Tuesday, 29 January 2008

The Great National BBQ weekend: Leg Fry Up

This weekend just past is our “national” weekend of rejoicing over the fact that a little Englishman (and he was little – I’ve seen his house) and his little flotilla landed in a place that would be known as Sydney, home of the convict (colonial and contemporary) and claimed the land for some monarch many hundreds of thousands of kms away. Bugger the fact there were already inhabitants: savage natives by classification and therefore usable or ignorable and eradicatable. So every January, we all gather around our barbecues in our backyards (what’s left of them these days with modern domestic architecture), burn our steaks, prawns, lamb, roo, calamari, vegie burgers and ourselves, drinking beer, wine and bourbon, celebrating our glorious colonialism, as did Cook and his mates over 200 years ago. I must admit, though, that had a Dutch, Spanish or Frenchman landed instead of an Englishman, my grandparents and their children would not have emigrated here 50 years ago. Here endeth the political history lesson.

My weekend was spent recovering from an almost pukefest on the ergo Friday night. I ended up with the Puke Bucket of Champions TM at my feet, head in hands, holding back the tide of bile and nausea from an ergo session from hell. It was tough, bloody tough. My legs were holding resonances of trashings from racing and ergoing earlier in the week, and protested muchly - I'm talking placards, picket lines, union negotiations. I ignored them until, in retaliation, they failed to work any longer, and threatened to take the contents of my guts with them as they exited stage right. It’s the first time in some time I’ve not been able to finish a complete set. I was annoyed, frustrated, tired, sore, seeing double, feeling double, beaten by the yellow fan as it finally found its total revenge.

As I sat in Coach’s shed, bucket at my feet, focusing on not throwing up, Coach looked at the raw data off the PT head. He asked me what my max wattage was from Wednesday, and when I told him, he replied: well you beat that. No way! I say. 746 watts was the reply. Well, that almost makes it (ie the very imminent prospect of throwing up) worthwhile then, I replied, with just a hint of Australian laconic irony. How is it you can feel so bad, so drained and crushed by a training session and yet do the "best" workout so far? Drive and hunger perhaps? Determination and courage, not to let deep nausea and fatigue beat me? Pure guts and a tremendous work ethic?? Can you hear the uplifting violins?? Let’s try: I was trying to make the best of a bad situation. It was my 3rd last session of this kind, and I wasn’t prepared to finally lose to the machine. So pride and the “shame” of failure more than anything got me through it. I went as hard as I could at the time, because I thought it was going to be pretty bad, so I wanted to minimise losses ie I didn't want to look THAT bad! Motto: don’t stop racing until you cross the finish line, because you never know.


hippy said...

The Peak Power you mention, is that kind of like a Max Speed reading? ie. you pedal faster and harder, it increases until it tops out and you have to slow down?

Lawrence said...

Yep, but it works the opposite way ie max power figure reached within the first few pedal strokes of each effort until my sorry butt is dragged back into the ergo's evil grasp ie the harder/faster you pedal the harder it gets = power drop.There is a short period before the ergo really kicks in, then it's all downhill (depending on gearing and cadence and requirements of effort etc)