Saturday’s ride was intended to be a strong. solo challenge. The plan was to combine a couple of stiff hills into a new route of just over 70 miles. I was familiar with the individual legs of the route so I was comfortable with what I was taking on. In fact, I was more than comfortable, I was looking forward to it.
As it turned out, it was a less pleasant experience than I had hoped. I guess the writing was on the wall when I hobbled out of bed to get ready for the ride…
My pain had begun on Wednesday when I went to the gym rather than cycling to “break in up a bit”. I’m keen to get back to some balanced exercise rather than only ever going out on the bike, so I did some aero exercise on a Cross Trainer and some light weights.
I never feel like I’m working particularly effectively when I’m at the gym. I either feel like I’m pushing myself too hard and unable to maintain the effort for very long (which is really not very good for me!), or I feel like I’m too comfortable and not really getting a huge amount of benefit from it.
Wednesday felt like the latter. I worked up a sweat, but that was about it. On Thursday morning, however, my calves let me know that I’d done something different. It wasn’t anything serious, they only hurt when I tried to stand or walk.
Having been able to continue about my everyday business, including an hour on the Turbo Trainer on Thursday, I assumed that my legs would loosen up once I was out on the bike. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case.
Despite easing myself into the ride and stretching at every opportunity my legs wouldn’t cooperate. They were tight and painful. As I approached the bottom of the biggest climb of the day I had to make a decision; My outings generally have a number of “opt out” options, points at which I can choose whether to turn for home or continue on my way. [Generally these serve as a psychological boost as I head on feeling good about myself.] The climb would have taken me out into the countryside and also committed me to a second stiff climb. So the decision was: Should I ignore my legs and plough on, or not?
I decided “not”. I like to think this was a grown up decision rather than me just wimping out, but I didn’t feel very good about it.
As I limped home I started to feel the cold too. It shouldn’t be like this in Mid-May… it’s time for the sun to shine and to be enjoying rolling through the countryside bare legged and in short sleeves. As it was, omitting to wear overshoes proved to be an error. Both my feet started to turn into blocks of ice.
As the misery set in, my first “large-bug-in-the-mouth-at-speed” incident capped off a disappointing outing.
At least I made it home in one piece. Time to put my feet up for a couple of days methinks!