The Laurel Mountains were left to their own devices, powering up for the great push of spring and such, while the Fat Cat of Flanders sat for several hours at the physicians office center. Too bad because the weather was a Belgian-like stew of overcast, rain and cool temps. The Fat Cat has had some of his best rides in such conditions. I ask you, why am I scheduled for 2:30 and then made to sit in some holding tank until after 4:00. Just get in, turn my son into a pin cushion so he can get into kindergarten, and get out. But I digress.
In lieu of the mountains, an 11pm ride with the folks at Carmichael training systems was the order of the day. The Cat, the Canadian national mountain bike champion, an Olympic medal winner, some girl from West Virginia, and a few others all took orders from a short bald man named Dean. He was preparing us for the rigors of mountain bike racing and mumbling on about "adaptation" and "energy systems." Dean admonished us several times to, "Make sure yer drinkin!" He blurted this phrase in a sort of quick slur that made it sound as if he had been drinking himself. Then again, maybe the Fat Cat was just flashing back to his college days.
After an eight minute warm up, which included two one minute 100rpm bursts to, "dilate the vessels," we started in on the intervals. The first round consisted of a boatload of 30 second, 90rpm, high intensity turns interspersed with 30 seconds of medium intensity so as to deny the subjects a full recovery. What a prick move, Dean. After 5 minutes easy spinning, we all were then forced to do a bunch of 2 min maximum efforts with 2 minutes recovery in between. Rivulets of sweat literally flowed off my body forming a steaming stream of salt water that emptied into the drain of my cold garage. Wiping the sweat from burning eyes, The Fat Cat noticed that the Silver freakin medalist was doggin it. She was hardly breathin, not sweating, and definitely not maintaining the insisted upon cadence of 90 rpm. C'mon Dean, ride that primadonna's ass. This really pissed off the Fat Cat. He shifted up a gear and felt the burn.
With a minute to go in the last interval, the pain was too great and the index finger twitched on the shifter. The mind flailed about, looking for some purchase on which to stave off collapse. It found the image of little Leo, taking four needles in the leg, the expected torrent of tears never materializing. He did not cry out nor did he even grimace. In fact, he said it was fun! The Fat Cat upped the cadence and let the pain soak in. As he hit the cool down, just a little bit of vomit danced up in the back of the throat. What fun!