Bike TestAugust 14, 2012
Tomorrow we will have a “Share the Road” meeting update. I can’t thank you enough for all of your ideas, contributions, etc. over on our Share the Road Event Facebook Page. PLEASE KEEP THEM COMING!
Monday I got back to work in terms of training. Workout one…. the bike test. Michelle warned me it was coming, and was kind enough to give me one more weekend of carefree training in my happy place of zone 1 (that’s QT2 speak for aerobic world!). I am the type of athlete though that will just go with it. If there is a bike test on Monday then I will do a bike test on Monday. I always test on the computrainer…. for a few reasons. It’s just not safe to do this kind of effort outside unless I am on a race course, it’s an environment I can replicate and I can use music.
Monday morning at 5am I began. I hadn’t done a bike test that I can remember or account for in possibly 6 months? More?
I tasted blood in the back of my throat. I felt like I might vomit. I felt like I could have turned myself inside out. Every piece of my body hurt. I loved every damn second of it. Nothing makes me feel more alive than digging to the bottom of my being in the name of sport. The more it hurt the harder I rode. When I get to that level of pain I want more not less. (Keep your opinions to yourself).
I finish every single bike test to a song called “Becoming Insane” by Infected Mushroom. I love this song. It riles me up. Music helps me like that. There are times when I dont’ use music at all and there are times when I just open up and allow it to inspire me. Why not? Sometimes out on that race course when the going gets tough I will replay a certain song in my mind. I can feel the rhythm I can feel the beat I can feel the lyrics and more often than not it makes me dig deeper.
When it was over I was smiling. My heart rate was eight billion, I could hardly breathe but I felt like I was awake again. Awake from this break of a season I have had. Awake from zone 1. Awake and feeling what I need to feel in order to be the successful athlete that I aim to be again.
Good god I felt ALIVE.
The results…. better than I expected. But it wasn’t like I was out of shape. I have trained a good amount of base, I have kept healthy…… but very informally. You want to come back feeling better than ever about triathlon (granted, it’s day two here)…. take a break. I didn’t take a physical break. I even raced a few races in suboptimalshape, got my ass handed to me, and loved every second of it.
I took the emotional break…. Tim Snow encouraged that a few months ago. Rather than force it, step back from it and allow it to come to me again.I was very fortunate that I didn’t go through a burnout where I hated training or hated racing. Motivation to train never wanes. I loved being on the race course. For me that was a good sign. Taking that break allows the fire to begin to burn again. I felt it Monday morning as that feeling…. you know which one…… when the effort gets hard… it kind of rises up…… builds up….. boils to the surface….. that one. I take that and ride it as long as I can.
As I looked over the remainder of the week I felt excited. There is intensity (remember, I am not starting from scratch, I have a pretty ridiculous aerobic base underneath me!), there is structure and man, it feels good to have that again.
It feels really, really good to be on the athlete side of the training log again. It’s allowing me to separate myself from being a coach to being an athlete. I have often struggled with that balance. When it comes down to it my athletes come first, and in my opinion as a coach that is how it should be. But Michelle is teaching me how to also make myself an athletic priority. She’s really good at that.
So day one, bike test done. This week is no joke either, my zone 1 vacation is gone! But there is nothing in the world that makes me feel more alive than the hard stuff. I can go long all day long, bring it up a notch and make me face the woman in the mirror. Make me toe the line against myself. That woman has always been my harshest critic and toughest opponent. I am highly motivated intrinsically. I do not get much from external sources. It’s not enough for me if Joe Smith is racing and I want to beat him. That doesn’t light my fire. Give me a competition against Mary Eggers though….. and I am all over it.
For a while part of that has been lost. Until yesterday. Yesterday I caught her looking at me square in the eye. So I rubbed my hands together, shook out my legs and took her on.