Monday, August 15, 2011

lines drawn with invisible ink

each of these past few augusts I've had to look back at what I wrote the year before to see how I was feeling during this stage of my training.
I feel the need to do that today, to see if I felt as concerned as I do today.

last week I was feeling pretty good about my riding, my strength, my overall ability.
this past weekend, not so much.

I've noticed over the past month that it seems to be taking my heartrate longer to recover from intense riding events.
it began with the IThinkICanyons (you know, 110 miles, 12,000' vertical gain, 4 canyons): for the next four or five days my heartrate wouldn't climb up to its usual place, staying anywhere from 4-10 beats below.
then I noticed the same issue after my next weekend's big ride, then the next, then the next.

two days ago I rode long and fairly hard (95 miles, 6100' gain), and experienced some nausea/dizziness on the big climb portion. then yesterday after 35 medium-hard miles I started up little cottonwood canyon, and did not have a great climb. I was, however, able to get my heartrate up to its high spot. but I felt like crap.

and that brings me to today, feeling unsure of what to do. do I take a recovery day? or do I take the day off? do I try to dig a little deeper into understanding the nauseated/dizzy experience? do I cut back a bit, or do I push through it?
I'm not suffering a mental burnout as I sometimes do, but it's possible that my body is trying to tell me something.

yesterday I watched the tour of utah professional cyclists finish their 100-mile stage, climbing little cottonwood canyon to snowbird. a small few of them cracked smiles as they passed us a mile and a half from the end, and we watched individual riders have water thrown on them, have donuts handed to them, and receive running pushes from well-wishers. most looked hot, exhausted, and ready to be done with the suffering.
which is encouraging, because I often look (and feel) that way at the end of my long rides/hard climbs.

a line exists somewhere between "enough" and "too much," and I think its drawn in invisible ink. perhaps if I owned spy goggles I could find it more easily . . . but since I don't, I suppose I will resort to a little meditation, a little inner focus, a little more intensive listening to my own body's communication with me.
recovery, rest, recovery, rest . . . some water, some good food, a lot of sleep . . .
it all sounds good to me.


Koala Bear Writer said...

I haven't seriously biked in a few years, and when I did, it was in a mostly flat area with a few rolling hills. I can't imagine biking the vertical distances you are talking about here! Lately, I've been thinking about getting back to riding, but that either requires biking with my daughters in a trailer behind me (more weight and more effort, and lots more noise!) or finding a time to ride when my husband or a friend can watch them (harder to do). So good for you for training and riding as much as you do. Don't overdue it! :)

BTW, I found your site from Holly's Pay It Forward post. Nice to meet you!

Holly@A Life-Size Catholic Blog said...

I wish I new you were going to be watching by the side of the rode. None of my family wanted to join me, and I ended up streaming it on my computer. It was fun to see a race in our own backyard.

I see Bonnie was here visiting. She's a freelance writer. You should visit her blog when you have a minute. She's great!