Sunday 6 September 2009

Sunday sloth

Last week was a quiet week as far as mileage goes - just over 140km. I'd prefer to be sitting here telling you that I cracked the ton, but things like rain, work and a puncture deflated that ambition. Sadly, the only way I am going to deliver any more than the bare minimum is to get out the door earlier - and that means avoiding my usual half hour of reading blogs in the morning. I have this bad habit of sitting in this spot with a coffee and ploughing through more than I should. It's not like they won't be there when I get home! I simply have to make the mental adjustment to put off my blog gratification for 12 hours or so. If I leave earlier, I can take one of the longer routes into the office, and that will put a few more turns on the odometer.

Today was supposed to be bike cleaning day, but my parents came over for lunch, and two roast chickens and several bottles of wine later, I couldn't be bothered getting out the degreaser and the scrubbing brush. Being filthy for another week won't do it any harm. All I managed to do was fix the puncture in my spare tube, and even that was a dodgy job. I used the last of the glue in my puncture kit, and it was pretty dried out and scabby. I was so lazy, I didn't even get around to putting a bit more air in the tyres. That can wait until tomorrow. Two chickens and a bottle of bubble will do that to you.

The legs seem to have recovered nicely though. They were feeling horribly ropey and knackered by Friday night. This is my eternal problem - they feel great on Monday morning, so I flog it into work. By Thursday, they are shot. If I had an ounce of sense and a gram of moderation, I'd take it easy for a few days, then blast up and down the bike paths at the end of the week.

One last thing - I have noticed that I rarely feel pain any more. One thing about cycling is that if you are doing it hard, it hurts. It really, really hurts. To be good at it, you need to be able to handle nasty amounts of it. I've always wondered how the great champions put up with it, and then this week, I discovered that I can do a tough ride and hardly even feel it. That's not to say there is no pain - the lungs will be getting ready to implode and the legs will be awash with molten lead, but the brain simply disregards most of it. By the time I get home, all memory of the pain has disappeared. It's like I have worked out a way to shut a great deal of it off.

It only works when I'm on the bike though. I trod on a sliver of glass this morning, and J had to dig it out with a needle. The odd tiny prick in the thick and deadened skin of my foot hurt more than all the riding I did last week. The brain works in very odd ways.

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