10 things to never think about while doing an interval

1. The pain.2. "Only [any number greater than zero] more intervals/minutes/seconds to go!" 3. That last race where you felt worse, for longer, and still got your ass kicked 4. That wave of what would be called nausea if your next interval didn't start in 3...2...1...

5. How you were so bored doing "active recovery" the other day that you wished you had intervals to do 6. Shifting down 7. That you've been putting out 1 watt below your target watt range for the past 5 seconds 8. How your heartrate is some absurd number right now [yes, that's probably why you feel like you want to are going to die, but don't worry about it for now.] 9. How you have to go to work later/do anything other than puke and sleep, in that order

10. That you can't...because odds are [if I can pull through], you can.
Have a good weekend, guys!

wild thing

Going to the dentist freaks me out. Like most people, I don't particularly enjoy getting the insides of my mouth poked and prodded with sharp, cold, metal instruments. I might not even mind that discomfort, actually, if it wasn't for the lies.
Why is that? Like every "don't worry, this won't hurt" is dentist code for "grab the sides of this chair because I'm about to blast air onto your raw nerve! Woo!". And then there's the "relax, I'm just going to take a look [and pull out this wisdom tooth once you allow me access to the back of your mouth!!! AAAHAHAHAHAH SUCKAAAAA!!!!]." One can only take so much of that, and once I give up, lying in that dentist's chair placidly, my dentist will always tap my shoulder, saying "don't tense your shoulders up so much, relax," and if it weren't for the 4 different metal objects in my mouth, I'd tell him that I'm not tensing up, I just have broad shoulders, but thanks for reminding me of my manly attributes.


Even after surviving traumatic wisdom tooth extractions [it involved a hammer and chisel, and yes, I was conscious], I still cringe and whine before a dentist appointment. The association is too strong to have those harmless tooth cleaning sessions absolve the dental profession in my mind. And it's that same unforgiving ball of anxiety that greeted me as I threw my leg over the Dolan last night.


Because for once, it was out in the wild. More familiar [and lighter!] road drops having replaced the anvil that was my steel track drops, I had hoods to grab onto for dear life but I wasn't sure how that would actually translate. I remembered balancing precariously on those white-tired, pink-rimmed wheels and wobbling dangerously as I attempted to keep the track drops straight. I remembered almost biting it a block from my apartment. I remembered how it felt to tear open a few knees on asphalt. I remembered being on a bicycle and feeling slightly afraid.
So I cringed a bit, and felt a little uneasy sticking a foot into the toe clipped pedal. But with a deep breath, I pushed off and it felt easy. Maybe all that time on the rollers paid off. Maybe I just got better at cycling. Maybe riding the Dolan wasn't so terrifying as it was incredibly fun.


The Dolan's light aluminum frame slicing through the last rays of sunlight in the quickly darkening afternoon, I was almost tempted to ride it on the street more. Good thing my gearing borders on the impractically ridiculous if inclines are involved. Because otherwise, as stiff pain reminded me this morning, I may not have much knee left...

rolling addiction

Despite a calf that's wound up so tight my heel actually hurts, I'm pushing, thrusting, alternatively gritting my teeth and biting my lower lip. Eyes closed, head tilted back, hissing in air and letting it out in trembling exhalations. Moving my hips just a little bit to the left, a little forward...right there. Right right there. Don't stop; keep still.
Ohhhh, yeah. That's the sweet spot.
Thighs burning, trying to savor that feeling of perfection...then my front wheel's veering left, my rear wheel almost skidding before I can straighten the bars. But holy shit, I had it. That narrow slice of motionless, rolling perfection.


It's an addiction. The one thing I hungered for on visits to NYC. The one thing that had me hopping on a bus back to Boston, to an apartment with no AC. The one thing that I know is going to keep me sane this fall.
Which is ironic, given how Sisyphean it is to actually ride rollers. Unlike trainers, these things require some semblance of balance, and assurances that "well, when you fall off, you kind of just stop and tip over" are actually more terrifying in real life than it sounds. Especially when that actually involves bashing into the doorway first. It doesn't not hurt.
Then again, it's sort of like law school. Studying endlessly, trying to stretch the days and hours that are never enough, just to stay right where I've always been on the sliding scale of competency [as always, measured by grades]. The only obviously tangible reward being the glimmer of a degree and the hope of a bar card.


But maybe it does all make sense. Because physical pain - from my heinous saddle or otherwise - is much easier to understand and work through than the kind that law school will hand you. That mental crushing and breaking that feels like a bomb went off in your head while your heart and brain free-fall into empty panic and you can't even feel your face. An inexplicable feeling of desperation that can only be described as "fuck my life," despite the fact that that might be the biggest understatement made.


So while unemployment stares me in the face, I'm staring down that spot on the wall right under my Embrocation Cycling Journal Volume 3 poster [go get yourself a copy of Volume 4, seriously], pedaling, sweating, and making things hurt while other things go numb. My priorities are clearly a mess.
But hey, at least constantly trying to balance on those rollers means I'm also doing some power kegels. That's productive...right?