22-mile bike commute. The morning ride was fine, but on the ride home I had to gear down to avoid pain in my knee. The pain was very minor, but at that low power output I shouldn't have any pain at all. I had been planning to go the gym for a yoga class or a core workout, but my aching knee and the chilly weather put me in a bad mood, so I came home instead.
My knee is not badly injured. I barely notice it during my daily routine, and during most skating workouts it's more annoying than genuinely painful or debilitating. Sometimes I feel like a wuss for breaking training for something that seems so minor. But I've been an endurance athlete for most of my life, and I have to trust my instinct when it tells me that, in its current condition, my knee can't handle four more months of vigorous training, including long skates of up to 10 hours.
I hate being injured. I hate not knowing how much time my knee will need to heal, and how it will affect my world record attempt. I hate missing out on the sense of accomplishment and progress that regular workouts bring. My body has become accustomed to massive quantities of exercise, and without my fix of physical exertion, I get headaches and tinnitus from unrelieved stress. And when I'm feeling depressed and adrift, I eat junk food to make myself feel better, a tactic that works wonderfully for as long as 8 seconds.
I'm trying not to get too down about this, because in the universe of possible problems this is a small one to have. I'm thinking positively about solutions. I'm trying to learn a lesson about letting go of attachment to silly achievements. I'm trying.