Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A flip was switched.

Week 3 of Base 2 (confusing, eh?) is underway, and I feel good. I took Monday off and had a massage so good, I nearly fell asleep. I felt very disoriented afterwards and had to go to the grocery hair with my face all red and puffy and hair tousled. Hmmm. Need a cigarette?

I slept like a log on Monday night and was able to get up for my swim class on Tuesday. I hate when I sleep in and miss! I felt like crap and told Sickie the swim coach just that. 20 minutes in, something clicked. A flip was switched. I mean, a switch was flipped. Damn spoonerisms! Keep happening to me lately. Must be fatigue.

I'm not sure what happened but I may have changed my body position slightly. I think I moved my head up a little (I normally keep it too low so we've been working on bringing my head up and my legs down a little--backwards, huh?), and it was like, "Engage!" All of a sudden my core could bridge the power from my upper body to my lower body, and I was gliding through the water. I felt like I had moved higher in the water and was skimming the surface, almost as if I had been on a paddle board. I could use more of my back and lat muscles rather than just my arms, recruiting larger muscle groups. Everything was connected. I had been sore and groggy at the start, and I suddenly felt fresh and my soreness was completely gone. It felt fantastic. Plus, once I reached the "zone", I was able to maintain that feel of the water the entire time! I love this new feeling! Makes me want to swim more. 2600 meters--effortless. Sickie noticed my change in mood and stroke and asked me if I had some speical "juice" in my water bottle. Ha! I felt great the rest of the day. Amazing how a good swim in the morning sets the mood for the rest of the day.

Here's the workout I did:

Tuesday afternoon, I slipped into my bike clothes and grabbed Bluebell from the truck. The sun is setting earlier now, making these afternoon rides more of a "tempo" run to try and beat the sunset. I headed north on the coast from Torrey Pines.

I had planned on doing a recovery ride since I didn't feel so hot. However, about 10 minutes in, I felt a surge. I've been feeling a new sensation at the bottom of my pedal stroke recently--I think it's called--power? Anyway, it feels damn good. I got into the drops and focused on this new push I can get at the bottom of the stroke. I've always heard about trying to get that feeling like you're scraping mud off your shoes but it's one thing to hear it and quite another to suddenly feel it and integrate that feeling internally.

I could see the sun lowering in the horizon, bit by bit, like the sand emptying out of an hourglass. Surfers dotted the coastline, waiting for the perfect wave, like dozens of little seals, bobbing up and down. I turned around at Swami's at the 10-mile mark. I was elated that I would be able to get in an even 20. I had gone further than I planned but it felt good.

An old bat honked at me and almost clipped me as I soft-pedaled south in the bike line. WTF? I remained calm and ignored her. What is with drivers lately? Such malice! On our weekend rides, we've been heckled and yelled at and even had objects thrown at us. Last weekend, 2 vehicles at independent times threw objects at riders in our group while we passively struggled and toiled up the Scripps Poway Parkway grade. If they had hit one of us, it would most certainly have caused a nasty spill. This is beyond road rage. This is assault. I wish we had gotten the license plates but we were trying to avoid being hit instead. Anyway, be careful out there, guys, and ride defensively.

I coasted into the Torrey Pines Park 5 minutes before the gate closed. Yes! I love biking up the inside. It's steeper but there's no traffic and the views of the ocean are spectacular. Using Bluebell's new 27, I zipped up the grade. Another cyclist going down the grade almost collided with me as we were both enchanted by the setting sun and not paying attention to where we were going. We avoided a crash at the last moment and exchanged knowing smiles. At the top, I stopped by a woman watching the sunset. I had reached the top just in time. We both watched it sink into the horizon. It was spectacular and marked the end of a perfect ride.

Side Note on My Bike Drama:
Bluebell has recently forgiven me for bringing Torch into our relationship. At first, she kept getting flats and even jinxed Torch, slashing his tire on a ride. That was the low point. Soon after that, I upgraded her rear casette to a 27 and officially made her my "climbing" bike. I think that improved her mood a bit because she realized she had a purpose and could do something better than Torch. So we've patched things up. Anyway, I still love riding her! She fits me so well, and I've noticed I'm a little more upright than on the TT bike so it can be a little more comfy.

Random Note:
I can't believe it but I am out of CarboPro! When I bought that tub of powder, I thought I would have it forever. Apparently, it takes 6 months to consume it. Thought I'd share.


Paul said...

Yes the drivers out here are getting insane! Wait two seconds and it's the end of the world! I'm hoping it mellows after summer. Throwing items is unacceptable.

You can get 5 pounds of maltodextrin for 12 bucks... last a lot longer than the 3 pounds for 22 bucks of CarboPro...same stuff.

bunnygirl said...

I don't understand such hostility from drivers, either. Don't they realize they could hurt or even kill someone by pulling that crap?

A few years ago there was a guy harassing cyclists to the north of town, driving really close in his SUV and trying to run them off the road. The extra-scary part? It was always on a Sunday morning, he had his wife and kid in the car, and from the way they were dressed it was clear they were going to and from church!

Good Christians we've got here in the Bible Belt, hm?

Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

Sounds like both your swimming and bike training are really clicking. Must have been that massage. Keep up the good work and do try to stay safe out there.

Beth said...

your swim sounds so fun! i've only had that "feel" for the water a couple times...seems like you're enjoying your workouts this week..i think i got that from the "I love biking up the inside" (of torrey pines!) comment. whatever it is, keep that fun. that's what it's about.