Monday, February 16, 2009

to lose one's head

I lost my head this morning.
I told myself it would be fun to do 2 spin classes, back to back.
or, as I found out when I got there, 2 hour-long classes with a 15-minute gap between them, during which I would of course stay on my bike, spinning away to my own little set of instructions.

I'm not sure what I was thinking.

actually, I know what I was thinking. I was thinking that I can easily do a 2-hour outdoor ride, so this shouldn't be a problem. as well, it was a perfect day to take advantage of the fact that I had very few "have-to's". a 2-hour class would fit perfectly into my day.
and most importantly, after this l o n g class I would be able to eat lots during the rest of the day.

I got there, I got started, and I fell into my usual trap: I think I'm going to work at a moderate pace, keeping my heartrate in a mid-range, knowing there will be plenty of work ahead of me; then I start going and just keep pushing a bigger gear and working harder and next thing I know I'm in zone 5 with sweat dripping off my eyebrows.
on a bike I seem to be an all or nothing girl. well, to be honest, I guess I'm just the "all" girl. I don't know how to do the "nothing."

during the first 45 minutes I kept telling myself, you can stop whenever you want to. you can just do the one class, you can do one and a half classes, you can stop at 90 minutes or 120 minutes . . . or you can go to the end. no pressure, no expectations, no commitment to anything necessary.
during the instructor-led stretches at the end of the first hour I kept spinning.
during the 15 minutes break between the 2 classes I kept spinning.
during the new instructor's warm-up I kept spinning.

and once I get involved in a class, my obsessive nature takes over and I become determined to finish the darn thing.

my legs ached. my lungs ached. my heart pounded away. a muscle in my left calf kept calling for help. I drank 2 1/2 bottles of water. I soaked a towel with my sweat.
and before I knew it, we had reached the final song.
which the instructor calls her"all out effort" song. you can probably deduce from the name what it is we do during that song.
it's brief; it's wicked.
we power up, we work, we stretch our limits, and then there's a 30-second reprieve before that final part.
that final work section is "only a little over a minute," and she tells us "you can do anything for only a little over a minute."
I grin at that.
and turn up the resistance and re-fire my leg muscles.

I finished with a racing heart, stretched, calmed down, and came home,

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