So rather than pound out an indoor century this morning, I spent time in bed icing my back and hoping for a speedy recovery. After last year's odd herniated disc trouble which took quite a few months of chiropractic and stretching to heal, I'm not taking any chances. I landed on muscle rather than bone, so it should be back to normal pretty soon. The ability to push through injury and pain is often an asset to an endurance cyclist. Determining when to stop, when to pull back, and when to keep going is not so easy. How much pain is too much? When does inconvenience turn to danger? As a result of this uncertainty, cyclists can find themselves in trouble as accute injuries left untreated become chronic ones. Luckily, I don't suffer from chronic physical problems. I'd like to keep it that way as long as possible.
All of this reminds me how lucky I am to be healthy and free from injury. Cycling is inherently dangerous and for the endurance crowd I belong to, it's easy to throw care to the wind and assume everything will work out just fine in the end. I plan to spend most of my base training hours indoors this winter. With temperatures below freezing most of the time and with dark and icy roads a common phenomenon, I'll save my risk-taking for the spring and summer months. For now, I'll wait until things heal a bit before hitting the trainer some time next week.