Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What's stupid? Intervals in 105-degree weather.....

I've spent the last 6 summers in the "Mediterranean" climate of Davis, California. Sometimes it gets really, really hot there; highs of over 100 degrees sometimes reoccur for eight or nine days in a row.

But it's dry. Really dry. As in, no rain. For 6 months.

Riding in those conditions creates hydration problems because the sweat evaporates so damn quickly that you just don't know how hard your body's working to keep itself cool.

But rolling along at 22 mph in 15% humidity is a helluva lot more comfortable than riding through 70% humidity.

Which is what I did yesterday. Like a jackass.

My training plan (and almost entirely healed back, woo hoo!!) has begun to transition from base miles to intervals. Yesterday, I completed two 12-minute "ME" (tempo) intervals and three five-minute sets of 30/30 over-under intervals.

Oh. Man.
Did. That. Suck.

Basically, I stood up on a big gear, spent 10 seconds spinning it out, and then sat and tried to hold that speed for another 20 seconds. After a 30-second effort, I'd shift down and spin at a high cadence for 30 seconds of recovery before sprinting again for 30 seconds. 30/30.

The first five-minute sequence made me curse the nature of the universe, the injustice of the 2000 presidential election, Fremont's racist immigration ordinance, blackberry seeds, Walt Disney, Judd Van Sickle (author of this particular workout), The University of Texas, photosynthesis, the downward-facing dog pose in yoga, Luxembourg,  dactylic hexameter, and Darjeeling tea.

The second was easier: my legs were supple, my breathing no longer felt like I was trying to inhale a Buick, and the sweat stayed out of my eyes. 

But the third set started a cardiovascular armageddon: plagues erupted, horsemen appeared, beasts slouched toward Bethlehem.

I rolled home with a slight tailwind and tried to spin the crud out of my legs.

Outside my back door, I took off my jersey and wrung it out like a wet beach towel; at least 6-8 ounces of fluid squirted out of the spandex all over the driveway. The heat index when I was doing my 30/30s was ONE HUNDRED AND FIVE DEGREES. It was like riding in a steam room or spinning for two hours directly into a hot dog's breath.

Yeah. I miss Davis.


  1. I'm jealous... sounds like a bunch of fun!!

  2. I'm glad we can both make really bad decisions when the chips are down.