Sunday, March 29, 2015

Going Nowhere Fast

That's pretty much how I've felt every long ride so far this year.  Not because I'm riding slow,  but instead I've been doing more trainer riding than I've probably done in the past 4 years combined.  All but 1 of my long rides so far have been on the trainer!  Thank goodness for good friends, Hulu, Pandora and Amazon Prime Instant Video.  Yes, I've watched more moving screens in the past couple months than I really care to admit.

While some of my friends and training partners loathe the trainer, I've actually come to enjoy it.  The entire ride is pretty predictable (until your awesome boyfriend steps on the flywheel), you can really control power, HR, nutrition, etc.  There's no stopping, there's no flat tires, cars, animals, potholes...and heck now there's even TrainerRoad to keep you entertained and honest.  Now don't get me wrong I love a good long ride outside - so much that I headed out for 95 miles in a downpour just about 2 weeks ago.  It was wonderful.  I really thought I'd be heading outside again this weekend but mother nature had other plans for this girl.

My 5.5 hour outdoor long ride was sure to be 100+ miles, instead I pushed every single one of those miles while starting at the concrete floor of my friends garage.  On the plus side the garage was super humid albeit the 32* temps and 15mph winds that I was safely shielded from, so somewhat like Texas.  With our extra long winter-like weather I've been making it a point to focus on hydration because without intent I know I will not drink enough during long rides.  Well, I'm stubborn and even in my friends garage I didn't want to take the extra 5 minutes to jump off my bike and refill bottles as often as I should.  I stuck to what *I thought* my nutrition regimen had been last year and I tanked struggled through the last 30 minutes.  Light bulb! Check your nutrition plan, duh!

I get by with a little help from my friends.  This is about watts guys, not social hour!

One by one everyone finished up their workouts...2 hour ride followed by a run, 2.5 hour ride followed by a run and so on until I was the last one spinning.  For another 1.5 hours by myself, the iPad that was cranking out tunes died and this ride quickly became a lesson in mental fortitude.  Not something I say too often about riding on the road.  I played mind tricks with the time, I thought about IM Texas, lots of positive self-talk and mental imagery going on for the last 30 minutes of this ride.

At times it's tough when I realize I'm < 7 weeks out from an IM and I haven't actually ridden my bike 100+ miles outside yet, but I have put in some heavy days on the trainer.  I've developed my mental toughness and pushed through pain.   I've had the chance to zero in on nutrition and I've got some great outdoor long rides coming up over the next 4 weeks.  So here's to going nowhere fast and looking forward to the results it produces at TryCharleston 1/2 in just under 3 weeks time.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

One Step Closer...

As I pushed through another testing week on my training schedule, I also had some time to reflect and think, which can be a dangerous combination.  I've been reminded, a few times, to never take a single breath for granted - both in sport and in life.  I have a love-hate relationship with testing week.  Love it because I get to see concrete improvements and it's a bit of a 'rest' week.  Hate it - because if you're doing it right, it hurts!  Case in point, the below pictures of my FTP bike test from this past week.  Even while I'm pushing through the most painful times of that 20 minute test, I try to remind myself that I chose to do this, I am grateful for the opportunity, and thankful for a healthy body that allows me to perform, adapt, and improve.

#1 Pre FTP Test - Warm Up
#2 Post 3-Min FTP Test
#3 Post 20 Min FTP Test - More Watts!
I won't settle for the path of least resistance, maybe a character attribute or a character flaw.  It's probably both depending on the situation.  Definitely an attribute when it comes to more watts, faster paces, and improved performance.  Perhaps a flaw in other scenarios.  I want to take chances that are worth taking this year, make mistakes that are worth making and see what happens, give faith a fighting chance.  They say when one door closes, another opens.  What if one doesn't have to close and you can open another all the while still doing what you love and building upon your passions.

Over the course of 2015 I'm going to keep crushing dreams and dreaming big with Snapple Tri Team, getting patients at RosePT back on the road, in the saddle, in the pool, and work diligently towards making this life all that I want it to be.  If you're a regular blog follower you might see some changes coming down the line and a new tab across the top coming your way.  Just as our athletic potential is a constantly moving target so are our life goals, ambitions, and potentials.

Snow covered sidewalks by the time I
 made it home from run test!

I'll keep doing my best to show the world the warmth of my smile - even if it means running in the biggest snow storm of the year for a threshold run test.  I think the combination of pushing the limits physically this week and reading some wise words (thanks @ChitoandKgo) recently has motivated me to start building a foundation and plan to tackle another dream.  I used to have a hand made sign (by yours truly) hanging over my bedroom door that read 'Dream Big' while growing up.  Sure the dreams then were of soccer championships, Olympic medals, and World Cups.  Just because those dreams have changed, just as I've changed, doesn't mean I should ever stop dreaming big.  Working up the courage and laying down plans to be one step closer...

For when you dream, dream big, as big as the ocean, blue.  Cause when you dream, it might come true, for when you dream, dream big.

Best custom stem-cap ever!