Monday, 16 November 2015

Back on the bike

As I said at the beginning of October, in my attempt to see how strong my legs were after the ride, I damaged my thigh. This led to me having pains when walking for the next week. I tried to go cycling the next weekend but it still hurt, so I have myself a break from cycling. I was busy at weekends, so really it was just not going out after work.

My first free weekend was at the start of November and so I decided, having received my new wheels (subject of another post), it was time to go out and try to get back to fitness.

The first ride was cut short by rain (I couldn't see where I was going) and the second wasn't as long as I would have liked as it gets dark early now and I haven't sorted out my lights so that I can do a long ride (another subject of a later post).

The next day I did manage a longer, but I decided not to push it too much and only do 75 miles. I would have liked to go considerably further but I didn't think it would be a good idea after an injury.

I've been out a couple of nights after work but they are shorter than I would like but at least I'm back on my bike.

Friday, 16 October 2015

So, what next?

I have been asked quite a few times what I’ll do next and I normally answer that I’m not sure. I have a couple of ideas but they are dependent on maintaining or improving my level of fitness.  They are also more long term aims, two, three or four years away. People who know me and have been frustrated by my inability to plan ahead might be surprised by that, but they are more aims which can easily fall by the wayside.

Anyway, one aim is to be able to be able to go further in a day. That is both getting a faster average speed but also being able to cycle for longer periods of time (while taking shorter and less frequent breaks).

With that in mind, on my first Saturday back in Southampton I went for a long ride to see what my level of fitness was and whether my legs had recovered.

While training, the furthest that I had cycled was 138.5 miles (I hadn’t planned to go that far, I was aiming for about 130 miles but I was out for so long that the batteries in my Garmin ran out and I didn’t want to check my phone as the battery was running low, so I just rode until I thought that I’d be over 130 miles), after that I stopped going for distance as I didn’t want to damage my legs and just tried to regularly do over 100 miles. My aim on Saturday was therefore to go over 138.5 miles and see what happened.

To me it was quite successful in some respects but not in one major respect. I managed 161.5 miles and my average speed was higher than I had been managing on my 100 mile rides (it was higher than I managed in some of my evening 42 mile rides). I therefore knew that I do longer rides and my legs are getting faster when doing that. There are two reasons why I stopped at that distance; firstly is that I was running out of light (I was out for ten and a half hours) and secondly, I damaged my right leg.

When out cycling I quite often get niggles, slight pains here and there (in my right foot seems the most common) and so having a slight pain in my leg didn’t worry me. It felt muscular and so I thought that I could continue cycling and work away any tenseness, unfortunately I was wrong.

I’m not quite sure what it is that I’ve damaged, it’s at the top of my right calf, on the inside of the knee. There was slight pain when walking and more when going upstairs.  I’ve been rubbing Deep Heat in to help it and wearing a elasticated bandage around it.

By the next Saturday I thought that it was feeling better and so tried a short ride but it didn’t feel right. I tried again on Sunday (I’m missing cycling) in the hope that the exercising would help it, but it didn’t. So I’m back to wearing the bandage and massaging it. I’m away this weekend and next, so I might give it until the start of November to heal.

It’s really annoying, although it sometimes felt like a chore to go out every night after work, I had thought that I would still try to go out a couple of nights a week and I am missing it. It’s also annoying that I’m not going to be able to maintain the level of fitness that I had but it’s better to let it heal and regain the fitness than to overtrain, do more damage and never be able to get to that level again.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

R is for Recovery

I keep being asked how I am and how I’m recovering. The answer is that I’m fine and don’t appear to have any aches and pains but I thought that I wouldn’t really be able to see how I am until I went for a ride, which I hadn’t been able to do.

Yesterday I went out on my bike for the first time since Friday at Land’s End. I had planned to do a 27 mile route but by the time I should have turned back, I was going faster than I expected and so decided to carry on (I think that the amount of cake that I’ve had this transmission week might have helped with the energy levels).

I did the 42 mile route which I had been doing in my training and completed it faster than I have before. I thought that I had become slower over the three weeks and so I’m pleased that, having given my legs four days off, I’m back to where I was in terms of speed.

I was pushing more than I had been over the three weeks and so my legs were more tired last night than they were having done double the distance over the last few weeks. They also didn’t feel quite right when walking up the stairs but this morning they were fine.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

And today I’ve come into work and been given another cake and a real gold cardboard medal!

I have very kind friends (and a lot of cake)

Monday, 28 September 2015

I went into work today to find that my desk had been decorated, which hadn’t expected. Later I was presented with a cake, and very tasty it was too.

Today the total donations went over £2,000 (excluding Gift Aid of over £400), so thank you to everyone who has donated.