Kennett woke up at 7 on Wednesday. He was feeling a bit tired, but the thought of food quickly got him on his feet and into the kitchen. Tony was fast asleep, farting and snoring on the couch in the living room. Kennett tiptoed around the kitchen so as not to waken the slumbering beast.
After pounding down two eggs and toast, Kennett slipped back into bed for another couple hours of sleep, which came quickly to him because of his high training stress score over the last week.
A shrill beeping had Kennett fumbling and cursing at his phone at 9 O’clock. It was somewhere on the ground next to his mattress, lost in a jumble of computer wires, dirty dishes, apple cores, and bike magazines. The tired cyclists, eyes still closed, blindly searched for the phone as he swept his hand across the cluttered ground until he found it. The beeping ceased as he silenced the alarm.
Five minutes later the beeping woke him up again as the second alarm went off. He turned the phone off once more, reseting the alarm for 15 more minutes of sleep. 15 more minutes will do it, he thought.
15 minutes passed and the reoccurring beeping startled him from a dream about a red bald eagle soaring peacefully above his house with a scarlet macaw. Two different species of bird enjoying a good flight without any racial prejudices against the other. The birds were interrupted by a pair of low flying bombers, like the ones that thunder across the sky of Tucson day and night on their way to the military base. But the dream ended as the beeping started. The damn phone need to be silenced again. Kennett turned his phone off for good and went back to sleep.
Finally, an hour later than he planned on waking, I got out of bed and stumbled into the kitchen where Tony was pouring himself a cup of coffee.
“I made 8 cups this morning. You know, in case you want some too,” Tony cheerfully said as he began his third mug.
I poured a cup for myself and put a bowl of oats in the microwave.
“I’m tired,” said Kennett.
“Yeah me too,” said Tony. “I thought you were supposed to be riding by now.”
“I’m getting there,” I replied.
Kennett got geared up and emptied his large intestine a couple of times before heading out the door. I switched my ipod on as I rode down the street, hoping to vitalize my legs with some The Who. It worked, but not to the degree that I needed, for today was interval day.
I arrived at the base of Mt. Lemmon, where Kennett decided to ramp up the tunes with some Rob Zombie before starting the first 20 minute interval. Rob Zombie began screaming and Kennett was off. A few minutes later, his legs and body began screaming at him to stop. But of course he told them to be quiet. And they obeyed.
At mile post four, Kennett began ramping his speed back up again. I had let it drop a bit after 11 minutes. Not on purpose, but it dropped nonetheless. Two minutes to go. One and a half minutes to go. 40 seconds to go. 4 seconds to go. Done. Kennett stopped pedaling, drooped his head, and decided today was not a good day for doing intervals. His watts were low and he was tired. I decided to ride up to mile post seven, then head down back home. But Kennett began second guessing himself about how tired he was two miles later. Maybe he would just try one more interval and see how he felt. He had only planned on doing two 20 minute pieces anyways. He made a compromise and I decided to just do one more 10 minute piece. A few minutes later at seven miles, Kennett brought a potato out of his pocket and began chowing down on the dry, leathery skin of the old tuber. He finished the over-sized root, turned around, and rode down the hill to conquer one more interval and see if he was really that tired. Kennett wanted to make sure it wasn’t just a problem with motivation, he knows that it can never be about motivation. Never.
Three seconds into the next interval, Kennett got his answer. It wasn’t about motivation. The power was low and I was dead already. My legs screamed at me again, this time Kennett didn’t tell them to be quiet. He agreed with them as they cried like babies that needed to be burped. But I didn’t slow down for them. I kept pushing them harder, although my power meter would beg to differ.
Seven minutes in. Kennett reached into his back pocket and took out his ipod. He cranked up the volume. If he wanted his legs to keep going, a little hearing loss might be a necessary evil. Kid Rock agreed.
I gasped for air and hung my head down in exhaustion when the clock read 10:00. 377 watts. Ouch. Not great. Oh well, at least I did it, I thought. Now to ride up to seven miles once more and go home and rest. I soft pedaled for five or ten minutes as I regained my strength, and was startled as six riders passed me from behind. I increased my speed a bit and followed from a few meters back as I munched on some banana bread.
I rode up to them after eating, and found out that one of them was a triathlete business grad student from UofO, one was an ex pro rider from Tucson, one was a pro triathlete, and the other three were Olympic runners, doing their winter training on bikes. I talked with them for a while and decided to ride up to mile 14 with them instead of just going to mile seven.
I said adios to the group as me and one other of them spit off at mile 14. The descent was almost harder than going up. The wind was so bad, at times Kennett had to push more watts going down hill than he did ascending the mountain. But alas, Kennett and the triathlete got to the base and rode home to the city.
That night, Kennett helped cook two big chickens, sweet potatoes, and green beans for dinner. Tony, TJ, Betsey, and I spent the rest of the night lighting farts on fire (well not Betsey actually).
Today (Thursday) Tony and I went on a four hour ride that turned into a one and a half hour ride. I got two flats because my spoke holes in the rim of my wheel are being stupid. Then we realized we were too tired to do four hours at a quality speed, so we went back home and ate for the rest of the day, steeling cookies out of Aaron’s cabinet and wishing we had something else to eat other than oats, eggs, and apples. Oh and we also lit more farts on fire. It’s all the rage down here in Arizona. Good times.
Tomorrow I’ll lift weights and go on an easy ride with Tony to do some isolated leg intervals. Possibly drop off some more job applications, and just take it easy OK? Saturday is the Shootout. Sunday is weights and iso-leg. Monday is HARD HARD HARD. Then I’ll back off on the hours for the next week by order of Training Peaks. That was exactly 1,111 words. Oops, not any more.