I was riding home on Friday night, it was a rainy day but I'd managed to avoid the rain on both commutes (love it when that happens) but I was riding like a chump, super slow with no energy to stomp on the pedals and no want to even try. It's only been a 4 day week as yet another day off awaited me on friday (am NOT complaining), so in theory my legs should be more energetic than they appeared.
My lack of form and complete and utter abandonment of speed got me thinking, I was literally riding at 13mph where I'd usually ride at 17mph, this shit was dire. I'm very much a confidence rider, if that makes sense, yes I clearly need the energy to push a big gear but for me my mental state really affects my ride. If I've had a great day, or something good has happened I can start my commute absolutly flying and nothing can touch me. Sadly my mental state can be the difference between a pb and pulling over at the road side and weeping.
I can tell within the first 5 minutes of a ride whether or not I'll be pushing for a pb or whether I'll be wishing I was somewhere else, sometimes even sooner. Some of this is down to physical me, not eating enough during the day, not sleeping well or simply being knackered from faster rides on previous days.
Sometimes it's all in my head. A shit day at work can make me ride like a chump. Fucking something up, failing a process or simply having a disagrement with a colleague. This shit really plays on my mind. I think about it constantly over and over in my head, playing out the role of myself until I handle it in the correct manner, happy that were this issue to occur again I'd handle it as it played out in my mind. Chances are, when or if that situation were to actually occur again, I'd have forgotted all about this role play in my mind and the process would start again.
You'd think that if I'd had a bad day, I'd take my frustrations out on the road on the way home, smashing my way to a pb in the process. If only that was the case, I'd love to have that mindset, be able to shut off and just forget but I don't, it plays on my mind sometimes until I sleep.
When I get in this mindset there is nothing I can do to shift it and my physical performance suffers, all I want to do is stop riding. Fridays ride was just such a ride, a situation occured that week that I couldn't shift from my mind, and I played it over in my head again and again. Windsor Great Park is not a great place to be when you're riding badly, it's very open with no protection from the wind and I really suffered. It was the slowest ride I'd ever posted on that route, at the time I just couldn't care less, I wanted off the bike and now, the only thing keeping me going was the fact that if I stopped I'd never start again.
I'd love to be able to break this mental block and learn to keep my mind clear when riding. Until that point, its slow and miserable when an issue plays on my mind.