What About Bob

Seven minute warm-up
15 minutes steady cadence (above 85 rpm) keeping Heart Rate (HR) in Zone (Z) 3;
3 minute recovery HR in Z1
15 minutes steady cadence (above 85 rpm) HR in Z3
3 minute recovery
15 minutes steady cadence (above 85 rpm) HR in Z4;
7 minute cool down.

That was my workout on the trainer.  It was 9:45 P.M., I'd just gotten home from work (about 4 hours later than I usually got home). It had been a LONG day!  The first few days back after the holidays are always rough.  Lots of catching up and never ending proverbial fires to extinguish.  

I was tired, so very, very tired.  I was supposed to run intervals on the treadmill that night, but I could not stomach the thought of going to the gym to wade through all those fresh new souls working out their resolutions, so I opted to swap workouts with one from later in the week; bike intervals.

I started strong, settling into the cadence and load that would maintain a Z3 HR.  I felt good, despite my physical and mental fatigue, my legs churned and they didn't complain one bit.

Two rounds of 15 minutes on, 3 minutes off. 

Then the third and final 15 minute interval I was to work at a load that would kick my HR into Z4.  I settled in raised the load, my HR would not budge beyond two beats below Z4.

I pulled back on the load and increased my rpm (revolutions per minute/or how fast you pedal).  Still, my HR hung at the edge of Z3, not even teasing me by teetering into Z4.

I increased load, got out of the saddle, standing in the pedals pedaling as fast as I can under the max load.  My legs screamed.  The lactic acid was plentiful and there was no fuel or oxygen left in my muscles to sustain my standing effort.

Still my HR sat at the top of Z3.

I continued to fight to get my HR higher, but the truth my brain was unwilling to accept was that I had reached muscle fatigue, I wasn't going to hit Z4.

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That didn't stop my effort, I fought all fifteen of those minutes assigned to the interval to hit Z4.  I refused to acquiesce.  

After the ride as I was stretching (as you can see in the picture, if you need a good "steadier" for standing stretches, the vacuum is a handy resource) and thinking through the last hour.  I struggled with how to asses the ride and my performance. 

I was upset that I had nailed the first two 15-minute Zone 3 intervals, yet couldn't deliver on the final 15-minute Zone 4 interval.  Despite having completed 2/3 of the workout as written, I chose to write the whole thing off as a loss.  Despite not giving in AND choosing to wage a fifteen minute battle against myself to not EVEN give in, I was angry. 

The pragmatic side of me screamed that the workout was not done as written, thus I'd failed and wasted the last 65 minutes when I could've just skipped the workout altogether and taken a shower and hidden my exhausted body under the piles of sheets, blankets and down comforter that make up my bed.

Then, the less sane, more irreverent side of my brain reminded me of the below excerpt from the movie "What About Bob." 

And I audibly giggled. 

An unexpected emotion that released the disappointment, allowing me to fully own the work and effort put in, even though I fell short. 

A release that re-routed my focus to a realization that not slacking, and baby-stepping it out even when all strength has evacuated this 5ft 5in frame will eventually sheperd me to the destination my coach and I have charted for the 2018 season.  The targeted destination: being a physically AND mentally strong endurance athlete who never backs down, never concedes, let alone acknowledges defeat, races with wisdom and strategy and always ALWAYS courageously runs through the tape, no matter what disappointments I'm forced to negotiate during any race. 

Doing the work.  Baby stepping it out.  Not slackin' I'm'ah get there, you just watch!  ← p.s., that little declaration right there was for my positive talking benefit, not for y'all! :)