Despite what the title suggests, I don't have any spoilers from Game and Thrones and I definitely haven't seen any white walkers yet. However, it's getting to that time of year where I'm starting to feel just as rubbish as those slightly frozen creatures from hell look. My legs are slowing down and recovering from a long week of riding is taking just that little bit longer than before.
Whilst I haven't raced as much as I wanted to this year or completed a full 'season' of racing, I have covered a massive amount of miles again and found myself tiring out at the same time as the more avid racers that I train with most weeks. So with the season typically drawing to an end in September everyone else is thankfully as tired as I am even though we've done slightly different types of riding.
Looking back over the last eight months I've ridden 12,000 miles at a rough average of 18mph with very little recovery or time off to properly recover from my efforts. It's quite possible to sustain a reasonable level of energy for so long, but at some point it's definitely got to catch up with you. On the bright side it's caught up with at the same time as everyone else tired out but on downside it's hit me quite hard and I just can't get too motivated at the moment. A genuine rest is required.
So, as with most years it's time to wind down and start looking ahead to 2017 already. The nights are drawing in and it's dark before 8pm so there is no evening training anymore and until late November there isn't very much hard riding to be done on a weekend. Despite this slightly random week of warm weather it's also getting cooler and wetter so it's less inviting to go outside anyway.
So what do you do for the final four months of the year? Well, first things first, have a couple of really easy weeks. For me it involves just doing my commutes to work and a cafe ride on a weekend but for others it means a full month off the bike doing anything but riding. I love these couple of weeks as an opportunity to catch up with some people I don't always ride with and sample some more cafe and coffee at places I might not always stop. Riding a bike just for fun with a cafe stop; what a novel idea!
The other great thing about this time of year is that whilst the weather is changing you can actually stop and sit still for a minute to grab a decent photo without worrying about not riding hard enough or getting dropped on the training ride with the group. Okay, I take a lot of photos anyway but at least I can stop and look at the view too now rather than trying to take a photo at speed and one day eventually dropping my phone under my wheel.
Once rested up the training starts again in November although I'm yet to decide in what capacity. I think for the first time ever I might have to overcome my hatred of the turbo trainer and do some structured indoor training. I suppose it might have it's benefits next season...
Until that point though it's time to find my bike lights, winter tights and get ready for a few weeks of easy.