The weather has changed. At least, for a day. It is wet, windy and cold. I chose not to ride. Instead, I stayed inside and painted. There were a few small water stains on the ceiling (there is a roofer here now replacing flashing that was damaged with ice this past winter) and, I prepared the beams in the main room and kitchen area for painting. I plan to highlight them with a fresh coat of semi-gloss white paint.
I was up and down a ladder all day. I couldn’t help but think it was a leg workout, not unlike what a do in the gym to strengthen the quads and buttocks. I didn’t think much about cycling. No. I was thinking about eating, about the importance of nutrition to athletic performance and, about what I was going to prepare for dinner.
When I am alone, meals become a major part of the day. I enjoy planning, shopping and preparing hearty meals for myself. This past week I have eaten a lot of nutritious salads, a vegetable laden frittata, lentil soup, an embellish veggie burger and tonight, I am preparing a wrap. Not an ordinary wrap. No. A wrap modelled after one I enjoy at one of my favourite cafes back home, JJ Bean. They call it a ranchero. It includes egg, cooked yams, beans, vegetables, brown rice and hot spices. I don’t have all the ingredients but I have enough to concoct a satisfactory substitute.
I’ve learned that to train effectively I need to recover adequately. Otherwise, I get tired, run down and occasionally, sick. For me, that means well balanced meals. Meals prepared with natural ingredients, fresh vegetables and fruits. My meals are not quick to prepare. Thats a large part of the pleasure, particularly when I am alone. At this time of the year, there is a large variety of fresh, local produce – sweet corn, field tomatoes, red potatoes, blue berries, strawberries, english cucumber, cauliflower, broccoli … I stock up every few days so that I have lots to chose from every day. I don’t like to decide what I am going to prepare until the day of. It is part of the fun to invent something from the refrigerator and not strictly follow a recipe.
I usually eat in front of a fire with a good book in hand. Dinner is not quick to prepare and, it is not quick to eat. I linger for an hour, or more, savouring the food, enjoying the warmth of the fire all the while engrossed in a good story.
Recovery also means adequate rest. Sometimes, when you are too busy, it is hard getting enough sleep. It is hard getting to bed early enough and there is no opportunity to sleep as long as you might like or need. We get busy. Busy with work, family and friends. And, good sleep becomes a challenge. That is not a problem here. There is no work, family or friends. There is no TV. And, there is a really good bed. Better than the one at home. I go to bed early, read for an hour or more and then fall into a long, restful sleep awaking when I am ready. Once I adjusted to the local time, I have been sleeping 8-10 hours. That is a lot for me. I awake refreshed, rested and ready to ride.
Sun and warmer weather is forecast for tomorrow.