Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Crank Factor

Crank:
Noun
1. A device for transmitting rotary motion, consisting of a handle or arm attached at right angles to a shaft.
2. A clever turn of speech; a verbal conceit: quips and cranks.
3. A peculiar or eccentric idea or action.
4. Informal
     a. A grouchy person.
     b. An eccentric person, especially one who is unduly zealous.

For this post, we'll focus solely on number one and number 4a.  I find it incredibly ironic that number one can result in number four.

What am I talking about you ask?

The Crank Factor.

What the heck is The Crank Factor?

The Crank Factor is what sets in after you reach a certain point on your bike.  That point is usually signaled by tired achey legs, a sore crotch or butt, general discomfort and an overwhelming desire to get off your bike and throw it in a ditch.  We've all been there.  Once the crank factor sets in, the ride is no longer fun for me and those around me.  Just ask G. 

Yesterday I did my longest ride to date this year.  I rode 88 fairly hilly km.  The last long-ish ride I did was a month ago and that was 62km.  My cycling endurance has improved since then but not enough that 88km would have been easy.  It wasn't.  By about 65km, the Crank Factor had started to creep in.  By 75km, it was full on.  I kept trying to tell myself that it was a beautiful day, it was great to be outside, blah blah blah, but my legs were giving me the big F.U.  Luckily for all those involved, it set in when we were 2/3 of the way through our ride so I didn't have that long to be miserable.

Riding up Mississauga Rd.  It's a grinder.
 Such is life.

Sometimes you just have to suck it up and get it done.  Part of training is learning to work through the discomfort.  Work through those achey legs and find that other gear.  Some days you have it and some days you don't.  Finding that other gear isn't always easy and it's always going to hurt.  But each time you find it, you'll be going that much faster and you'll be able to tolerate it just that much longer.

I call that "getting better" and in the end, isn't that what training is all about? 

Longest ride of the year to date. 



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