend all day happily riding/skating (not to confuse bonking with taking all day to do what you want to do all day). In my first year or two of trying to keep up with the fast skaters, I would go skate 25 miles or so on the Silver Comet Trail, at full blast, because that was the speed I needed to be at to keep up with the next group of skaters up from my level. 

I would spend the rest of each Saturday in bed with a migraine! It's not that I didn't enjoy my supposed kick-arse speeds, I just was going about it backwards. I didn't build up to it sensibly or support that kind of training with other training during the week. I didn't have a clue about pre- and post-training nutrition, or heart-rate zones. I was probably on some diet. 

So enjoy your new-found obsession! It's doable but you have to listen to your body and do it on your terms and what works for you. Sounds like you're well on your way to finding out! 

roadskater's picture

Yeah More Exercise Means Better Sleeping, Better Eating, More

I agree that exercise can ruin everything, just like any addiction if it is an unhealthy addiction. (I guess if it's healthy they use another word.) 

But I agree that more exercise really helps, meaning more days where I exercise for 30 minutes or more. Usually I try for an hour when I go, but sometimes I quit early, especially if I "went out too fast" or feel some other excuse coming on. But regular exercise really helps me feel good, sleep well, eat more wisely, and much more.

There's another level somewhere over two or three hours that really gives a boost to my life. Those five to seven hour days are really meaningful, and I especially enjoy the Silver Comet Brushy Mountain Tunnel out and back or Coots Lake out and back. And yes, Athens to Atlanta and Carolina Century are goals for the whole year and wanting to do the 87 miles and the 102 miles help me get out there many days when I would just plop down and melt into the couch. 

I am really inspired by the people who come to Country Park to walk and run. It's not flat by any means, and a lap there is over six times as far as one on a flat 400m track (nothing wrong with that, either). I love to see people getting their laps done at the park! 

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