When I went on vacation with my wife and daughters I made a conscious decision to take it easy on the mileage. Very easy as a matter of fact. For the first time since 2011, with the exception of one week that I took off for vacation, I only rode 60 miles in a seven day week. It was odd only riding for 45 minutes a day and taking two sunny days off just for the heck of it, but it was time well spent, swimming and tubing on Lake Burton with my family.
I made the most of having to come home a week earlier than my wife and kids too, logging 235 miles the week after I got back – only three miles shy of my best Monday to Sunday week ever… I don’t want to count my miles before they’re ridden, but I’m going to have a huge week this week too. I’m at 151 miles right now and have a full century on tap for today… In fact, as you’re reading this, I’m on my way to meet the group right now.
Since returning from vacation, with mainly favorable weather, I haven’t missed a day. That’s 14 days in a row, it’ll be 15 once I clip in a short while from now. My last “streak”, just before vacation was 21 days, without a day off.
So, what does this have to do with “fitness”? Well, physical fitness, not so much. Physical fitness doesn’t require near what I do. Mental fitness, quite a lot. I’d never argue that what I choose to ride is required for a good fitness/diet regimen. On the other hand, it sure makes the diet end a whole lot easier to manage if you like to eat. Let’s just say putting in 200 miles a week on a bike affords one a little bit of leeway when it comes to feeding one’s face. The mental benefits, at least as far as I’m concerned, are huge though. My daily bike ride makes a stressful career just a little bit more bearable and makes me a better husband and father. My wife has made it quite clear that cycling has been good for me in that regard and that has a lot to do with why she supports it so much. What is most important to me is keeping a good balance. Too much time doing anything is bad, whether that’s work or play.
We’ll be starting out today’s century at a balmy 68 degrees and the temp is supposed to top 88 by the time we finish. It’s going to be a long, hard, hot day but I’m more than ready for it. I’m in the best shape of my life.
UPDATE: Well, that century is in the books! It was a tough one, super hot for the second half, we had some mechanical issues and one minor crash (thankfully the new kid was wearing his helmet!), but it was a blast! I took the yellow jersey, Matt took the green, Eli had the best young rider white jersey sewn up when he opted to hang with us for the century rather than cut it early for the metric (he’s only been on a bike five times), Phill took the polka-dot jersey, barely edging Chuck out by a couple of points, Adam and Diane took the most aggressive rider(s) award by a landslide and Chuck won the “Gutsy Performance of the Day” award. I’ll do a writeup on it tomorrow.