I can’t sleep. Back to the old routine of super intense physical effort, pain, battle of will, endorphins, the rush that no drug can ever match. And the fear! I’m not used to it. Full tilt in a line at 45 kph the risk of toughing a wheel is immense. Don’t get dropped, don’t get dropped don’t get dropped. That mantra kept repeating itself over and over. The gap kept growing and I began praying the elastic would snap, I’d capitulate and ease up but I it didn’t I could just stay in touch. That is such a difficult place to be. Not strong enough to be in the group but still being lured with a chance. No man’s land is where pain is at its worst. And when I get back home, I’m buzzing, I can’t sleep.
There was a time when I’d enjoy the freedom to roam, drop to the back, race to the front, set the pace. But that was a while ago. I seem to have got older. Funny thing is that I started to believe that with age your recovery is slower so to keep in condition you ride less. No guilt! That is the way to stay in shape, just ease up and do less rides. It might seem the easy option but there is no satisfaction. I haven’t ridden much recently. I had a good excuse, a wrecked body. My scapula was broken, both hands smashed up and the shoulder soft tissue really traumatised. It has been a painful and slow rehabilitation but now I’m recovered. I want to get the feeling that you can only get when pulling at the front. Nothing beats flicking an elbow and no one comes through. Yes!! Time to get back on it.
Of course many will follow a training program, get a coach – it does work – but at the end of the day you just need to ride. Ride and push your limits. You need to ride out of your comfort zone. I don’t mean hard but truly where your mind and body don’t want to go. That’s Tuesdays where there is only one rule: Rule Five!