I woke up in the middle of the night with one thing on my mind... wwwwwwwaaaaaaattter.
As I stretched in bed my muscles ached in protest. My abs, biceps, shoulders, calves and even my feet feel like they are severely dehydrated and threatened to cramp at any moment. The clock read 3 am. I feel back asleep, this time dreaming of big dogs chasing cats in a overly-banked velodrome.
5:30 am - stretched and still felt the cramp feeling. At this point I'm fully admitting that Monday night workout put me in a hole. A good hole though - a hole I needed to go in.
And as I said before - I'm continuing with my daily training on the bike. But let's be honest. Yesterday was rough. The day wore on and those 5 sets of early morning 3 minute in Lactic Threshold with 2 minutes of VO2 max with Jennie there to hold me 100% accountable were some of the highest quality intervals I've done yet.
"Up, up, up! You gotta earn that spot on the world cup team. It's not going to come easy for anyone."
I ripped my own legs off and got sucked into the dark tunnel of narrow focus that only comes when you hit that VO2 level. You shut out what's around you, focusing on the task at hand and try to continue ignoring your brain that's telling you to STOP! This hurts! This time I'm armed with visions of being at the end of a round, getting the final punches in before the bell, keeping the hands up and punches flying when all you want to do is collapse in a heap.
If you straight up compare the two sports - cycling and boxing - they are both a test of your ability to perform under pain. How your body and brain deal with a lack of oxygen and lactic acid. Yet the biggest difference? In boxing you're getting blows to the head and in that regard cycling is much easier.
Later in the day I meet up with Jennie at the gym. I've been on the same weight routine since late January and she wanted to check in to see how my form is and what kind of adaptations she can do to my next round of punishment. I enjoy the gym, don't get me wrong. I like doing Olympic lifts and squats, overhead hangs and single leg dead lifts. Even Bulgarian squats. I can't believe I just admitted that. For the most part I find out I've been doing them right. But I also discover slight subtle differences in form that make heaving up 80 pounds above my head in one swoop much, much easier. Technique is everything.
What normally takes me an hour, we complete in two. Jennie does the workout with me and by the core exercises at the end we're both moaning like a couple of old ladies complaining about arthritis. It's comical and I notice a couple of people in the stretching room trying not to laugh at us but still sneaking a smirk.
I spend the rest of the night sorting through the office and pictures and cd after cd filled with photos from friends and family. I am so thankful to have a digital memory of Ryan - a series of climbing photos taken by Cam shows each move of a boulder problem in Leavenworth. Ryan's focus and dedication to sport is admirable and it makes me miss him even more. He's where I get my inspiration and ability to push myself athletically. Hard work, dedication, focus and passion - everyone should surround themselves with people they admire and look up to. If I want to do this boxing thing then I need to find a real life hero.