Overreaching Taper

What’s that? Exactly…

The taper has begun. R-13. It’ll be interesting to get through the next two weeks with my sanity. 😉

Overreaching was achieved this week. It took some suffering spread over the past couple of days to come to that realization. Not that I significantly increased my volume, but a slight increase in volume and overall intensity did it for me. Plus, the way I’ve had the last two weeks scheduled out, I put in my 10.5 mile runs in the morning and then a pretty intense swim workout at lunch just a few hours later.

And with the humidity this week, I pretty much ran myself right into the ground. That’s what I get for leaving my Fuel Belt at home and not taking any fluids with me for the 10.5 miles. Pretty stupid move. That’s what pushed me over the edge.

I was able to get in a decent swim that lunch hour, but that was the last decent workout of the week. And it was only Wednesday. An easy run Thursday morning, then having to reschedule my Thursday afternoon ride due to thunderstorms. Friday morning’s run was easy, but not comfortable. The heavy rain felt good, but the legs just weren’t there. And that feeling continued into the swim that afternoon. Matter of fact, even though I was plugging along at my normal pace, I just couldn’t finish the workout. And it wasn’t anything overly strenuous. My wife and I figured it was either my sinuses (long story there) or lack of caffeine, since I hadn’t had my normal pot of coffee that morning. So we chalked it up to caffeine deprivation and I did my best to rectify that “problem”.

Saturday scheduled workout was a 5-hour brick. No problem. Done plenty of them. But for the first 30 minutes, my quads felt as if I had done a 40K TT the day before. They weren’t sore, just that deep-down tiredness. I figured that it would work itself out, but even an hour into it and the legs still felt the same.

Two hours into it and they still felt the same. I kept pushing the legs as hard as they would go, but my HR hovered right around 120, even on the climbs, while my speed kept dropping. When I was struggling to maintain 14.5 mph on the flats with a quartering 10mph tailwind, it finally dawned on me what was going on.

At this point I was three hours into my ride. So after some quick calculations on how far I had to get back home and whether or not it was worth it to dig myself deeper in the hole, I called my wife to meet me at the intersection of two nearby highways.

While pedaling toward the intersection, the skies opened up. And I actually started feeling better, but knew it wouldn’t last (the showers or me).  The rain dropped the visibility down to a couple of hundred yards, which made me a bit nervous since I was on a two-lane highway with no shoulder.  But the cars weren’t the problem, it was the constant stream of water off the front of my helmet and into my eyes.

Sitting at the intersection, under the edge of a tree to give some shelter from the rain, I waited for my wife. The shelter didn’t matter, since I was beyond soaked. And the rain felt good. But I had a good laugh at the carload of way-overweight teenagers that rode by, pointing and laughing at me. I laughed because no matter what my legs felt like, they wouldn’t know, nor understand, that feeling. And even though I had to bag the session, I was still doing better than they could imagine.

A few minutes later, my lovely bride “rescued” me just as the rain quit.

And like any good experience, I learned a lot after looking back at the past few weeks.  And that’s the whole idea.


3 thoughts on “Overreaching Taper”

  1. This is the second article I’ve read today that referenced obnoxious teenagers laughing at what they don’t understand. I think as an endurance athlete, I’ve lost touch with that. I put on my racing kit and go out for a ride and I think I look pretty darn cool in my brightly-colored lycra. Like a toucan. But I guess to people outside the sport, we just look silly. Oh well. At least we have the god-like bodies for lycra.

  2. Just wanted to say Hi
    I live in Chattanooga and am a Tri wanna-be.
    We seem to have a lot in common…TN, whiskey, great spouces, my husband loves photography and I am trying, very hard to become a long distance runner…AND I have OCD, not ADD but close enough to understand. Saw your post on Johnny’site and just wanted to say Hi!
    Take Care

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