I’m a little scared to say it out loud, but my first attempts at actual training are going really dang well. I feel like I’m finally able to train, add intensity, and PUSH my body without something failing. I’m cleared from a calf and spine perspective! I still have a wheezy cough which makes me sound like a dog’s squeaker toy, but thanks to nebulizers and albuterol I can still get rides in without dying.
This week brought about 7.5 hours on the bike. The rides included sprints, a difficult outdoor group ride, and a 2.5 hour trainer slog fest on Saturday morning during the middle of our blizzard warnings here in Minnesota.
It’s easy to get frustrated by the numbers and want to give up. I’ve lost so much fitness over the last year. Ugh. I’m trying to stay focused on pushing myself and not my paltry amounts of watts. So far, watching my heart rate and exertion levels has been more validating than paying attention to specific speeds and numbers that I can or cannot hit.
I lead a Zwift group ride on Tuesday nights geared towards slower riders. I started this right after calf surgery to help give me a reason to jump on the bike. Now, a group of us stay on the bikes after the group ride is over and practice sprinting each week. I can now get out of the saddle and push without my calf feeling like the incision is going to explode. My form is awful but that will come back with time!
Thursday, I rallied a few other cyclists to head out into the 45F temperatures to ride south to Northfield and back. I smiled as I started to drop other riders on the tail end of the ride — my endurance abilities are still buried in there somewhere!
Saturday was the longer slog-fest on Zwift. I’m really lucky to have a smart trainer which ramps up resistance depending on the grade of the virtual hill. Saturday was a day for climbing! I made sure to push myself fairly hard on the 40 minute climb, forcing myself to get out of the saddle and test my calf’s strength periodically.
Today is a day of rest, with a recovery ride thrown in (I HATE recovery rides — have any words of encouragement to help me keep doing them??) and lots of snowblowing and lounging about the house. Fingers crossed the weather responds and I can fit in another outdoor ride or two this week. It was good for my soul to get outside in the last few days.