juicing the holiday cheer

I've been living under a rock for the past couple of weeks and didn't realize it until a few days ago. A flare in the form of a Tweet mention ripped me back to reality. Where have I been? What have I been doing? How long has it been since I stalked Adam Hansen online checked Cyclingnews?
I blame the holidays, all the commercial "Christmas cheer" and reminders to pre-order buckets of KFC. I blame my sometimes uncontrollable IBS [TMI?]. I blame the cold [because yes, I now consider 5C, "cold"]. In between shivering in the office and dousing myself in various layers of fleece at home, I’ve only been able to ride half-heartedly. It’s not even barely Christmas, and I’m already pining for MSR.

Usually, I would call this “winter motivation apathy”; the predictable drop in temperatures bringing with it a lethargic cadence and the average speed of a grandmother. When you don’t race ‘cross, there’s not much to do when winter rolls around, other than fantasize about hibernation while dousing yourself in layers of fleece in front of the TV. Not that I don’t fantasize about doing nothing while binge watching episodes of Law & Order in the summer. It’s just that the excuses come easier when it’s cold outside and riding requires baselayers, gloves, jackets, hats, and neck warmers. Most of which has to be taken off, then put back on, every time you need to pee. Things are just harder in the winter, riding included.
This is old news to me, but for the past few weeks, I kept spewing out the guilt-ridden excuses. Because IBS has been kind of a horrible bitch to me recently. In the privacy of my own home [and once at work], I cried to a good friend about not being able to train while my intestines refused to function properly. For once, I had the motivation to train – two-a-days are the highlights of my week – but my body wasn’t cooperating. I was experiencing the kind of frustration and rage I usually reserve for screaming toddlers on 12 hour flights, except it was directed at myself, on a daily basis.

Despite only being able to work two days last week [a visit to the doctor’s office, then the hospital, sort of harshed my working girl vibe], I climbed onto the bike both days this weekend. It was exhausting and cold, then exhausting and hot. My Lotto-Belisol neck warmer soaked up my frantic breathing while my Assos tights soaked up my mis-aimed snot rockets [I’m 100% sure that I lose more water out of my nose in the winter than through my skin]. But the sun came out, and when I flew by a bright red Ferrari that reminded me of a favorite friend, I turned around to take a picture of it. Because for once this weekend, I didn’t have to cut a ride short because of something I couldn’t quite control.

The next day, I stretched out my supposedly 45min easy recovery ride into two hours, just because. An enthusiastic headwind countered, and I felt good enough to laugh a little to myself. I knew in a few days, I was probably going to feel like shit [no pun intended]. But in a way that was almost okay. Because I’d made the most of today, juiced my relative health for what it was worth, and even if it was a short ride and my legs were absurdly sore afterwards, I’d ridden. Outside. In the sun. With snot dribbling and flying everywhere.
And next weekend, fingers crossed that the medicine will kick in enough, I’m going to do it again.