My FTP, on February 7th (when I was recovering from RED January and wanted to try cycling properly again) was a paltry 114. Now, having equalled my best ever FTP score (I believe) it is back to the place where doing that circuit back in 2018 was achieved sub twenty minutes. To do so will eventually be easier because of stamina and strength, but right now the bigger issue is mental.
Shaving two minutes off that score last night was rough, really physically painful. There will be some rest today: when I do ride it will all be in a comfort zone. It was even harder yesterday to keep riding for the fifteen minutes at the end when all I wanted to do was stop, and that’s probably done more for my brain and body than anything else that could be managed full tilt. Effort is easy, stamina is not.
Yesterday is the closest I’ve come for some time to just giving up.
I know what depression feels like, and that’s not what this is. I’m not suffering from the whole over training thing either, that’s a whole different set of variables at play. This, like it or not, is feeling as if I’m doing enough. You would think that seven minutes off a time would be sufficient to keep me happy, but it really isn’t… probably because that best time is a reminder of what was normal: putting that up against what is here now…
Yeah, I know. Attainment is a tough ask, but what is even more difficult to manage when the world is going to shit, and out of your hands, is any lasting sense of satisfaction. Maybe that’s the bigger issue, that turning off my brain is becoming increasingly difficult a task to maintain. All you lucky people who can just zone out when it all gets too much… those of us used to trauma just maintain this constant, exhausting state of battle readiness.
Telling me I am enough is one thing, getting brain to believe that is a different ask entirely. Once upon a time I’d have found a video game to hide in as means by which I could escape this, and that yet maybe provide an answer. For everything else there needs to be the means by which my brain can be effectively allowed to stop cycling, over and over, lap after lap of need to improve but at the same time with some space to recover.
Nobody said progress was ever easy.