After being cooped up for almost two months now, old lady winter gave us a break. 35 (F) and sunny… I took advantage of it:
It was a chilly ride, but for almost 50 minutes I had that smile stretched across my face. It was also slow going for the most part (wind!) but I didn’t care. No worries about heart rate, average speed or being tucked… I was just out for a spin.
I needed that.
I’m a big fan of practicality and in growing old so that I don’t have to look in the mirror and bemoan my age or look back and wish, “if only I would have”. At just 43, I want to be very active when I’m 83 so that means I’d better be active now. I don’t know if I can be Jack LaLanne fit but my best will be enough to be happy with.
I have been cycling or running five or six (even seven) days a week for the last two and a half years now. It’s a rare month that I’ll see two days off in a row.
A few days ago we had about 17 inches of reasons to take a couple of days off. The first day I shoveled my driveway twice, lifting and tossing a few thousand pounds, twenty at a time both times. After the second go I was pretty wiped out. After a third, the next morning, I’d had enough – especially coupled with the fact that it was -40 (F) with the windchill. Not exactly days off but I wasn’t all that active either.
I went to work the next day and got on the bike. Not only was I slow, I couldn’t get back into it – my legs just wouldn’t loosen up. Something was off. So off that I worried that something might really be wrong health wise. I quit after a half an hour. Threw in the towel. No mas.
I spent the next four hours trying to figure out what the hell was wrong and I got nowhere. I went through the normal culprits… Not sick, hydrated, fed, rested… Sure I’d shoveled snow, but it was still just some snow. Nothing made sense so I decided to table it for 24 hours.
The next day I was back. Full-time, hard interval sets… I was back and just fine but I really suffered mentally the day before.
After that ride on the trainer a lightbulb appeared and lit up over my melon. I am beginning to recognize a pattern.
If I take more than one day off, picking up where I left off is really tough, if not impossible – physically and mentally. This latest situation was out of the ordinary because of the snow shoveling but the truth is, if I take more than one day off at a time it takes a day to get back up to speed. Now we all need our rest, there’s no doubt about that, but this is important: To thine own self be true… The reason for all of my success in life – everything from work to cycling, is that I stick relentlessly to a good schedule. It’s the only way I know to keep myself honest and on the right path.