Despite feeling pretty tired after all the excitement yesterday I decided I best get myself in gear and go for a ride this morning. Glad I got out "early" 'cos it was already warm, any later and I think I'd have struggled.
I opted to do the 17 mile loop (incorporating the original local 10 mile TT loop) which I've done a few times recently. I was hoping to finally get my time down to under an hour. I was feeling good early on, my speedo said I kept an average of 20 mph+ over the first 4 or so miles, and I found a bit of a rhythm. Dropped to a lower gear than usual and tried to spin rather than push, and so I really thought I'd be quick. I did set a new best time, but still not quite quick enough - 1hr 57 secs!
I went out with the intention of setting a fast time, and as such didn't want to stop giving my all throughout. Every time my legs tried to stop spinning round I had to get them going again. Every pedal stroke is another one closer to the end after all! This came into particular action at the end. I was starting to struggle. As although spinning in a low gear is probably a bit easier it is a much more constant throughout and I haven't quite reached a level of fitness where I could sustain such an effort, I had to keep telling myself to keep going. It probably helps that I've done the loop a few times now, so I'm starting to learn where a bit of a bigger effort will pay off, and just how far away the sections that offer a bit of respite are!
Now, as you would expect from me, this got my mind wandering. Not on the ride of course, that required paying attention to very little but the road and my bike. All ponderances were reserved for the post-ride bath and beyond! Despite various problems, and having not done a great deal of riding in the last year or so, I'm some how able to ride faster than ever before. I'm putting this mainly down to the awesomeness of tri-bars, but I have to say (apart from the arm), I'm probably in better shape that I have been for a while, finally on top of the extra cake and ice cream related calories...
Almost seems a shame to put an end to this in 19 days (yep - still counting!), and head into the depths of autumn and winter back at square one. But then I thought some more, as I gazed down at the "tubigrip tanline" I'm developing, and sat as the post-ride pain slowly developed too and came back to the same conclusion I came to a while ago. And if there's ever a good time to take an enforced break from the bike, it's going to be when it's all cold and wet outside right?
None of this helped by the book I'm reading at the moment. Recommended to me by one of the consultants I was shadowing on work experience, "The Creative Destruction of Medicine", it's proving to be a really interesting read so far. Providing lots of potential "interview fodder" whilst generally educating me, but at the same time it's a bit of an eye opener. Seems to be warning about the dangers of Joe Public taking the advice of a medical practitioner, and accepting whatever treatment they suggest without question, on the basis of many things which are "evidence-based" not really being all they're cracked up to be, surgeons and their tendency to turn to surgery as an option even if it's not necessarily in the patients best interests, not to mention many treatments not being directed properly at individuals, and instead going for the whole population. My only optimism comes from the fact that much of this is based on US medicine where things are a bit different and the role of cost and advertising etc. is very different to here in the UK. As I said, interesting read, but probably not the best time for me to be reading it!
Too much time to think about it, that's my problem. Last time round it was only a few days from seeing the consultant to getting surgery, the weeks are adding up now and so are the nerves so it logically follows that I'm going to start doubting in. Just have to keep talking sense into myself!
At least the reading of aforementioned book meant sitting in the garden for a bit, and has sufficiently tired me out so that I feel the need for a nap now! Just as well as I think I've probably written more than enough for you lot to be getting on with!
Sunny September picture:
2012 cycling: 236.33 miles