So, it’s been just over two weeks since I returned to the bike and I am just beginning to feel normal again. I am now in really dangerous territory; I love riding and I really want to do it...all the time. I want to do far more then my coach (me) has planned. While this might sound like a good idea, to ride as much as I feel I can, doing too much too quickly can result in injury or sickness (immediate or delayed). Now is the most important time for me to stick very precisely to what my coach (me) has planned, and resist the urge to do too more.
Let’s go back to what happened since the last post. I did my longer ride, three hour return to Waterfall, and can I just say how quickly you forget about those undulating roads! It seemed like the road was always going up, or down. The 'up' at the moment is far too hard, so my coach told me to take it slow and easy, which went OK. Just before the two hour mark my hip started to feel a bit stiff and sore; I pulled into a petrol station for ten minutes recovery, jumped (limped) back on the bike and finished the last hour without too many issues. That said, I was absolutely wrecked at the end of the ride. But that’s the aim; to deplete myself. It felt good. I woke up the next day with some DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) in my legs which is a great indicator that your muscles are growing.
During the week I did some more intense work and it was pretty fun to push and challenge myself a bit. I was feeling good mentally, but physically it was tough. You forget the pain of intervals when you haven’t done them in a while. I was on the cusp on vomiting after each. This intense work felt fine on the hip with minimal pain, but though it is improving during and after rides, I have noticed some morning stiffness (in the hip...to clarify) and takes a little to get going. Maybe that's just old age.
After intervals on Tuesday and Wednesday I tried a two hour easy outdoor ride on Thursday. This did NOT go to plan. Previous days had left me a little too stiff for riding and after about 30 minutes I decided the hip just didn’t feel good enough to continue. So I turned around and called it a day. Sometimes the best thing to do is to listen to your body.
Lastly, I finished with a decent weekend with a three hour ride and a two hour ride, both at a decent but manageable endurance pace. Coach is happy and the longer ride was an improvement on my previous week's Waterfall return; no need to stop and returned home feeling stronger (although still pretty buggered). It’s been a solid week and I am pretty happy with progress. Now to resist temptation, be smart and not try to progress too quickly.