Last April was so full on you can’t even imagine.
Understanding what was happening in the pandemic and carrying on working whilst some of my friends and colleagues were furloughed around me was harrowing.
I turned the emotion, and need to have thinking time into a challenge of riding every day during that month.
This was a particular challenge with the UK restrictions at the time as it was unclear if you could leave your house and how far you could go.
The majority of the miles were done on the turbo trainer with other riders less than 7km from home on a looping circuit.
As well as relaxing my brain, it challenged my powers of resilience and motivation.
Fast forward to April 2021 and its been a whole different proposition.
The stress of late summer 2020 job hunting followed by being locked down again and having months of the children home from school has left me craving something different this month.
So far I have ridden 2 of the club 10 mile races this season and am about a minute away from where I was last year.
My usual attitude to that would be to throw more miles and more intensity into those efforts. My initial reaction was to start checking the credit card balance to see if funds were sufficient to go back on the merry-go-round of training with a power meter.
But then I stopped to think.
Every time I have started a way off where I wanted to be in a season I have reacted by trying even harder.
Most of those years I have struggled to keep racing past August.
So for me 2021 is about a different approach. More of a gamble and more of a test of patience. But I am hoping for results that show it was worth it.
This week I have barely travelled 20 miles by bicycle as of yet. And all of that has been virtual miles out of the icy cold northerly wind that has chilled us for weeks here. The smile is slowly coming back to my lips through the grimace of the effort.
All of the data charts and graphs show that fitness wise I am starting to dip.
But they all measure three metrics and one of those going down is a positive.
Fitness, form and fatigue are the three, and whilst its great to see that my heart rate and turbo trainer power data shows the final measure, fatigue, is in decline, meaning I am ‘fresher’, its the benefit to my mind I am most interested in.
After all cycling is our hobby, not our profession. So for me to know be back at the stage where I want to get out on my bike and have fun, not be a slave to data and numbers, is the best win of the season.
Regardless of what it does to my times in races.