Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sheer Bliss

Yesterday was the usual brutal Wednesday evening spin workout but it was very unusual in the most amazing way.

At about the middle of the session, we were riding along at a time trial effort, just like out on the road. I got my legs going at a good hard pace and settled into my aerobars. I was feeling pretty good. Then I started to feel even better. I closed my eyes. I felt like I was alone in the room. I felt one with my bike. The music drew me in. I just rode like that. It was blissful, magical, transcendent, almost spiritual. I was way beyond "the zone." It was the most amazing experience. I've never felt like that before. I didn't want it to end. It was so perfect.

I am amazed at how wonderful it can feel to train.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I Feel Great!

Last Wednesday, I had a little bit of a crash. I was exhausted and needed a break. But even the next day, I felt much better and by the weekend, I was myself again. Now, I'm feeling great!

I met with my coaches on Sunday, just to check in and talk about upcoming weeks in the plan. My main coach, who is giving me all of my workouts, had not seen me since we first met each other at the end of November. Since then, I have lost 20 pounds, changed jobs, and become stronger. When I walked into the coffee shop, she said, "Oh wow - that's it - I'm doing another Ironman! Look how good you look! This is really working for you!" My other coach told me that I looked so much happier and relaxed. It struck me at that moment that things have really come together for me and that I am feeling better than ever.

Yesterday was a great day. I woke up in the morning excited about the day, even though it was just an ordinary Monday. I taught my classes and they went well. Then I went to spin. This was an extra spin workout for me but I wanted to do it because the club has added Monday spin sessions now and I didn't want to miss out! It was a hard workout and I enjoyed it so much. I felt strong and happy - like I was in just the right place. I told the spin instructor afterward and he said he could tell I was working hard and getting stronger and that it seemed like things had clicked for me.

After an awkward start to my training, after four months in a job that was not right for me, after the disruption of Christmas and the cruise, and despite a lot of stress in my teaching position now - it's great work but there's a lot of it! - I am feeling like I've turned a corner in my training. Running feels good now, after a few months of slogging. Spinning is awesome and I can take whatever those mean instructors dish out. Swimming is starting to feel better, too. I am doing more distance and working on speed; the workouts are enjoyable and seem to be having an effect.

My attitude is different, too. I am more confident, more positive, more willing to take on this kind of hard physical challenge. I have been inspired and supported by some amazing athletes in my club and I am so motivated to do this.

I know that every day won't feel like this - the good times and bad times come together - but it sure is nice to have a moment where I can enjoy the changes and progress that I'm seeing.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sudden Halt!

Two days ago, I told my husband that I was feeling a little tired but that I intended to keep going as long as I could keep going. Well, today is when it all came to a halt.

My recent workouts have been good. I've really enjoyed them and I've felt strong and fast (for me - it's all relative). Things have been good. I am very happy with how my training is going.

However, last night I barely slept, despite my fatigue. When my alarm clock rang at 5:15 to wake me for my swim, I lay there, thinking about whether I could even move my arms around in the water; I just couldn't imagine doing it. I felt horribly guilty but I turned off my clock and rolled over. Sadly, I didn't even fall asleep but I couldn't have moved if I tried. I cancelled one of the three classes I have to teach today - the one I could afford to get one class behind in - and I plan to go home and sleep instead. Tonight, I should be going to spin class but I can hardly bear the thought of the usual Wednesday night brutal spin workout. If I miss the spin it also means that I have to find someone to cover for me since I am the coordinator of our club's spin season. This compounds my guilt.

I guess I've been wondering how long I could manage the pace of things without it taking its toll. My teaching load is very heavy and my training is increasing and I think it has caught up with me a little. I know I'll be OK if I am kind to myself today. I don't think this means anything monumental. I am just tired. I am still committed to my goal and my training but today is most definitely going to be a day off.