It's a good thing I didn't read the fine print on my training schedule until after I had started my first interval set of 3 minutes on, 3 minutes off, 3 minutes on, 3 minutes off, and 3 minutes on. My goal is to maintain a rpm of 115 cadence and power output of 350 watts. Translation for normal folk: F&*$#ing hard.
So you can imagine my surprise when I glanced down after my first interval while on my 10 minute active rest and saw that this week had a 3 x three minute burners instead of the accustomed two. Luckily Universal Sports had some high power action volleyball on the telly and I could zone out, try to imagine the energy it takes to bump, set, spike instead of the throb that consumes your entire body. But there was no denying - this was going to hurt.
To digest those efforts, I process them mentally one minute at a time. Sometimes even 30 seconds, 15 seconds and down to 10 seconds at a time. It helps to have a goal in mind when you do them - because no one is around to see if you're cheating or not. No one would know if you just quit or never even did the efforts. And maybe this is what sets me apart from a lot of people - but I've never struggled with that motivation. If I know something will make me stronger, both mentally and physically, especially when it comes to competing on a world level, well I need no additional motivation to pump out those intense efforts.
That extra little set this morning put me in the hurt box, for sure. My floor mat was soaked in sweat and my clothing absolutely drenched. Yet despite the utter exhaustion that still ravishes my body - even after 5 hours! - it left a huge smile on my face.
Oh those big goals I speak of? I'm chasing them in every way possible.