Listening to the advice of Jen Voigt – “Shut up legs.”

I’ve never climbed the Galibier, the Tourmalet, or the 21 switchbacks of Alpe d’Huez.  And as I watch the suffering of the Tour de France, I can’t wrap my head around doing it day after day.

That said, I’ve felt that pain.

That deep tissue burn.  The taste in your mouth as you will your body to keep going. Often, when I’m running and I feel that, I let myself off.  I walk. That’s the joy and my weakness in running, I guess. That at any moment, you can walk.  It allows me to relieve the suffering.

While on the bike, it doesn’t happen like that. Part of it is because it is usually when going up hill.  You can’t just shut it down.  So, I do as Jens Voigt does…I tell them, “Shut up legs.”

It’s that moment when mind trumps body. You keep spinning the pedals. You open the mouth and call for more air. You get out of the saddle and dig deeper.  It’s the pursuit of learning to suffer.

I haven’t mastered it yet, I’m still working on it.

But, every day on the bike, the voice in my head gets louder. My body gets a little quieter. My mind doesn’t need to shout it, quite as loudly.

And I guess that’s what training is all about, quieting the body, strengthening the mind, determining which one is in control.