Yesterday was a 20 minute power test for me. I was a bit anxious about doing it, as I was coming off 2 1/2 weeks of high intensity. I had hopes of improving my wattage since the last one in November.
I got a good night's rest. After enjoying my coffee, my breakfast consisted of tuna, 2 eggs, sweet potatoes, and strawberries. Yeah, it is not your bowl of Wheaties, it is SO MUCH better for the engine! Then I did a few easy household chores ... just to keep my mind off the test while my food digested. Gosh, I would have thought I was racing today.
Finally, after what seemed an eternity, I got started with the warm-up. I was thankful for the warm temperature, even if it did come with some pretty strong winds.
My warm-up was about an hour long (it takes me this long to start feeling good), I punched the interval button and was off. I paced myself at the lower end of my Threshold power for the first 5 minutes, opened it up for the next 11 minutes, and then entered then entered the realm of "cardiac attack" for the last 3 minutes. You know, eyes bulging, tunnel vision, drooling, thinking "what the heck am I doing ... I am going to stroke out!"
Afterwards, I had to fight off the feelings of wanting to collapse in the farmer's field, waiting for the vultures to circle my withered shell. But after 10 minutes of easy pedalling, I became human again.
What an effort! At that time, I felt that I had improved, but only by a bit. Just before my vision narrowed, I had looked at my average wattage, but the numbers were hard to see. So when I got home, I downloaded my workout.
Holy cow, batman! I had increased my FT by 6%! Coach said that was "friggin impressive." I was stoked. All that time in the saddle doing intervals in miserably cold and sometimes wet weather, all those days in the gym, those times on the trainer, and above all, giving up Mayfield's Extreme Moosetracks ice cream ... has finally paid off. I have something tangible that I can measure, not just a subjective "good vibe."
This makes it a lot easier to keep going down the road I have chosen ... to see just how good this 40 year old body can become. The sacrifices just don't seem like sacrifices anymore.