The forecast, as often happens, turned out to be a little overhyped. I was meant to meet some teammates for a ride at 1030 on Saturday morning, except that I got the times confused (dumb, because I set the time) and thought we'd agreed to start at 10. So I went out and did the Black Rock/Turkey Foot/Berryville thing for about 3 hours total. Nothing too stressy, just a natural effort trying to spend the most time between 200 and 250 watts. Of course I spent a lot of time on either side of that range but it's tough to nail down a window like that on the road. I dressed appropriately and only my left wrist was cold. Hands and feet got a little chilled at the end, and if I'd had to go a fourth hour it would have sucked. As the FPG said, if I'd had to go a fourth hour it would have sucked no matter what, though. Then we decorated the tree, some friends came over and we got hammered on red wine.
Unless you had some serious luck with timing the weather window just right, there was no riding to be done outside today. For those who did it, a little golf clap from me. I rode the trainer for about 90 minutes. The workout was warmup, 5 minutes just above threshold, 5 minutes real easy, then 3 x 10 minutes at threshold with 10 minutes between each threshold deal. The intervals were awesome. The first 5 minute sucker kind of hurt, but they always do. The script calls these short efforts early in the workout "blowing out the carbon." I'd agree with that - they seem to shake the crap loose and get you in the zone for the work. During the 10 minute intervals, I actually had to hold back. For the first time in a long while I had like no stress in my legs, I felt really good and ready to go. I could do it with high cadence and I could do it with more strength and less speed. Unreal.
So I have a nice mellow week this week, with training hours cut by about 40%, and then I'll do a little test on the weekend to see where I stand. We are going to the in-laws for Christmas, and there are some real long flat roads there that should be perfect for testing. I am going to kick all of my established zones right in the ass.
My thighs just above the knees now have visible plumbing veinage when I ride. It's a bit freaky.