A fairly lengthy recap of the past two weeks…
Hello once again, faithful readers! I’m very happy to be in a position to resume my daily blog after a two week hiatus. The past couple of weeks have been anything but dull. This morning I’ll go over the major stuff: work, training, health and diet.
My work, which was the primary reason for the two week break from blogging, was about what I expected: very long days sitting at my computer. Some mornings I was up before 3:00 AM, and the latest I slept was 4:00 AM. At the end of the work day I’d typically cook dinner, spend an hour eating and talking with Lisa and then go to right bed. The worst is probably behind me (I really hope I didn’t just jinx myself), but this week is also going to be a bear. I don’t expect 14 hour work days this week, but they’ll definitely not be 8 hour walks in the park, either.
Moving on, let’s talk about my training and general health.
Due to lack of time, getting my daily rides in was difficult, but there were several other unexpected problems that popped up as well. In fact, my 2014 daily riding streak almost came to an end several times over the past two weeks.
Many of my rides were done in the wee hours of the morning with my trusty Gemini Duo LED light, and some of those rides were completed before sunrise. Other days I had to sneak away on my lunch hour with my phone in airplane mode just to get the ride in. Up until this past weekend, I was limited to about an hour each day to ride, so instead of riding far I rode fast. I set some new power output PRs, as well as some new segment PRs.
Then I got sick. The long days combined with the stress really got to me, and my immune system was weak. I was running a fever for a couple of days, and basically felt like hammered dog crap.
On the day I was feeling the worst–Saturday, September 20th–I woke up to a huge pile of work, and was running a fever. I didn’t even feel like sitting at my desk, let alone riding. To make matters worse, I looked outside and saw that it was windy and raining. I thought about a trainer ride, but I had just loaned my trainer wheel to a friend the day prior (with the trainer skewer in it, so I couldn’t even do a trainer ride with my road wheel). I briefly thought about a mountain bike ride, but I didn’t want to drive out to the trails. I just wanted to go back to bed and curl up into a ball.
I thought, “This is it. Today the streak ends.”
As I sat in my chair listening to the wind and rain just outside my window, I thought about 263 rides I’d done to arrive at this juncture, and how close I was to reaching my goal. That snapped me out of it, and before I knew what I was doing I was in my kit and putting my cell phone in a plastic baggie. Lisa shook her head and looked at me like I was insane. She knew better than to try and talk me out of it. I only rode a little over 11 miles that morning, but it was enough to meet my challenge requirements. That was by far the shortest ride I’ve done this year, but it felt like one of the longest. Each pedal stoke of those 11 miles sucked.
But wait, there’s more!
Last Wednesday I’d left my phone in another room, and I heard it ringing. I ran to grab the phone, and I slammed my foot into an office chair, breaking one of my toes. The pain was excruciating, and I rolled around on the floor screaming the vilest profanities in the English language. In fact, some of the things I said are not a part of any known language.
By early evening my entire foot had swelled up so badly that I couldn’t even see any veins. The toe itself was already ripening into a nice purple-black, and moving the toe with my fingers sent shock waves of pain throughout my entire body. “Well”, I thought, “tomorrow’s ride should be interesting.”
The next day the swelling in my foot had gone down a little, but the broken toe looked like something out of a nightmare. I gingerly taped the mangled digit to my big toe, and then carefully put on my cycling shoes. I limped over to my bike, and set off…
The pain, thankfully, was tolerable when I was riding! I’m not going to say it didn’t hurt at all, but it was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. I found that I could not stand and pedal, but as long as I remained in the saddle I was okay. Whew. I wrote the following post-ride note on Strava:
“Broke a toe yesterday afternoon. Luckily evolution gave us nine spares, Johnson & Johnson gave us Duct tape and Velominati gave us Rule #5.”
So, despite my schedule, illness and a broken toe my 2014 riding streak is alive and stands at 272 days. Just three more months to go!
Finally, my diet. My diet over past couple of weeks was, for the most part, extremely clean. I ate my usual healthy fare, and in the same amounts as always. I did consume more alcohol than usual (beer), and I’ll admit that was a direct (and ill-advised) response to the stress.
I probably should have reduced my caloric intake, as my schedule forced me to ride considerably fewer miles than usual (instead of 300 miles per week I rode 133 miles the first week, and 210 miles last week). The reason I didn’t reduce my calories is because when I got sick my body was craving food. In fact, I always felt better after eating a meal, so I listened to my body and ate.
So, between the extra calories in relation to my activity level and the beer, I’m up several pounds this morning. Some of that is water weight, as I had a cheat meal on Saturday and also on Sunday night. This week I’ll return to my usual routine: eating very clean, and abstaining from alcohol until my weekly cheat meal. I’ll take stock of the “damage”, if any, when I do my usual weekly measurements next Sunday.