It’s easy an mistake to make thinking that stacking up the miles will have a great benefit but it’s all too easy to overdo it and miss out on adequate recovery time.
Sunday’s ride i just wanted to be alone, i’m not exactly sure why – i just did.
I have’t been feeling great (mind and physically) and i think i just needed to be alone and to ride at my own pace with not being pressured to chase anyone due to how i’m feeling.
I’ve been going at it hard in recent weeks with a couple of hundred milers thrown in for good measure. Before this ride i was on 4800 miles for the year, bearing in mind my target was 5000 for the year. With this being said i’ve not given my self any sufficient time to recover, it’s close the the point were i’m not enjoying myself. Each ride feels like a chore from now on, i’m feeling weaker and weaker and my average speed is getting slower and slower and i simply don’t have the motivation or desire to get in the saddle anymore.
I think there is a viscous circle going on here. As i’m riding slower and not feeling strong, i’m going out to rectify that by training harder when i think all my body wants is some rest and that i’m just making things worse.
I’m going to take things easy from now until i get the 5000th mile and then thats when the much needed rest starts. No cycling for at least a week and that’s when the winter training will start.
Usually when i’m out i’ll have my Garmin in front of me and i’ll use this to set an average speed to work for but that was one thing i didn’t want either so i placed thus underneath my stem facing the floor so it was out of my sight, the ride was purely based on what felt comfortable.
I didn’t set a route either. I had a destination in mind out into Cheshire for a cafe stop at Walk Mill but no real plan on what way to go, literally which way the wind took me.
I know a lot of it was country roads which was partly the reason of choice simply because its out the way and i wanted to just be isolated from everything.
Crisp Autumn mornings are my favourite time to ride. It’s not too warm nor too cold, just a light jacket keeps you warm enough. Everything is calm and then you have the roads covered in brown leaves which makes it all the more better for some reason.
My first couple of miles into these roads i found a little burst of motivation. I forgot about the fatigue in my legs, the numbness in my head and just pedaled it out for a couple of miles. This was short lived but it was a great feeling.
I arrived at the cafe for cake and coffee and completely zoned out.
I was feeling tired at this point, knowing i was about 40 miles from home too so i purchased a flap jack incase things went south. I continued my ride and was planning to head into Chester city centre and along the canal to the cycle path but i took the long way there to take in the last of the quiet lines before having to deal with people in a busy centre.
As i started the cycle path i was just fed up, i wanted to throw in the towel (as well as my bike) and get the train home but the winning mentality side of me was winning at this point and i carried on. At this point, 30 miles from home i just got my head down and focused on getting home trying to think of the way home with the most downhill.
I wasn’t necessarily hungry but i reached for that flap jack mentioned earlier to help with my morale and to give me some energy to see me home. I knew this was going to be a long 2 hours.
When you are back on the Wirral you are instantly greeted with this one hill, on a good day it’s nothing but after 50 miles, drained of everything and wanting to go home it feels along the lines of Sa Calobra, accept you’re not on the most stunning piece of road, in the sun or in Mallorca.
From the top though, it does get better! There’s a long sweeping downhill section were you can channel your inner pro getting into an aero tuck and powering your way down and when you have gravity on your side, this leads to some good fun. The rest is pretty boring though as i encounter it on every single ride but at least i know just how far i am from home.
I get within the last 2 miles from home and i was getting happier at every landmark i knew which meant i was closer to home and this spurred me on a little although i had nothing in the tank to increase my speed it was a bimble to the front door, at last.
This was my longest solo ride, it cleared my head and i felt better for it. But now i’m looking to get the last 100 miles in before i can rest…and i can’t bloody wait.
The image is not taken from this ride, sadly, but i find it fits this ride. Alone, starring into nothing but the countryside.