Pushing it… (Part 1, 2 & 3)

It’s a Wednesday morning and I awake from yet another night’s
broken sleep, never great when you suffer from Chronic Fatigue.  I look over at the cabinet and I see some of my
cycling stuff left out for a wee adventure I signed up for yesterday with a
mate, a wave of excitement hits me. I remember my bike needs a little
preparation and so I go down stairs. Last night it hit me my tyres need pumped
up and my floor pump is on loan.  So
after I eat breakfast I grab the dog and walk over to my mate’s house to lift the
pump.   On my return as I enter our garage
I notice that the wrong rear wheel is on the bike for today’s wee jaunt and so
that will need changed to.
Now that I have sorted the bike my mind moves on to
sorting out the rest of my gear.  Is it a
mitts or full finger glove day?  Is my Garmin
(bike computer) fully charged?  Where on
earth did I put my helmet and when was the last time I used/seen those cycling
shoes?  Bless us all this is taking a bit
of effort!  Swimming with the “Chunky
Dunkers” seems so much simpler and a lot less effort.
My subtle new cycling top…
It’s an hour before I hit the road and I’m feeling excited
but fatigued already and a little nervous. 
The thought of going for a swim as well today now feels frustratingly well
out of my grasp. I remind myself however of how far I have come over the last
six weeks.  My progress has been immense
and I can’t wait to share it with my Doctor tomorrow. Keep your eyes peeled for part 2 – a post ride analysis lol of sorts. 

Part Two

My stinking feet have always been a problem but not just
when cycling, generally. If they aren’t blistering, there is a nail
infection.  If I haven’t hurt some sort
of tissue or other within them my arch has dropped.  Worse than all of the aforementioned but my
feet are cold, permanently cold.  So you
can imagine the gentle panic that arose when 10 minutes before departure I couldn’t
find my favourite pair of warm cycling socks.
Socks found I opened the front door and said hello to my
neighbour who had the kind of smile on her you knew she was thinking, “who is
Mr Michelin here all dressed up in lycra?”. 
Maybe she wasn’t but to be fair if the roles were reversed it’s exactly
the kind of thought I’d be having lol.
As I turned on my computer and threw my leg over the bike
things felt good, I like cycling.  As I
headed out onto the main road I was delighted to see the sun was keeping me
company. Chuffed with my correct clothing decisions for the weather I felt all
smug until I got to Ballyvester.  There my
quads went on fire.  Nothing unusual but
I had forgotten how long they take to loosen and warm up.  I hit Millisle and my lungs were burning and
my breathing heavy and with that I was delighted to stop and wait for Graham to
appear for the return leg home.
 For someone who used to do 60-80 mile a week, a ride of 6
miles seems a bit useless but now having done 3 of the 6 I knew I had judged it
wisely.  I constantly have to remind
myself that I’m in recovery and that this length of ride is an achievement.  This level of fitness is temporary and even
if it’s more long term than I would wish it’s still a cool thing to be out on
your bike.  Relax and enjoy it!
Graham arrived on a smoking hot new bike and as I drooled
over it we set off.  Graham set the pace
and I have to say picked it wisely.  The
wind was in our face and whilst that’s always a challenge it was good to have
company to share it with.  I was thankful
of the pace because truth be told my engine was performing at its max.  A pace not enough to burst me in the moment
but should I have wanted to go further it no doubt would have.  Graham turned into his street and shortly
afterwards I was at my front door. 
It was all over way to quickly but the experience has
left me hungry for more.  Perhaps Peter
the Cyclist isn’t dead just yet.  Talk

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