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.
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.
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.
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.
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.