Monday, July 30, 2007

The realm of instant recovery

Since I have e-mailed this link to at least four different people in the last few days, I now officially deem it blog-worthy: it's a 2003 piece from Outside magazine in which journalist and serious amateur cyclist Stuart Stevens undertakes a regime of chemical performance enhancement in order to see what happens. It's absolutely fascinating, and obviously related to what's on everyone's minds right now with all this Tour and baseball stuff...
Despite these measurements, I remained skeptical about all the drugs until March 29, when I rode an event along the central coast of California, the Solvang Double Century, at what for me was a fast and hard pace, finishing in around 11.5 hours. About ten hours in, it dawned on me that something was definitely happening. Sure, I'd been training hard, but I'd done enough of that to know what to expect. All around me were riders—good, strong riders—who looked as worn out as you'd expect after ten hours in the saddle. I was tired, but I felt curiously strong, annoyingly talkative and fresh, eager to hammer the last 40 miles. The last time I'd ridden 200 miles, I felt awful the next day, like I'd been hit by a truck. After the Solvang race I woke up and felt hardly a touch of soreness. I also felt like I could easily ride another 200, and I realized that I'd entered another world, the realm of instant recovery. I'll be frank: It was a reassuring kind of world, and I could see why people might want to stay there.

(Thanks to Wendy for the link.)

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