Sunday, December 29, 2019

Guys! I finished a "training block"!!!

Stoke is high as the scenery in Sonoma County is pretty!
My new mantra 'how does time keep going by so fast'.

I don't really know where to begin on this. I've intentionally kept quiet about my athletic goals for 2020 partly because I'm not even sure if this is all real yet, and partly because I don't know if I'm ready to share. But either way, yes, I started 'training' again, in quotes because it feels so insignificant compared to what training looked like pre-baby. Although I know the biggest problem I'm going to have should I stick this thing out is downplaying my efforts and wanting to be the same athlete I was immediately, which just isn't possible or healthy. 

Good company on one of my 'training camp' rides!
The past four weeks coach had me complete a series of efforts a few days each week with 2-3 hour endurance rides on the weekend and lots of core work. I'm calling it a training block because it was a block of specific intervals designed to produce a specific physiological result.  To complete these workouts I rode my bike to school 2-3 days per week for the first 3 weeks (also the first three weeks I was back at school) and knocked out the work on the ride home. This was followed by a short mini solo training camp up here in Sonoma County this week where I did a bunch of 3 hour rides (the longest I can be away from baby before she needs to eat).

Here are some thoughts on returning to work/training while breastfeeding and owning a baby:

1) Holy heck do I get tired by the end of the week! I'm pretty lucky to have a baby that only wakes up once per night at 4 months old, but the physical demands of working, breastfeeding and training zap ALL my energy. On Wednesday two weeks ago while riding home post workout I was convinced I was going to black out because I was so shot. I thought about calling Brendan to rescue me the whole way into the canyon as my vision blurred. The second week of intervals I had to tell coach I couldn't ride both weekend days because I was just so dang tired on Saturday's ride that I was counting down the minutes until I could be done. That doesn't seem like a great mindset, if I'm so tired that I can't wait for a MOUNTAIN BIKE ride to be over I shouldn't be out there, I should be resting. So I think the greatest lesson I'm learning (let's be honest, I will never be done learning this) is that I have a finite amount of energy and I need to respect that. The good news is that winter break has afforded me a little more sleep and I feel great doing 3 hour rides, feeding the baby and NOT working. Thank goodness for this 2 week break from the grind!
Most days I get home from work and this is the first thing I do. 
2) Everyone has been saying to me 'you'll be fast sooner than you know' or something like that. It used to annoy me because I felt like there was a lot of pressure, like people expected me to be fast again right away and my body didn't agree. BUT over the last month with consistent riding I am starting to feel more and more like myself WAY faster than I expected. I'm not FAST, but I feel good, and that's almost more important. Hopefully the speed will come, no need to rush that.

NorCal views make every ride the best.
3) The mental aspect of doing intervals is just as easy to loose as physical fitness. The first couple sets of efforts were HARD mentally. My mind wandered and when I pushed hard but didn't feel like I was going anywhere it was so tempting to give up, WAY more so than before when I was used to doing hard workouts. It took a lot of grit to complete the first few workouts, and then slowly the mental focus started to come back just like my legs slowly started to respond to the efforts.

And lastly but most importantly I have the world's best husband and family a girl could possibly ask for. On Christmas eve we were driving to Brendan's parents house and I told Brendan all I wanted from him for Christmas was for him to be honest with me if it was too much, me training again and needing him to babysit when I'm on the bike. His response was that my dream is his dream, and that he is happy to accommodate my training which basically made me cry. On top of that no one has told me I'm being selfish or crazy trying to train again, and although I'm constantly worrying about those things, it helps so much to have the support of my parents, in-laws and friends. I'm still taking this thing one day at a time, and trying to be realistic about what I want to achieve, but no matter where this journey takes us, it's exciting to think about the opportunities and possibilities.

We have tons of exciting news coming Jan 3, I can't wait to share a little more about our 2020 season!
Baby's growing as fast as I'm getting stronger... I hope I'm getting stronger that fast :)

1 comment:

  1. This is so exciting Larissa. On every level!. From super women to super Mom which rhymes anthem super Qom lol