March has arrived, which means my mind is turning towards races. The weather is finally getting nice and the snow is melting, meaning I can ride outside reliably, rather than sporadically. However in reality, all the big races are still months away. My first “A” race is not until the end of April, and then the next couple are another month or two after that. Thus while my brain has turned towards racing, my body just isn’t there yet. This has been extremely frustrating.
I made the silly mistake of changing cleats without carefully adjusting them (they were slightly different from my previous ones), and then doing intervals. Because of that I’ve had calf/hamstring pain for a week now. After trying to just “ride through it” and simply re-aggravating it, I decided that a rest is in order. I took two full days off, and then yesterday I rode about 5 miles or so to the bike shop to get my wheels trued. Today everything feels 90%, and I’m going to try to ride for about an hour at an easy pace. It’s supposed to be in the 50’s here next week. Comparing that to the teens for most of February, and suffice to say I can’t wait to get outside.
However, I also can see that patience is paramount. If I push too hard too early I will re-injure my leg. To make matters worse, I have my first race in a week. My mind has been in freak-out mode, telling me I need to be training, but my body has been begging me not to. It took a few days to really accept that I need to rest. If I injured myself badly enough that I couldn’t race next weekend, I don’t know how I would cope mentally.
It’s funny how our brain distorts things. While writing this post I was trying to remember how many days it’d been since I last rode. I was thinking it was 5 days to a week. When I checked Strava I saw that I had actually only taken two days truly off! When we have this burning desire to race, all our brains do is think “TRAIN TRAIN TRAIN”! It can be hard to have perspective and stay patient.