At the start of this year, after a very long arduous battle to get in as many miles as I could, I promised myself that I would be taking it easier this year. Less commutes by bike, and no pressure, that was the plan. Enjoy cycling more, beat myself up less.
Needless to say, after a 31 day streak of rides through January, I was already off track, and went further by committing to a 12 week "Build Me Up" training program on Zwift.
Fast forward six weeks, and here we are, Week 7. First session of the week done, another five session week in store, and I felt it already, on what should have been one of the easier sessions. It is now that I find myself questioning my reasoning for doing this, and also wondering if I should continue. I started back running in January, and it felt good to be running again. I had already planned to do a lot more running this year, however now I just don't have the energy to run AND continue with the training program.
I think if I am honest, one of the biggest things that is bugging me is the lack of progress with my weight loss. Having gained some extra weight towards the end of last year, I would really like to drop a bit of it, mainly for health reasons, but I won't deny the idea of easier climbing, and a higher w/kg appeals to me too. Right now, even though I am chucking thousands of calories at workouts, the progress is lacking. Partially due to diet, which I am trying to change from today. However I know when running, the weight loss is more obvious.
With six weeks to go, I am just over the half way point in the program, with some genuine killer sessions ahead of me. The ego within wants nothing more than to smash them out, and achieve what I set out to. The voices within are questioning why this is coming at the expense of cycling commutes to work. With the crappy weather last week it was easy to justify, bit with warmer, calmer days now, I am questioning why I am driving to work. It's miserable!
For the sake of my mental health, and I mean this 100% seriously here, I NEED to get back to commuting to work on the bike. Fresh air, no traffic jams, and I am now also wondering if the tension in my left leg is more from driving now (clutch) than after effects of training. Question is, can I find it in me to commute AND train for the next six weeks? Maybe on easier weeks I can get in a cheeky run, but can I plan my days well enough to train, rest, eat, recover and commute each morning? Obviously on rest days I could either have a gentle commute, or just rest from riding all together. It's all so complex!
With everything else that is going on right now, with mum and trying to get her into a nursing home, the house sale, it is all getting a bit much for my tiny mind. So I wonder if the release from the stress (and cost) of the car commute would do some good here. Only one way to tell really I guess, and that is to get stuck in, and get commuting on the bike.
Dig man, dig, find that mental and physical strength to ride in, you know it makes sense.
Right, how about this, I will do my best to get up a bit earlier, train sooner, so I can rest enough to have the strength to ride to and from work. Starting tomorrow! It is a shorter training week next week, so I can recover a bit there. Then at the end of Week 8 (next week) I can re-assess, and see how I am doing mentally and physically.
With London to Brighton next month, and London to Amsterdam at the end of June, I need to make sure both body and mind are up to the challenges.