Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pedal Monkey Pedal

F You Monkey!

For a while I felt I was not getting what I was expecting from my personal coaching experience. There was limited contact and when there was contact there was lots of phone tag. Part of that has to do with my weird work schdule and my phone not working in the basement of the hospital but I am available by email throughout most of the day. I was having some problem trying to fit things into the group schedule and just feeling like things were not specifically addressing my weaknesses. I am quite aware of what they are and spelled them all out when we started. I am sure there are more but the ones I know about are enough to deal with at one time. I kept waiting for more specific bike workouts. Feedback on my workouts consisted of "things look good". 
Many of my friends have stepped into the personal coaching world this year and from what I could tell their experiences were different than mine. Coach Vader (John) was basically leaving me alone since I had my own coach. I was seeing all the attention and work he was putting into coaching the No Boundaries athletes and I was feeling left out. Here I was paying for personal coaching and my live in coach was ignoring me and giving better service to the rest of the group. It did not seem right. I also felt tired, slightly overtrained and what I was doing did not make sense to me.
The final straw was the first century ride of the season. I suppose I mentally checked out from the beginning but after everything I have been through to still be dragging along at the back of the pack all day was completely demoralizing. I put in a steady effort for the day but it did not feel good emotionally at all. This was the big test in my head and again I was barely within range to finish within the cutoff times. It wasn’t even hot out. I was completely dejected. 
So, later that evening I am sitting with my laptop watching TV and in pops an email from my coach saying good job with the ride – oh really? This followed with a long reply from me, a long reply from her and one more unanswered reply from me. I know I am a pessimist. I know I am an Eeyore and not a Tigger. I know a lot of this is mental BUT I am also being realistic when I say I have worked hard at the bike. For 4 years I have struggled. I have done what has been asked of me and I still can't keep up on a group ride. I know it’s not about the group but I was also not where I needed to be to comfortably make the cutoff for an Ironman. I don’t want to train for a 15 minute window and hope nothing goes wrong. I want to have a nice comfortable cushion to allow for problems. I was very clear on that point when looking for a coach. John seemed surprised when I said this very thing but I have been saying it since last September (some people just have selective hearing or the Imperial helmet is too tight!). I am not trying to be unrealistic, I am not trying to win, podium or anything else except for a PR. Since everything else has basically been a DNF that’s not an unrealistic goal!
....and If ONE more person tells me to stop being so negative I am going to SCREAM!! Try riding at the back of the pack for 4 years, constantly working at the bike, add a few DNFs and see how rosy your glasses are after that. I am not being negative, I am being REALISTIC. There is a difference!
Throughout all of this I have been taking a weekly spin class put on by Endurance Concepts. In this class I saw first hand the personal touch given to each of their athletes. Even I felt it and I was basically a drop in client. I had originally looked at EC but for personal reasons, too complicated to mention, I went in a different direction.  I was beginning to feel that was a poor choice on my part but at the time it just couldn't happen. Since some time had passed and I had gotten to know Dan a little I felt he would be receptive to discussing my problem. I was right. He immediately responded to a facebook message and suggested we meet for breakfast after class. In the meantime, I also talked to my friends about their coaches and how they felt things were going. 

Last Thursday I sat down with Dan and I came armed with graphs, charts and print outs of everything I had been doing. We discussed my crappy century ride and Mountain Madness. In 30 minutes he had asked more questions about my nutrition, my training and my feelings than I had gotten in the past 3 months. I knew things had to change so I fired my coach. I am now being coached by Dan and it has been a whirlwind experience. I have a much more packed BUT very specific schedule. I am asked to report on how I feel and what I learned in each session. Coach Vader was tasked with taking videos for swim and he even did some of my last ride. Dan and I have even rode together and I learned how to ride one handed, in aero and drink from a bottle all at the same time. This is basically a freakin' miracle for an "Uneasy Rider" like me. These are simple skills I should have had years ago. All of which will help me be more comfortable in aero which will buy me more mph in my race. Great start! 

Since then I have been swimming, swimming, and more swimming and running, running, biking and more of the same. I feel a little frazzled but its OK. I feel like there is a purpose and if it takes me 5 days to get laundry done so be it! Ha! no, that still makes me crazy (What would Monk Do?) but I am trying to look at the BIG picture. I have less than 9 weeks to go and I need to correct some sh** STAT. So, if I have to be crazy for a few more weeks, I will try to deal. Coach Vader will probably bear the brunt of it but he's tough. I think he can handle it. I apologize in advance for the supreme bitchyness that will most likely ensue!

In the meantime - Let's PEDAL BITCH!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012