Last week I finally emerged back into the world of the living, although I admit it was a bit of a tough transition. After 3.5 weeks off from work between planned vacation and then being sick, I came back to an unfinished major project and a very compressed timeline. It was already a bit behind before break due to the development work taking longer than expected, but I thought that the two weeks that I had after break would be enough to make up the time on my part of the project. Cut that down to one week due to my being sick, and what I’ll be bringing to the users this afternoon is not as bulletproof as I had hoped, but still pretty good, I think. The main thing lacking is that I didn’t have enough quality assurance time to provide irrefutable proof of its bulletproofness, which is an extra bit of confidence that I would have liked to have had.
Anyway, I only touch on the boring details of worky stuff to provide context for what was going on as I tried to pull myself from the freedom of physical incapacity to the realm of, “Okay, you’re not *actually* sick anymore, and Death March is eight weeks away, so you need to get moving.” The problem, it seemed, was that the “kill it with fire” round of antibiotics that the doctor had prescribed on my third visit had also killed the fire in my belly that was burning hot when I returned from our holiday travels. I was suffering the effects of giving into physical incapacity lingered beyond my actual incapacitation. Admittedly, I was still very tired, very stressed, and still had a injured rib muscle, but I also realized that there is a time when one’s lack of energy is more from inertia than from actually being sick.
I made it to the gym for a short, light weight training session on Monday, but getting through the rest of the week proved to be enough of a challenge on its own. So it wasn’t until the weekend that I decided I absolutely must start physically moving forward again, in one capacity or another. My much-belated first bike ride of 2015 was unimpressive, but it served its purpose of getting me moving again. Since the temperature was predicted to max out in the high 20’s on Saturday, but the amount of accumulated snow wasn’t too bad, we rode our singlespeeds out to the little 2.5 mile, in-town mountain bike trail and did a couple of laps there. Riding a rigid singlespeed on winter-condition trails (combo of snow, leaf piles, and frozen ruts), even flat ones, might not be the best choice when you’re already feeling weak and out of shape, but it was a good way to get us out the door in such cold temperatures.
I had wanted to get back to endurance riding on Sunday, but after my experience on Saturday, I conceded that “endurance” was going to have to be really relative for a little while. I decided that 20-25 was probably as far as I should push it my first time back on the road. The first five miles felt absolutely terrible, with me slumped over my bars mentally repeating, “Pedal, pedal, pedal.” After that, I guess I warmed up a bit and was able to comfortably spin through the rest of the ride at a decent pace without pushing too hard. My sit bones were about done at the end of 21 miles, so I guess the conservative approach was best. It’s just annoying to be so far off from where I wanted to be at this point of the year.
So the next few weeks I’ll just keep trying to rebuild what I can before Death March. I’m admittedly less stoked than I was a few weeks ago, knowing that our chances of actually being competitive have rapidly gone downhill. I guess eight weeks is still enough time to see some improvements, and if nothing else, it will be a good investment in my return to mountain bike racing later in the spring.