I’m sitting here on a glorious Sunday afternoon when really I should be out on the bike. There’s two explanations for this:
1. I am waiting for someone to turn up with our new cooker and install it. An annoyance, yes, as I would much rather be out putting the miles in round the Surrey Hills. I’m pretty sure I’m due a “lighter” week in my training though as I’ve been feeling rather tired recently so maybe I’ll make up this week with a couple of sessions in the evening working on my speed and threshold. Everything I have read says you need to put a week into your schedule where you take it easy and allow some proper recovery so I am claiming this week as one of those.
2. I have an ice pack on my left leg and I’m panicking about a bunch of slight twinges from yesterday’s session. For me it was a disastrous 60km on the Saturday Park Ride. A lovely day for riding – sunny, not too much breeze – but also the sort of weather that seems to bring out the urge to go very fast indeed.
I hopped in with the second group out which was supposed to be medium pace. I was doing fine with this for the first half lap as far as the bottom of Spanker’s Hill (titter ye not) where I unceremoniously came off the back and decided that I probably should drop back to the next group. The pace of around 10km/h faster than I’m used to had probably done for me leaving me riding almost at my limit on this short bump up.
So I sat up, sucked up fluids and waited for the third group out which picked me up at the top of the fast descent of Broomfield Drive. I felt a bit tight while I was rolling along waiting but put this down to being a bit dry and over-exerted. I got on the group and stayed on but my mind goes hazy here and I can’t remember whether it was for half a lap or more. The pace didn’t seem any easier than the group I’d dropped out of. Someone paced me back in when I came off the back up to Richmond Gate and by the bottom of Spanker’s Hill I was almost back on.
I came off again up there and went through the same painful routine enlivened only by a chat with one of the veterans whose name I don’t know and a fellow London Dynamo member who had also come off the back of a group. With two groups down I was assuming that I’d be left with at least a couple more that I could jump into. So it was a slightly mixed feeling as the group that I usually recognise as “steady” came hurtling up the road and I tried to get on.
I think I lasted a lap with them but I must have been having a blank patch as I really am not sure. My computer says I did 60km so I assume I did four laps in total. By the third one I think the over-exertion was starting to tell and my left knee was aching a bit. I probably should have rolled home then but, like stubborn fool, I carried on rolling convinced it would pass.
I’ve been finding some encouragement in Bradley Wiggins’ column in today’s Observer. In which he talks about the bottle needed to wait and resist the urge to overtrain for your goal. I guess I need to show some of that resistance now rather than letting it wind me up and stress me out. Tomorrow’s commute will either be very leisurely or I’ll catch the tube depending on how it feels.