How Far We’ve Come…

My week was heavily front-loaded with workouts. Partly because social plans negated working out tonight, Friday, but also because weekends just allow for more time training.

After two bike-fittings last Saturday, I headed out to scout the Milton duathlon course, admittedly ignoring the bike fitter’s advice that I take it easy and avoid the escarpment for now. Sunday brought a short-but-intense brick – 4/32/1 – my first fully outdoor brick since the Fall. On Monday, after physio, a hard skate at hockey, followed Tuesday morning with my annual birthday run — just 6km, but including Guelph’s notorious 100 steps and some steep hills.

By Wednesday, my legs were pretty happy to have an easy day, with just a strength and core workout and lots of physio exercises and foam rolling.

All of this detail is leading to last night, Thursday evening.

With a shiny new Tri bike sitting in my dining room (sorry, honey, but it is temporary, I promise), I’ve been itching to get out and start riding aero. Since I want to start with some non-city routes (the shifters and brakes are a long way apart on an aero bike!) I had thought I might load it in the SUV to go out for a ride after work. Alas, weather reports were gloomy and I needed to be the one to head home after work to free the dog and his bladder from captivity.

So sure enough, I drove home from work in sunshine, cursing my choice to skip bringing the bike. No matter, I thought, I’d head out for a ride from home. Alas, as soon as I parked and went in the house, the dark clouds appeared, looming over the south end of Guelph. I threw dinner together and pondered putting a bike on the trainer, or heading to the fitness club for a dreadmill session. Blech. Having gotten back outdoors in the past few weeks, the last thing I feel like doing is an indoor session.

When the clouds passed back over, it was about 7:15pm. Sunset was pegged for 8:25pm, leaving me just enough time to grab my gear, pump up the road bike tires, and hit the road. Aero bike could wait for Saturday, when I will load it up into the car and head out to the quieter roads .

So back to the front-loaded week.

I’m working back up to full training volume, now that the intensity is back, so I’m wary of over-taxing my poor SI joint and IT band. Between the physiotherapist, my new RMT, and the bike fitter, I’ve been told quite clearly to be careful. So yesterday’s workout was supposed to be just 40 minutes or so, capping my week at a decent amount of training and cross-training, with no garbage miles at all.

The route I chose for my last-minute sunset-beater ride is my go-to for short cycling portions of a brick — it can flex from 20 to 25km with strategic turns, and though it’s largely within city limits, it allows for some good hard time in the drops, thanks to lesser-travelled streets, fresh pavement, and great bike lanes with a minimum of traffic lights. By the time I hit the road, I had about 45 minutes ’til the sun went down.

And yes, I made it. With plenty to spare.

I’m not bound for an overall podium spot, not dreaming of elite status. But for a guy who used to be 70 pounds fatter, and a whole lot lazier, a quick, fast ride after dinner on a Thursday night at 28km/hour feels like something to celebrate. Especially with wooden legs from a good hard week of training.

This weekend, we finally go aero. Can’t. Hardly. Wait.

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