5am has gradually (and with the stealth of a ninja) become the new 6am for me in that i see it as an early wake up but not as outrageously as i once did. So despite the run plan telling me to rest i decided, as the forecast looked favourable, to get up at 5 and get out on the bike briefly before starting work.
I woke up, left my now trademark early morning pre event/exercise toilet surprise for the wife to find as i daren’t flush the toilet and wake the whole house up (sadly she’s used to it by now), got my gear and set off. I rode the relatively short distance to work and dropped my bag off (hoping that an abandoned rucksack thrown under a staircase did not cause mass hysteria and panic first thing in the morning) and headed off to the nearby hills that i know rather well.
The first hill went well and the downhill felt great as i was hugging bends and relishing the speed. The second hill was shorter but steeper and this got the thighs burning. The temperature had dropped to 3º but I’d planned for this by putting my winter kit on which was great initially, however i quickly heat up and so the sweat was running down my back more than a fat kid in a snow suit, eating a curry, in a sauna, that is on fire.
Whilst I summited the hill without having to stand up on the pedals I could just tell that my thighs hadn’t properly woken up and didn’t have to the energy in them that i was for to complete the route that I’d planned. With that in mind i looked at the time and crunched the numbers in my head. Part of me was thinking that i didn’t want to throw the towel in as i knew that I’d be able to complete it even if it took a little longer. The other more sensible part of me tried to remain objective and knew full well that I’d end up being late for work and that it just wasn’t worth the hassle so it came up with an alternative, go balls out on a shorter route and complete the first hill again before getting to work on time.
This went well (all things considered) and i got to work, showered and changed, on time with no alarm being caused by my bag, result. Well i say ‘result’ but the fact remains that i was still a little disappointed by my legs and it made me think that any future early morning rides like that should consist mostly of flatter terrain or certainly start off flatter before incorporating hills so i can warm the muscles up more thoroughly.
Time will tell.
Still, it wasn’t a total loss, the scenery was worth it.