Every so often in school, we give/take tests to see where we're at with our performances.
Cyclists do the same kind of tests, but these involve a bit more suffering!
Since Coach Crusty and I have been focusing primarily on strengthening my whole physical system post crash, we haven't done a test for a few months.
The last test, in March 2010, was very disappointing. I had lost a great deal of power at threshold (the point where essentially the lactic acid builds up too quickly for your system to dissipate) since the crash.
Prior to the crash, now a year and a half ago, I did a test that was pretty darn good for early season in March.
So Wednesday, we did a full-out power test that involved 5 minutes all out effort, followed by a rest, then 20 minutes very hard effort. The idea is to bring your body to its maximum effort sustained over 20 minutes to measure what it can handle.
The results, as I completely bury the lead, are very encouraging. My functional power threshold is nearly back to pre-crash levels - within a couple of watts.
And what's ironic is that the weekend before - still mostly tired from all the construction this summer - I considered not doing much racing this season again because I didn't think my body could handle it.
It may not sound it from my writing, but I was THRILLED with the numbers, cautiously though. I know I still am challenged with fatigue. My body now requires a bit more recovery time after hard efforts. Sunday races, after a Saturday race, may still be a challenge.
But I'm a heck of a lot more confident today than I was before Wednesday. I feel stronger mentally, and that, of course, fuels my body.
Two weeks to go before cross season starts! I got my new wheels yesterday, brought them to Mike's for gluing. I'm stoked to begin the season.
I have no delusions that I'll win states again or that I'll win the WCA series or challenge at the USGP races. I am just going to ride as hard as I can, push as hard as possible, and see what happens.
A HUGE thank you goes to Coach Crusty, better known as Craig Harding. His program and words of encouragement and perspective are rocks I can climb on.
Instead of getting all excited about the season, Crusty has me doing painful intervals today! BRING IT, and bring on the cross season!