For the last 10 days I've been feeling pretty rotten as I've been struck down with my second proper chest cold of the winter. For me a chest cold is the worst case scenario of winter riding. You can be going along quite nicely getting in base training, riding your turbo or whatever – but riding regularly and you hit one of these and it blows you to pieces for anything up to 3-4 weeks.
I always think if you can get over one in a fortnight you're doing very well. Unlike snow and ice, which you can still overcome by using your turbo, a chest cold is a down tools completely situation, especially once you start coughing up gunk.
For me the last time I was properly on my bike was a turbo session on Saturday February the 4th (when it was -1c in my garage when I started my session wearing my winter jacket!). By the following Tuesday I was starting to feel pretty rough – rough enough not consider it a wise move to do further hour on the Turbo and by last weekend I was feeling really rotten with a hacking cough. I still have the cough today, but I'm starting to feel progressively better. Unless there is a miracle cure, I can't imagine being ready to ride this weekend though (which is a shame) but hopefully next week will be my last week before I'm back riding.
It's the last week of a cold that's the hardest mentally for me. You're already completely annoyed (well I am anyway) as your training plans have gone out the window and the good work you've been doing ebbs away. I've caught up on my Rouleur Magazines which is nice and I'm getting to the point where I'll be well enough that I'll start to feel I might be able to get away with a 50-60km ride as Iong as I don't ride too hard. It's this kind of ride that can put you back again, where exercising patience is the difficult but right thing to do.
Hopefully I'll manage to stay away from one of these tempting rides and finish my recovery completely before I get out again.
The especially frustrating footnote is that this has knocked a decent sized hole in the form I was working to build for the Puncheur on the first weekend of March. That's now looking a harder ride than I was hoping for again but I'm still definitely doing it and I'll just have to suffer.