Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Falling Into Transition

It's Halloween.  Nine-five percent of the leaves have graced the ground, allowing the skeletons of trees to cast long, spider web like shadows along the roads.  The sun doesn't rise until after 7:30am--when I'm several hours into my work day.  It now sets in the late afternoon versus the evening.  In less than a week, I can kiss my afternoon rides goodbye if I want to see beyond a circle of light since daylight savings will carve yet another hour of visibility away.  What light there is from the sun beams looks so different now.  Bright, white light has given way to yellows and oranges with tinges of pink.

Being late fall, it's now time for a transition of mind and body--one I'm trying to embrace.  The clothes are slowly shifting around the house--shorts and sundresses tucked away in plastic bins to make room for the fleece and wool coming out of hibernation.

Right now I feel like I'm squeezing every last drop of road cycling out before snow flies.  Still making my way out on a couple 30-40 mile rides each week instead of the 60-80 mile rides just over a month ago.  Each day the temperature rises above 40, and there is little wind, is a blessing.  Although my legs are now bound in tights and my fingers are completely covered, it still feels good to be out there.  It feels good to witness the geese flying above in chevron formation.  It feels good to have sweat drip down my back, even though it's under thirty degrees on early morning rides.  It feels good to smell the sweet muskiness of fireplaces burning hardwood and have it linger in my nose for miles.  I let these experiences settle in deep and hold them as long as possible...hoping they are enough to take my mind off my freezing toes.

As I've gotten older--and hopefully wiser--I've tried to move through these times of transition with more grace.  No longer do I beat myself up when I see my cycling fitness slip away.  I realize that everything must ebb and flow to be healthy.  At this point, even a fifty mile ride seems a bit long.  Instead, I'm gravitating to more walking/hiking, yoga and strength training.  For all the abuse I've put my body through since March, it's time to recover and heal.  Prepare myself for next spring--the start of what should be another great road riding season--and move ever so slightly more inward to see what "house projects" need to be done.

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