Saturday, February 5, 2011

Where's My Limit?

Anyone else have a coach they think should be Certified? Like, Certified Insane?

That's what I thought of my coach this week. Seriously. I had my hardest ride so far this past Wednesday- you know that if it looks hard on paper it's going to be hard on the road... got home from that and checked my schedule and saw that he wanted me to back that up with a long ride on Thursday... What? Seriously? Ok. I did that and thought for sure it would mean at least I was going to have a rather short/easy weekend... (I love guessing what my next workout is going to be- I am almost always wrong.) I came home from that long windy ride and reported back that while the ride was mostly fine, my legs were too tired to get my HR up even to the top of zone 2 at the end... even while standing and climbing short steep hills... surely it was time for some recovery, right?

No? Not time yet? Really?

I'll admit I did have a rather easy swim yesterday but then yet another 5 hour ride today with 20 min tempo section at the end straight into a 30 min T-run today. You've got to be freakin' kidding me. I've never ridden this much in my life.

OK, truth be told, I've always thought that high volume training would work for me... I do tend to feel my best when I am training a lot... but high volume means different things to different people and my version of high volume is not as high as coach's version of high volume... I never should have written that blog last week about how much I love my long ride... I was thinking of drafting a letter to Tim that said something like, Dear Coach, I am sorry that it is -29 degrees where you live but I don't think that's a reason that I should have to ride mileage for BOTH of us this week...

BUT, in good news, we did have some rather amazing weather today and I wasn't actually making that up that I like long rides... so... I actually stopped and snapped for some pictures for you guys to show you why. I skipped the sunrise shot, which might have been a mistake b/c it was the coolest sunrise maybe ever in the history of sunrises...

This is my view about 35 miles in... Waimea Bay. We do swim races here all summer.

Look across the street and this is Waimea Valley. The picture totally doesn't do it justice.


At the top of a 5ish mile climb I do... the Waianae Mountain Range...


Don't worry coach, I did not eat lunch at Macky's.


While it appears these windmills are not moving, well, know that is only because this is a still shot. These windmills always give fair warning... and the faster they are spinning, the harder it's going to be going home.


That was the end of my stopping for pictures because the wind was just getting stronger all day and I still had my tempo interval to do... I had been worried about this tempo section for two days since I'd read it on my schedule... (here is the positive thing about not knowing your schedule too far in advance!) I had no idea how I was going to get my HR that high and keep it there for 20 full minutes when I couldn't even get it to spike there 2 days earlier... hmmm. I really needed my legs to show up for this ride. What would help my legs show up? Ah ha. Mama had the answer.

You'd think that since I am not only sponsored by Recovery e21 but also am the Triathlon Team Coordinator that I would be taking these pills religiously every day. I have to admit, tail between my legs, I don't. I do take them on longer/harder runs if I remember but honestly, most of my training lately has been too cruisy for me to feel like I would notice an effect so I haven't bothered. Bad athlete. I know. BUT, see the positive thing here is that when I do take them, I have real evidence of the difference. I knew that the only way I was going to get my HR up to where it needed to be today was if my legs showed up to ride, and I've known from my past experience with taking e21 that it somehow helps my legs work more effectively. So I gambled on the notion that e21 might somehow magically help me get through this workout today. I took 2 before starting and 2 at each water stop and 2 prior to running (10 total).

And you know what? It worked. In fact, I'd say (bold statement coming!) today was the best long brick I've ever done. I felt super strong all day and was chomping at the bit to get to my tempo section (SO different than just 2 days ago)... got my HR up right to where it needed to be... I'd say "no problem" but that would imply it was easy, which it was not... I felt like I was flying along at 40K pace during that section... got home, put my dorky compression sleeves on and went running... felt light and fresh. Seriously. Amazing. Who feels light and fresh after a ride like that? Um, I DO! :) The only thing I can credit this difference to today is e21* because my hydration/nutrition were same as always and if you look at my week, well, I should have been thrashed today. As it ended up, I felt absolutely super. And mid-run when I was flying high I decided that hiring my should-be-certified-insane coach was the best triathlon related decision I've ever made.

The second best decision? Drinking this post-workout. I figured since I rode right past Pipeline today, I deserved this one. Why is it that beer tastes so much better after a long workout??

So now I find myself wondering, Where's My Limit? It's not where I thought it was, that's for sure. I haven't found it yet. How cool.

*If you want to try e21 yourself, use promo code 'mamasimmons' for 20% discount.

15 comments:

Beth said...

Yes, yes and YES!! I've definitely felt all these same thing - coach is crazy, my legs will never have it, and then wow, I didn't think I could do that but I did! :)

You are going to have one heck of a year Michelle - so excited for you!!

Oh and p.s. - just be glad all those miles aren't on the trainer my friend. ;)

Running and living said...

Love this! I am a true believer of finding your limits, taking risks by pushing a little further.
Awesome job.

Molly said...

Nice job on all that crazy volume!!!! I too love the Recovery e21 and am counting on it to get me through a big day today on trashed legs :-)

TriGirl Kate O said...

I think after those rides you deserved TWO beers. Well done! I want to come swim in Waimea Bay...

mmmonyka said...

I am worried that you might get some (insane) ideas from your coach:) But at least now I know what I could expect for the future.
Where exactly do you live? I have decided to move there:)

I love the quote, so true and inspirational.

Adrienne said...

You are a woman after my own heart-a beer after a LONG workout is the best!

Aimee said...

First of all....you have the most amazing views from your rides! Just beautiful!
Secondly, I'm glad your workout ended up being a great one! Yay!

Jennifer said...

Awesome pics, thanks for sharing! I have to laugh though... seems like a coach would see a statement like "most of my training lately has been too cruisy for me to feel like I would notice an effect" as an invitation to totally turn up the heat :-) Very cool to discover limits that are only in our heads. Hoping I can heal this hamstring soon so that I can do the same!

Kathy said...

Awesome day it sounds like. Though reading about training in Hawaii in February kind of makes me want to cry, it sounds like you are going to have an amazing season. I can't wait to read about it as the races start up!

Jeff Teale said...

Great stuff Michelle! Waimea Bay looks amazing, especially for a cool down swim post ride :-)

mtanner said...

LOVING IT!!!

Katie A. said...

I think finding your limits comes and goes with each training cycle. I'm stretching far this time around, to distances and times I never would have dreamed of a few short months ago - but it feels great! Thanks for the pics, it only adds to how jealous I am of you ;)
Great ride! Have a great week!

kerrie said...

yeah, it's been pretty cold here(with way too much snow) so you are also riding for me. and swimming. and running.
so keep it up. don't be a slacker.

Regina said...

Ok, I officially hate you after all those pictures from your ride! While I have to contend with crazy cops who have decided that ticketing cyclists $270 for running red lights in Central Park even when IT IS CLOSED TO VEHICULAR TRAFFIC!!!!! That is, when it is even remotely nice enough to get outside to ride.

Glad you are successfully meeting all the volume demands thrown at you! Good stuff. I cannot wait to see/hear how your IM is going to turn out; awesomely!

Iron Krista, "The Dog Mom" said...

I think the beer cravings counter all the sugary crap we put in belly on the long stuff. I love red wine, but I RARELY want it after a long bike ride. Wheat beer in a frosty mug, oh YES.

The post CDA Party on Monday will be GOOD. :-)