Back to the bike…
After a slow slide back towards the dark side of triathlon, I took to my road bike for the first time in years. The trepedation grew steadily during the week, whilst Claud (my metro-sexual yellow stead) was being tweaked and caressed at the bike shop. This reached a crescendo on Saturday evening when I realised it had been 4 years since I had pedalled in cleats on tarmac… leading to abysmal visions of me lying in a ditch by the side of a road being prised from my bike by a member of the public. Sunday morning dawned and I decided the best course of action was to head out alone rather than slow down a group or be an embarrassment to anyone that knows me.
The ride began trepedatiously, heading towards Clifton and not really knowing where it was I was heading. The first junction did not result in serious injury or humiliation, so I ploughed on with renewed gusto. Across the A5 towards Lilbourne, taking a left turn to head towards Catthorpe. It was only once in Catthorpe I realised there was nowhere sensible for me to go from there, so I turned around and headed back towards Lilbourne.
In the village, I took a left towards Stanford and weaved through the roads and lanes around Elkington, Stanford and Yelvertoft before heading back through Lilbourne. Now, as some people may know, I had lost my cycling mojo to the degree that I was really NOT looking forward to the experience of a prolonged period of time sitting on it and battling weather, traffic and SPDs… however, I can report that I only experienced a handful of cars during the ride, the weather was wet, but not the worst and I seemed to have got the hang of being welded to the pedals. A few thoughts did occur to me in the midst of my cycling rebirth: I really need to work on my hills (both running and bike!); I need to buy some smaller cycling shorts to avoid feeling as though I am cycling in a lycra sack stuffed with a duvet, and as much as I adore my own company and can entertain myself for hours, riding in the wet on road would probably be better with company.
As I carried Claud back into the flat, I knew I was going to have to go out for a run to make the most of the session, and so after a few Haribos, I strapped on my Salomons and took my sore butt and heavy legs back out into the rain… where I remembered vividly the pain of trying to coordinate already sore muscles into firing in a totally different way to the previous hour and a half. The mile I covered was not fast and it certainly was not pretty, but it was a mile after cycling for 22, so that made me feel ok about it.
There will be another experiment to see if I can upset more muscles later in the week… until which time I hope to get rid of the overwhelming need for sleep that has gripped me since eating my lunch. I can’t remember tri training being THIS hard… maybe 4 years is a longer time than it feels.