I Love My Inner Coach

I refer the voice in my head as my Inner Coach. She’s encouraging. She pushes me without ever belittling me. Sometimes, she even becomes the voice of reason.

This week is the first week I’ve been able to keep my training schedule since I fell ill after the Sage Rat Run Dirty Rat 15K trail run. I haven’t done all of the workouts as prescribed. I haven’t been able to do a full swim workout. I was able to do the fartlek run on my schedule. Today is my first hard bike workout; we’ll see how I do.

I rode my bike home last night. It wasn’t a training ride. Prior to leaving, I double-checked the rear quick release by opening it and then re-securing it. I am absolutely paranoid about another crash caused by it working loose and coming out when I’m standing on the pedals, even though those crashes seem to hurt my pride more than my body. I’ve pledged to check it weekly, and thus far it’s worked.

I headed out, and instantly felt really sluggish. I’d done five laps with a kickboard while swimming that morning. I recognized while I was doing it that kickboard drills really work my legs. If I don’t have a run scheduled the following day, I intend to add more kickboard time to my swim workouts. (This despite the fact the kickboard is so unbelievably dull that even listening to music doesn’t help.)

My first thought was, “You need to pick it up and push through this.” In the long run, I need to do a better job of forcing tired muscles to perform. That’s the only way I’m going to be able to tackle longer distances. But this was a bonus ride, not a workout. That’s when the saner part of my brain said, “No, you don’t. This ride is for fun. You do not have to push through. You do not have to maintain a pace. Just ride.”

I accepted that. I’m still recovering, I’m supposed to go ride hills this afternoon; killing myself on last night’s or this morning’s commute would have been self-defeating.

Shortly thereafter, I hopped off the bike just to double check that there wasn’t a mechanical issue. And then I started laughing. When I pulled the QR back into place, I pulled it out of whack a bit, and the tire was rubbing against the frame. Oh. My. God. Yeah, that’s a really good reason to feel so sluggish.

I set the Garmin to alert me if my heart rate went higher than Zone 2. It was a bit windy on the way home, and I averaged 11.8 mph. The only time my heart rate went too high was just after the turn from Welsh Drive to John Deere; it’s a bit of a climb, and I can’t help myself but to slingshot up it. On the ride in this morning, I was a bit faster (13.4 mph) with no wind, and also kept my heart rate low except for where the trail rises back up to South Fourth Avenue.

Today’s ride is supposed to be 90 minutes, with hills. I’m still pondering my route. Tomorrow’s run is a 5-mile “easy” run – no worrying about pace, just maintain form & keep moving. Next week is a rest & recovery week, so I’m planning to work myself as hard as I can on these next two workouts, and then really enjoy Sunday’s rest day.

And I’ll keep listening to that coach of mine.

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