Another tour has come and gone. This is my second Tour of Sufferlandria. It is the Greatest Grand Tour of a Mythical Nation Ever!! Seriously, it’s a bit crazy though. Last year I was just getting into riding indoors when my friend Tyler introduced me to The Sufferfest cycling training videos. These are highly intense training videos with structured interval workouts. You get on screen instructions giving you intensity and cadence and you GO!! Last year I got into the videos, found out about the community, got really into cycling indoors with my bike up on my trainer, and then I found out about the tour. I committed to riding it last year and I stuck through it to the end. It was extremely hard. During the tour I heard about the Knights of Sufferlandria, set my sights on that, and attained it in April (USA Knight #181). So now I’m fully immersed in the nation of Sufferlandria.
The tour this year was much harder. I’m totally out of shape as work has really gotten in the way of exercise these past few months and I’ve managed to pack some weight back on. I was sick right before the tour and got really ill right in the middle this time. I had to negotiate a personal commitment and work schedules too. But despite all the issues, I completed. It was very physically demanding. If you want to see graphs of what the workouts look like, you can see them at the bottom of this post. I came in weak, the weather had been unseasonably nice right before the tour and I couldn’t see myself not throwing down some outdoor miles. I enjoyed those rides, but I came into the tour not completely fresh. While the first couple of stages were poor, I really started to get my legs in the middle. Starting about the 4th stage, my performance was getting good and increasing from there. I felt strong, I could get my heart rate up, and I was having a blast.
But after stage 6, it all came crashing down. I fell quite ill at work the next day and actually passed out walking down a hallway. I was sent home to recover and slept for the next 26 hours. I felt pretty terrible. The tour happens over a specific period and after that sickness, I was getting dropped! Well, when the weekend rolled through, I jumped back on my bike. Saturday I was feeling like garbage, but I got back up on my bike and completed everything to be back in the peloton. I was pretty much drafting from there. I finished up Sunday, it was pretty, but I did it.
In the end, my stats were nowhere near where I wanted them. I lost a lot of miles and power from the illness. But the tour is complete and I look forward to next year’s!
I completed the tour on my 2015 Specialized Roubaix hooked up to my trusty Kurt Kinetic Road Machine trainer. I ran the videos through TrainerRoad (which I hadn’t used last year), which gives my on screen displays of goal power output, heart rate, cadence, etc. It really takes some of the thinking out of everything.
I ended up riding 189.3 miles in 12:16:53 and burned something like 12,000 calories.