Thursday, January 31, 2008

Numbers Games

For those not concerned with local agriculture: I'm always interested in how we draw from experience in other sports. Lately I've been feeling like a rower. Erging is a big mental game - you basically sit on this machine with potential to bring extreme duress - indoors and likely pouring sweat, your numbers the object of others' curiosity, staring at a screen: trying to keep that 500m split at a certain magic low number, absolutely aware of the impact of minute differences of this split on your time for the whole 2000 or 2500 or 10000m piece (for which you are already gunning for some predetermined time), keeping stroke rating (cadence) within some small zone, trying to maintain smoothness of form, trying to breathe. I've been riding on the trainer a lot recently - it's been cold but trainer riding also taps into the number-junkie side of me, feeds on my love of training in the morning, and my desire for efficiency given a lot going on. Sometimes I really play games, like convincing myself I have ridden less than I have, by saying, when I have 1hr to go, "ok, 1:10 to go," and then when I start getting tired later I can slip some of these minutes off, to give the illusion of time passing more quickly as the ride progresses. Or I will blind myself to the clock, count to 100, stare at a spot, or pedal through three songs before I check how long the interval has been. Good times. Tomorrow I am going on a field trip so I will be on that machine before 6. I will be very fresh! In other news: Kevin Spacey and Mike Huckabee, plus the intrigue of "progressive Federalism."

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