After Tuesday's basement torture, I pushed further into my sprinty, power-building block of training. Unfortunately, Wednesday had thunderstorms all day and I was stuck inside on the trainer, which wasn't really that bad for sprints. I just cut the ride time from 1.5 hours to and even 1. I justified the reduction in time by telling myself the extra 30 minutes would have been eaten up by the ride in and out of town anyway, had I ridden outdoors.
Yesterday was a two-hour zone 1-2 ride. My legs were pretty wobbly from two days of sprints, but I set out to see what would happen. Thirty minutes into the ride, I was still struggling to keep my HR up to zone 2, so I thought about cutting it short. I have a belief, which my coach has confirmed, that riding much more than an hour is a waste of time when you can't get out of zone and you would be better off going home to rest.
However, I was really set on making through a hard training block as planned for once. I was hitting zone 2, but it was hard. I decided that since it was Thursday night and I was almost done with a relatively low-stress week at work, I was going to experiment and push a little further through the boundaries of fatigue than I normally do. Rest and recovery are all well and good, but I have to step up to "big girl" training someday. So I forced my legs to keep spinning strong, smooth circles fast enough to keep my HR above 154, even though they didn't want to. Finally, after the first hour I hit my stride and actually felt decent. My HR actually went a little crazy and started jumping up too high the last 15 minutes, but I was okay.
I woke up pretty worn out today and my legs definitely feel heavy, but it will take a few days to really see the results of my experiment. My workout today is 30 minutes of different types of one-legged squats. Since it's short, I can go home and watch a movie and chill for a while when I get home from work, so it's going to be a mental rest day even if I won't be getting full-on physical rest.
We'll see how it goes, I've still got a tough couple of weeks ahead of me and I'm really going to have to be vigilant lest I "break" under the pressure, but if I can make it through it will totally be worth it.