Sleeping habits vs. Sunday morning long rides

The past month, I have missed all my Sunday morning long rides.

A typical Sunday morning long ride will start with me waking up at 4 am or thereabouts. Following a shower and some breakfast, I’m out the door by 5 am.

For a long while now, I’ve been able to keep this routine up every weekend. My main handicap is my work shift. Five days a week, I come into the office either at noontime or in the afternoon, and leave late at night or at midnight.

Trying to pull back my sleeping hours on Saturdays to fit in a Sunday morning long ride is getting frustratingly more difficult by the day. Not helping things is the general fact that I need to get my brain tired before I fall asleep, and when I do get my forty winks, I’m a light sleeper at best.

Making up for it with the turbo trainer, even with a two-hour session, isn’t quite the same.

The past month, I have missed all my Sunday morning long rides. And I’m not exactly proud of it. There’s always next month, I guess.


Regaining my old form

As you may or may not know, I’ve been off the saddle for a pretty long time. A couple of unexpected hospital visits and a long-planned honeymoon trip basically ensured that my carcass avoided mounting a saddle for about two months.

In the meantime, I concentrated on recovery and getting better as quickly as I could, everything else be damned. The unfortunate consequence was that I gained more weight and lost my conditioning.

I am also aware of the fact that I’m not getting any younger and my metabolism isn’t what it used to be. The caloric intake I was used to just was not a good fit for me any more.

Fast forward to today. With the doctors clearing me for resumption of physical activity, I’ve been logging the training miles both on the street and on the turbo trainer in a pretty consistent fashion, upon returning from a memorable trip to Europe. Much more of a surprise was how well my body could function and train on reduced caloric intake…and without resorting to diets or the focusing on or removal of food groups.

A couple of weeks in, I’ve been able to lose 7 pounds (3.16 kg) out of the 15 (6.8 kg) I gained from what I call my “baseline.” Even from there, though, I want to aim for further reduction, as my baseline is still more than what my frame should be carrying. As it turns out, what I needed to do was reevaluate my relationship with food…and get used to regularly carrying a little hunger in my gut.

Onwards and upwards it is, then. Going forward, I hope to share a few more stories from the saddle.

Just feeling grateful

Some of you, especially regular visitors, may have noticed that my usual cadence of new posts every Friday afternoon has stopped for the past couple of weeks.

There is good reason for that.

Without going into too much detail, I was admitted to the hospital twice, for a total of four days within two weeks. The first visit involved “minor” yet painful surgery, while the second involved post-operational bleeding while I was recovering.

Perhaps most damning is that, due to the nature of my surgery, I’m pretty much off the saddle for at least the coming month and a half. I will just have to focus on recovering — slowly — and accept that I will lose some of my fitness.

I usually try to keep a backlog of posts ready for publishing, but that’s now exhausted and I will have to think up some new content to build that queue up again. And yet, despite the stagnation due to emergency health reasons, I was pleasantly surprised to still see respectable traffic.

When I returned to writing and maintaining a blog with The Accidental Randonneur after a hiatus, I made the conscious decision to avoid delving too much into the personal, and let the glorious sport of cycling speak for itself with me simply acting as a mouthpiece. Some people may know that I’ve been blogging since 2001; those early efforts were almost too personal and ill-advised in this day and age. However, I realize “personal” posts like this are necessary every now and then because there are enough of you out there reading my stuff, and some of you do follow the musings I publish on this little corner of the Internet — for whatever reason.

For that, I want to express my gratitude. The Accidental Randonneur has helped quite a few cyclists maintain their bikes. It also warms my heart to hear that people listen to my reviews and comments on the products I’ve featured here so far…even people directly involved in the bicycle industry. And that’s a huge honor.

I may be sidelined for now, but I’ll do what I can to continue this journey. Thank you for the companionship, fellow randonneurs. Keep riding, and may you have more stories on the saddle.