Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Yes, Cleared To Race For Another Year!

Monday was my appointment for my annual stress test so I can race in the "agonistica" (competitive) class in granfondos. Since we live without a car it means cycling to my sports doctor, Francesco, in nearby Parona. He's also the sports doctor for the Chievo Verona soccer team (which was in Serie A in the Italian soccer league but is currently in B).

I did an easy spin to Parona on my Malagnini, changed into sneakers for the stress test, and climbed on the stationary bike. Considering that I rode Friday, Saturday and Sunday I felt relaxed, and strong. I was happy to hear that my resting heart rate before the test was 52.

The test, my 3rd now, felt the easiest yet. After Dr. Francesco examined the EKG machine results he said that I had improved my results yet again.

My goal every year is to improve my fitness, even if ever so slightly. It beats going in the other direction but as you get older (a lot older) this gets harder to accomplish. One of the things that I didn't anticipate about living in Italy is this gift of fitness and well being. The confluence of never ending cycling opportunities, belonging to a great club, eating so well, being able to ride year round (it does get to 0C, 32F on the coldest days in the winter), the 2x/day walks with Ms. E, and walking to do just about anything have made for an enormous change. Comparatively speaking I was a real slug back in the US.

I've received my letter clearing me for racing so next up is the Granfondo Avesani on September 16th. It's going to be a challenging 149.5 km (93 miles) with two really hard climbs and a few others less so thrown in.

Photo: Dr. Francesco in his office.

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