Sweet Redemption!

I am writing this post immediately after a workout as I am feeling inspired. First off, I intended on doing a hard workout on Wednesday October 30th. The workout was to consist of:

  • 1 minute @480w with 2 minutes recovery to 2 minutes @420w with 2 minutes recovery to
  • 1 minute @490w with 2 minutes recovery to 2 minutes @430w with 2 minutes recovery to
  • 1 minute @500w with 2 minutes recovery to 2 minutes @440w with 2 minutes recovery to
  • 1 minute @510w with 2 minutes recovery to 2 minutes @450w with 2 minutes recovery

I must mention that on Saturday October 26th I raced OUA cross country, then immediately after I went to Mississauga to speak at the OAT banquet (which I had been stressing out about for a few days prior). Then on Sunday and most of Monday I crammed hardcore for a midterm on Monday night. Then all day Tuesday and early Wednesday I worked nonstop on a presentation due on Wednesday morning in one of my fourth year classes. I felt absolutely terrible all day Wednesday, but I decided to go through with the workout anyway, motivating myself with the mantra: “No Excuses!”

The workout started out okay, but by the end of the first 2 minute interval (@420w) I knew it was going to be extremely challenging, if not impossible. I kept pushing anyway. By the end of the second 2 minute interval (@430w) I was starting to feel nauseous. On the third 1 minute interval (@500w) my cadence dropped significantly and I almost lost it. Then, on the fourth 1 minute interval (@510w) I finally got “burned” (to quote Thierry Guertin!). With about 15s to go in the interval, my cadence dropped so much that I couldn't push the pedals anymore!! It was terrible! I tried to psych myself back up in the recovery period but things were going downhill fast. About 1 minute into the fourth 2 minute interval (@450w) I got burned again. I almost gave up and stopped trying to pedal, but fortunately, the CompuTrainer released the force for a few seconds allowing me to get the cadence up to a decent clip before resuming the load, and I gave it another shot. But, after about 10 seconds, I got burned again. Once again, I resumed pedalling to the best of my ability and was able to finish the interval, with an average much lower than the intended 450w (390w according to TrainingPeaks!). I put my head down on the handlebars and nearly puked afterwards. I felt about ten times worse after the workout than I felt before. Here is a graph of the results:

October 30th Workout

The next day I awoke with a pounding headache and felt much the same as the day before. I had a run workout planned (8x1k to 3k tempo) and decided I would do it off the bike (40 minutes at EASY). I felt poor on the bike but then started to feel very woozy when I got out for the run. By the fourth of the 1k repeats I had to stop. I ran a 3:40 kilometre!!!! In the summertime I had a few 25k long runs where I averaged 3:40 per kilometre for the entire run!! I decided to call it quits and jog the 6 kilometres home. About two kilometres down the road I got so nauseous that I had to stop and puke. I knew then that something was wrong. After a very long jog I decided to go to the clinic to get checked out.

Fortunately there was very little line and I got in almost immediately. The doctor was very nice and told me that it appears there is nothing wrong with me. The only thing he thought it might be is that my blood pressure may have been lower than usual for some reason (which apparently can cause feelings of nausea and a general awkward feeling in your body). As a precaution he sent me for blood work and urinalysis. I decided I would wait for the results to come back, and if they came back normal I would chalk it up as a bug.

The next day I felt 100 times better. I didn't want to push my luck so I took the entire day off. Saturday I felt good as well, and decided to take the entire day off as well. Today, Sunday November 3rd, I decided it was time to get back to training. I intended on doing a 1 hour 10 minute long ride. I wrote a challenging bike workout for my girlfriend to do on the CompuTrainer and I coached her through it. It was very inspiring to watch. She wanted to quit on several occasions, and was moaning and groaning in agony, but kept pushing herself onwards. She completed the workout and every interval in it. It inspired me very much, so I decided I would repeat the Wednesday October 30th workout. The only catch was that as punishment for the weakness I showed on Wednesday, I would increase all of the wattages by 10w. So here is the workout I intended on doing:

  • 1 minute @490w with 2 minutes recovery to 2 minutes @430w with 2 minutes recovery to
  • 1 minute @500w with 2 minutes recovery to 2 minutes @440w with 2 minutes recovery to
  • 1 minute @510w with 2 minutes recovery to 2 minutes @450w with 2 minutes recovery to
  • 1 minute @520w with 2 minutes recovery to 2 minutes @460w with 2 minutes recovery

This time the workout went much differently. From the get go I was feeling much stronger. I was able to make it halfway through the second 2 minute interval (@440w) talking to my girlfriend (admittedly, hyping myself up talking about the Ironman 70.3 World Championship). I hit the wall pretty hard on the second half of the workout. But, I never got burned!! My cadence dropped a bit on the fourth 1 minuter (@520w) to about 77 RPM, but I was able to keep the pedals turning. The fourth 2 minute interval (@460w) was VERY challenging, and I achieved a max heart rate of 170 BPM (which is quite high for me) but I was able to complete the workout in its entirety! It was a very satisfying feeling! Here is a graph of the results:

November 3rd Workout

I definitely learned something about myself this week. I can no longer handle the stress of procrastination like I used to be able to! In the past, it has been nothing for me to start studying for a midterm two days out, and then do fairly well. This time round was very stressful, and I think I became ill because of it. I am now undertaking the necessary changes in my scheduling so that I do not have to push my mind and body to this extent again (with the exception of racing!)!

Major thanks to my girlfriend Erin for the inspiration!!