Friday, May 13, 2011

The Road Less Traveled

It was me!  I confess!  I am the one who failed to sacrifice my live chicken in the appropriate time frame and manner and brought the Apocalypse to our door-step.  As soon as I posted this, Mother Nature decided the next day was the opportune moment to erase our near-drought in one fell drenching swoop.

Now here I sit with a considerably long ride to do and doing it outside today would be M.I.S.E.R.A.B.L.E., not to mention D.A.N.G.E.R.O.U.S., what with all the strikes God's bowling right now.  And unlike the yard, which can only be mowed when the lawn dries out, or having the pool party, which can be postponed until any other scorching Texas day, long rides generally need to be done when scheduled, Four Horsemen visiting or not, and there are alternatives, namely the trainer, that allow the schedule to be followed.

Sometimes I hate modern technology.

It is this moment, under these circumstances, that the life-style of a professional athlete takes a turn for the "desk job."  Once, when I worked for a Committee staff, I was tasked with photocopying 1500 pages of bound text.  Riding the trainer for a "long time" (definitions vary by person; my arbitrary limit falls somewhere around the length of my previous longest trainer ride, which I will break today) is the triathlon equivalent of photocopying 1500 pages of bound text.  

How do you get excited about photocopying 1500 pages of bound text?  Making yourself as comfortable as possible and breaking the project into small pieces: have a preferred beverage (Diet Coke) at the ready and allow yourself a drink every 100 pages.  Or a Starbucks at the end.  Or whatever works for you.

How do I get excited about riding the trainer for a long time?  The possibility of watching movies and riding at the same time, not a feat to be accomplished on the local country roads, and breaking the ride into three periods: before intervals, during intervals, after intervals.

But the logistics go beyond "have trainer, ride trainer."  Here's how to set-up, survive, and surmount a long trainer ride.


Calories: eating them helps break up an IM race and REALLY helps break up a long trainer ride

Break out the big guns, aka the biggest bottles ya got

Charge your computer - if there is no power file, did the ride really happen?

Book the live entertainment...nothing like a movie rental for a $1

Set up the Command Center and stock it with towels, lots of towels

Don the gear...tip: use the most comfortable chamois because on the trainer you spend a lot of time in one position, no hills or lights to make you move and ease uncomfortable pressure.  I use the opportunity to test out and break in BlueSeventy race shorts.


Check outside one more time...just in case...and see that the parking lot is still flooded

Get to photocopyin'....er, pedallin'

Photocopying, photocopying, photocopying...filing, filing filing...pencil sharpening, pencil sharpening, pencil sharpening....


The view from my desk

Second towel being called up from the minors

Second towel now totally soaked with sweat

Every party has Dead Soldiers, even parties at work

I'll spare you the photos of cleaning up after, but I really do recommend mopping up the puddle of sweat before leaving for the day, especially if, like me, you are riding in your dining room.

After all that, I can assure you, Mr. Frost, there is a reason this road is less traveled.

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