Monday, December 03, 2007

In ALL CAPS

Time for a training update to keep me honest.

This week's joy?

LACTIC THRESHOLD TESTING.

Doesn't that sound fun? No? Not even a leetle beet?

Yeah...I agree. Here's how it played out.

First -- The Swim Test. This consisted of a nice little warm up and then a series of 10 100s in a row, with a rest of 10 second in between. Sure, why not? Sounds like fun, right?

Hell in the form of binary numbers.

The description my coach put in the Training Peaks file indicated I was to go ALL OUT on this.


"ALL OUT"

Until this point, I never really knew what swimming in all caps felt like. Turns out that the first 100 is terribly empowering...the second and third made me feel strong and fast. By the time I hit the third, I was starting to feel the burn and get a bit sloppy, but I WAS SWIMMING IN ALL CAPS so there was no stopping me now. I was in it to win it and I wanted more.

Fourth 100? Starting cussing out my coach. The fifth and sixth were a blur and by the time I made it to the eighth, I wondered if I could actually drown in the Y pool while SWIMMING IN ALL CAPS. Seemed entirely possible at the time. The ninth was the looooongest four lengths of my life and the last one was like running the horse back to the barn...I just tried to block out the pain for only a wee bit longer.

Whew. Swim Test #1 down. Baseline numbers on the books. Now I have zoooooones to work with, no longer my two speeds of (1) swimming, and (2) standing at the end of the lane staring importantly at the clock.

I have zones now. Booyah.

Results: Avg 100 = 2:03

Second...The Bike Test.

This one I was smart about. Do it in the morning, so you don't worry about it all day long. Good advice, self. No ruminations on the impending pain. Just get up, wipe the sleep away from your eyes and kick your own ass in the basement while everyone else is sleeping, cozy, in their beds.

Again, the architecture of the pain was the same. A nice little warm up, nothing you can't handle. Spin away for a 1/2 hour and get lulled into submission by CNN's morning loop of news stories. And right when you're starting to feel good, clear all electronic devices and start anew.

RIDE ALL OUT

Again with the all caps, dammit. Twenty minutes HARD. Don't blow up in the first 10 minutes, but remember this is supposed to make you cry by the end. So I kicked my own arse in the name of fitness. Pushed hard in my biggest gear for 20 minutes, dripping well earned sweat all over the floor and watching the slow minutes tick away.

By the end I wanted to punch the tv and fall on the floor in a heap. But it was done. I BIKED IN ALL CAPS and made it out the other end alive.

And, again, I'm now armed with zones. Actual zones that will make me faster. Booflippingya.

Results: Avg HR = 157, Max HR = 169, Avg Speed = 26.5, Dist = 8.8 miles

Third...The Run Test.

This, my friends, it my personal ring of hell. I don't like to run. (GASP!) Check that...I love to run, but I'm not very good at it so things get challenging for me earlier than most. My bulky bod and bad knees weren't really made to run. Maybe roll large boulders, but not run.

Do this test was something I dreaded all week long. I have never ever run in all caps. Ever. So the thought of running ALL OUT for 20 minutes was foreign to me.

Twenty minutes.

OMG.

And when I woke on Sunday morning and found it was sleeting out and I would need to do the test on the treadmill...well, my hell clearly came monogrammed with my name on it.

But my coach told me to do it and I do what she says. Period.

The first 20 minutes were sooo nice. Just jogging along for a warm up at 15 minute miles. Do, do-doooo. Sooo nice. And before I knew it, it was time to put your seat trays up and prepare for take off. Clear all electronic devices and put your bags under the seat ahead of you.

It was time to run. IN ALL CAPS.

...

...

People, it sucked. That was the hardest 20 minutes of my entire life. You have no choice on the treadmill. You just push. And push and push and push and push. Until you almost fall off the back and you're completely covered in sweat and you are huffing and puffing like the nutjob that usually runs next to you at the gym. And then you look down at your watch and you see that you have no less than 12 more minutes to go.

And you cuss your coach. And you cuss yourself for having this ridiculous idea to get faster and stronger. And you cuss your boyfriend who is still sleeping in lower case upstairs. And you cuss the news anchor on tv, even though you can no longer hear him over the din now being created by your own personal treadmill hell.

The treadmill's pitch screams just like your lungs. But you can't slow down because you're RUNNING IN ALL CAPS this week. And your coach promised you it would be worth it. And you really hope it will be.

And then, magically, before the puking begins....it's done.

Finally, testing is done.

And after cooling down and drying off, I wandered upstairs and found Mighty M sitting on the couch with his mouth in a big "O" looking at me like I was mad.

"Geeze, hun. You were really booking down there!"

Yes, hun, I was. I was training in all caps.

Result: Avg HR = 179, Max HR = 185, Dist = 2.11 miles

18 comments:

Wes said...

Very cool. Excellent work. I need to do the same before the end of the year. Now, I'm REALLY looking forward to it :-)

Go Mom Go said...

Great job!

Now you have a starting point and we know how far you are going to go from here!

Laura

Brent Buckner said...

BOOYA!

J-Wim said...

Well, I am impressed! Well Done.

Laurie said...

Now this is the type of training that I love to read about it. I can almost see you working away on the treadmill. Love your writing. Keep up the great work.

21stCenturyMom said...

OOOPH! In all caps. But you did it! You did it! And now you have zones. Booyah, indeed. Make that BOOYAH! in all caps.

E. L. F. said...

I don't give workouts in ALL CAPS very often, but when I do I'm glad to see you get the point. I'm so proud of you for working HARD.

elf

Bill said...

Whooo Hoooo!

Thanks for taking us along for the ride.

WELL DONE!

amy@runnerslounge.com said...

Wow! Very cool to do all out. I think all out is so empowering - you realize how much you hold back a little everyday just for a moment like this.

Very inspiring post - makes me wanna just get up an go!

And that feat on a treadmill - you need to get a medal for that - a medal of BRAVERY! Flat out on a treadmill is the scariest thing ever invented in my opinion.

LBTEPA said...

You're scaring me.
Who knew there were more than 2 speeds for swimming?
As for running or cycling IN ALL CAPS....(huddles into ball, rocks back and forward)
well done mate :)

AGA said...

WooHoo for you! And I'm a little bit frightened. Running in all caps is scary-GREAT JOB!

Anonymous said...

Oh yes...read Elizabeth's blog today....I freaked her out over the past few years writing her workouts in ALL CAPS....I think she gets the point now...and you are learning! Keep up the good work! :) YEAH YEAH YEAH! Jen H.
www.jenharrison.com

ShirleyPerly said...

Holy Sh*t! Now you've got me scared to get a coach. AWESOME JOB!!!

Kim said...

holy f*$king $hit! you are an animal. super impressive!!!

Stef said...

Thanks for the preview. My tests start tomorrow!!!

Stef said...

Yeah. The tests are hard.

Steve Stenzel said...

Wow...what a test!! I'll have to rethink my 2 swimming speeds (they're the same as yours)...

uncadan8 said...

That reminds me...I need to go do this on the bike so that my training is a bit more profitable. Ick.