Tuesday, July 5, 2016

I have met my match

Today was "Please make it stop" day.

About a year ago, I explained Liz's challenge workouts. Since then, I've graduated from challenge workouts to her hardest workouts. Best of all, I know there are more to come. We don't call her the Mastermind for nothing.

By the way, if you are on Twitter, you might want to consider following Liz. She constantly posts the latest research on everything: training, nutrition, recovery, mental strategies. Everything you can imagine. She's also really funny and in her 3rd trimester, so we get the added benefit of seeing pregnancy pictures of her trying to fit into a wetsuit, going aero on a bike, and being a part of her countdown until she can drink alcohol again. I just adore people who can make fun of themselves.

Where was I?

Oh right. Please make it stop day.


Please make it stop day. Last week, I had a set of intervals from Liz. I did my best and fell short; not a lot but a bit. 

I missed a couple of the intervals by enough that that I wanted another shot but not enough that I thought, "I really can't do this".

When I saw the progression of last week's interval workout on this week's plan, I knew it was going to be tough. In addition to the bike workout, she wanted me running off the bike at sub 7:45.(That's what she does, she says, "Run sub 7:45". That's because I need to be pushed, challenged.)

I had intervals at 255 watts. Not for seconds. Not one minute. Not 2 minutes. MINUTES. SEVERAL MINUTES at 255watts. For some of you, 255 watts ain't no thang. For ME, it's a w/kg ratio of +4%. (My most recent bike test came in at 3.32%).

For people who aren't bike geeks, it's pretty close to having your lungs ripped out.

This week, I had more intervals and more at the 255 watts. Last week, she gave me a range to hit. This week, she upped the ante.

I made 4 of the intervals. I missed the last ones. With each one, I came up with a different strategy, a different way of TRYING to accomplish the seemingly impossible. YES, I could get to 255 watts. That's no big deal. HOLDING 255 watts for a ridiculous amount of time.....completely different issue.

At the end of each interval, I was shaking, trying to catch my breath. It seemed like only seconds went by when I heard my garmin beeping 5-4-3-2-1 for the start of the next interval.

Each time, I would get to the watts but I couldn't hold it.

I felt like...I should be able to do this. I was giving it everything I had. I could hardly even pedal during recoveries.

THANK YOU, Michael.

If you know me, I don't give up. I keep trying. I fell short on the last few intervals. That's going to happen, but I didn't let one failure stop me from trying again. I am a proud card carrying member of Team Stupidly Determined. (Maybe I could be an honorary member, LBTEPA?)

I wrote in my notes to Liz that this workout is so frustrating. She wrote back, "Just keep trying."

Training requires mental toughness. After each missed interval, I could have gotten discouraged. BUT, I knew I was giving everything I had. I was determined to keep going. I got off the bike and ran. The 7:45 really isn't particularly hard. It was a little more difficult because of the bike workout.

The crazy part was that the run was the easiest part of my day. There were no signs of jelly legs. I felt strong. I hit my paces. I felt stronger at the end of the run than the start.


Bike intervals: 2, Tea: 0. 
I will be back for you 255 watt intervals.

One day I will look back and remember when I struggled to do this.