There’s so very much more to Spinning® work than logging hours in a studio. Others apply what they learn to recreational and competitive sports including road and mountain biking, running, paddling, hiking, etc. Participants in team sports benefit from class dynamics as well as individual training. Professionals carry our skills into the classroom, the OR, the office. I use what I am continually learning and practicing in my work as a personal trainer spending endless hours on the gym floor, a writer, and an enthusiastic newish cyclist gaining experience with each new ride.
Yesterday I participated in another century ride. OK, I come from Vermont and should know hills. But, don’t even consider the notion that a ride in coastal Maine might be flat! I embarked on the course, sight unseen, and had a rude awakening.
Overall, this was one of the most pleasant and rewarding cycling experiences I have had. The hills were steep and unrelenting – one following another – for the entire distance. I was really surprised. The ride was sadly under-attended. (I would urge any of you to consider a weekend or more in Brunswick, Maine next August when they plan to repeat the Ride for Hospice – worthy cause, wonderful people, and a guaranteed good challenge.) Are all Mainers this friendly? I met folks with whom I found Vermont connections, folks who share my cycling passion (check out www.merrymeetingwheelers.org - a model cycling community) and folks dedicated to helping others through hospice.
At about mile 60, I took stock. I was riding alone, I was going slowly, and I was slumping. (translation – I was beating up on myself) OK, I had done a textbook perfect taper week, but my mileage since my first century 5 weeks ago had not been what it should have been. OK, I had gone out too fast – had hooked onto a couple who seemed to know the way and, because the start was convoluted and it was really foggy for the first hour or more – and, of course, since I get lost(!), I needed to do this. OK, I stopped too long at the rest stops – but, there were so few of us riding the century (I believe 50 participants in all and reportedly only 7 of us doing the entire thing) and the generous volunteers needed to be thanked. OK, I kept getting distracted by the gorgeous scenery.
But then it happened – what is becoming a pattern – at about mile 70 it kicked in. There was no longer a question that I would finish. My brain shifted into full endurance with finish goal. The anxieties flew away and I pressed on. I started talking back to the hills, the road conditions (sometimes awful and sometimes brand new), and the traffic (sometimes non-existent and sometimes of the 65 mph variety). My breathing calmed, my rpms increased and my odometer steadily clicked away. I had traveled far too many miles kissing the upper edges of my IEZ and reminded myself that some of that resulted from tension.
What had happened? I had defaulted to my hours of Spinning® training. When the physical element fatigued, the mental training took over. This was far from a mind-over-matter scenario. It was deliberate and mindful manipulation of what I had left and how to best use it. And, the well was deep – there was strength, speed and endurance left.
How would I sum up this experience? First of all, thank you Spinning® training for giving me the opportunity to have goals and dreams, to teach me how to work towards achieving them, and then to do so.
This ride KICKED MY BUTT. I worked really hard – AND, I LOVED IT!
And, I had energy left over….
BTW – thanks to another Spinning® professional whom I have never met but who, having noted that I was in Maine, sent encouragement for my ride. Gotta love this business!!
(Oh, and for the record – I was not DFL. In fact, my end time wasn’t as awful as I had anticipated.)