Sunday, February 2, 2014

2014 Tour of Sufferlandria - Stage 7

Stage 7a: Angels

Webb: I think this was the second, maybe third, video we purchased. (Downward Spiral was the first. That was like a punch in the teeth - until we bought Revolver.) Back before we bought every video as soon as each became available, we bought this one to improve our climbing. Angels features three 8-minute climbs at LBL, Paris-Nice and the Dauphine-Libere

Elle: Everyone has their favorite. And this one is mine. I love every song, and sing them out loud (how lucky for Webb). If I could buy a CD (yeah, I'm old school) of the entire playlist, I would. And I just really like this workout. I love riding with Contador and the Schlecks (and I'm a sucker for Frank's thumbs up). And there's the lady on the side of the road in the full on, florescent pink jumpsuit. 

Webb: Hey kiddo, you can build a playlist from the soundtrack listing or just check out the Spotify link, both can be found here (just scroll down a bit).

In other news, I knew I did not have another 100% effort in me. Sure it had been 48 hours since The Wretched and about 36 hours since AVDP, still, the legs weren't there. Plus, everyone has had this day circled on the stage calendar. Angels AND The Hunted? This was going to be a tall order. I decided to try 80% and see what happened. Pain happened. The entire time I felt like my RPM and power windows were very small. If I found a rhythm at 82 RPM, 80 or 84 might be too little or too much. The same was true for power. My cadence and gears danced with each less gracefully than Contador on his pedals while I tried to find the right combination.

Elle: During the 'warm down', Webb and I had made the decision to order dinner to be delivered after we finished the next video. So while he was setting up The Hunted, I grabbed the iPad so we could easily order online and picked out a Mexican restaurant we've never ordered from before. We quickly chose a bunch of things off the menu, but they didn't have descriptions, so we didn't know exactly what we'd be getting. Nevermind that now, back on the bikes...
For your viewing pleasure:
Click here to view
How to be a road biker

Stage 7b: The Hunted

Webb: Whew! Thank you GvA! Those three climbs in Angels just didn't hit the spot. It is a good thing The Hunted has a 20-minute climb followed by a fast finish. When I say my heart goes out to you, I mean, I thought it was actually leave my body.

Elle: Aaaaaaand the party is over. Spread some jam on me, because I'm TOAST. As we suffered through The Hunted, I noticed that the room had gotten quiet. Everything hurt. No energy for speaking. So much pain. I seriously didn't know if I was going to make it. And when it was all over and I finally got off the bike, I almost started crying. Not even the 'Happy Birthday' song, which usually puts me in good spirits could save me. I was D-O-N-E, DONE.

Webb: During the prelude to the climb, I was counting myself stupid for thinking I could handle this one at 80%. Did I not just struggle through the first hour-plus? Why on Earth would I think I could do it again? Unfortunately, we were already in it and there was no way I was getting back on the bike once I unsaddled myself. I don't remember when it happened on the clock, but I remember shouting "Whoa!" when Robert "I'll throw everything at you including the kitchen" Gesink escaped from our hard tempo with Andy Schleck. Feeling GvA peering at me across the tarmac from the team car, I met Gesink's acceleration and stayed with him to the summit. And then thought every muscle fiber in my quads was going to cramp. 

After the fast downhill and recovery, I sorted myself with some pack riding. Looking at the TrainerRoad graph, I finally remembered the final five minutes that everyone has lamenting: Inverse intervals. Ugh. Best thing to do is close your eyes, go to the drops and listen to the sound cues. Don't even bother looking up.
Fish w/ red peppers

Elle: Moments after we finished the second video, there was a knock at the door. Lo and behold, the delivery guy had arrived just in time. Webb grabbed a Heddy Topper beer out of the fridge, and we went to town on our Mexican fiesta of a meal. I had order something called 'fried fish', which I thought would be like fish and chips. NOPE. It was literally a full on fish that was fried whole. That was interesting. Luckily the rest of the dishes were delicious. And we had survived what some would say is the hardest day of the Tour. Huzzah!

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