Coping with Time off the Bike

Normally, if I spend more than a few days without riding, I get restless, irritable, and eventually I just have to get out there (I’m typically sent away by my wife, who’s had enough by this stage!)

This year, I was just getting to the end of my recovery period after this year’s Marmotte (soon to be written up as a blog entry – only 3 1/2 months late!) when it was full steam ahead with DIY.  The construction company handed over our mostly completed house mid July – not finished, but as they were on the brink of liquidation we were forced to get out of the contract with them as quickly as possible (we made it just in time). As our first customers were due to arrive at the end of August, there was a lot of work left to be done, and – it hurts just to write this – no time for cycling.

The first week was the worst – but it was made easier by the fact that I was really busy, plus actually quite tired at the end of each day (I’m not used to manual labour if it involves more than just moving your legs up and down!).  I still had a few twitchy moments, but the nagging voice at the back of my head, which usually says, “you’re losing fitness – everyone else will be out there training”,  was now telling me, “you’ll never get the house ready for the end of August…..”.

I did manage to spend a little time on the bike – but this was just riding from our rental house to the B&B and back a few times a day.  Only 2 km, but I made sure that each one was a VO2 max interval!  I’m sure the locals wondered why the hell the strange guy with paint / dust / dirt all over his clothes was rushing forwards and backwards 4 times a day on his bike.

Eventually, we moved into the new house, and I didn’t have any chance at all to get out.  The need to ride my bike slowly faded and (I’m ashamed to say) that 3 1/2 months on I’ve got the opposite problem – a lack of motivation.  The weather doesn’t help (it’s cold and wet out there), but soon it will be winter – and this is what will hopefully save me.  The threat of an enforced 2 – 3 months of turbo trainer when there is snow on the ground is more than enough to remind me that I should get out as soon as I can and make the most of the great outdoors again!

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