The Dreaded Turbo

The weather was so-so this past weekend.  I should’ve gone for the Serpie newbie group cycle, but didn’t.  I’m starting to feel a bit of pressure.  Pressure to spend more time on the bike, and to spend more time on my runs.  I’m still a bit gun shy with the runs.  I know the focus right now is leg strength, and am in the gym working on this diligently.  I have also stepped up my coached sessions from once to twice a month.  And I suspect when the weather improves and days are longer I may increase this yet again.But what about the bike?  I have the new bike, I go out now and then, but I am not really 100% super sure of the feel of the bike yet.  To do this I know I need to get out and go for some long rides.  I am hoping that is the plan for the end of March, when we head to Florida for holiday (alas – haven’t booked the tickets yet though!)… But what about the interim?  I really do need to get on the bike.All winter I have read about triathletes whiling away hours and kilometres on their turbo trainers.  I have a turbo.  It is sitting in the back of my house.  I haven’t used it all winter.(the guilt.  the shame.)(for those of you unfamiliar with a turbo, it is basically a bike stand in which you set your bike, clip it in, and then can use your own bike as a spin bike – only the back wheel spins, and the front wheel is held stationary)Sometime last week I decided that I needed to start spending more time on the bike.  And for me, that would mean more time on the turbo.Sigh.Time to get over the mental hurdle.  And to get on the trainer.Me, with new bike, Bertha the commuter bike is lurking in the background.I don’t know what it is that makes the turbo so, well, objectionable.  I guess it is because it is just so dull.  Your wheel does not move.  The lure of your own bike is there, but without any of the pleasure.  And for me, my turbo is outside, in a semi-enclosed space.  So if it is cold then it is cold.  There is no television outside (the triathlete’s secret turbo weapon – put on some movies and spin the hours away) so there is nothing to kill the mind-numbing boredom.  And unlike spin class, there is no blaring music to keep you going or spin instructor to vary the routine.In January Jamie of Swim Bike Run Live posted on his twitter stream that he had perfected a great spin workout.  I bookmarked the set, with every intention of doing it that weekend.  Well, that weekend turned into this weekend.  And it was time for me to try out the Spin Until You Puke workout mix.I lost my iPod (it may be in my house – it may be on an airplane – some guy at the gym may now be listening to my half heard Zen and the Art of Triathlon podcast – who knows).  On Saturday I picked up an iPhone, so there really was no more excuse for avoiding the turbo.  I downloaded all the music (except for two tracks) on Jamie’s set, and plugged in one of the missing tracks with another Mix Master Mike number of the same length. The other track – well, it was just before Jamie said to jump off the bike to stretch out, so I just finished up with the stretch track and then stretched without tunes. (My hips and thighs are super tight, by the way.  Thank goodness I have some physio with Magic Hands Michael Collins coming up!) I forgot to put on my heart rate monitor and watch (back from servicing just last week) so I had to play the effort order in time with the music.  I suffered through the standing sets (I hate doing standing sets on a spin bike – probably because I’m so weak legged).  I sweat.  Profusely.  I stripped off layers.  I know my stuffed muskrats looked out the window and laughed at me (yes, I own taxidermy – natural death animals I was assured).  And…  I listened to new tunes.  I smiled at old tunes I hadn’t thought of in a long time.  And when the set neared the end with Porno for Pyros, talking about humans making great pets, I thought that I probably looked like a dog, panting and overheated, at the end of 45 minutes of work.I didn’t puke.  It was a good set.  I got over my turbo mental block.So, yep, I guess I will be spending more time in the back of my house.  That is, until our extension construction begins.  Yep, that’s right.  After two years of to-ing and fro-ing, we finally received local authority permission to build our extension – which will put the back out of commission for a bit.  Who knows from when, but I guess I have a few more months of turbo-ing before anything major starts.  And then once the extension is done, maybe I will have space to turbo and tv at the same time

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