I sometimes think that if I write with confidence, or if I write that I am becoming more confident in my training, its like the confidence drains from me onto my computer and I am left on empty. Just after I wrote last week was solid, this week was crap.
Not all of it was crap, but my tests were crap. I was already a bit shaken by an argument with my son (for another post), and when it came time for my bike FTP (Functional Threshold Power) test on Thursday I was feeling drained.
Cynthia and I did the test with Andreas at the Ultrabikex Studio. We did a warm up and then our instructions were to go as hard as we could for ten miles. From the get go I was falling behind. I couldn’t find my groove, my strength and much less my speed. My heart rate was through the roof, and next to me was a very focused and determined Cynthia, looking down and kicking butt. By mile seven I was out of breath and kept saying “I can’t”, a massive wave of negativity hit me over the head. It wasn’t that I couldn’t finish the test, but I couldn’t bring my power numbers up to where I thought they could be. I was disappointed but a good kick in the butt keeps me humble. I took it in stride.
On Friday, I had my swim test. Same concept: all out for 500 yards. As I was warming up, I realized I left my watch at home. I did not do it on purpose, if you know me you know that if my head were not attached I would leave that behind as well. I devised a plan to use the pool clock to figure out my time except that the pool watch was broken. I could’ve chosen to do the test another day but I had fretted over this test all night so by golly I was going to get it done. Fortunately, the nice lifeguard took my time. I didn’t do great, but I didn’t do awful.
Saturday was the run test. And that one was royally bad. So bad I didn’t do it. The goal was to run six miles as fast as you can. After the warm up, I realized my legs weren’t really moving. I took a 40mg caffeine gel, the type of gel I take when I need a major push, and not even that would get me moving. It was so hot, and so humid the mental struggle was even greater than what my legs were going through. I finally decided to forgo the test but not the workout. And though disappointed for not finishing the test, I did feel proud that I finished what was on my training plan and chalked it off to mental practice. I need lot’s of that.
Fortunately Sunday brought good news for me. I rode 85 miles with a friend from the GEICO Road Safety Bike Tour. I rode the way I like to ride – hard but steady in a zone where my heart is not about to jump off my chest. A pace that is a bit tough to keep, but that with some work I can keep for a very long time. That ride saved me from being both shaken AND stirred.
To review here went my week:
Monday: SWIM. 1.5 mile open water swim
Tuesday: DAY OFF. Life got in the way ….
Wednesday: RUN. “Easyish” 45 minute run
Thursday: BIKE. Crappy FTP test
Friday: SWIM. Rather crappy swim test
Saturday: RUN. Seriously crappy run test
Sunday: BIKE. A redeeming 85 miles
12 weeks down, 11 to go. How was your training week?