This morning I had hopes that I could finally ride for one hour on the stationary bike. I started off at about 70 RPM, trying a warm-up before I got serious. After 10 minutes I upped it to 80 RPM and held it there. Portions of my hands were numb, my calves were feeling the buildup of lactic acid, and my butt hurt, too. The first ten minutes were easy, I thought if I could keep it up I’d be fine. I didn’t have my normal “quitting half-way through” pang. Perhaps I could make it this time? It was tough this time, but not as bad as the previous ride of 50 minutes. I use a stopwatch that counts down on my computer. That might be good way for you to go, but the stopwatch “giveth and taketh away—sometimes I look over at the stopwatch after staring at the front of the bars and I’m thrilled that the last four minutes has passed so quickly, but sometimes it FEELS like eight minutes has passed, but it’s really only been four. Brutal. This time was different, my screen saver had just kicked in, so I couldn’t see the time, I thought I was about two minutes out. I took a five second break (getting up off the saddle to give my legs and butt a quick rest—something I’d only done once previously in this session), when the alarm went off telling me that I was done. I laughed, thrilled to have finally made it.

At one point in the ride I pretended that I was on a lone break, with Jay LaRiviere and Brad House chasing me (it’s a fantasy, OK). Use any tool to keep yourself motivated during the ride!

My body’s changing. I ran this one fairly hard (it hurt plenty), but my vitals immediately afterwards (1-2 minutes) were down considerably from earlier efforts that were shorter in duration.