In the past two weeks my body and life threw me the biggest curveball that caused me to do something for the first time in two and a half years: not ride a bike for 12 days. It was the longest break I have had since I began riding a bike in May 2012.
It first started with a rest day to regroup for beginning my new job the next day and life as a Monday-thru-Friday-er with normal hours. Then a day or so later I woke up with a severely sore throat and cough and fever (NOT ebola, I swear!) that got progressively worse through the week. The Saturday following all of this I didn’t get out of bed until 4pm, and it was only for a handful of hours of laying on the couch. By this past Tuesday I finally decided to go to the doctor since it had been a week and I didn’t want to deal with bronchitis or anything long lasting and received antibiotics and non-narcotic cough medicine I could actually take at work. I started feeling better, but then I lost all motivation. It was kinda freeing just laying around being lazy and not sweating it out on a bike.
Finally today, day 13 of the “bike strike” I suited up and headed out on the cross bike. And you know what? It didn’t hurt. The legs felt snappy, and my residual cough didn’t act up too bad. Even the 30mph headwinds I had at times really didn’t damper my mood. For the first time in many weeks I was happy to be out on the bike!
My body needed this. I was suppose to take a week or two off after MTB nationals per my coach’s instructions, but I proceeded to continue racing and riding long hours and miles on the road. I threw myself into a mishap of a cross racing season, and quickly started hating anything involving cycling. My brain needed this. Sure, it sucked being sick, especially for the first week and a half of my new job – the irony is I am in infection control to boot – but it all worked out I think. Since I wasn’t being active I had time to sit around and think about what I wanted from cycling and goals for the future. I also refocused what I wanted from cross this year and what races I would do.
Overall, it was good. I was worried I’d suddenly gain a bunch of weight, or wouldn’t be able to pedal a mile without being tired. None of that happened, and I feel refreshed… woohoo! Taking a rest… who would’ve thunk? Too bad it involved getting sick, but if that’s what it took… Tomorrow I head to Laramie for the Rolland Cycling Cyclocross Race. Excited to try some local Wyoming cross, and even more excited I took the pressure off myself to spend a lot of time and money every weekend at USAC races in Colorado.