Doing it all the hard way...

Friday, March 24, 2017

The ghost on the machine

They say the only thing worse than riding in the rain is riding on a trainer.  In this case, “they” are correct. Never the less sometimes riding indoors is the best option. Weather, daylight, schedule or other circumstances dictate that you must log time in the cave.

I set up the rollers and get my bike from the garage.  Then I put on a costume and add a layer because it is cold downstairs.  I gather my shoes, music media and a water bottle and saunter down the stairs in near silence.  The room is quiet and the sound of my cleats clipping echoes in the stillness.

Once I start spinning I put some music in my ears and start watching my bike computer to monitor how hard I’m working.  The plan today is to warm up then hold my effort at the “sweet spot” for an hour and a half with four two minute hard efforts spread out at fifteen minute intervals.  After each interval, instead of pure recovery, I just drop back to sweet spot (max fat burning) and hold that.
Some other Fred
The music in my ears drowns out the turbine noise of the trainer.  Before long my effort has warmed me and I take off my sweatshirt.  I have a towel under my bike and a hand towel on my handlebars to catch the sweat that is now rolling down my arms.

As I ramp up my effort at first it feels strange after holding a set level for so long.  Then I feel strong and as the second minute expires I am starting to falter.  As I back off at first it feels easy then I have to really watch my speed to keep my effort at the level I am supposed to maintain.

There is no pretty scenery or companions to chat with.  This isn’t a ride it is a workout.  I watch the clock.  I enjoy every run.  I enjoy every ride outdoors.  I’m not a fan of my time on a trainer. 

Many years ago I did a triathlon with some co-workers. As part of our training we met to swim laps at a high school pool two mornings a week.  I hated every lap.  If there was a, “zone” or “flow state” I never found it.   I counted the laps and was bored by the second lap.  

I am keenly aware of Einstein’s theory of relativity and for this activity time is relatively slow.  I keep measuring things in terms of, “last one before the last one” and similar mental gymnastics to put lipstick on this pig of a workout.
This lacks punctuation.  I'm thinking a period plus either a question or exclamation mark.

Finally I am cooling down and I hit my targeted time.  As if to prove to myself it wasn’t as bad as I thought I add an extra kilometer before stepping off.

The room is once again quiet expect for my breathing.  There is condensation on the window and I have warmed the room several degrees.  I pull off my shoes and collect my water bottle and earphones and Garmin device.  I feel tired but satisfied.  It is said success comes from deliberate practice and it doesn’t get more deliberate than riding on a trainer.  It is just one check in one box but when strung together it creates success. 

I walk down the hall and the tile feels cold on my stocking feet.  Before heading upstairs I look back down the hallway toward the den.  There are footprints on the tile from my wet socks and it looks like a ghost has walked down the hallway.

I am that ghost.  

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