Rest, recovery and very little riding
I’m not good at being sick. I’m not one of those people that can sit around and wait for an illness to run its course. I’ll inevitably succumb to cabin fever and get back to normal life earlier than I should.
I’ve written in my last few posts about how I got sick immediately after getting home from the Tour de France. Virtually a month later I’m still not feeling 100%.
I don’t feel hugely ill, but something doesn’t feel quite right. I don’t know how to describe it other than to say I feel physically “fragile”. I feel like I’m teetering on the edge of illness and that any sort of exertion will lead to a flare-up.
Last week I was walking to the train station and realised I was running late. I ran the last 300m to the platform and felt like I was going to throw up. Given I ran a marathon a few years back, 300m shouldn’t have been enough to have me feeling like I was going to lose my breakfast. I’ve also felt lightheaded and woozy with random bouts of nausea in recent weeks.
Before this weekend I’d only done four easy rides since getting back from France and I felt worse after each ride than I had beforehand. After being knocked right around by Donna Done Dirty I took 13 days off the bike, just to make sure I was alright. That’s the longest I’ve gone without riding since last year’s 3 Peaks Challenge, 18 months ago.
This weekend I’d tentatively said I would go along to a couple of rides some mates were planning but when the weekend rolled around I simply didn’t feel up to either of the rides. I hate having to pike on rides, particularly when I’m actually really keen to go along, but I was really worried about making things worse.
In the end I still managed to get out for two rides this weekend, but they were both very short and done at an undeniably pedestrian pace.
On Saturday I headed west along the Western Ring Road trail towards Jacana to check out a bike track climb I keep seeing whenever I drive along the Ring Road. After a couple of detours and a few looks at Google Maps I found the climb, and it’s a nasty one! Strava lists it as 400m at 9.4% and according to the Gradient Level app on my iPhone the path maxes out at 23%. Ouch!
I rode up there a couple of times — very slowly — as I explored the maze of nearby bike tracks, sussing out a nice little loop or two that I can use to train on when I’m back to full strength.
In the end it was an enjoyable little ride. I finished up with about 44km and while I rode it very slowly — an average of 20km/h — it was good to be back on the bike.
Today I headed out for a 25km spin with my partner Sharon which was nice and slow as well but equally enjoyable. Even a short, slow ride is better than sitting at home on the couch.
That said, I am starting to go a little crazy about not being to do longer, hillier rides. I haven’t been out to the Dandenongs since I got back to Australia and I’m really keen to do so. One of the things I’m most looking forward to is exploring some of the many dirt roads in and around the ‘Nongs, having been inspired by this ride by Brendan Edwards.
One of my most immediate goals though is Amy’s Gran Fondo which is coming up on September 15. Last year myself and the eQuipo tranQuilo guys took it pretty seriously, riding the whole thing at a high intensity. I’m not sure I’ll do the same thing this year — I’m more interested in rolling around and enjoying the day than trying to beat my time from last year (which I doubt I’d be able to do).
It’s been a frustrating month or so but as my eQuipo tranQuilo teammate Fletch reminded me the other day, it’s probably not a bad time of year to be off the bike. As impatient as I am, I need to use this time to get back to full health before building my fitness for the warmer months.
In the meantime the weather forecast is looking nice so I’ll see if I’m up to riding in to work a couple days this week … slowly. And if I’m still not feeling right later this week it might be time to cough up and finally see a doctor.
Thanks for reading and have a great week.
Feature image appears courtesy of estherase on Flickr.