Intervallus Interruptus.

Because I'm stupid and because Janice was threatening to decrease my wattage training ranges if I didn't, I decided to do a 20min Field Test to see where my fitness is now.

It didn't matter that I hadn't slept well the night before, had eaten horribly for the previous few days, and had a stressful day at work immediately preceding the Field Test. I was going to get on the bike and see where I stood. In retrospect, this was probably more of a real- world simulation than my normal Field Tests, because I'm chronically under-rested, over-fed, and mentally frazzled.

I kitted up in team colors, so that everyone in my garage would know I was serious about this event. Even if it was a colossal failure, I would still look fast going nowhere.

I logged onto Zwift, because I heard they had a specific workout for this. I had never really looked into it. That was probably a bad idea, because the warm-up protocol it called out was unlike any one I had ever attempted, and I probably burned a few matches trying to meet the demands. Still, I was all dressed up...

Once the actual Field Test started, I picked a suitably intense wattage I thought I could sustain and started grinding away. The program listed the average wattage up to that point, so I just tried to keep it from falling once I settled in. Despite the visual cues and encouragement coming from the screen, it still alternated between mind-crushing monotony and full-body, lactic acid burn.

Fourteen minutes into the 20 minute test, one of the children came in and started yammering away about something, killing all momentum until I realized it was inconsequential (flesh wounds, not an actual maiming) and then scolded them for interrupting Daddy while he was hurting himself. Over a minute had elapsed before I was back up to speed, and the average power had dropped quite a bit. Still, I picked up where I had left off, spiked the power up a bit, and finished the workout with a semi-decent result.

It wasn't as high as it would have been without the interruption. It certainly wasn't as low as Janice was expecting. It was almost exactly where it was three years ago.

All these hours on the trainer, all of those miles on the road, all of those intervals that made me want to puke (and I did occasionally)... I'm treading water.

Now that I think about it, at my age I should be happy with that result. Hey, I beat my personal record for that course on Zwift, so there's that.

My ranges dropped about 5-10 watts. I can live with that, especially in the off-season. I doubt I'll notice much of a change, and I'll likely feel slightly fresher each week. That will be a nice change.

In a month or so I'll do another Field Test, because this one was of questionable validity. I might even plan ahead this time.

No promises.


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