You're looking at today's bike ride...all three hours of it. I borrowed one of the spin class bikes at our office complex gym and rode two hours solo before participating in a spin class led by one of my Shan Clan, personal trainer and friend, Shannon Flanagan. I even adjusted the bike's positioning so it felt almost exactly like my tri bike, adding towels for padding at the base of the handle bars so I could ride in aero without discomfort.
I'm trying to figure out if riding on a trainer or spin bike is actually harder or more grueling than riding outdoors. Obviously, it depends on the workout. All I know is that today I went through three -- THREE -- shirts. Each soaked to the core. It was like a Chinese or Vietnamese wedding where the bride makes separate entrances to show off a new dress. Except the bride isn't usually in the middle of a workout. I was so drenched that by the end of my 30 minute follow-up run my feet were wet. Even my shoes were soggy! They still are, almost three hours later. That just doesn't happen when I'm doing brick workouts outdoors. Not even at the height of the summer in Malibu Creek State Park before Vineman 70.3.
When I told Stephanie tonight about my workout (I should note that I took a half-day off from work to complete it), she was puzzled about what I could possibly do to stay focused and entertained for that solo duration. Having music now is such a luxury that listening to my iPod is more than enough to keep mentally occupied. I can't tell if that's mental insanity or mental toughness.
Tonight was one of those times where I took to heart what Coach Gerardo told me a few weeks ago about embracing the duration of each workout and basking in the accomplishment of completing it. The rain poured outside. The final Griffith Park brick workout of the year may or may not have gone off without me. Yet there I was, slogging through my own brick, using vacation time to get the job done. I must admit, crazy as it may seem, I enjoyed today. It was a different workout. A new challenge. And I'm glad I didn't just roll over and skip the workout altogether. Believe me, I thought about it. It would have been the rational thing to do. Nobody could blame me. Except my coach. But I know I would have been disappointed in myself.
Is there anything worse?
44 days and counting.