Guess who got out of bed on time for the 6 am spinning class? Yup, ME! Of course, I am certain that I was the only one who was thinking about running the whole time I was peddling. I’m sure the instructor didn’t have that in mind when he set up his criterium simulated profile.
The simulation, however, worked well for me, allowing me a chance to visualize the Big Sur Marathon course with it’s ample supply of hills. I used the flat sections of the simulated “lap” to work on my leg turnover — trying to keep it steady and fast while meeting the instructor’s target HR of 85%. Each lap had two hills, one just slightly longer and steeper than the other. Of course it’s all done with a twist of a nob but I could see it so clearly. Boy oh boy, could I ever FEEL it.
By the 5th lap, I was pretty spent. I could hear the instructor call out to make this one count. I could practically taste the finish line at this point. I just needed to get over that last hill at mile 25. I cranked it up and hit it as hard as I could. The music in the room disappeared and bagpipes pushed me towards that finish.
We were then told not to ease up on the simulated downhill. For the first time since starting out, I could see the spectator’s lining the road. I turned it up a notch, watching my HR climb past 170 and bringing my cadence up ’til 120 blinked on the machine. And I kept it going until I heard the signal that I’d crossed the line.
“Beautiful” he said — which is exactly what you want to hear when you’ve gotten out of bed at 0’dark thirty. Okay, I’ll admit, I’d like to hear it more often than that. Anyway…
At this point, the simulated criterium was finished but class was not. We had 20 minutes left to hit a few more HILLS! Never mind that my mind had me collected up of food and hugs and walking to the car. So, instead of a short walk to the car, I imagined a longer one which included hills — painfully long hills (because I was walking them.)
Fortunately, I was happily basking in the feeling of success the entire time. Having got up at o’dark thirty, I had a whole day ahead of me to wallow in awesomeness.