Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Couple That Suffers Together...

...races together.

THE WORKOUT: The Sufferfest: Fight Club
- 5 minutes warm-up
- Race:
     1st lap:
     6:00 of tempo riding, with a few attacks to break up the field
     1:00 recovery
     2nd – 5th lap:
     4:00 time trial effort (with more attacks!)
     2:30 climbing (with even more surprise attacks!)
     3:00 recovery (no attacks – we’re cruel, but not that cruel), featuring footage from Cyclefilm’s descent of the Col du Glandon
- 5 minute warm-down 
(see the original review of this workout here

Elle: So... Valentine's Day 2012. And how do we celebrate? über suffering, of course! Yes, we decided to take a Valentine's Day trip to Sufferlandria. There were some hurdles, mind you. First of all, Maxwell (the orange cat, pictured here with the white one) tried to snag me in one of his famous 'nap traps'. You know, he lures you into the bedroom, gets all cuddly on the bed, and before you know it, you wake up an hour later, groggy and confused. I dodged that hurdle. But then, once on the bike trainer (or "turbo trainer" for all you folks from across the pond), I heard a strange noise coming from the trainer. Or was it my bike?

Webb: I do not know what was going on with Elle's rear wheel. From the sound of it and kinda the look of it, the rim (not tire!) has flat-spotted. When in motion it appears to dip in one place.  The strange noise was the turbo's flywheel moving back and forth as the wheel spun. I checked the spokes - meaning I touched them with ignorant fingers - and none seem to be out of sorts, which is not surprising since there was no lateral movement. Hey all you wheelsmiths out there, is this a dish problem? Whatever it is, we'll bring it up with our LBS where the bikes are due for their 30 day adjustment. Perhaps this is the sometimes result of machine-built wheels.

Elle: But we did finally get into it, and the workout was ON. It was like I had never been to Sufferlandria before, and totally forgot all about the pain that IS 'Fight Club'. Not only was the sweat pouring down my face, nearly blinding me, my stomach was burning with exertion, and after the 3rd lap, I was deep in it - not only could I not speak, I couldn't even form thoughts. My mind was completely quiet, like I was in a state of pain nirvana. A black hole of suffering. It was both agonizing and peaceful.

Webb: Yeah, well, the only thing I transcended was my breaking point, which occurred during the 4th of 5 laps. By the way, I find it incredibly difficult to return to pre-attack effort on the hills. During the 4th lap, I basically cracked. I mean I didn't give up and just spin through the rest of the time. I still fought. It is just that all indicators except my HR showed a marked decline. Speed dropped. Cadence was impossible to maintain. And my responses to the attacks became laughable. I'd hear the gun go off and go through these steps in my head:
   Really, again? 
   Ok, gotta get up plus 15 rpm's. 
   I can do that. 
   C'mon! HTFU!
   Man, this is hard. I'm not sure grimacing is going to make my legs spin faster. 
   O! How do I get more oxygen? 
   It's over? Finally!

In those moments improvement awaits. You gotta throw the counter-punch, no matter how weakly, because next time it will be stronger.

Elle: After we both cleaned ourselves up, it was almost 10pm, so we rushed out to get what was probably the last Valentine's Day dinner of the evening. Which we did, at a nearby Indian restaurant, Mela.

Webb: Mmmmm, I love korma.  Mela's is particularly choice. I also tried Taj Mahal lager for the first time. It was pretty good, although I'm not sure I would match it with the korma again. It might be better with something less creamy and more salty.

Elle: It was a great Valentine's day.
Oh, and one more thing. I had a little surprise waiting for Webb the next morning. Webb is known for sleeping in late. And I had just found out about this great, free service where you can send a wake-up call to someone. And it's from Stephen Fry.
     Webb (stumbling out of the bedroom this morning): "OH, that was cute, honey."
     Elle: "What did Stephen Fry say?"
     Webb: "I don't know, something about 'the bowl of morning,' or was it 'night?' And the prime minister."

Webb: It was pretty cool. I just wish I had my wits about me to follow what he was saying.
Elle: I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day.

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