Friday, April 22, 2011

Deposits in the Bank

I have a knack for memorizing song lyrics. They come into my brain and never leave. Seriously, if we went to a Garth Brooks concert right now, I would be able to sing every word to every song he sang onstage. If I could harness this memorization skill in other areas, I'd be a genius! (Actually, it's served me very well at remembering every bride and every wedding I've worked with.) Anyway, one of the song lyrics that seems to be always in my head is by Mary Chapin Carpenter: "The stars are stacked against you, girl, get back in bed."

And that's how I felt leading into my long ride this week.

It's been raining around here. Not a little rain, like, my sump pump has been running around the clock the whole daggone month, kind of rain. Miraculously there was no rain yesterday so I knew I HAD to get in my weekly long bike ride. Things were in motion long before this ride, though, that had the cards stacked against me. See, I'm not recovering very well from my fall back in February. Although I'm not in pain, per se, my back, butt, and left hamstring have been in a constant state of uncomfortableness. When I woke up yesterday, my back felt all tweaked. Sure, sitting in aero for over three hours sounded like a great idea to fix that! Not only did I wake up to back pain, I woke up to 40 degree temperatures. Having trained for Ironman Louisville last year, I don't exactly have any colder weather riding clothing. So I waited until the afternoon to start this workout and still wore multiple layers including my running tights (yep, that's the best I got) and Dave's booties. Once I drove myself to where I would be biking, and started biking, the fantastic day got so much better. My bike computer wasn't working (I hate that damn thing--it works about 20% of the time), my HRM was reading wrong, and the trails and roads were a wreck.

Forty-five minutes of this nonsense and I was ready to call it a day. I was back at my car, calling Dave, and ready to pack it in. But, I also knew if I wanted to work on my mental toughness I had to continue the workout. The next two and a half hours of the workout would be on a rolling course. Mental toughness here we come.

I started out and it was more of the same except this time I was being run off the road by the wind and other cars. I enjoy sitting in aero to ride my bike, but this entire day would be spent sitting up, death-gripping my handlebars, and surviving. The next couple miles were torturous. I finally had to say aloud, "Settle down, Meredith. You can do this." And then I hit a zone. I was doing loops that included the part of the course from the 15 miler I ran in February. Each loop took me about 45 minutes. That would mean three loops and a little more. I could do that. I settled in, found my mojo, concentrated on nothing except nutrition and made it happen. Before I knew it, my three hour and 15 minute workout was done and I was ready to start my run.

Did I mention before my heart rate was reading erratically? It was. It has been. It's a pain in the butt. I've read on the website that the battery life is supposed to be 4 years with 1 hour use per day, but I beg to differ. When I wore my Timex, when the HR read high it was time to change the battery. Guess I'll have to give that a try with the Garmin. Anyway, my run off the bike was supposed to be heart rate based. Obviously, that plan was out the window. So I went on pace based on what those heart rates would be (yeah, I've been doing this a long time). It was a great run. Dude, I'm super-excited about the season!

A friend left me a note before Ironman last year that said "training's like money in the bank." Today's ride and run were not ideal. I fought many physical conditions along with my mental shortcomings. But, I got it done and made some serious deposits in my training bank.


Betsy said...

That is so true! And mental toughness wins over physical fitness in Ironman many many times! Good for you. And can we just have summer already Please!!!!

tri like mary said...

The mental part is one of my biggest hurdles. Congratulations on getting through that workout!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

I am sick and tired of this weather, I am afraid we are going to jump straight into summer as well.

Nice work on the bike

Annette@(running)In the Right Direction said...

I really like that quote...sounds like a good mantra to have!

Melissa said...

That must have been hard to get going again but you did it. Congrats on toughing it out.

a runners' life said...

That's so true and very motivational when you just don't feel like going out to train.

Kendra Blood said...

Suggestion re: the HRM: make sure you've wet where it touches your skin really well and you have a firm connection (since you've been losing weight, that could be the problem-the strap may be too loose)
I've had my garmin for years and that's the only time I ever see problems with it.

Andrea Hill said...

Make sure your HRM strap is tight and you've wet the connection well. I find it's erratic if I don't do that, but otherwise it's been fine for all the years I've had it..