Friday, February 03, 2006

Two Ways To Hate Yourself

Way #1: Lactic/Analactic/Vo2 Threshold Testing.

Went to the always impressive Nike campus yesterday to spend some quality time in the top-secret super-shwank athlete testing facility. It was like walking into a Austin Powers scene. Huge electronic locked doors with giant "RESTRICTED AREA" signs on them. Lots of brushed aluminum and diamond plate steel all over the place, huge rooms with cameras everywhere, the odd human skeleton model here and there, and lots of prosthetic feet laying around. That was probably what struck me the most about the facility. The feet. Everywhere.

The testing itself was brutal. My shiny new bike was set up on an electonically controlled trainer that measures power output in the form of watts. The idea is, the rider goes through a load period of 4 minutes at a certain wattage, at the end of which you get a rest of 30 seconds to a minute while the lab people draw blood and analyze it to determine how much lactic acid is circulating in your body. Then it's back up to load, with another 4 minutes at 40 more watts than the previous load. Over and over. If that's not bad enough, you're doing the entire process with your nose blocked off and a mouthpeice jammed in your face so they can record how much CO2 you're expelling and how much O2 you're taking in with every breath and how often and bla bla bla. You get to repeat the load over and over and over with increasing resistance until you collapse or throw in the towel.

We started at 150 watts, made it to a full load at 330, a sustained heart rate of 210, white and red spots in front of my eyes, a splitting headache, loss of motor skills, and an inability to communicate.

I have only hurt that bad once on a bike (new zealand, tour de vinyards, takaka). I wanted to spit the mouthpeice out, I tried, I couldn't.

I won't get the official results unil later today, but at one point on my final effort I overheard one of the lab techs (sorry guys I'm not so good with names) mutter "holy shit" under her breath as she watched my breathing and lactic rates. Hopefully that's good shit...

Way #2: Listen to Bill O'Rielly

Honest, it was a mistake. I was just flipping through radio channels looking for a traffic report and I heard an irate old man screaming about (i swear I'm not making this up) Muslims all deserve the stereotype of terrorist extremist because "all of the 9/11 hijackers were followers of the Koran." A soldier back from Iraq tried to argue for reason and (surprise!) O'Rielly attacked him.

ACTUAL QUOTE: from the blowhard about religious extremeism. "I think I know what I'm talking about, I wrote a book on the subject."


1 comment:

piglet said...

Bill O'Reilly: for those who don't naturally get enough spiteful, vindictive, hateful outrage in their lives, and need something completely fabricated to be angry about.
Lactate testing: For those who need to be punished for reasons their mothers will (hopefully) never know.