My relationship with pain has taken a new turn. Often I dread it. The pain I know I will experience in a sprint or a steep climb will often be the reason behind my nerves rather than the outcome of the race or test. Its a funny thing. But on Wednesday I plugged myself in to a ramp test at the Institute of Sport and allowed them to whip me into a froth (testing to failure they call it. Whipped to a froth is my more descriptive interpretation). I tortured myself with all sorts of ways I could escape the test but when it came down to it, it wasn’t that bad. Its just a moment in time and then it is past and you feel good again. Better than before in fact. Once someone has picked you up off the floor and held your hair out of your vomit. Same here at Houffalize, Belgium. You’ve never seen such a brutal course. The climbs go straight up and the desents straight down leaving no time to rest or recover. Muscles scream, lungs rasp and hearts bump hard against ribs but then it’s over. The hurt has gone and it gets replaced with a euphoria that is part pride, part relief but all a trick of the mind. Clever eh?