Rest has been a topic of concern in my life lately. I’ve made no bones about the fact that I dig my time on my bike, and as my legs keep getting awesomer – my muscles are getting muscles, and as my gut continues to vanish into nothingness, I’m hitting on an interesting trifecta: I’m seeing results, I’m having fun, and loving my exercise time.
In fact, I used to have a problem with chest pain due to stress and an overdose of naturally produced adrenaline (brought about by the stress) and that’s been gone for quite some time – in fact, I can’t really remember the last time my chest hurt. I literally feel awesome. In my silly pursuit to root out all that I find “bad” in my life, rather than just enjoying what I’ve got, I’m have a tendency to look for the next problem to vanquish.
That problem, the one fitness thing I’m not “doing right”, is getting enough rest. Last week was a 142 mile week which isn’t really that big of a deal, I know plenty of guys who are putting in 250 miles a week, but I’m putting in those 142 miles over seven days. My last day off was almost two weeks ago (Wednesday the 9th), and if I follow what all of the pros say, that’s nowhere near enough rest. Add to that, a desire (real or imagined) to keep up with the big dogs on the local group ride, which will demand an increase in my current cycling fitness level of about 20%, the only way I’m going to attain that is to follow prescribed training plans which include plenty of rest and days off.
Truth be told, I don’t know what I want to do, because days off are not appealing. I feel like I’m missing the best part of my day (hugs and kisses from the wife and kids obviously excluded) if I can’t ride.
I’d ordered a couple of brake pads last week and Matt emailed to let me know they’d come in and included a question about how I did on the ride on Tuesday. I responded (in part):
“…Riding almost every day (at least 6 days a week) can’t help because I never get enough rest for my leg muscles to rebuild, but I get so much enjoyment out of riding that I don’t want to slow down”.
Matt’s response kind of surprised me, in a really, really good way: “Keep it fun. Ride and enjoy the experience for now. Everything else will fall into place if you’re enjoying the experience”.
And that’s all I ever wanted, so I will keep it fun and let everything else fall into place.