As a motivated rider who wants to go faster and further, I have found that pain is something I am going to have to deal with regularly, especially since I am approaching 50 and didn’t exercise for around 15 years.
Pain. We all hate it because our bodies have been designed to use it as a warning system that can’t be ignored.
Achievement. The opposite to pain because getting results is going to require pain before, during and after the event.
Injury. This is the type of pain that no one wants. It’s the pain that stops us going forward, that affects fitness, that interrupts plans, and worst of all could be career ending.
Pain is what I am feeling now. I was having a good week. Rode some hills, got some PR’s on Strava and was ready for a long distance week, but my foot and lower leg are sore. So sore I grounded myself for the weekend and possibly longer.
Maybe I twisted it in the cleat or they were locked too tight, maybe I changed my peddle stroke, maybe my shoes were too tight, maybe I was too hard on the hills, maybe I didn’t get the muscles warmed before pushing hard, maybe, maybe, maybe…. I did something but I’m not sure.
Since last March when I started riding, growth has been good and fast but as expected, it started to flatten out. I have overcome a couple of colds and flu, fought through a few sore muscles but since Christmas I had a chest flu that lasted 3-4 weeks and now this.
It’s so damn frustrating. I want to get out there. I want to do a 130km ride again, I want to go further, I want to hit a 300km week.
I want to listen to my body. I have to listen to my body.
This is the most important lesson. I rode on Friday and had doubts about my legs and now I am paying for it and made it worse, and even while I sit here, I still argue with myself about if I could possibly go for a ride.
Listen to your body. I have been told this so many times by different people and it’s true. Yes, you can push the limits and test yourself but some times, you are going to pay.
Just like my last post about managing risk and how it relates to safety, this time the safety is that of your own muscles and body. And again, it requires a balance.
As a motivator for those times when you hurt because of your ride, there was a great quote from Richie Porte’s and Cameron Wurf’s recent 400km epic one day ride.
“If we always do what we’ve always done, we’ll always get what we’ve always gotten!”
So get out there, be better than your best, manage those pain demons and be prepared to negotiate with yourself about getting up early, riding the hills of hurt, when to rest and stop when the body screams eeeeoooowwwww!
[Note: I was ready to post this a month ago thinking my pain would last a week. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been a quick fix and get out there again….. so frustrated!]