Sunday, April 8, 2012

Black Wizards.

Before we hurl ourselves into another Heavy Metal Monday, can we take some time to stand and applaud Brendan's efforts at the track world cup. I've never read a better account of the more human aspect of bike racing before. Not only that, even someone as track illiterate as me could tell what was going on. Some people won, some lost, and Victoria Pendleton likes sesame snaps. Well, don't we all. Anyway, to business.

The other day, I woke up, and I didn't want to ride my bike. Which, given my current obsession, is pretty odd. I lay there a bit, vaguely aware that my whole body hurt, and thought about my total unwillingness to go ride. Luckily for me, it was my day off, so it didn't really matter, but the sentiment definitely took me by surprise. The next day, yesterday, I felt exactly the same. Walking up stairs really hurt, and beyond about 1pm, I found myself falling asleep despite having had a solid ten hours rest.

Lethargy, soreness, lack of desire are some of the first symptoms of over training. Anyone who knows me knows I have kind of been smashing it the past six months or so (the kilometres part, not the winning part). With the Baw Baw classic only a week away, I figure the best thing I can do is just to rest, and not do anything to hard.

So I did. On Saturday I took the tram for the first time in ages, instead of the bike, to get to my Mum's house. I read my book (I'm halfway through David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest which, despite Brendan's dismissal, is very good), listened to music, and watched Melbourne get about its business. I helped Mum pick the olive tree we have in the back garden which, after about ten years of nothing, has finally started to bear olives.

Sunday I woke up and ate myself into a chocolate coma, only rising to seek out coffee when I felt I would die without it. Then I watched about ten episodes of X Files (the really fun bit is pinpointing the exact moment the producers worked out Scully could be a nerdy science type and a total fox at the same's about halfway through season two).

It's so easy to get caught up in the 'cult' of cycling. With the blinders of goal oriented training, you can go weeks, or months, without really having what I will call a 'cycling day off'. That doesn't mean necessarily a day where you don't ride your bike (because those days are still defined and shaped by bikes... namely not riding them), but a day where cycling doesn't even come into the equation. Not a rest day but just a day where I didn't happen to ride my bike. A day undefined by physical structure.

That's what I did this weekend, and it was really enjoyable. As comforting as it is to go to sleep totally wrecked after a solid five hours on the bike, it's also quite nice to be able to sit in bed and read without nodding off within two minutes. You can get a lot of shit done when you aren't tired all the time.

Today I went out with mates to ride the Baw Baw race course. I was still sore and tired, which has me a little worried, but it was so cold and rainy, it might just have been that weather that had my legs cramping up within 10km. Afterwards we found a pub that I swear to god was the same pub from Lord of the Rings, where the four hobbits meet Aragorn. Normally that would freak me out, but given how cold it was outside, and how warm it was inside, I was happy to roll with the hobbits.

How is this related to metal you ask? Well it isn't really, but Jeremy and I did blast Emperor, as we drove through the forest, the rain and fog rolling in from the hills.

Days off, olive picking, not bike riding, Emperor, chilling the fuck out. Good Easter break.

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