Sunday, January 22, 2012

Countdown to Ironman, Week 22: Notes from the Pain Cave

It's not the winter of my discontent, but it may well be the Winter of Discomfort down here in the Pain Cave, otherwise known as the "exercise room". This is where the hard miles have to occur when you're training for an early season Ironman and the winter storms are blowing outside.

Sometimes my daughter captures me and forces me to watch horse movies with her while I'm riding the trainer. She's twelve, and she loves horses the as only a twelve-year-old girl can. It may be true that women never love anything more in life than they love horses when they're twelve. And while I had my share of horse-loving years (including summers at horse camp on Grayback mountain), I have to admit that one can only watch so many horse movies as an adult, since they all seem to be variations on the theme of: Young kid's messed up life is saved by horse who no one thought could (be tamed, win the race, be the best in show, pick one).

Sometimes instead, I watch my Sufferfest videos and suffer, comforting myself with the notion that I'm getting faster. Some times I watch movies in Spanish with subtitles so that my son can keep up his language learning. Sometimes I just go batshit crazy. Occasionally I escape to the triathlon store with their Computrainer setup and suffer there instead, in the company of fellow sufferees.

The Pain Cave is so very very un-fun that by comparison, running outside in the hideous winter weather seems almost joyful. Yesterday's run saw me pelted by rain, sleet, snow, and hail, while being buffeted by wind gusts up to 40 mph according to the weather reports, yet it seemed a bit of a lark when compared to the anticipation of yet another trainer ride. The rivers around here are in full flood, and in places the bike and running paths have been buried under swift-flowing waters over the banks. At least the flooded forests make for some interesting scenery to off-set the drenching rain.

The silver lining on all of these clouds is that my times are still getting faster. My run is returning, if not to an exactly speedy state, at least to my previous version of what passes for speed. And my biking legs are getting there too. So when the sunshine finally burns through and the spring weather arrives, I plan to exit my pain cave like a hungry bear from hibernation, ready to eat up the road.

1 comment:

jtrimom said...

have you ever considered a fall IM? ;)