Training for an endurance event can eventually take its toll on old bones and saggy muscles. Well, even young bones and muscles for that matter can feel the pressure after a while. Yesterday was one of those "I can't do this" days. The plan said 2.5 hours on the mountain bike on the road with a 5 minute warm up at 85%, then 1 minute rest, then go all out at race pace for 12 minutes. This was the same routine Donna and I did last week. The 12 minute ditty was an effort for me last week, but all in all the ride felt great before and after. Even the weekend went ok after that session. Yesterday, however, was a completely different story after a week of 2-3 interval sessions at a higher than normal heart rate. The weather was perfect for a road ride on a mountain bike with calm winds and temps hovering around 37. The ride started ok and I felt ok, but when I ramped up the heart rate the holy-shit-this-hurts affect started. I said, "Oh Buck up, damn it, and just do it." I pushed through it watching every minute on my watch waiting for the 12 minutes to end. It was sheer torture. After that, it was a struggle to get home and when the watch hit 2:29 I was pulling up to the garage door. The real story is always told by how I sleep. I can't recall the last time I slept 10 hours. 3:30 or 4:00 am is usually wide-eyed time, but not Sunday morning. I didn't wake up until 6:00 am -- exactly 10 hours after I shut my eyes. One thing I learned is that you often don't know how tired you are until you get on your bike and try it again the next day. So today, I'll do just that and see how I feel. I may be home in 20 minutes cutting back the raspberry canes (I'll do that anyway today). The alternate workout for today is a big fat OFF, which may also be on tap if I don't perk up in a couple hours. Fatigue and overreaching is something the endurance athlete has to be on the lookout for, and know when to recognize it. When you see it, take a break. Starting tomorrow, a week-long break is on tap and Coach Eatough knew exactly when to build those into the plan and boy am I grateful. Thank you Chris!