Invite him in for a visit. He'll be a nasty little bugger and will probably hurt you a few times, but he won't kill you. So don't fear him ...make him your friend. In time, you'll even learn to enjoy his company ...that is, if you're a bit twisted.
I tried to renew our relationship on the lunch ride today but it was not a pleasant interaction. Downright unpleasant in fact. Seemed like a good idea to get reacquainted before Mothballs on Saturday where I'm sure to see him. So today I purposely invited him in by taking some pulls longer than my current fitness supports, and he plopped down on the quadriceps couch and proceeded to grow and grow and grow.
Then I got dropped. Which made me think of Dave Tu.
Old-timers in SB and all around California might remember Dave. I'll bet Hecky does, but that's another story...
Dave Tu was a very good bike racer in the late 1980's. That was an era with very few trade teams; 7-Eleven existed, Levi's/Raleigh, and maybe Crest and Suburu-Montgomery had started already too. But other than a couple dozen "professionals", most bike racers aspired to be on the US National Team. Dave made it to the National B team, which meant that the USCF recognized him as a talent. In 1988 (I think) he won something like six consecutive p/1/2 races in NorCal. Once or twice I can see, but six? He also did an international stage race or two. What I'm saying is that he was good. But soon the USCF dissed him and he was out of cycling by 1990.
Today at lunch, with uncomfortably elevated lactate flowing in my legs, I was reminded of a story Dave told me. Seems that back then the US National Team coaches did a lot of physiological testing on the riders at the OTC in CO Springs, and the biggie was VO2Max. It was THE dominant criteria for evaluating potential.
Unfortunately Dave's VO2Max tested quite low. How was that possible? You can't just win a bunch of road races on will power, can you? Of course not. It turns out that another test showed the reason for Dave's success. He was able to ride with an outrageously high level of lactate in his blood. Or stated another way, he could ride nearer to his own VO2Max without the acute muscle fatigue that most people experience at that intensity. Dave had become good buddies with the C3H6O3.
Now I don't know the precise physiology involved, but via a few sequential processes, lactic acid gets remade back into usable fuel for your muscle cells. How cool is that? But most importantly, the efficacy of that process is very trainable. I also know from experience that when this system is not well trained, an intense effort can be excruciatingly painful. Or even sickening ...I've barfed a few times after hard sprints preceded by significant anaerobic effort. Lactic acid poisoning? On the other hand, when you've successfully trained that system, the feeling of elevated lactate can be almost pleasurable. In a twisted sort of way.