Tuesday, January 1, 2019

A New Day is Dawning in 2019!

It's that time of year again. The very beginning. That moment filled with hope and anticipation, fresh starts and optimism. After eight years tolerating a steadily deteriorating left hip, I had mine swapped out in order to reset my system for the decade (or more) of endurance cycling ahead. The first big goal on my horizon is Paris-Brest-Paris in August and I have a nice, progressive schedule of brevets lined up to get me there starting on April 6.

While only time will tell, it seems like I may have timed my late October hip replacement surgery just perfectly. I've experienced steady gains over the past two months but just this week, I've been walking entirely pain-free and feeling stronger than ever. This has been such a welcome change following so many years feeling stiff, weak and sore. It's remarkable how much we can get used to over time and I don't think I fully realized how old all of this made me feel.

But today's a new day. After six weeks of physical therapy, I recently switched from working out on the recumbent trainer at the gym to using my own bike on the trusty Cyclops trainer at home. I'd been resisting the need to throw my leg over the top tube until I was a bit more flexible and steady, but the positive feeling of clipping into my own bike after so many weeks cannot be overstated.

I've been taking it slow and steady on the trainer, though, gradually adding higher levels of aerobic resistance here and there to build strength and a foundation for the more ambitious training I envision as the season progresses. I'm not in any real rush to get out on the roads this winter, but look forward to doing so once I develop more strength and stability on the bike. Perhaps a nice warm day in late January. In the meantime, I plan to ride for at least an hour a day, five or six days a week, while increasing my aerobic load and my duration each week. This may become a bit challenging as my travel schedule picks up, but that's what hotel gyms are for, right?

So for now, the operative words during this season of base training are patience and consistency.