Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Pushing it... (Part 1, 2 & 3)

It’s a Wednesday morning and I awake from yet another night’s broken sleep, never great when you suffer from Chronic Fatigue.  I look over at the cabinet and I see some of my cycling stuff left out for a wee adventure I signed up for yesterday with a mate, a wave of excitement hits me. I remember my bike needs a little preparation and so I go down stairs. Last night it hit me my tyres need pumped up and my floor pump is on loan.  So after I eat breakfast I grab the dog and walk over to my mate’s house to lift the pump.   On my return as I enter our garage I notice that the wrong rear wheel is on the bike for today’s wee jaunt and so that will need changed to.

Now that I have sorted the bike my mind moves on to sorting out the rest of my gear.  Is it a mitts or full finger glove day?  Is my Garmin (bike computer) fully charged?  Where on earth did I put my helmet and when was the last time I used/seen those cycling shoes?  Bless us all this is taking a bit of effort!  Swimming with the “Chunky Dunkers” seems so much simpler and a lot less effort.

My subtle new cycling top...
It’s an hour before I hit the road and I’m feeling excited but fatigued already and a little nervous.  The thought of going for a swim as well today now feels frustratingly well out of my grasp. I remind myself however of how far I have come over the last six weeks.  My progress has been immense and I can’t wait to share it with my Doctor tomorrow. Keep your eyes peeled for part 2 - a post ride analysis lol of sorts. 

Part Two
My stinking feet have always been a problem but not just when cycling, generally. If they aren’t blistering, there is a nail infection.  If I haven’t hurt some sort of tissue or other within them my arch has dropped.  Worse than all of the aforementioned but my feet are cold, permanently cold.  So you can imagine the gentle panic that arose when 10 minutes before departure I couldn’t find my favourite pair of warm cycling socks.

Socks found I opened the front door and said hello to my neighbour who had the kind of smile on her you knew she was thinking, “who is Mr Michelin here all dressed up in lycra?”.  Maybe she wasn’t but to be fair if the roles were reversed it’s exactly the kind of thought I’d be having lol.

As I turned on my computer and threw my leg over the bike things felt good, I like cycling.  As I headed out onto the main road I was delighted to see the sun was keeping me company. Chuffed with my correct clothing decisions for the weather I felt all smug until I got to Ballyvester.  There my quads went on fire.  Nothing unusual but I had forgotten how long they take to loosen and warm up.  I hit Millisle and my lungs were burning and my breathing heavy and with that I was delighted to stop and wait for Graham to appear for the return leg home.

 For someone who used to do 60-80 mile a week, a ride of 6 miles seems a bit useless but now having done 3 of the 6 I knew I had judged it wisely.  I constantly have to remind myself that I’m in recovery and that this length of ride is an achievement.  This level of fitness is temporary and even if it’s more long term than I would wish it’s still a cool thing to be out on your bike.  Relax and enjoy it!

Graham arrived on a smoking hot new bike and as I drooled over it we set off.  Graham set the pace and I have to say picked it wisely.  The wind was in our face and whilst that’s always a challenge it was good to have company to share it with.  I was thankful of the pace because truth be told my engine was performing at its max.  A pace not enough to burst me in the moment but should I have wanted to go further it no doubt would have.  Graham turned into his street and shortly afterwards I was at my front door. 

It was all over way to quickly but the experience has left me hungry for more.  Perhaps Peter the Cyclist isn’t dead just yet.  Talk soon…

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