Against the odds?

Under a pale watery winter sun this afternoon, I passed a target that I thought would have been impossible 11 months ago. My cycling target for this year was to reach 5000 miles (8000kms) by the end of December, and I hit it today  with 4 weeks to spare. Now I know some of you mile-eaters out there will sneer at this, wanting to point out that you’d do that sort of annual distance just on your pre-breakfast rides. And I would understand that. But 11 months ago to the day, I had an ‘event’ that I thought was going to put paid to my continuing ‘bad behaviour on a bike’………and it almost did.

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Keysoe

 

Getting out of bed too quickly one morning, I experienced a catastrophic drop in blood pressure and collapsed, fracturing a few vertebrae in my back and, in the process (although this had nothing to do with the collapse) I discovered I suffered from paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (arrhythmia), a condition that happens to be quite common amongst endurance athletes. Like a lot of long-distance athletes, a scan revealed an enlargement of the upper atrium of the heart which, in itself, may be of little consequence, but coupled with Afib, needs to be controlled and monitored.

Two months after the event, I remember climbing painfully on the bike for the first time and managed to squeeze 4 miles (6kms) out of the legs…….but it hurt. At the beginning of March, I started some serious but gradual cycling ‘re-hab’, and my rides progressed from 7 miles (12kms) to 27 miles (44kms), reaching a total of 280 miles (450kms) for the month. I rapidly progressed to 600 miles per month (1000kms), hitting the usual high in August of 1000 miles (1600kms), the longest single ride of the year being 65 miles (104kms)

So, after a few years of hitting annual mileages in excess of 10,000 miles (16,000kms), this year’s total of a mere 5000 miles is way off the mark, but for me this has been a minor victory on the road to recovery.

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About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on December 5, 2016, in Reflections and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. 5000 miles in a year may not be much by your normal standards but it’s a distance I still aspire to. Under the circumstances you describe it’s doubly impressive. Well done!

  2. Great blog Frank. Nice to see you at Woodford mill with the mighty St Ives CC.

  3. Congratulations Frank, I’d almost forgotten! It does my heart good to know that you’re back after it, brother.

  4. Congratulations Frank .. true grit wins through again

    X Joan

    ________________________________

  5. Dear Frank
    2016 was a tough year for you. You fought and won. I am happy about it and am very proud of you. I wish you and Jenny a nice Christmas and a Happy 2017.
    May God protect both of you.
    Greetings from Germany from Alke-Brigitte

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