Thursday, 8 April 2010

Under the weather

Miles cycled this year: 1425
In 88 Hours burning 51700 Kcal climbing 49100ft
Most miles in a week (so far) : 160 (still!)

Landmark since 1982 I have cycled 75000miles.

I’ve been a bit under the weather. Not ill but empty. The sort of thing that you might normally feel as a bit tired when you get up, but you do the normal things, and it goes in a few days. Don’t generally work like that when you are asking your body to exercise on the edge of what it is comfortable with either in intensity or duration.

That’s not to say that somedays I don’t get up and feel a bit off, go out on my bike and forget all about it. But that’s the trick, and the problem. When do I feel tired because I am truly off colour, or when is it just how I feel because I went to bed a bit late or had a bad day in the office?

On the 20th of March I extended the Saturday Club run and ended up doing 69m in 4h05m. Sunday I rode the Exmoor Spring Audax: a lovely ride from Minehead, Porlock Toll Road, Exford, Simonsbath, Dulverton, then back via Dunster. It was 61m in 4 hrs. I decided to ride within myself and just get round. It was good fun. I rode to Langport for work on Tuesday, I felt ok, but clearly was slower than normal, but there was a bit of a headwind out.

Saturday the 27th I pushed out to 4hrs37m and 76 miles. In the second hour two of us were steadily climbing onto the Quantocks, another group not know to us were behind us. We rode steady and chatted. As it steepened, one of them attacked, well went past, but he clearly felt he could out climb us. I couldn’t resist and tracked him, slowly pulling the 25 feet or so in, he looked behind. I knew he had little choice but try and stay ahead. It’s predictable: he attacked us, now his pride would make him want to stay in front. All I had to do was follow. It wasn’t important to me if I caught him or he rode away, either way he was going to hurt and I was in control. It was my hurt I was dealing out to him. I closed gently and just sat a foot off the rear wheel, he knew I was there and did not look back. I could hear his deep breathing, I was riding inside myself. He sped up on the flat at the top, but I wouldn’t let him go. He turned at the top to look for his mates, I turned and could see my friend on the flat. I freewheeled. He never spoke, I hurt him and we knew it. What fun! It may be in part due to that after 3hr40 I felt empty. I ate and drank and rode home slower and it was still hard.

The next day I went to ride with the Bridgwater club intending to go to Yeovilton. I was tired, and Sarah, my friend set off at a quick tempo. I sat in towards the back of the group, hiding from the work at the front. Sarah had to be home by eleven and I decided that I was not right, and cut the ride short, but still doing just under two hours.

I felt tired, empty and hungry for the rest of the week. I needed to rest and decided to take a few days. Good Friday was an easy round the block (14M), but I decided to move my rest weekend forward so on Saturday rode short and when the attacks started on the way back from the café, I wished them goodbye and rode back with a couple of others, turning for home as the rain started. I got soaked, I thought it might rain, but not this big drop really wet stuff.

I still felt off, as though I’d had a long ride, so on Sunday I just rode to my mother in law’s and gardened.

The general rule to cycling is “if in doubt - don’t” I didn’t feel great, so best to take some time off and recover. Was I just tired, have some form of infection in the background, pushed too hard too quickly or just lazy? (I suspect a bit of 2 &3, leading to 1) Well I’m feeling more with it now, & rode to work today. Bit slow, but I don’t think my body is too keen at 7.30am, so it is easy does it, just get there. I feel ok, so it’s steady as she goes for the weekend. Shorter, less intense & recover.

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