7 Feb 2016

7th February 2016 Out of training?

Sunday 7th 41-46F, 5-8C, windy with a gaudy pink sky to the east. Promise of a potentially bright start but rain and 30mph windy later.  

During yesterday's short but hilly ride my chest felt really bunged up and I was much slower on the hills. During the evening I was getting a throbbing pain in my quadriceps. I am certainly carrying far more weight than two months ago. The repeated rest days from back pain and bad weather have obviously taken their toll.

 I am back to feeling too full most of the time. Probably because I am not burning up the quantities of food which sustained my former daily rides. Foolishly I did not reduce my intake to match my reduced exercise level. I was even breathless on the climbs through the woods on my morning walks. I am now 12.5 stones in old money and it will not do! Every step and every turn of the pedals is now carrying a rucksack full of damp house bricks. I tried touching my toes and my fingertips can only just reach the bottom of my kneecaps. So my back is in poor shape too.

Glancing in the bathroom mirror suggests my waist is now parallel with my hips and chest. I have a ring of fat all around my hips you could use as an MTB commuting slick. I have become a neo-blobby in no time flat! I had better get some miles in before I end up like another Purves. Reduced [?] to berating those fit and slim enough to actually get a leg over a cycle and ride it like it was meant to be. Quick and lithe and nimble and determined on every ride. Fighting every gain in altitude as if it presented a personal challenge to one's ego and stamina. Or words to that effect. Words are cheap. Ask the professional politicooze. Actions are what really matter and they start today!

I set off determined to remain slightly breathless on my usual walk. This was easy at first but became progressively more difficult even on the climb up through the beeches.  Once I had my wind I would have had to literally trot back along the road to remain breathless as I finished in under a hour. Normally it takes me an hour and half or even longer. I saw and heard my first Skylark of the year on the descent beside the undulating prairie. Today I was seriously overdressed and without enough ventilation in my rain jacket. So I walked back with my jacket over my shoulder and a cold tail wind chilling the sweat.

I was more sensible in my choice of cycle wear and lucky in missing the rain. The brightness quickly gave way to overcast and windy. Plenty of cyclists out training and a few joggers and dog walkers in the lanes. 20 miles at an hour and  half and then I turned straight into the roaring wind.  Only one short stint in bottom gear as I crested a steep hill straight into a gale. I have never seen so much winter flooding in the fields. The river was swollen to an entire field's width at the valley bottom meander. There was only one hardy, lady birdwatcher in a full length down coat using a telescope in the car park. I wasn't so short of breath today and saw 20mph quite regularly. Still only 29 miles total in two and half hours exactly and I can really feel it in my thighs now. The slightly longer stem doesn't seem to be a problem though the "big hands" Campag lever extensions were hardly noticeable. I took bites out of a Corny, dark chocolate, muesli Big Bar over half an hour on the last leg. With no shopping to do the Junior was adequate for what I needed to carry with me. It's odd how tipped up the Brooks looks despite being close to level.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


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