Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The long & short of it.

It occurred to me that I've never trained this hard for a 70.3.

Then, it occurred to me that I've never been able to train this hard for a 70.3.

For my last 70.3, I had only been with Liz 9 months. Of course, that's PLENTY of time to train for a 70.3. Knowing what I know now, she got me to the start (healthy). She helped me get a 40 minute PR.

BUT....I'd only been with her a short time. We didn't have that time to build a foundation. We didn't have the time.

And I still PR'd.

It's interesting. I can look back, and see what we've done. I can see the plan, and how it unfolded. But, I'm no coach. I know we have a plan. I see the BIG stuff, but the devil's in the details. I don't worry about the details of how we're going to get there. That's her job. I don't question it. I do what she says.

With my training, Liz is sweet enough to give me a Friday, Saturday, Sunday trifecta, which is probably considered torture in 48 countries.

You know I totally get off on this shit.

Every once in awhile, Liz will throw a workout at me. These aren't the challenge workouts that I've told you about.

Challenge workouts are unique, in that, not even Liz knows if you are going to make it through the workout. And she knows everything. They are THAT hard. 

Those are different. 

In fact now that we've been together for 2.5 years, there is a difference in the workouts that I'm doing. Her expectations have changed. 

Back to the Trifecta. The trifecta hurts physically. It hurts. On Sunday, I had a 1:40 run. The run included intervals of hill repeats. In other words, her long runs are NEVER.....go ramble about for 1:40 in zones 1-3. No. Nope. Her long workouts require concentration.

I knew Sunday's workout was going to be probably the hardest long run I've ever done. As I was running, I was in a level of pain that I had never experienced before.

That's exactly the point of her workouts. Experience the pain in training, so it's familiar to you in a race. I never used to feel pain in training. When I got to a race and experienced it, I thought it meant I was going too hard. I'd back off.

When I started with Liz and told her, "I don't know how to race". It was completely true. I didn't know. It is not something that can be learned overnight. It takes practice. It takes taking risks. It takes repeat behavior.

I'm not really a warm fuzzy person. I'm definitely NOT a "YOU GO GIRL. YOU'RE A TOTAL BADASS" type of person.

People: other athletes, coaches would tell me to "Dig deep". WTF does that even mean?

Dig deep?

But when it really comes down to it. Digging deep is the last thing I'm thinking about.

I'm thinking about survival. I'm thinking about every step. I'm counting down minutes.

3-Halfway, got this.System check. You hurt, but you're not dead.
2-THIS pain. Embrace it. It means you are strong. When others QUIT. YOU KEEP GOING.
1-I can do anything for one minute. Maybe not. 

Liz isn't a "volume for the sake of volume" coach. Her long training days all have intensity to them.

After the trifecta, Monday, I have strength work and masters. Before Liz, I never considered masters a "recovery" day, but that's exactly what it is. I go hard. I push it, but there's no pounding on the legs or body.

Here we are: TUESDAY.

Tuesdays are tough. Mentally, I'm ready for it. They are usually run/bike workouts.

I open TrainingPeaks. I read the bike workout. I stare at it.


In the notes, after the description, she left me a note.

This is a tough one.

For 2.5 years, I have done her workouts that have left me wrecked. Workouts.....where Mr. Tea asks how it went....and all I can do is stutter and say, "I don't know".

In 2.5 years, the toughest workouts I've ever done.....NONE of them.....NOT ONE TIME.....NOT EVEN FOR CHALLENGE WORKOUTS.....did she say, "This is a tough one."

After today, "getting wrecked" will have a whole new meaning.

Next week is a bike test. This will be my 4th bike test this year. At each test, I've gotten stronger.
In the past 4 months, I have made more progress on the bike than I made in my entire previous 12 years.

So today might suck. Scratch that. Today's workout is going to push me way out of my comfort zone, further than I've ever gone.

I'm going to do it because we have goals and because the simple fact is that if she put it in my plan....that means I'm worthy. I have levelled up.