I’m injured at the moment. Fortunately, it’s not something that has happened to me often but I find it difficult to deal with when it does. Perhaps it’s partly because it is a rare thing.
The biggest challenge is not actually the recovery from the injury although being in pain and not being able to sleep as a result is very tough. The challenge I struggle with most is worrying about not riding and the resulting loss of fitness.
I’ve worked hard so far this year to be fit. I’ve spent 100 hours riding so far this year. As a result I’m fitter than I’ve been for about 18 months and I’ve been really enjoying being in a good place on my bike.
I’ve not ridden at all now since May 12th when I pulled my shoulder muscles getting changed after a ride. It had been an excellent ride too – probably one of the best this year. Pulling clothes over my head I felt myself pull some muscles and they progressively got more and more sore. I’m on painkillers and have been to both a physio and an osteopath and so far – neither seems to have significantly helped fix the problem. Right now, riding my bike is really, really painful due to the position on my road bike which is exactly the most painful place to be with my shoulder. So I’ve had no choice but to stop completely.
I could deal with the first week as a rest week, particularly as I had three full on weeks of riding before that but after that each week off gets more annoying. I’m used to riding, my body and my mind is used to riding. I spend 5-8 hours a week on my bike and both my body and my mind miss this being out on the road and the energy and stresses etc I burn doing it.
I’ve always worked on the rule of thumb that for each week you don’t ride you lose 10% of your fitness. So I’ve lost 20% now and am not particularly any more recovered than when I hurt myself.
The mileage target I had for this month is now well out of reach and with one more week to go, I’m starting to worry about being able to do my monthly 100km ride (I’m thinking it may need to be a big painkiller day!) Thursday the 30th could be a make or break day for that particular challenge.
All of this I realise is largely a mental challenge – the challenge of dealing with not riding and the consquences such as frustration, pent up energy, stress and the like.
For someone who doesn’t ride I can imagine it’s an odd post but I suspect for many of you who do ride, you may well be able to relate. I’d certainly be interested in hearing any comments you might have.
My Strava profile page has now changed from this:
To this , with no riding and no change in the total distance for the year: