Did you notice how warm it wasn't this weekend? I cycled to training and back on both saturday and sunday. Saturday was OK. I got to the boathouse, got out the scull, did my 12k, and got home just as the Pirate was waking up. It did take him a solid 15 minutes of massaging my ass to warm it up and bring it back to life, but overall I felt fine. (Alright, fine; after a 15-minute ass massage i was a lot better than "fine." But i did genuinely need it -- my ass was ice to the touch!)
Sunday was a different story. The smashed potatoes I had for breakfast didn't last me the day, and I committed the dual fatal errors of A) underestimating how many calories my body would use up just keeping warm, and B) forgot to pack extra food.
After 9k of hard work (no paddling about, me) I was ravenous, and I knew I had a long, hard bike ride to get home. Oh, and fatal error 3: no cell phone to call for a rescue! So i hauled off the water early and got on Ye Olde Velocipede and headed back to the Pirate's: 15 miles and most of it uphill, including a 2-mile constant uphill stretch. (And keep in mind it was only 1 degree out.)
By the time I got to the bottom of the A4 and I had 3 possible routes. Normally I take the most safe route, traffic-wise, but that also happens to be both the longest and most difficult. It includes extra hills and a super-long climb that is hell, but the road surface is in much better repair, there are no lorries, it's straighter so what few cars there are go well around me, and the scenery is spectacular in places.
Normally when I reach the point at which I decide on a route I think, "Which way is safest?" Sunday when I left the boathouse I thought, "Which way is easiest?"
By the time I reached the place where I had to make a decision I was so cold and weak I asked myself, "Which way is the best for walking?"
I got off and began pushing my bike up the long hill. At least the sun was shining. But I was trudging. My back hurt so much I was crying and trying to dodge traffic through the tears.** For miles and miles I walked. No, I'm not exaggerating. I walked the last 4 miles.
When I finally reached the topmost bit of the hill and the plateau where the Pirate resides, I tried to get back on the bike to ride the remaining few hundred meters. I swung my right leg up and only succeeded in kicking the rack and knocking the bike over. Brittley I bent over and picked the bike up and tried again, with all my effort. I got my leg up higher, but the movement destabilized me, and without the strenght to control my balance, I fell over.
Yes, I fell over trying to get back on my bike. I was that fatigued. I had been in the cold, freezing temps for 5 hours at that point, and I was done.
I stumbled through the door, and collapsed on the couch. Pirate, in his usual cheerful manner, asked how was training? *perky perky perky* "I'm proper fucked," I feebly explained. Within minutes I was covered in blankets and eating a giant bowl of banana slices in hot custard. Mmm! Goopy, simple sugars! Just the thing. Sadly, the hot water heater in the house wasn't working, so the hot bath I so desperately needed was not on the menu. No problem! Pirate packed me a bag, bundled me into the car, and drove me to his gym, where the showers are awesome.
If that ain't lurve, ladies, gents, dogs, and other collar-wearers, then I durn't know what is.
**I couldn't figure out at the time why my back was in so much pain, but in retrospect I think it was that the muscles that normally support my spine and compensate for the fucked disk were so exhausted that they weren't doing their job, and the disk was compressing without my muscles to help hold everything up.