One week down.

Weight: 238.4 pounds (108.14 Kg)
Resting HR: 54 bpm
Resting BP: 112/68
FTP: 175 Watts
VO2MAX: 38.4 mL/Kg/min

I was congratulated, yesterday, for completing my first week of coached training. It’s much like being congratulated for getting off the flight in Nepal, when the entirety of Everest still darkly looms in the distance.

I do appreciate the support, naturally, but it gives me pause to think that I need to be congratulated for completing a WEEK of physical activity. Granted, I’ve been training longer than a week, but I don’t think my supporter knows that. Have I become so obviously sedentary that I have to be congratulated for getting off my ass? Congratulate me in six months, please!

So there it is…one week down. Coach has diverted me from my scattergun approach to focus on long intervals below threshold and endurance rides. My VO2MAX test showed that my legs were NOT my limiting factor…they felt great at VO2MAX, even though I was drowning in my own carbon dioxide. I need LOTS of work on the engine itself, the heart and lungs driving this hot mess that I call a body. Basically, I need an aerobic base.

One week of coaching, but I’m eight weeks into the routine, and have seen few pleasant changes. My resting heart rate has plummeted, as has my early-morning blood pressure. My weight has been WEIRD. I’ve bounced between 237 and 241 for over a week, and have yet to see a trend. It could be muscle-gain and body composition changes, but I want to see the scale go DOWN. Yes, yes…I feel better and I know I shouldn’t care, but I want to be stronger, fitter, and LIGHTER, too. It’s about power-to-weight, right!? This morning, I was 238.4 pounds, but my weight will probably spike at the end of the week, then dip down again around Tuesday of next week. It seems to be a pattern that I suspect has something to do with exercise and water retention and the “Super Burrito” I had at El Jalisco and the Monday morning coffee-poops. (Too much information?)

On Saturday, the rain that set in at the end of the week didn’t leave North Florida. The clouds kept it a little warmer than expected, so I pulled on a long-sleeve jersey and slipped out early into a light mist that changed, within miles, to a steady drizzle, then into a serious pisser of a rainstorm. I was a little irritable about the mud sloshing into my bib shorts, but eventually committed to being wet and then…had an epiphany..

…I remembered the race at Chickamauga Battlefield where the rain pelted us on the mountains and the water washed gravel across the fire roads, popping and spitting from beneath out tires…

…I remembered the training ride, years ago, when my college girlfriend and I laughed and sprayed each other with the water from our tires, constantly sprinting and swerving to get each other wet…looking for bigger, deeper puddles and washes to ride through…

…I remembered the summer thunderstorm that sizzled the air around me as I pounded the pedals, fully expecting every strike to be the ONE….

…I remembered how much I LOVE riding in the rain. I remembered how much I love RIDING. My training plan was a nice Zone 3 ride. Yeah…I went a little hard for that and ended up with a 381.8 TSS for the morning’s ride. Funny how things like fatigue and time slip away when you’re having fun.


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