Monday, May 31, 2010

Enjoying some down time

Yesterday, at 7:30 on a Sunday morning, I was sitting around drinking coffee and watching the Giro on Universal Sports.  To make this more surprising, it was simply a gorgeous morning that followed a similarly beautiful Saturday morning.  After one of our wettest month’s of May on record, the weather was perfect for riding.  Still, there I was drinking coffee, watching TV, and hanging out with Sherry on both days versus putting air in my tires and suiting up to go ride.  And I’m ok with that.

I mentioned in my last post that I needed to take some time to recover.  The 2010 season started strong but then some colds, a small crash, work issues, and a lack of mojo really impacted my form.  I found myself trying to “ride into shape” like someone at the Tour de France.  As a result, I was also starting to feel very fatigued overall. 

It was time to take some time to recover so I decided to take 8 days off and get things restarted on June 1st.  This is turning out to be a great decision.  Taking a little time off the bike had more benefits than I expected.  Of course, I knew the body would recover.  What surprised me a little was how my mind and spirit also rebounded.   

It’s funny how stressful trying to get in rides after work can be.  I typically don’t get off until 6:00 pm, which leaves precious little time for getting in a ride.  My goal is to try and get in an intense 60-75 minute work out before dinner.  If I leave even 15-minutes late the timing is shot.  The days I plan to leave early can actually be even more stressful as I spend the day hoping that nothing gets in the way.

I also took the week off from writing.  Since this blog is about cycling I thought I should take a break from it also.  In fact, my only connection to cycling this week was watching the Giro (I wasn’t going to miss that).  I really enjoy writing and this blog has been a fun creative outlet but every now and then it feels like work.  So taking a break from it also helped my mind relax and think about other things for a while.

How it the break improve my spirit?  Well, I think it was mainly the change in mentality.  Usually, when I’m watching the Giro on a weekend morning I am also trying to calculate how to get a ride in later that day.  This weekend there were no such worries, which allowed me to totally relax and enjoy the race.

What did I do on my short break?  A little bit of everything and nothing.  I started my core exercises and weight training (no leg workouts) again.  I spent the weekend cleaning out the garage and having fun in our garden.  I drank wine for dinner and had waffles and french toast for breakfast.  I read, watched TV, barbequed all kinds of stuff for dinner, and just basically enjoyed living.

I was so relaxed that on Saturday night as I was reading Facebook posts of all the great rides my friends had that day I wasn’t even jealous.  Instead I was thinking about the great day I had just hanging out in the back yard.

However, everything comes to an end sometime and so it goes for my break.  I am actually coming out of it a day early since my friends have put together one of our famous coffee-chat social rides.  It is the perfect ride to check the legs and see how I’m feeling.  And just to be sure that I don’t get caught up in any city limit sign sprints I will be rocking it on the single speed.

After today?  I already have my new plan from Coach Tim that I will start to follow tomorrow so it’s back to the routine.  After all, Levi’s Gran Fondo will be here before you know it and I want to make sure I am ready. 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go put air in my tires.


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