Ah, Christmas. The time when my shop layaway is paid off and I’m given full license to sit around all day and drink coffee. In a way, it’s like a lot of other parts of the year, except for the layaway bit.
For us – my wife and I – it’s a time to head to the homestead for a few days, effectively dumping the kid off on the parents (they like it, right?) and relaxing. Also, since training plans tend to start in November (if you’re super-motivated and want to be fast in late April/early May) or December (if you’re like me).
And so there’s this period of time – usually four or five days – where the plan kind of goes out the window. Now I know a few days off, even when I’m supposed to be riding lots, probably won’t even cause a ripple a few months down the road (though if it did, it would explain A LOT). But that doesn’t mean I want to sit around for four days. There are races to be won! attacks to be made! pelotons to say in!
But I have options. They are as follows:
- Bring a bike and a trainer. Well that’s the easy choice, isn’t it? Downside: it’s supposed to snow along the way, it’s a 3-hour drive and I’m pretty sure my wife has spoken for the entire cargo space. I’m hoping to be able to bring my toiletries kit this time, at least. Also, I’d have to ride in the garage with no heat, which is positively barbaric compared to my posh flat-screen setup in the basement at home. (What? Everybody has a flat-screen now? Oh … .)
- Visit the local YMCA. My parents usually have a stack of day passes, mostly because … well, I don’t know why. They just do. And I tried that a couple of years ago. My message to those who can go to the gym and ride one of those stationary bikes or run on a treadmill for more than four minutes: bravo. I would rather have poked my eyes out with forks.
- Go for a run. I’ve logged way, way more miles on my feet than on a bike in my hometown, mostly because that’s what I did throughout high school and the first part of adulthood. Also, my hometown is a good running town – flat on the east half and hilly on the west. You get a little of everything. Downside: it’s running. And I don’t really do that anymore.
- Do nothing and like it. I like the idea of this, but by the second or third day I’ll start talking about doing something really dumb, like running sprints up the hill behind my in-laws’ house. Ostensibly, it will be because I “want to get out of the house,” but it will really be, “because I want to get out of the house before I poke your eyes out with forks.”
You can see what I’m up against. You’ll also notice that I left out the obvious choice: bring a bike and go for a ride. Not a possibility. At all. North-central Iowa has had more than its share of snow in the last two weeks, and I can guarantee – even without seeing it – that the streets of my hometown are a death trap for bikes.
I don’t have to decide today, or even tomorrow. But I’m thinking about it. Because as soon as the egg nog wears off, I’m going to need to get something figured out.
My sanity, to say nothing for my race form in five months, depends upon it.
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