I had a goofy training ride today at lunch. Nothing about it was really outstandingly nuts - there was just a series of inexplicable and weird little happenings that made me think I was a character in a Ben Stiller film - Ben Stiller's hapless character. if you have to know.
It started out when I rode the trainer last night. Really. I was lazy, it was around 11:00, I'd knocked off two hours of L2 watching some crap on TV that was so bad I don't remember it. I was tired, so I went straight to bed without showering. (Yeah, I'm a pig. So sue me. Or, Soooo-weeee, me, as the case may be).
This morning I got up and was going to ride in the rain. I left the house early, had all my gear... and was in stop & go traffic all the way in to the D.C. line. My usual combination commute (drive half way, ride the rest of the way) thing wasn't going to work. So I drove all the way in. Of course the traffic was so horrendous, by the time I got there it was 8:30. "What the hell," I figured. "I'm going to have to go riding at 11:30... no sense in taking a shower now." So I slipped some pants over my bibs, threw on a dress shirt, slipped into my shoes, tied up my tie, and sat down to work. As I warmed up in the flannel dress pants and heavily starched broadcloth shirt, I noticed that I smelled like a dead goat's ass, and just then, a new colleague, a senior guy, walked in. It was his first day on the job. My whole office stunk of dead goat ass. He wanted to talk. I'm sure it made a great impression. So that was the start of the training ride, or at least the staging.
I finally did get out at about 11:45 or so. The dress clothes came off, I slipped on the jersey and the Oakleys and helmet, and took off for a ride. On the way down 15th, I hopped onto the sidewalk going past the Washington Monument. I'm scooting up the sidewalk and this cute blonde tourist was there with what looked like her sister - two girls, three cameras - and she flashes me a huge smile. I try to grin back (it's only polite, right?) and as I open my mouth to smile, an enormous bug lands on my tongue and starts biting it. This hurt a bit. So I flicked my tongue way out and dragged it back over my teeth, trying to dislodge the little sucker. That didn't work. I whipped my tongue out and dragged it over my ten day moustache, hoping to tickle it off or something. That didn't work. So I pull the tongue halfway back in, bite down hard, maybe catch the bug part way and catch my tongue all the way, my eyes pop out... and that's when I notice the cute tourist girl with this enormous look of horror on her face. As I pedaled on by, the bug still gnawing on my tongue, I realized I'd just made a huge series of weird faces and she was probably calling the cops to tell them about this pervert on a bike making a bunch of lewd gestures at her... Around that time I gave up on the bug and the bug gave up on getting lunch, and decided to fly away. I probably have Bot Fly larvae implanted in my tongue but after the social embarrassment of it all I don't care.
But wait, it gets better. As I turned into Hains Point, my mouth was still hurting, but the bug was gone. Unfortunately, my nose was open and as I inhaled a bit, a fly went straight up it. I think it was a fly anyhow, I didn't see it. The fly wasn't content to rest in my nasal cavity; it had to walk around a bit in there, which was somewhat disconcerting to say the least. The tickling got to be a bit much after a half minute or so, and I started coughing and wheezing violently. The fly? Well, I either inhaled and swallowed him, or coughed him out. I hope. It would be disappointing if, in a million years, scientists unearth what's left of me and all that is left is a common housefly encased, amber-like, in a petrified lump of snot.
At Hains Point, I latched onto a small and somewhat disorganized group that was circulating. Pete Lindeman was down there along with a bunch of dudes I don't really know. It was real windy and the distinctive thing about the ride was that people just kept surging and nobody got an echelon working or anything. Which was perfect because I was supposed to do 5 minutes of VO2 work to start with. So I hung with the little group for a lap, surging a lot since I was on the back, then dropped off the back and recovered a bit before starting my 2 x 15 threshold intervals. Nice warmup for it, comparable to a cross race start though not as hard.
After a bit of recovery spinning, I got into my first interval. This must have been National Here Have A Bug In Every Orifice Day. After roughly two minutes of threshold grinding, something flew into my left ear. I think it was a bee because it made a buzzing noise. After 10 or 15 seconds it apparently realized I am already the property of a colony of bot flies, or maybe the home to a happy horse fly, and it decided to leave. Or maybe the high wind blew it out. Or it didn't like the waves of anti-entomological sentiment blowing out of my earholes and the stink of dead goat ass. Regardless, it departed, and it was good.
[Update: I thought there were a lot of bugs out, and the prevalence of bugs caused my problems. Upon further review, there was probably only the normal number of bugs, but my dead goat's ass odor probably attracted them to me. That or I actually died at DCCX last weekend and just don't know it yet.]
So three bugs in three different holes. That's it right?
Well, not exactly. On the second threshold interval, I was heading out toward the Point, about halfway down, and gasping for air. I saw the fly coming toward my mouth, knew I had to do something, so I did what anybody would do: I gasped and inhaled hard as if the air was part oxygen, part vanilla milk shake and didn't even let the fly's presence register until it was too late. Caught up in the enormous vortex, the fly was sucked in and was halfway down my throat before I noticed he was in there. Unfortunately, halfway down my throat was where he decided to stay for a while, park up the Winnebago, look for a power and water outlet, and have a little epiglottal cookout. Being a really brilliant guy, a smart and scientific trainer, I had reasoned that I didn't need food or water for a mere 90 minute workout. So I didn't have any water to wash the damn thing out. Fortunately, I had a violent minute-long coughing fit, which either decimated the bug, or caused it to blow out.
Like all good things, my intervals came to an end. As I rolled around the point for the last time, I realized I had to go to the bathroom pretty badly. I decided I would stop at the bathrooms on the South side of the point, a little bit before the double manhole covers. I started to slow down.
Then it hit me.
There was no way in hell I could risk dropping my drawers to pee there.
Not on National Here Have A Bug In Every Orifice Day, anyhow.