Thursday, January 30, 2014

2014 Tour of Sufferlandria - Stages 5 and 6

Double-post!  With about 10 hours separating the end of Stage 5 and the beginning of Stage 6, we had to consolidate. Enjoy!

Stage 5a: Extra Shot 

Webb: Normally, Extra Shot is meant to be additional suffering. Oh, HHNF was only kinda hard for me and my super fitness, I need moooore. I'm not one of those guys. GVA decided in this year's Tour that it would be prelude to the filthy The Wretched. So before we got into that bit of grueling business we had to make our way through 20 minutes of roaring women in Flanders and the World Champs in Copenhagen.

Elle: There was some confusion on the interwebs about this stage. Can you do the videos in the opposite order? Can you split them up, one in the morning, one at night? NO! The Tour Director has laid out the stage, it must be ridden as prescribed!

Webb: After Stage 4 I was feeling more energized than fatigued (like, 55% to 45%). I could feel the snap coming back into my legs. With ebullient confidence, I decided I would hit The Wretched hard - not Extra Shot and The Wretched, just The Wretched. Instead, Extra Shot would be an extended warm-up. I tucked myself into the pace lines and pelotons and cruised along awaiting my impending misery.

Webb is truly Wretched.

Stage 5b: The Wretched

Webb: No intervals. One hard 35:00 segment with three KOM sprints and a final race to the finish line. 

Elle: Pain. Suffering. That is all.

Webb: It was time: 100%. Rubber Glove smashed me to bits and I needed the last several days to recover.  After the Box Hill warm-up, I was geared up and ready to go. About 3 and half minutes later I was already beginning to calculate how much time we had left. Not a good sign. I cracked on the first KOM sprint. My legs were definitely not as ready as I thought. I tried to recover and did an acceptable job hanging in for the second KOM. Going into the third climb I knew I was in trouble. Going for KOM #3 I cracked again. Damn. Unrelenting, I told myself I could pull it together for the final run-in. Wrong. I popped almost immediately. Although I came in fast, there was no sprinting. 

Looking at the data, there was clear discrepancy between my power and heart rate zones. They need to be going in opposite directions! That is why we are here. Put the work in today for honor, glory and victory tomorrow. IWBMATTKYT.

Elle: So Webb, not feeling so fresh anymore, huh?! I won't even attempt to describe to you the sounds he was making at the end of this 2-video 'fest. And now we had only a limited, precious number of hours to eat, sleep, and get back on the trainer for, gasp, AVDP in the morning. Where's that ibuprofen...

Stage 6: A Very Dark Place

Webb: My favorite. A common occurrence among Sufferlandrians is that their favorite workout is the one they just did. I have certainly fallen into this trap many, many times. That said, this is my favorite. I like power intervals. The footage motivates me more than the others and the final song is hands-down the best.

Elle: This is one of the best Sufferfests, true. But every time I do it, I desperately want to pull over during the second recovery interval and chill out at that café on the left side of the road. Especially considering what's about to happen for the third working set. Every time the screen says Stand!, I want to yell, F-you!  (But always in a loving way, of course). And then there's the two best placed songs in all of Sufferfest: 'When the Hammer Comes Down' and  'Romina Arena - Ricordi' at the end. Brilliant.

Webb: I think the hammer came down on me last night. From the countdown my legs were worthless. Even at a comical 70%, it took a lot to find a rhythm and keep them moving. By the time the third interval came up I was feeling better. Better as in, I could continue at that effort and not a watt more. Then came the fourth. My favorite segment of my favorite workout. Spartacus. The God of Thunder. L'Enfer du Nord. I always find I can dig a little deeper on the cobbles. This time was no different. To be sure, my wants were still very low, but they were higher than in 1-3 or 5. That is just how it goes.
Webb doing his best Horgan

Elle: After we finished stage 5 we took a well deserved trip over to Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe so Webb could order a breakfast of champions and view the Red Sox 2013 World Series trophy.... Go Sox!

Webb: mmmm blueberry french toast.

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