Recovery spin on Sunday after the race was slow, active recovery on Monday was relaxing, a short run on Tuesday felt great, the day off on Wednesday was even better. I wasn't sore anymore and was confident that I'd feel somewhat fresh for my first "real" ride back on Thursday. OUCH.
But that didn't phase to bother me or slow me down. The sun was out, the sky was blue, life was great. We had about 8 total riders; when it was my turn to pull through with whomever was next to me, I kept riding at the front for 3 rotations, into a headwind. The person next to me would peel off and I'd just…keep going. It's like I was possessed or something because my quads were burning so bad...but I wouldn't let up. Who knows, maybe I was angry, but I was on a mission that I really didn't know about at the time. We ended up with 50 miles for the day. Later that day, as I was walking down a flight of stairs, I felt the fatigue running down my quads and calves. I was hurtin' and I loved it.
Friday, another gorgeous day, I was just shy of 50 miles. The ride was more of a conservative pace, yet my legs felt pretty fatigued from Thursday's shock to the engine. Saturday was a great ride, only because the weather was fantastic. I think my dirty bike had a lot to do with it because I hadn't cleaned it in quite some time, but I felt slow, yet again. There were some short "climbs" where I felt I could've walked up quicker, but it was nice out and that's all that mattered to me at the time. 77 miles. Saturday afternoon I cleaned my bike...shiny and no more chain "gook." Quads, tired and fried.
Sunday was a totally different day. It was D-Day. Derby Day. Everyone that rides a bike in the Lehigh Valley knows about the derby. If you don't, you're not a cyclist. It's not an insult, it's just plain facts. Everyone that does the ride every Sunday, it's practically a religion to them. Instead of going to church, they do the derby. In fact, I haven't been to church in…eh, it's been too long.
The Fleetwood Derby is one of the best training rides around the Lehigh Valley, if not the best (I'm going back and forth with Thursday Night Worlds). Anyway, it always seems to have something going on. Someone went down, someone caused a big crash, people were riding on the left side of the yellow lines, a few went from the gun so it didn't count, the pace was freakishly fast, the crosswinds sucked today, it was a gutter wind day, we would've caught that group if we hadn't hit a red light,…whatever it is, it's always a good time.
Going into Sunday, my quads were pretty trashed. You know when you're fatigued, and when you flex your quads you get that burning sensation? Yea, you know what I'm talking about. As I was riding out to the velo, I kept thinking in the back of my mind…"Am I going to make it today?" The ride turned out to be one of the easier ones (when you make the most of the derby, it's never easy) of the season…more steady than erratic. My legs hurt at times, but I wasn't gasping for air. It turned out to be a great ride (I think a clean bike helped) and I just kept on riding because the sun was out...65 miles. Sub-30mi easy spin on Monday…I just couldn't let the day go by without enjoying yet another nice day.
And so I thought about it. I rode 240 hard miles within 4 days. What made most of the miles hard was that I kept riding more when my legs were tired and simply shot. I should've listened to my body, I guess. Yea, but it wasn't your ordinary week. It's late November, the sun was out, and the temps were in the low to mid-60's. Crazy! Athletes know the rule of thumb, to listen to your body when you're feeling rundown, tired, and in need of recovery. However, there was an exception to this "rule." I wasn't listening this time around…what can I say, I'm stubborn. But let's face it, we all know what's going to punch us in the face in the upcoming months.