Day 4 rolls around and it’s time for another weight training session with my PT. I was still sore from Tuesday. The session started off on the gentle side but ended with a bang. More soreness to come.
Btw, to give you an idea of the types of exercises he has me doing – they usually involved stability and balance in each one. For example, I might be working on shoulder presses (that begin with a bicep curl) with the free weight dumbbells but I’ve got the stability ball behind me with one foot on it. Or…I’m doing triceps, except I’m somewhat bent over – standing on one leg with the other leg straight out behind me. He’ll have me doing stuff with the bosu ball, loads of stuff with the stability ball…and another stability platform thingy that I can’t remember what it is called. Plus, loads of stuff on one leg…or other stuff with both legs bent (while doing some type of chest, back, shoulders and/or arms exercise). Everything has dual purposes…and after an hour – I’m TOAST! Plus, I got an up-front and personal look at which areas of my body are stronger/weaker than others. It was thanks to him that I found out that my left leg is stronger than my right. (I’d always assumed the opposite b/c my right arm is stronger than my left.) My tricep strength really stinks but my biceps are pretty strong. My shoulders are weak, but my lats are very strong. My quads are strong but my hams need work…and boy – certain portions of my glutes are weaker than I ever realized.
He had me roll back to doing lighter weights until I could handle the balance and stability properly while keeping proper form. Now, he’s starting to push heavier weights. Either way, I’m sore as result of nearly all the workouts – even the ones when I was doing lighter weights to start off. And…those single leg stuff? Ha! Talk about lighting up the bottoms of my feet like Xmas trees! You can’t imagine the level of pain I felt that 1st month with him (and sometimes still feel on certain exercises). Phew! You should try it, sometime. Really, you should. But I digress.
Day 5 (Friday) – This was another zany day and I was barely able to squeeze in a mtb ride. Al did tell me that I could substitute a mtb ride for a road ride at any time. However, I realized something yesterday, just before writing my first blog post about this whole endeavor. That is: (a) I can’t do the single leg pedaling b/c I’m not clipped into the pedals. I use the platform ones when I mountain bike. If you’ve read some of my previous blog posts, you know that I’m not switching from these pedals anytime soon. (b) Since I’m not clipped in, the cadence work is also hampered…a bit. Although, I do ride a singlespeed mountain bike. So on the flat parts (where I’m coming from/going to my favorite trail), I do naturally pedal like hell – usually just to keep up…or just for the fun of it. I’ve been doing that since the beginning and have noticed that little effort alone has had positive impacts on my road bike and when biking indoors.
So back to the actual day – this was supposed to be a RR (rapid riding) day with a RPE (rate of perceived exertion) of 7-8. Yeah…riding the intermediate trail on a singlespeed mountain bike – getting to a 7 or 8 (or higher) is rather easy. I wasn’t quite as “rapid” as my usual self, but I was tired from the week and especially from those 2 WT sessions. (I was still sore from the previous day’s session, too.) So, I didn’t set yet another PB on that trail but I wasn’t horribly slow, either. Since sunset was fast approaching, I quickly squeezed in a couple runs. Then…I was GLAD to be DONE.
I was also thankful that we had rain and storms predicted for Saturday (Day 6). I needed rest (and frankly more than a day of it). If it was raining, I wouldn’t feel the onus to “have” to get out and ride or exercise in some capacity. Rain MAKES me rest. Sorta. We ended up having a runaround day with errands here, there and everywhere. Then, I had head to a friend’s birthday party that evening only minutes after getting home. So, rest I didn’t get – not in the way I had hoped. That night, we had lots more storms (and not much sleep). So, we were really surprised when we woke up the next morning (Sunday – Day 7) and the trails weren’t closed.
So, we prepared hoping they wouldn’t close b/t the time we’d last checked and when we got up there. I had a rough start to the morning and had a really hard time getting going. Plus, I was feeling timid about riding b/c this was my first time I’d ridden in truly wet conditions. I knew this would change traction and more, but I didn’t know by how much. So, I decided to go slower until (a) I could do one run to see if there were any trees or branches down on the trail and (b) till I could figure out how much of a change this would have for my riding.
I ended up doing 3 runs on the intermediate trail and some extra runs on the easier, flatter trails, as well. By the 3rd run on the intermediate trail, I was tired, cooked. I was done. Done, done. Of actual riding (not including any stops along the way), I did just over 2 hours and I figured the mileage to be about 14.5, based on known distances for each of the trails.
I have to say that I’ve been frustrated by the fact that I’m having to walk parts of certain ascents that previously (before I got sick) I was able to mash my way up them. However…I’ve been tired and now with exercising nearly every day, I don’t get the time I need to recuperate to the point where I can mash my way up. It’s an odd place to be knowing that the work I’m doing will help me in the long run, but in the short run, I see backwards movement. (There’s that patience issue, again!)
Oh and btw – this ride did not have any single leg pedaling – b/c once again, I’m on flat pedals. Can’t do ’em. It only had high cadences for the flatter parts, but since I was feeling unsure of the terrain with all that mud and goop making things slippery, I didn’t do as much of it as I should have. And…there’s no way in hades I’d be able to make it up a 20 minute climb on my SS mtb. There’s not even a trail close to home that meets that directive. (There’s one an hour away that has a 6 mile climb…but then we’re talking an hour and a half of climbing +++ – Ha ha ha. Yeah. Right.) So, I go up the littler hills of the trail and considering the previous week/weak, I was cooked by the end of the ride.
Monday (yesterday) – Day 8 – my rest/recovery day. While my kiddos were in their classes I tried to do an easy indoor spin but b/c still more storms came and I was awakened COUNTLESS times during the night (no rest there!), I was extremely tired. Yawning frequently. I almost bailed completely but decided that I’d at least TRY. I did… I couldn’t get myself to make it up to my “official” zone 1. That was just too much. So, I hung a little lower. After 25 minutes, I was too fried to continue. So, I stretched and took a shower.
Today, I’ve been running to and fro. (As I’ve been in the process of writing this post, I’ve already left the house twice and come back…and have to leave/come back 2 more times.) I’m not sure I’ll have the time to pull out my bike and trainer in order to get a ride in today. (I am in the process of switching my weight training to Wed and Friday’s b/c starting next week, my weekly rides are Tues and Thurs.) In fact, I’m still tired and am tempted to bail on today’s indoor ride (since it’s still kinda yucky/cold/cloudy/possibly rain) today. We shall see. (I’m thinking it’s also time to get back on a supplement called Sibergen – awesome stuff. Really helped my endurance and recovery last season.)
Plus, we will be moving starting about a month from now. So on top of the insane schedule, packing is about to be added and then moving and unpacking after that. (That’s another reason I’m not sure I’ll be able to do Al’s regimen to the fullest.) I’ll keep going though…until I can’t. Wish me luck!