A disappointing outing

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.

Intended Route

The intended route… a solid solo outing

 

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!

The perfect end to a perfect ride!

7 thoughts on “A disappointing outing

  1. Eric

    Sometimes a rest from everything is the best option. If you’re anything like me I can get a bit OCD with what I’m doing and when I “break the habit” and then go back to it a week or so later I feel in a much, much better frame of mind – helps with the physical side of things as well. Wishing you the wind on your back. Eric

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  2. mud4fun

    Maybe you are suffering from a virus? I had the same thing happen to me this week, I had been getting into the cycling really well and putting in greater distance and speed when all of sudden this week I went out for a ride that had previously been relatively easy and yet my legs were in pain, I ached all over and I was really feeling the cold. Of course the weather hasn’t helped as it has been torrential rain and strong winds for a few days now which makes the cycling less enjoyable and tends to tire me out faster. Fingers crossed that we get some nice warm windless weather soon.

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    1. Paul Squire Post author

      Hopefully nothing that serious! I think I just need a couple of days off the bike to let my calves recover. They’re feeling better already, so fingers crossed! A little sun would definitely go down well though!

      I hope you feel better soon!

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