OK. I'm not sure if you call what happened today cracking or not... somehow in my mind "cracking" is when you're trying to rip it and you just can't so you stop and call it quits. A couple years ago I remember a run where I laid down under a tree for like 1/2 hour. That was most certainly cracking! Today I did not stop and call it quits, and I definitely was not ripping anything (I didn't even have the slightest desire to try)... But that's kind of what this post is about.
For me right now, when I get close to my overtraining cliff, I don't tend to get sick or injured... instead, my brain just shuts down and I go into 'whatever' mode. Normally, when I'm training, especially if I understand it to be a key workout, I'm all agro about pace and power and effort and I get super pissy if anything interrupts me. Tree trimming crews blocking one lane of the road and stopping traffic mid-interval?? You've got to be kidding me!?! Surfers and tourists trying to cross the road to check out the waves?? MOVE OUT OF MY WAY. I don't want to stop pedaling for a second b/c that will screw with the steady pink line I want to see on my Training Peaks graph later. Yes. I'm like that. See? This was last Saturday.
Not every ride is all steady like that... Lately this has been one of my key workouts and I've done it every week... It's not hard to guess what it is...
So of course since I do this every week I've been watching the numbers and every week they've gone up and heaven forbid I reverse that trend... so while coach doesn't instruct me to go MAX on these, I tend to now b/c I want to see higher and higher numbers. I've been adding ~10W/week which has just been shocking to me- but super cool at the same time- so yesterday when I did this session I pretty much ripped myself apart to get the numbers I wanted (I got them!!) and honestly, I think this was my downfall. Since then, my brain has shut me down and my aggression level is zero. Mama spent all her GRRRR on those hills yesterday. Since then it's pretty much been like there is some sort of hole in my legs and all my power has leaked right out.
I almost have to laugh at myself b/c the switch in my brain is so obvious. Today, instead of being pissed at the tree trimmers, I was relieved for the opportunity to stop pedaling. Hi Mr Tree Trimmer! Thanks for your work! Surfers checking out the waves?? Good idea! I should do that too. Maybe I'll just sit here and eat my Powerbar and watch for a while... What nice looking waves...
I am not kidding... an hour into my ride I was thinking that if I ended up with a mechanical I couldn't fix and had to hitch a ride home, I wouldn't even be pissed. Who thinks like that?? Someone who has had enough training for now, that's who.
Anyway, I'm pretty comfortable being here in this spot right now... I recognize it for what it is... haven't hurled myself off the cliff... And it took a shitload of work to get here. I think coach has been anticipating it too b/c his instructions for today were "If you feel good then xxx, if you're tired then yyy..." Obviously I took the latter instructions today. Then I sent him an SOS email so I don't have to over-think anything while trying to dig myself out of this little hole.
So there you go. I really think it's pretty cool how our brains protect us from actually hurting ourselves... We just have to pay attention and listen to what they're saying.