Thursday, October 18

Burn in Hell

If you're a regular bike commuter and a loved one asks if you'd like to join them in a cycle-burn away. Far, far away.

I was really excited at first. I didn't know exactly what to expect, but it ended up being close to what I imagined. Except for the pain in my legs.

I'm not a wuss. Let me say that up front. I need to reaffirm that to myself after the ribbing my wife gave me after the cycle-burn class. I deserved it. Sort of.

I knew I was going to the class on Tuesday night when I left work. That didn't stop me from pulling down one of my fastest work-to-home commutes EVER (Ramming Speed Tuesday's Gone With the Wind?).

Monday I rode the Cannonball and pulled off a surprisingly fast commute home. I pulled off a second best time on one of my Strava segments. I did have a tailwind for most of the ride home, but that doesn't matter. Right?

Tuesday afternoon I was on the road bike and still feeling pretty good. Darn that Strava! I had to try and break a couple of personal records. And so I did. Not only did I have a couple of fast segments but I managed a 21.8 mph average for the 11.6 mile ride. That may not seem like a lot to some, but remember, I have to navigate urbia and sub-urbia on my commutes. Both realms involve lots of friction for the bicycle commuter. And I'm talking average, not top speed. I frequently exceed 30-35 mph on my ride home.

Anyway, I can't remember a commute faster than 21 and change. I may have fluked a 22 mph ride once. Once.

I wasn't exactly cooked when I got home, but I felt some distinct fatigue in the quad areas of my body. Lets go to cycle-burn! (in my best Ashton Kutcher voice)

I didn't even change out of my bike shorts. I took time to drink a glass of OJ and change into a dry t-shirt and we headed out.

Everything was going fine until the instructor said "Up!" and when I stood up on the pedals my legs felt hollow. For a second. Then they burned like the fires of Mount Doom. Gah! huffed my brain, and then told my body to plop back down on the seat.

I tried standing on the pedals a couple other times, but I feared the effects would be commute prohibitive. What if I couldn't ride the next morning?

I'm fairly certain that if I'd have followed the instructor's commands to the tee I would still not be able to walk, much less ride my bike. I'm glad she didn't call me out, call me a wuss and chastise me in front of the class. I basically found a good resistance and pedaled at an 85-90 cadence for 45 minutes. I didn't have much else to contribute at that point.

I want to be hard core that way. I WILL be hardcore that way, but Tuesday night I just didn't have it in me.

And wait! I'm supposed to be laying off the legs and focusing on cardio, core and general strength training. Oh well...

Speaking of fitness (haven't I been?) I'm down to 188 again. The goal is by Thanksgiving to be down under 180. It's been awhile since I've been that light. We're planning on running a 5k, so leaving those extra 8 lbs behind would be a bonus.

Alas, I have another confession to make: I ended up calling in on Wednesday anyway. I was sore and tired and the forecast (and for once the reality) was for strong gusting winds. I just didn't have it in me to fight the evitable.

My tired little brain couldn't summon the energy to carry me through the gale. Maybe on a day that I hadn't tried cycle-burn the night before...

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