40ks on the bike last weekend. I gasped for breath the whole way. 5k run during the week. My muscles hurt so much the next day I was walking like a cowboy.
Sucker for punishment so went back for another 5k run yesterday. Coughed up a lung.
A few months off means I don't feel much like an athletic powerhouse these days. So where to from here?
Simple really. There's two options.
1. Back to the couch, and forget I ever left it. It's been nice and warm there this winter, and the Tour is only just getting started.
2. Back outside, and remember that 5k runs and 40k bike rides aren't actually normal. Most people build up to these distances, because when you start out, it hurts.
Someone asked me recently why I do this. She wasn't specific about, so I guess she wanted to know why I train; why I sign up for Ironman; why I think nothing of running for a couple of hours before working a full day at the office; why I think it's inevitable that I one day tackle an ultra-marathon.
My answer was simple. "It just feels so good. When I'm fit and ready to race, I feel good."
It sounds simple too. And that's how it should stay. It's easy to complicate it with an analysis of whether it's physical, emotional, psychological or all of the above. That's usually what I'm all about. Hell, that's what this blog is ALL about - philosophising, reflecting, contemplating and ruminating.
But for now, simplicity is good. When I start to think about how hard it will be to get that feeling back, all I need to think about is how good it will feel when I do.
And that's where to from here. Simple.