It had been two full weeks since I'd been out for a ride (with only one or two spins on the indoor trainer during that period). So, when I finally got out for a ride with Dr. Jim yesterday to ride the Orchard Route, the decline in fitness was palpable. My heart rate was consistently 5 to 10 beats faster at every level of effort than it had been two weeks before. Over the course of a 30-mile ride, that's a lot of extra heart beats. In terms of basic feeling on the bike, a two-week layoff felt more like a two-month layoff.
On the other hand, winter training up in Indy starts in another couple of weeks. And if my schedule and energy levels allow me to get up there two evenings a week, I should improve my overall fitness during the off-season, which is something I haven't managed to do since I moved down to B-town from Indy.