Burn It. Burn It All.

Last week was a volume week.

Usually when I come off the trainer I start ramping up the weekly hours on the pavement as the roads improve. Seven hours becomes eight. Eight becomes nine. Ten. Eleven. Twelve. Eventually I level off and maintain it until I'm chased back into the dungeon by ice and snow.

Not this year.

The steady increase never happened. A steady diet of 60 and 90 minute rides was all I could manage. All I was motivated for. All I could fit into the schedule. Eight hours became eight. Eight. Seven. Eight. Attempts at increasing it were short-lived. I got no momentum. My endurance tanked. My top end is there, but I arrive at the end of races too cooked to use it. Finishing is a welcome surprise.

Screw that noise.

Last week, following the Spring Stage Race, I didn't ramp up the hours. I intentionally spiked the clock. I hadn't done a 15 hour week in years, and even then it followed several building weeks. This time I stomped on the gas and tried to blow up the engine. Each day increased duration, intensity, or both. Each day I was a little more tired. The hills got a little harder to climb. The body didn't respond as quickly.

Excellent.

On my long rides I got back to the point where I found I had a second wind. Then a third. I started developing saddle sores, necessitating a non-UCI approved saddle tilt. I re-visited routes I hadn't seen in years, then remembered why. Essentially I reminded myself that I used to do this all of the time, and the capacity is still there, buried under all of that fat and regret. 

So close to the Tour of Fairbanks it was probably counter-productive, but I don't care. It was awesome. To get out there and ride in the sun again for hours was priceless. I have tan lines, and for a white boy in Alaska that traces the vast majority of his lineage to the British Isles, that's saying something.

Monday I finally hit a wall. The body had finally had enough, and I crawled up Potter a couple times before limping home. That was fine with me, because it showed I had done what I set out to do- blow it all up with a stupid, counter-productive week.

What's important is that even after the body failed, my mind still wanted to go. I know I should rest, but I still want to kit up and go again.

Mission accomplished. 

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