Thursday, March 11, 2010

winding down

power camp is down to its final three days: the official end is this coming sunday, march 14th.
tomorrow morning will be a fast, low heart rate spin.
saturday is a 3-hour ride.
sunday is a hard 1-hour class for those who can't make saturday's class.

let's back up to saturday's class. yes, it is three hours long. yes, three. on a spin bike.
here's the thing: there will be three different instructors, one for each hour.
that hardly seems fair.
they say it's so that we, the class participants, don't get bored.

and after the weekend is over and camp officially ends, I have a week of sleeping-in. a week of "recovery" rides which may keep my heart rate low, but never seem to really feel like recovery. this has been on my mind lately: the fact that "recovery" days seem almost as hard as regular "work" days. of course this could just be due to the cumulative effect of too many early morning classes and too many short nights and too many other life stressors . . .
this is my latest observation in class: I have to work harder than I used to have to to keep my heart rate in zone 2.
zone 1 is everything less than the beginning of zone 2, which for me is 129 beats per minute.
zone 1 is a lovely place to hang out: I don't sweat, my hair looks great, my skin stays even-toned and doesn't flush, and I can chat it up with the best of them.
zone 2 didn't used to be so hard to get to and stay in: these days I have to turn up the resistance knob, focus on working a little harder than I want to, and sweat while I hang out there.
this is because I'm more fit, I'm told.

thus my question: why doesn't it ever get easier??

it just doesn't seem fair. you work hard, you increase your fitness, you sweat and grind like crazy getting there, and all that really happens is that you move to a place where you now have to work harder to increase your heart rate.

makes me want to become a couch potato for a while.
okay, not truly.

but it would be nice to sit in zone 2 without sweating, to hang out in zone 3 easily, for zone 4 to feel great, and zone 5 to just be a little stretch.

perhaps in heaven it's that way. fitness heaven, where your muscles are lean and all activities are almost effortless, where you reach the top of each peak with labored breath but happy heart, and you swoop and swoop and swoop and always, always, have the energy and desire to go climb the next mountain.

one day, when we wind down not only our power camp days, but all of our actual days, when life slows and moves gently to a place called the end, perhaps then, I will meet you all there and we can enjoy a swoop or two together.

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