So my husband came back from the bike shop yesterday with a $5 gadget that makes my bike magically go on the bike trainer. (Well, I assume it was magic. Either that or mechanics. I wasn't there to witness it and might not have been able to tell the difference anyway.) When my work finally ended for the day, well after dark, I diligently gave it a try.
Wow. That is Not The Same as riding on the streets.
First, there was the heat. The sweatshirt I wore (because it's chilly in the garage!) lasted about 2 minutes before being flung away. Then came the sweat. It started forming somewhere on my scalp, ran down my forehead in invisible channels, and beaded up at the tip of my nose, dripping occasionally to the garage floor. (I kept trying to wipe it off, but it kept coming back, as if it was maybe trying to form a salt stalactite.) Then there was the frizz. Emboldened by the sweat and heat, my hair swelled to three times its normal size and resisted all efforts to be tucked behind my ears. Eventually I just gave up, because I wasn't going to win, and obviously I didn't really need to see where I was going (hint: nowhere).
Oh, and then there was the saddle. When you ride on a trainer, you never stand up to go over a railroad track, or put your weight on one leg to coast down a hill, or basically get out of the saddle at all. When you stop pedaling, you just…stop. So an hour and 15 minutes of riding is an ENTIRE hour and 15 minutes of riding, and let's just say I hope my new biking shorts are as magical as my husband's mechanical abilities.
Aside from all the discomfort, I learned right away that I CAN get my heart rate up to the proper levels on a trainer, enabling me to work out HARD. Plus I noticed that I have a slight side-to-side rock when I pedal. I think those two things mean trainer workouts are going to be really good for me, because I can focus on getting faster and correcting my form. It also means I am really going to hate them.