My (Internal) Engine Overheated

I overheated my engine this morning. Have you ever worked so hard that you vomited? It’s like leaving a car in neutral and on the hottest day let it rev at the red zone for too long until the radiator blows. Well I came very close this morning, my radiator almost blew. It doesn’t happen very often at all. It’s probably been a year since I pushed too hard and felt sick from exercise. I think it starts when the mental doesn’t match the physical. It’s when I thought I could do something but my body just couldn’t keep up. You see I had surgery about 4 weeks ago and was easing back in to the training plan and the workouts. My intension was to take it easy and not overdo it because I know my body is still healing. All the workouts until now have been shorter and lower intensity. It’s worked so far until this morning.

This morning I decided to step up the intensity. As it turned out I did it a bit too much. This morning was supposed to be

30 mins on the bike followed by a core workout. The plan was to do 5 sets of 30 revolutions single leg spins followed by some big ring intervals at the highest intensity I could push for 2 min followed by 1 min recovery. Core was to be about 6 different exercises in sets of 3.

What actually happened was a good start followed by my engine overheating. Warm up for 10 min went well, single leg drills went well, intervals are where it all went wrong. I got through two intervals and had this horrible feeling like I was going to vomit. I spent the rest of the time on the bike doing easy spin to keep the blood flowing but careful not to use much energy in doing so. It was like getting a penalty and having to sit in the pit stop while my workout time went by. It was excruciating mentally and upsetting that I didn’t notice the warning signs earlier. I got in two core exercises instead of the six planned. I essentially threw away the workout.

The disconnect as mentioned before happened because I thought I could do something that my body wasn’t ready for. In my kind I’m still 18 and have the physical abilities like I used to, I have the energy to go all out all the time, I have the drive to push on even in the hardest of times. In reality I didn’t have the physical capabilities to keep up with my expectations. My mental drive was there but my conditioning was not. It will take time to get there but I must remember where I’m at today and not where I used to be. Granted I took some time off for the surgery and am still working back from that too so I’ll have to factor that in.

In contrary to this I present the other side of the brain where my thoughts flip between conservatism and this other side that I’m about to describe. This other side is much more aggressive, daring, determined without regard for cost and is that “killer instinct” that so many people can feel. Its the one that digs inside me to bring out the biggest successes in the hardest of times. It’s the side that I used to pride myself the most on. It’s the side that largely got me all of my successes. It’s helped me go without sleep when my wife needed me all night with the kid and still went to work the next day and do it all over again for many days. It’s the one that gets me up in the morning to study for courses. It’s also the one that gets me to the finish line at a race. It’s also the one that gets me up and through the workouts each day. This is the side that knows that I need to push myself out of my comfort zone in order to accomplish something new like have a farther swim workout. This is a fun, exciting side that makes me feel free to live in the moment and have absolute focus. It’s a great feeling and I wouldn’t be me without it.

I’ve come to find a better relationship with this other, darker side of me. I’m welcoming it in to all sides of my life so I can have a better balance. I’m also welcoming in the conservative side to my aggressive areas too. Together I look to find more harmony and balance. I look to use the best skills at the right times to have the best outcomes. This year I think I’ve put together a training plan that has had equal contributions drom both sides to create the plan. The plan is more rest and better spacing of workouts and always the ability to be flexible with my schedule. Check out my current workout schedule.

As I get back in to the swing of things from recovering from surgery I’m committing to executing my plan in terms of timing but flexible on the intensity. In a week or two I’ll turn up the intensity gradually to more difficult level but pledge to myself that after a build of 3 weeks to take a slow week before cranking up the intensity again.

Tomorrow is the pool for the first time since surgery and suspect that it’ll be much of the same as today. I’ve got a run scheduled before the pool so my conservative side will have to dominate the morning tomorrow.

Happy Training.


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