I had a great post all lined up in my head for today about ritual.
I love the week leading up to a race and the ritual that goes into race prep. Rituals make me feel relaxed and calm. Cleaning and lubing my bike. Checking my tires. Tuning the shifting. Checking the brakes. Making sure I have everything I need in my saddle bag (tube, tire tools, multi tool, CO2 inflator, CO2 charges, master chain link, dollar bill). The act of caring for my bike is calming and it puts me in a good space.
Then there is the riding. Tuesday off. Wednesday race prep intervals (4x 90 second sprints, 1×10 minute race pace, rest easy), Thursday mellow, Friday off (though I was planning on cheating that a little bit to ride with my brother today), Saturday easy spin with 4×90 second sprints, Sunday warm up (20 minutes)……. Race. I love riding with fresh legs. Races are almost like gifts. A ride with fresh legs? Yeah love it.
That was going to be my post today, but with more detail. Right until I woke up this morning…. with an intense pain in my neck.
There are days when getting old really sucks. Those days when you wake up with some muscle all bunch up because of something you did yesterday, or something you did while sleeping, or for no particular reason at all.
I have had this neck problem a couple of times before. I must sleep funny on my shoulder periodically. When it happens I wake up I cannot rotate my head. It hurts. And it usually lasts for a few days. And right now it is a serious problem as I am supposed to be doing a MTB race in two days. Mountain biking….. The bike discipline that requires upper body movement and strength. The sport that requires you to look ahead on a trail to pick lines on curving twisting stuff. Not being able to turn your head is a problem if you are planning on going mountain biking.
As soon as I woke up I knew I had a problem and what it was. I took two Advil (skipping right to the full dose) and got out the heating pad. When the drug store opens I am buying some Icy Hot. All of these help.
As luck would have it, my supper awesome wife scheduled a pre-race massage for me today. The person we get massages from is awesome. I was looking forward to getting my legs all loosened up and supercharged. Now I am hoping she can get the knot in my neck/shoulder to soften a little bit.
This is NOT a part of my race week ritual.
What experience has shown me is that I need 3 or 4 days to start feeling better. What I am trying to do is do what I can and stay relaxed (still looking forward to caring for my bike this afternoon! Probably skipping the ride with my brother.) so that I can heal and hopefully be able to ride Sunday morning.