Posted by: twistsoffeet | April 27, 2011

I Hurt


Today was my most intense day of training yet.

It was not my longest ride, but it certainly was by far my most intense ride.

Today I hurt, but in a good way.

I started with my two mile ride to work, then five hours of work with a couple of miles of walking in there, and then two miles ridden home.

I grabbed a quick protein shake with some waxy maze and creatine and off I went.

A quick ten mile warmup ride, then I started my loop of nine miles each direction, although today I actually extended that loop by about one mile each direction.

But this was not my regular, casual loop.

I usually do about 15 minutes of intervals, where I push it as hard as I can for two minutes then slow down for one minute before pushing for two more minutes, followed by another minute of casual riding.

Today I did 2.5 hours of intervals non-stop of two minutes pushing it “balls-to-the-wall,” as hard as I could.  Then,  one minute of slow riding, but I never stopped pedaling.  Then I did it over, and over, and over.  My last loop was only about eight miles each direction, so makes a total of about 56 miles in intervals and another ten miles warm up and four miles total on my ride to and from work.

All told, I did about 70 miles, of that 56 miles of interval training.

My quads are screaming, as are my calves and my lungs.  All of this aching has spread into my back and even my stomach because I was also trying to concentrate on really compressing my abdominal muscles.  My whole body feels like it is on fire and I am shaking from the exertion and exhaustion.

To be honest, I wanted to quit after half an hour of intervals, but I kept telling myself that all I had to do was reach a certain point close to the horizon and then I could quit, but I would get there and then I would pick another point down the road that would become my new goal.  I put all I had into keeping this going.

Finally, I listened to my body tell me that I was going to damage it if I kept going.

Not by over working it, but by being so exhausted that I would do something stupid or careless and my reflexes would not be quick enough to react.

I have learned to listen to my body.

Well not really listen to it when it is “just talking to me,” but when it starts screaming at me, and I am so tired I can’t understand what it is saying– as though it is talking in another language that I am totally unfamiliar with– then I finally see the light or hear the warnings and change what I am doing.

I think it is good to listen to my body, but only when it is telling something with a passion that is convincing.

If I listen to my body when it first tells me to quit, like today after my first half hour of intervals, then I would not advance my training and no benefits would be obtained.  But, if I make my body really convince me with sound argument and unrelenting passion for self-preservation, then I have probably made some gains in my training.

What is really crazy is that now I am thinking about going back out later this afternoon once it begins to cool slightly and have another more casual ride of ten or twenty miles, just to work out some of the kinks. But on the other hand, I really do not know if I am even going to be able to move in three hours from now.  This may just be wishful thinking.

In the mean time, I will sit here and try to relax and recover a little bit and enjoy the pain I am now feeling. Not that I enjoy pain, but I do enjoy pushing myself to accomplish something that takes me to the very edge of my strength, endurance, and ability to work through painfully uncomfortable challenges.

I hope this does not qualify me to be recognized as masochistic, but instead shows that I am able to force myself to obtain goals that would be very easy to abandon.

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