Being rather new to the Sufferfest platform (loving it though), I have not yet any Sufferfest specific stories, but maybe a few real life ones (what, there is another life?).
Last summer I was going for a ~540 km (with ~8000 m climb) ride with 6 others. Unfortunately I had misunderstood when we were supposed to start, and when I thought I still had 30 mins left to prepare I received a phone call asking “where are you?”. We agreed they’d roll easy out of town and I’d catch up. In that respect, 30 mins is quite a gap to bridge, so I decided I had to start somewhat harder than I originally intended, but taking the total distance into account, I couldn’t afford to spend much time on or above FTP, but a few hills here and there meant I sometimes had to in order to gain time.
After a 60 km solo ride I cought up with them, just below 32 km/h average pace, i.e. nearly two hours on my own, covering 1/9th of the total distance. When catching up, I learnt they had starting a wager who will win the most signpost sprints on their way out of town, meaning they did not exactly go easy all the time. Riding in a group is generally easier in any case.
Whether this affected the rest of the trip is hard to tell. Unfortunately I had been a bit unattentive to my nutrition, so started to suffer quite a bit for when it was 50k to go until until half way break, and was not really sure I would make it. But a break with pizza and soda did the trick, and after shaking off the initial stiffness when getting back on the bike, I felt rather good and did quite a lot of pulling across the mountain plain we were crossing at the time.
During our next break (at 1 A.M.) I managed to change bib and apply a new layer of chamois cream. It felt really great, but after riding a little while following the break, it was kind of back to a little discomfort when sitting down. It turns out that riding with a wet bib after a refreshing swim in the heat prior to one of the steeper climbs of the ride maybe was not such a great idea after all. at that time, still 1/3rd of the ride was left. And the suffering got worse. And worse. And worse. Retrospectively, I have been thinking maybe this is what shredded chamois feels like, except it wasn’t the chamois, but my actual sitting area.
I used every opportunity to stand for the rest of the ride, and dreaded every moment I had to sit down again. And it just lasted, and lasted, and lasted. it was like time was standing still although we were moving, like the AC-minute in FF, only extended into infinity.
For the last 30k I was going solo again, as my end destination was a little different to the rest of the group, and I started getting these burning sensations at the soles of my feet, like there was a volcano waiting to erupt, as I am sure many of you have also experienced before. With only 4-5k to go, the pain was so intense I just had to step off my bike for a couple minutes to wriggle my feet trying to ease the pain. I got back on the bike and suffered through the final km’s, anding the ride in 544 km. Had I felt a bit better I would have taken a 6 km detour, but being so utterly destroyed and sleep deprived, I just wasn’t able to. Although having some different kind of suffer stories, I think this may be the one with the most epic level of suffering I have experienced.
Donation offer $30 (understanding its not an auction, flag depends on the story). Sorry for the long posting, there were just too much suffering too room in a shorter post.