The Open Road

The other day I wrote with zeal about the thrill of riding along trails surrounded by the birds and the bees. Today, I’m all about the road bike… I went out for a great ride today. Hot but not too hot. Windy but not too windy. A nice and steady 90 minute ride on the program with some tempo intervals to open up the legs. A perfect way to spend my Thursday morning.

Today was one of those rides where I just felt super comfortable on the bike. The heat and the wind were merely blips on the scale of satisfaction. It was just a feeling of pure relief to be out riding and looking at the blue sky. My legs felt a bit heavy at the start but this was to be expected after a rest day yesterday that really was spent walking in the heat of the mid-day. Soon enough my legs opened up and I really felt like the power numbers were achieved with little to no effort (yes, I calibrated my SRM…). Really it was just one of those days.

Suppose these feelings have to do with where I’m at in my training cycle and how my body is doing these days. I’m nearing the end of my “base”‘ phase so I’m well-adjusted to long days in the saddle and tempo efforts. I look forward to long steady rides that introduce a dull ache into my quads and lungs. My body is responding fairly well but I do have to admit that I’m experiencing an ulcerative colitis flare right now. Nothing too crazy but just enough to force me to rest a bit more and to have to change my diet in an effort to bring things back as they should be. This is probably why I so thoroughly enjoyed my ride today. I knew that all I had to do was “get on the bike” – once I’m on the bike, my insides settle down and I’m able to relax and focus on the ride. Yes, there are cramps and other unpleasant symptoms but by and large when I’m riding, I feel free of these for the time being.

Such was my ride today and probably will be for the next few weeks. Relishing the freedom the bike gives me from the day-to-day routine and my health issues. I like to believe that I’m not alone in this – everyone has something. It is how you deal with your something that makes the difference.

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