There is nothing worse when you're sporty than waking up one morning with a head that feels like you've sunk a thousand tequilas and a throat that seems to have visited the sandpaper factory. Illness is your worse enemy; you know it means countless days without riding, sitting staring at the bike and cursing the world as though everyone around us is the biohazard that brought the misery.
Last week I fell victim to the dreaded and highly feared illness that is 'man flu'. This deadly virus turns any man, no matter how brave they are, into a tired mess for at least three days and requires 24 hour care or symptoms can be fatal. Hint - Ben and Jerry's can soothe the pain if the drugs won't work. As well as the deadly man flu, I also suffered deep withdrawal symptoms, going cold turkey from the bike. A terrible, terrible week. Here are five things that you definitely think whilst ill...
"It's just a sniffle"
You wake up with a little bit of a sore head, maybe a slightly sore throat but decide that you're just being soft and it definitely won't get any worse so proceed to don the lycra and head outside. It's only after 20 miles, maybe less, that you realise you've made a massive mistake and now need to grovel your way home cursing whichever mate gave you the germs this time.
"One Lemsip and I'll be fine"
You grovel home, stick your feet up on the sofa and drink a Lemsip. This magical potion will definitely solve life's woes and you'll easily be smashing that century again tomorrow. Only it turns out after that five hour nap that apparently it didn't work and now you feel like you've got an elephant sat on your chest. Always another Lemsip I suppose...
"I miss my bike now, please can I ride?"
It's probably only been two days but you've already finished the supplies of tea, Ben and Jerry's and all other snacks in the house whilst tweeting constantly about how annoying everyone else is for riding whilst you can't. This is that hard part where you're going cold turkey and cursing that lack of Strava activity. Surely tomorrow everything will be better?
"I hate everyone that rides a bike"
You're now three days into the illness and that jealousy of other riders has escalated into full blown hatred. Anyone that uploads a ride or any other activity is selfish. They posted a selfie in the sunshine? May the puncture fairy strike them down! They ride 0.2 miles to the shops? May they be covered in spilt milk! Everyone that rides is now public enemy number one and you're considering suing Lemsip because it clearly doesn't work.
"Finally! I'm free! Come back bike!"
Day four. You suddenly wake up feeling absolutely flawless, knock back that posh coffee and head to the door. You're definitely well enough to ride your bike now you've been better for at least an hour. You head out, pushing the pedals with glee until after about 10 metres you're a big sweaty mess cursing the lack of power. You'll find yourself at home crying that you've lost an entire lifetime of fitness and the season is ruined.
We're all guilty of wanting to get on the bike, or get back into our activity of choice a bit too quick. I can't talk, I did a 100 mile ride on Sunday after a week of man flu. However, it's much more sensible to just be a grumpy git for a few more days to make sure you're definitely better. You won't suddenly lose your legs in a week and, if like Simon you race in tandem with your son, you might just avoid puking on him. Are you guilty of getting back into training too quickly? What do you do to avoid the boredom?