36 minutes and 40 seconds - my total ride time today. An unspectacular statistic if ever there was one, especially as I was trying my best to just pootle along.
Today though was my first time on a bike in exactly 1 month. 1 month of enforced lay off after finally realising that doing any sort of training with a chest infection was counter productive and that total rest was needed. It's been very hard trying to suppress the urge to train that's been niggling away inside me. That drive that makes you want to train to race to compete to ride as fast as possible.
Antibiotics helped clear up the chest infection but unfortunately i've slipped back into the way I felt through most of 2009 - run down, swollen glands and tight throat, a year pretty much spent off the bike.
So, i'm having to very much rejig my goals for 2010. Originally i'd planned to build my fitness and strength gradually through the spring and summer with several road races and crits plus a few mtb events thrown in, ready to compete in a full cross season (my main aim) including the National Trophies.
Now, the main aim is simply to get healthy again. Having felt better by last November, I know I can do it but instead of planning interval sessions, endurance rides and thinking about watts and lactic thresholds, my training is going to consist of lots of rest, good sleep, eating well, neovite, seeking out some alternative therapies and a very gradual return to riding.
If things go well i'd love to take to the start of the Goatee of Filth (albeit hiding at the back and looking for shortcuts) then gradually start training from there, to be in shape to ride a full Scottish cross series. Before then any racing will be an absolute bonus. Sorry to be letting the VCM side down for a second year running! Ros is convinced that i'll come back stronger than ever. That's an aim but not for this year at least.
Today though I felt great. The pedals may not having been turning in anything like perfect circles, my rear tub lost a fair bit of air and it was all over far too soon but the sun was out, I got to dance a little on the pedals, skitter down muddy singletrack and most importantly, feel like a bike rider again.