Robot’s Useless Reviews – Intervals

I am dying. Demonstrably. My heartrate is on an upward trajectory that can only end in my body’s engine blowing its head gasket, but instead of white smoke billowing out from under the hood, blood is leaking into places it ought not be. I taste rust. I see my dead grandmother. I ponder my life’s choices and feel regret pooling in my chamois.

I hope that’s regret.

And then we let up and the world comes spinning back into focus. Nana dematerializes. I’m going to be ok. You know, that wasn’t so bad. Maybe I was being a bit dramatic. A good hard effort really cleans out the pipes. It’s even sorta nice to rev the engine as high as it’ll go. I’m a little proud of those watts actually. Not bad for a guy my….

OMFG!! We’re going again. I hadn’t even fully recovered. Forget the car. I’m a boat, and I’ve sprung a leak. I’m taking on water fast. All hands to the pump!! Jam something in it!! What? I don’t care! Anything!!! Well no, not my soul!! I need that! Oh, screw it! Yeah! Jam it in there! It’s not big enough. It’s not big enough. I’m not….

Oh wow. That was hard. I take back what I said. OK. But I’m still smiling. I think I might barf, but I’m smiling. Because we’re doing this together. What sort of animal would do this on their own? No. We’re in this together. We’re a team. We’re pushing each other to our limits, and it’s nice. The bile is receding. You? How much more time do we….

I should know better by now. I should have been ready. But look, this is the third one, and I’m getting on top of this thing now. Mind over matter! I’m doing it. I’m not doing it actually. No. I thought I was doing it, but I’m not. I’m dying again. This feels like Asteroid, when all the asteroids are fragmented into little pieces and the UFOs come with their lasers and you hit hyperspace, but it moves you right back into harm’s way, and then you’re just pounding the thruster trying to survive until….

OK. WTF? That one seemed to go on much longer than the first two. I was seeing stars. My vision went all dark at the edges. Also, I forget now whether I filed my taxes or not. I’m worried maybe I didn’t. I don’t know why I’m thinking about that now. My thoughts have gone seriously non-linear. Did I say something about my grandmother a minute ago? A century ago? How many more of these….

$%*#!! #@! ?$%#!! Sorry. That was a lot. Honestly, I don’t have the will to push myself forward anymore. I’m letting off the pedals. I don’t care. No. I’m done. I can’t. What? Well. OK, 30 more seconds.

Goddamnit! You said one more, but there were two more. That’s 100 percent more. No, I don’t want to argue with you about math. I’m just saying it’s cruel to say there’s one more when there were two. No, I probably wouldn’t have kept going if I knew there were two. Fine. Fine!

Well, here we are again. Max effort. High intensity. Something about this being the last one makes it less murderous than what came before. I’m dying still, but I’m not panicked. I’ve accepted it. This is what it is to die. You can’t fight. You can’t. It’ll be over soon. Relief is coming. I’m going to make it. This was a terrible idea. I won’t do this again. I don’t even like bikes anymore.

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  1. DaveinME says

    Love this! I get spacy too when I do intervals or am on a fast group ride which feels like one damn long interval. I don’t do intervals that often as all I want is to keep up with my fast friends and or a larger group so I can usually suffer through, but damn does it hurt.

  2. khal spencer says

    Hill intervals. That’s where I kill myself these days and on the North side of Santa Fe, there are lots of sharp little hills like Gonzales Road and some long nasty ones like Hyde Park Road up to the ski basin at 10,300 feet.

    I grew to hate interval training back when I was allegedly a bike racer. That was back about thirty years ago as part of the Oahu Cycling Team, sponsored by the good folks at The Bike Way on Ward Avenue. But one thing being on a USCF team taught me was that as far as bike racing, I really suck.

    Nowadays I ride alone just to ride my bike, but still like to push the envelope just for shits and giggles. So I get the heart rate up to ten bpm over my alleged maximum (I’m 67 but can kick it into the low 160’s without much trouble) and hold it there for thirty or forty rpm on the bike or until I crest the rise. Gasp, choke, see double, recover. Rinse and repeat. Well, until the Grim Reaper chases me down and I draft him to the finish line.

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