Can She Do As She's Told (Part 4)

It’s been three weeks since I last posted about my “experiment” with “Doing As I’m Told” and I just completed the Half Monty at the end of week 8 of my plan so it’s time for an update.

The past few weeks have been somewhat heartbreaking with a couple deep, deep lows personally and emotionally. I guess this makes it a good test of a customized plan. What sort of support is there from a SUF Coach for an athlete in their “real” life? Now, I realize that being married to my coach provides a completely different experience but give me a chance to explain. I have heard Sir Spencer say to many of his athletes that they must be realistic in fitting their plans into their lives. That you’ve got to make it fit. And, when it fits, it becomes a part of real life, yes? Yes. So, certainly, when we had to grapple with one of our dogs who had been ailing sudden crash and after three days, made the wrenching, heartbreaking and oh so difficult choice to euthanize her, he was my husband and pet parenting partner. Not first and foremost, but only. Right? Exactly what I could expect. But, the day after, when I sat in my dog walking attire all day and then couldn’t muster anything required to get on the bike, he told me to take the day off. It felt like permission from my coach. Whether it was that or not, I’ve heard him coach people for years, I know that Coach Spencer would have said that to anyone, not just his wife. I took the day off. I’m not going to recount all my workouts over the past three weeks to you today, suffice to say, I completed them all except that one. Grace, the amazing, loving, beautiful pit mix that we’d only had less than two short years, always hung out with me in the bike room when I rode. Laying on the dog bed by my side as I suffered. Suffered. As if. There has been another bit of dog related personal suffering, but I am not quite ready to share that. My point here is real life heartache can sometimes make suffering on the bike seem less important, or not important at all. Other times, it may just be the only thing in the day that feels right. You have to feel it out for yourself, but it is helpful to have a coach to provide that support and advice, to remind you that a day off isn’t the end of the world and won’t impact your training, permission can be just what the heart needs.

I soldiered on. I’ve never EVER fully accomplished Nine Hammers. My opinion: Anyone that can do the entire workout including Hammer 9 to it’s fullest, needs to do Full Frontal again for updated numbers. I made it through Hammer 8. Not sure I’ve ever been able to fully accomplish that, so I was stoked going into Hammer 9. I made it about a third of the way before I couldn’t hold the power. That last minute. Whatever. I just tried to keep it near my FTP. LOL. Except I wasn’t laughing.

Week 8 was a rest week (My favorite! Not!) culminating in Half Monty. Despite myself, I was nervous. I did think I would have some improvements but what if not? It concerned me that my heartrate was higher than normal because of the nerves. Did it. Made it to step 11 or 12 of the ramp. The number it gave me at the beginning of the step for my new MAP made me a little nervous. I may have been able to power through a little longer, but I don’t think much. I was able to keep the constrained effort within the HR range except for a couple very brief excursions one beat higher. I was pleased with the effort. New numbers are a bit of a concern for future rides. I have a midway call scheduled with Sir Spencer tomorrow. Not sure if I’ll leave these new numbers. They both surpassed my Mount Sufferlandria 4DP goals for May of 2021. My MAP went up 7.5% and my FTP went up 8%.

So far, so good. She can do as she’s told, within reason and a bit of complaining. :blush: We’ll see how Tuesday goes; I have Team Scream on the calendar – new numbers? Just four more weeks until Full Frontal. Stay tuned.

Happy New Year Suf Family – Here’s to a SUF-Filled 2021!


Thank you for another update Dame Steph and sorry to hear of your loss. Obviously coach Spencer is an understanding and compassionate man, (although making you do nine hammers straight after you set new numbers sounds a bit cruel)!

Congratulations on the new numbers, maybe coach spencer does know a bit about training, (although I suspect you both do)!!!

(Ps. Please read some Australian irony into that last sentence, i’m very sure you both know a lot about the whole exercise and training caper!!)


Sorry to hear that. Sad days on the four legged friend front.

Another one here who’s never completed NH, but having said that I’ve never an increase like that in MAP either, so you’ve got it nailed. Well done.


Thanks for the update @DameSteph. Realised When you posted I had missed episode 3 so had to go back and read. I love your posts it is is like you are speaking my mind. So sorry for your loss and am sure there will be tough times ahead but try remember it is tough because of all those fabulous memories. You are giving me the inspiration to try and stay with my plan (eRacing) and not add any other bits in. Have a peaceful (but crushing it) new year.


just for clarification sake, Nine Hammers was done prior to Half Monty on old numbers. I did my first post-HM yesterday, Team Scream. It was our “test” to see. I was able to crush it…albeit in a less demonstrative way than normal. And, it crushed me! I was sore and weak and achy all day…but I did it!