Tag Archives: biking

A New Look

Welcome to RunBikeThrow!

If you were expecting the “Fitness at 50” site, you are in the right place. Starting today, it has a new name, but its purpose remains the same: to post my adventures and lessons learned in running, biking, and Aikido, and to encourage people to get up and get active.

NewLookSameGreatBlogWhy the name change? Two main reasons.

One run in particular really took me out of my 'comfort zone'. Click here to read about it, if you dare.

One particular 2012 run really took me out of my ‘comfort zone’. Click the picture to read about it, if you dare.

I started this blog two years ago to share the challenges I’d planned for my “year of being 50” (2012), including a 500-mile bike ride, 50K run, and taking 50 Aikido classes in a month. That year is now past, and it’s time to move on. But you can browse my successes, failures, and other posts from then, or view a summary on my “Quest 2012” page.

I also wanted to show what’s possible at age 50 and encourage people of that age to get active. But lots of people 50 and over are already very active, and programs are springing up to support them, such as the YMCA’s “50 Moving Forward” program. And my posts were never aimed at the 50-and-older crowd anyway. I want to encourage being fit and active at any age, and that’s the way I’ve been writing my posts all along.

So why the new name of “RunBikeThrow?” It represents the three athletic activities I do and enjoy the most.

 

Holiday Hustle, 2012 (me, front & center)

Holiday Hustle, 2012 (me, front & center)

Run: I started running regularly at age 46 and ran my first race (the Holiday Hustle 5K in Dexter) in 2008. I now run about 1,000 miles a year, including marathons (Chicago 2011 and Ann Arbor 2012) and an ultramarathon (50K at Run Woodstock in 2012). I write about my races, training runs, shoes and other gear, volunteering, and just about anything else related to running.

 

Da Dawg House - Cadillac, MI.

Fuel stop at Da Dawg House – Cadillac, MI.

Bike: I am a recreational cyclist who enjoys long trips through small towns to see (and write about) what’s to see. Last year I completed a ride I’d planned for several years – a 500-mile round trip from Ann Arbor to our campground in Empire and back, at age 50. This year I’ve already put in one weekend tour and will continue to use cycling in combination with distance running to train for my big event this year, and beyond.

 

I learn how to fall down - again.

I learn how to fall down – again.

Throw: I have been a student of Yoshokai Aikido (mainly through the Ann Arbor Rec & Ed club) since 2005, which has changed my life physically, mentally, and to some degree, spiritually. While I am progressing toward and hope to achieve black belt, the greatest reward is in the journey – the training itself, and what I learn from the classes and clinics I attend.

My interest in healthy eating, cooking, and all things chocolate continues as strong as ever, and I will continue to write about them here. But most of what I learn about and experience in the world of chocolate and coffee will be posted on my new blog, which I’ll tell you all about as soon as it’s ready.

So a big THANK YOU THANK YOU to all my current readers, and I hope you like the change! If you’re already following this blog under fitnessat50.net, there’s no need to change anything. You should continue to receive new posts just fine.

Speaking of, we’ll be back to regularly scheduled subjects next time. Thanks for reading!

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Staying in Balance

With such terrific spring weather here in southeast Michigan this week, I’ve gotten outside to run or ride every evening after work. It’s felt like forever since I’ve been able to just toss on the gear and go, without worrying about being warm enough or bringing a headlamp.

While I was out on the bike this week, a brief lecture by my Monday Aikido class instructor kept popping into my head. He’d spoken about the need to balance our study of Aikido so that we practice both leading a technique (Shite) and receiving, or following, the technique (Uke). “With our Western attitude,” he’d said, “we can focus too much on being Shite. We like feeling that we’re in control.”

But if the two people performing an Aikido technique both try to be Shite at the same time, the technique cannot succeed. One person must agree to be Uke, and follow Shite’s lead properly, for the technique to be executed safely and harmoniously. “It would probably be useful for us to study Uke even more,” he concluded, “to bring our training into better balance.”

Believe it or not, it's just as much fun to be thrown this way as it is to perform the throw.

Believe it or not, it’s as much fun to be thrown this way as it is to perform the throw.

Carrying the idea into everyday life, he pointed out there are many events in our lives that we cannot control. “We can fight that and try to be Shite,” my instructor had said, “or we can be Uke, and let ourselves be led down the road. Perhaps it will take us somewhere interesting.”

The next evening, after a long day at work, I got on the bike and headed out to nowhere in particular. I’d felt mostly like Uke during the day, working on the priorities of the moment, and I was ready to be in control for a change. I turned onto a couple of roads I’d never taken before, and checked out the progress being made on the Border-to-Border Trail in Dexter. It felt wonderful to cruise along at my own speed, make on-the-spot decisions about which route to take, and choose when I was ready to head home. I was finally being Shite, I remember thinking.

Or was I?

After that moment of satisfaction, I suddenly realized the bigger picture. Yes, I had chosen which roads to ride on – but I had followed those roads instead of plowing through someone’s yard. I was choosing my speed, yet I was fitting with the condition of the roads, the mechanics of the bike, and the strength in my legs that evening. I’d decided when to head home, but I’d wanted to return before dark, and I had no control over the sun. In short, there was a lot of Uke mixed in with that little bit of Shite.

And that wasn’t a bad thing at all.

Dexter DQ

At least I get to decide whether to get ice cream. Shite, right? Except for that line I have to wait in…