It's only been 24 minutes! I knew at that point, this three hour ride, was going to feel lllloooonnng. I was convinced that when I looked down at my watch for the first time, legs aching, burning, and feeling in general- like poo, that I had already ridden at least an hour (or 45 minutes at a minimum!). Nope, 24 minutes was all my watch had to say about it. I thought about making sure I didn't look any less than 24 minutes next time, that way, I would only look at my watch six to seven times over this three hour period! How we have to talk to ourselves to keep going sometimes.
It had already been a long day, and a long week, but I certainly wasn't going to let this 24 minute peek at the watch, or this three hour ride, get the best of me. I actually took a half day yesterday to get all of my workouts done. I think that might be crossing into some other zone when you officially not work, to train.
Getting up at the 5am time needed to get two major workouts in before 8:00am, just wasn't going to happen with me getting to bed so late the night before. Instead, I got up at 7am, did a gut busting, eye popping, heart rate climbing, anaerobic repeat workout on the loop around my streets from 7am-8:15, before heading to work. It's time for speed baby. I guess that means we are finally in the same timezone as the actual race!
I left at 1pm and headed to the pool, where I would lay outside with the rest of the loungees for 15 minutes to power nap, only to pull myself away from the white plastic chairs and screaming children, and head inside to do 4500 yards. Surprisingly enough, the swimming felt great and although hard, my 4500 was quite enjoyable. I finished at 3:30pm and headed over to start my three hour bike.
For those of you who are counting, that's 2.5 hours thus far, 3 to go. When the ride started, I was hoping for the best, fresh legs, lots of energy. Unfortunately, I got neither. Riding up every hill was tough, although my heart rate was low, I just couldn't push like I usually do. "That's ok," I told myself (and had a heart to heart with my legs about this little thing I wanted them to do for me!), "these are the things that make you stronger." I knew I would get a full day off on Friday, so Thursday night was going to be rough, so what, I have Friday to recover.
I'm sure there were many contributions to the way they felt, including (dare I say this and Beth reads my blog!) no rolling on my foam roller this week, very little stretching, and pretty much no ice bathing. Sorry, Coach Sully (my college coach who thinks rolling is as necessary as brushing your teeth), sorry Beth, it just didn't happen. By this point in the week, I had pretty much only done my workouts, and no extra recovery items like I normally do. The only good thing I had done was get enough sleep, which is still very important my friends!
I needed Keith, my massage therapist to work his magic (although he's so good, it's easier to get in to see the Dali Lama or George Bush I feel sure~!), I needed Rich, my chiroprator, to put things back in palce, I needed a huge buffet of pasta, and a big bed filled with fluffy pillows to sleep for 13 hours in until I awoke refreshed and recovered. Instead, I got a three hour ride!
Things did get a little better around the two hour mark, and the talking to I gave my legs must have helped. At that point, I was thankful to be able to enjoy the gorgeous evening, beautiful sky, light breeze, great farmland scenery since my legs in pain was not the only focus point.
When it was all said and done, I had 5o miles on the bike, and I was a bit stronger mentally, which I think is as important, if not more important, than physical strength at times. You can break the body down physically, but you can't break the spirit, or the mind, nearly as easily, if at all.
One more training week done, and another starts again with a 4500 swim, 5:30 ride, and 30 min run tomorrow. If you want to know where I will be, look for me out on an open rode tomorrow, by a cornfield, legs fresh or not, I will be enjoying the scenery (just hopefully not 24 minutes at a time!).