It has been a very rough start to the season. My early base went very well, was well ahead of where I had been in 2008/2009. Then I got KO'd with a whopping, almost fatal case of pneumonia. This destroyed my fitness. I'm not complaining, because I survived and emerged weak but undamaged. A major illness definitely puts things in perspective.
It took about 4 weeks to feel somewhat back to normal in terms of power. Low normal might be a better way to put it. At the same time all of this was going on, Louisville was getting whacked with the worst winter in years. Snow, extreme cold, wet when not snowing, all of that stuff we cyclists just hate. It has been miserable. So it's been a lot of trainer time, which in some ways has been very good considering the recovery from illness.
Then I managed to injure my shin. The accident was so stupid I'm not even going to explain it. I ended up with 30 stitches and another week off the bike. Fortunately, when I finally got back on my bike, I hadn't lost much fitness and the rest may have actually been beneficial.
I did a field test today. For those of you who don't know what a field test is, it is a way of setting a baseline and measuring progress of your training. It's usually an all out effort for a given distance or time. Field tests are very painful!
My field test was a 30 min test. I usually have a good idea of what the results are going to be, based on certain workouts. Given my weakened state, I had no idea of what I could do on this one. I knew what I'd like to do, but also knew that was unrealistic.
I did the test this afternoon. It was BRUTAL!!! The results, while not stellar, were not quite as bad as I expected. It gave me a glimmer of hope that my fitness is returning to normal. It's going to take a lot of work, and I'm going to get destroyed in early season races, but all is good. That glimmer is enough.