This morning, Doug stayed home with the girls so that I could go on a long bike ride. I did the 40 mile Roswell Ride with a guy from my tri club. He was very nice and insisted that I wasn't holding him back speedwise - he said it was the blue margaritas he drank last night. So, we did the 40 and he left to go home because of the houseguests. I did 10 more miles on my own after taking a pit-stop at the park. Ladies, men don't ever stop to pee. I just don't understand this but it's true.
Regardless, that's a new world record distance for me. 50 miles! Whoo!
Anyway, after lunch (but still pre-shower), I took the girls to my parents' house because (1) they wanted to see us, (2) I had to pick up the beer cooler, wading pool and slip-n-slide from yesterday's party, and (3) Doug was brewing so I thought it would be good to give him a break. Note to self - no one drank the Hefeweizen. Apparently, no one else likes Hefeweizen either. I thought that we could foist that part of the Sam Adams Summer Pack off on my family because some of the other stuff looked good (Summer Ale, Pale Ale, etc). Not so.
While we are watched the girls run screaming around the house, my dad engaged me in the "wearing your body out" discussion. Again.
Dad: Aren't you worried that all of this activity (running, swimming, biking) will wear your body out prematurely?
Me: [thinking - "wow, I'm really worn out right now so it's not a good time to discuss this"] Well, theoretically maybe, but I think it's far healthier than being a couch potato and gaining weight.
Dad: Yeah, but couldn't you do some research on what happened to people who used to be athletes are doing?
Me: Well, triathlon is a young sport (30 years?) so there aren't that many old triathletes.
Dad: OK, runners then. There are lots of old marathoners. All of that pounding has to wear out your body. The swimming is probably OK.
Me: Sigh. Yeah, I could do some research on that.
So, I tried to do a little reseach on that and there is a lot of info on the internet about what older runners are doing but not much about whether they still run. Except for Jeff Gallaway, of course. I'm sure that www.tri-talk.com has done a show on this so I'll report back if I find anything. In the meantime, I might get Jeff's recent book for dad to read. Too bad I didn't think of it while we were talking. I'm bad with extemporaneous speaking - always have been. That's why I don't do litigation.
Anyway, I'm thinking that even if I have exercise-related problems sometime down the road, thoughtful training (not injuring myself, getting enough to eat and sleep, etc) is probably going to be a better thing for me in the long run than not doing the training. Of course, I do get crazy without my endorphins so that is definitely part of the equation for me. I should have mentioned that too. And the getting to eat whatever I want (within reason) because that is a huge motivator. I'll bet that elite athletes are not thinking about the delicious cereal and coffee or pasta that await them at the end of their long run or swim, but that is definitely what I'm thinking about.