Thursday. I had a great workout on the bike this morning in the park. I knew it was going to be cold (we start rolling at 5:30 so I have to leave my apartment by 5:15 and it was only registering 27) but I dressed properly and showed up ready to work out. And work out we did!
We did four loops of the park. One warm up and two loops with intervals and one paceline loop. Same workout as last week but with an extra loop. (Last week was quasi recovery week). I was fairly rested going into the workout which was good because I had to have every bit of energy with me this morning. I rode with a nice group all my pace (when I say my pace I mean they beat me up the hills but I catch them later.) Several of them I call my “pushers” because it just kills me when they pass me on the uphills and they make me work hard to keep up. Nowhere to hide out and just pedal through with these gals, we work hard through the entire interval.
I think of my coach from last season every week when I’m going down Harlem hill. I was such a chicken last year and I remember her saying “you’ll be bombing down this hill by the end of the season.” I don’t think I ever bombed down that hill even at the end of the season –even when Sunshine was screaming at me. But this season? This season I’m bombing down the hill already because is the only way I can stay one second ahead of those gals before they overtake me on the uphill. I basically throw myself down that hill and the sad part is, they keep right up with me….. I think if we are pushing this hard right now, we are going to be badass by July. I’ll have to go back and check if we were finishing three or four loops by end of January last year.
Had a real little breakthrough on the bike this morning. On the third loop the coach caught me downshifting as I approached Harlem Hill (not on the hill yet, just rounding the corner towards it.) “What happened?” he asked. “You were riding fine and then all of a sudden you start bouncing in your saddle, did you shift or something.” Uh, er, well, um, yeah. I get nervous when I think about the hill coming up and I shift out of the big chain ring and into my middle chain ring (Sylvia is a triple). Just the thought of the hill makes me shift. “But the hill hasn’t even started yet.” He sounded puzzled. Fine, let me make it clear — “I’m a chicken, that’s the problem.” I confessed. I then proceeded to explain that if I don’t shift now I’ll be caught on the hill trying to downshift and then I’ll drop my chain and yadda, yadda, yadda. He wasn’t really buying it. When the words actually came out of my mouth, I wasn’t buying it either.
We did the last loop as a paceline (no intervals). He made me lead the group down Lasker hill and ALL THE WAY up Harlem Hill. He’s very sneaky. He knows that my ego would make me push me harder knowing the faster hill climbers were behind me. I rounded the bend from Lasker and although I wanted to downshift I kept thinking, wait for it, wait for it, wait until you HAVE to shift. I was halfway up the first part of Harlem Hill before I had to shift into my middle ring. No dropped chain. Did the ole drop one in the front and double click up two harder in the back and it was fairly seamless. That has to be worth 10 seconds. It was a lesson I was embarrassed to have to learn in front of everyone — my anticipation of the hill was slowing me down more than the hill itself. That’s not to say once I was deep into the hill I didn’t slow down considerably but I was much further along before I actually felt the pain.
Of course it made me think how often I do this in other parts of my life. Is filing that painful or is it the thought of filing that is painful? Is grocery shopping painful or is it the thought of grocery shopping that is painful? And if we only stick to the routes we like or the methods we have used in the past, how do we expect to improve? Maybe something I think is painful really isn’t as bad as I thought. (I said maybe, I’m sure getting a needle stuck in my eye is as painful as I expect.) But maybe if I move out of my comfort zone my comfort zone will change. Just a thought.
Heard back from my doctor yesterday about my lab results. First time in a long time anyone has called me perfect. She read off the list — cholesterol, liver, salt, iron, sugar levels — perfect, perfect, perfect. Wow, that was nice to hear. She had tested my Thyroid — perfect (shoot, I was hoping she was going to say “well here’s the reason you aren’t losing weight….). She tested me for Raynaud’s disease (because my finger tips in my right hand are in pain a lot). Test result was negative. Turns out it is due to poor circulation being caused by my old tennis callouses that are pressing down into my fingers and stopping the blood flow to my finger tips. Now I am to just massage the callouses and voila, fingertips stop hurting!
I am very excited to see how I do tomorrow at WW. Whether the scales reads up or down, I have written down every morsel of every food and beverage that has passed my lips since last Friday. That is such a sense of accomplishment for me that I am very happy. I’ve tried very hard to stick to CORE foods but I’m not freaking out that I ate something non-core (bread) because now I have it quantified. I’m not fearing the scale (the hill) before I get on it. I feel like I’m riding right up the hill and okay, if I gain a pound, I have something to look back on and say — here, right here is something you can do to perform better. Here is where you can move out of your comfort zone. Right here is where you need to shift gears. It’s not the hill until it’s the hill. And, when you hit the hill, that’s when you shift — not before.
Did you know that when Lance Armstrong first came onto the Tour de France scene they dismissed him because “he couldn’t climb?”
Here’s a little video that gets me pumped up. I love the part where the driver says to Lance “There is 3 meters of snow, no way can you ride.” Lance says “Who says?”