I am I am Superman

22 01 2011

Superman has his kryptonite. The Incredible Hulk has his temper. Achilles has his heel.

My nemesis is the trainer.

I loathe it.

But when the weather is cold and damp and dark, it’s an option I can’t ignore. Especially with a 103 mile Gran Fondo a little over nine months away.

I finished work today while it was still light, but the clouds had thickened through the afternoon, so it likely wouldn’t stay light long enough for a decent ride. I could have gone for a run, but seeing  plenty of cyclists out and about during my workaday travels, I wanted to ride.

That left the trainer.

Katie had me bring it down from storage so she could cross train while watching True Blood on Blu-Ray. I couldn’t possibly let her show me up from that.

So I clamped in the Orbea and faced my stationary demons. It wasn’t pretty. It never is.

TV remote in hand, I'm ready for anything on the open... floor.

Riding the trainer is the cycling equivalent of water boarding. Pure torture.

Not that it’s hard. It’s just excruciatingly, stultifyingly boring.

When I ride the road, I can pretty much split my brain so that part of me is lost in thought, pondering problems, creating ideas while the other part pays attention to the road, the traffic, the world rolling by. The exercise is almost incidental, automatic. It’s easy for two or three or four hours just disappear.

But inside, without the visual and aural stimulation of the open road, there’s only my legs, the sweat on my brow, and whatever I happen to find on the tv or the blu-ray library. I’m not going anywhere, so there’s no motivation from watching the mileage tick off on the Garmin. There’s clocks all around me, reminding me how long I’ve been pedaling, mocking my lack of fortitude.

Even a show as good as True Blood can’t distract me from the monotony. Over the years I’ve tried various television strategies: dvd’s of the Tour de France, U2 concerts, Underdog cartoons, documentaries, Seinfeld reruns, the news. Sure, they help the time pass, but they also mark the time. Every commercial break, every new scene, every song just makes you more aware of how long you’ve been pedaling on that infernal trainer.

Today, on my first trainer session in a couple of years, I survived for 50 minutes.

 

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3 responses

23 01 2011
Katie

And, you seem to have no mentioned, the only reason you pushed it to 50 minutes is because you couldn’t possibly let me beat you at 45 minutes!

23 01 2011
janice

50 minutes – good on ya, cause it IS boring!!!! In it’s truest sense. Especially for a true blue peddler like you who can go hours otherwise!

23 01 2011
Carol

The non-runner actually thought about going for a run? Good on ya! I am sure it was only because of the bet you made on New Year’s Day and not that fact that you might actually like it. 🙂

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