Monday, January 12, 2009

POWER test

I thought bike time trials were the most painful physical exertions. I was wrong.

Nope - the new top of my list? The Power Meter Test.

Yes, I brought it on myself. For a while I've been meaning to have my power meter hooked up/installed on my time trial bike. It just never happened - between the move, getting ready for our move, and the holidays in a new place, the power meter was never hooked up.

Then came the new year, new goals, resolutions, and (ahem) training methods. Somewhere along the way, I casually mentioned to Jen that I was ready to start training with power.

So naturally - Jen being the coach that she is - scheduled a MAX EFFORT LT TEST for me.

Super!

30 minutes, all-out, on the trainer, as hard as you can.

A few choice adjectives could be used to maybe, possibly describe the feelings that coursed through my body during the actual test.

Pain.

Suffering?

Hurt!?!

Not even close.

Agony endured, is more like it.

Yes, a pretty picture indeed.

And the worst part? No matter how fast I went, no matter how hard I pushed, or how much more energy I applied - the test was still 30 minutes. No amount of 'going faster' was going to help in this case. Nothing like the 40k time trial, where the faster you bike, the sooner you're finished.

Nope, not even close. My reward? A higher watt output.

As I said before: Super!

But that's the key, my friends. It doesn't have to be pretty. It hurts, its not (always) fun, and no amount of cajoling can get us out of the hard stuff. But honestly - would I have it any other way?

I hate to admit it, but the overwhelming sense of satisfaction as I watched the final few seconds click down - covered in sweat (MORE sweat than hot yoga), snot faced, quivering, smelling awful, and about to fall off the bike - made the test hands down worth it. Sure, it was hard to walk and the concrete that I flopped on outside after the test, but I did it.

And now we've got the data to work with.

Sure, for a time being I hated my bike, power meter, coach, sport, trainer (borrowed from Charisa - thank you!), the yellow power tap sensor that was cheerfully displaying my output. But that's normal - I assume - when one is performing at max effort. Right?

In the end, 30 minutes of hurt was a small price to pay for the overwhelming sense of euphoria, of accomplishment afterwards. Not often do we push ourselves to new limits, do we set our bars a tad higher. Yes, we may be a wibbly mess afterwards - but that just affirms our previous effort.

Even though it was hard, I loved it. Even though I wanted to yell at Jen, chuck the bike, throw the yellow bike computer across the room - at a deeper level, I enjoyed what I was doing. From the work, from the effort, comes the sweet satisfaction of living. This was MY choice, something I WANTED to do - and in spite of the hurt, the pain, the 'enduring agony' - it made me feel more alive than nearly any other activity could have (at the time).

Does this mean I want another test tomorrow?

Respectfully, no.

But it is a reminder for me to embrace the challenges as well as the easy stuff. To relish the good, learn from the bad, and that I can accomplish many things when I put my mind to it.

And you can too. (But you don't need a max effort, 30 minute power bike test to prove it). That, my friends, I guarantee.

15 comments:

ADC said...

Yay for getting the test done. Bet that hurts. ouch!

Elizabeth A. Rich said...

Congrats Marit on pushing yourself to new limits. You will have to let me know how power goes for you! I don't know much about it, nor am I good with technology :-)

Charisa said...

Awesome job Marit!! Those tests are just awful, but will be so helpful as you become super speedy triathlete this year :)

Jennifer Harrison said...

hee hee

Beth said...

I bet you were cursing the day you thought it would be a good idea to get a power meter... :)

AWESOME job Marit!! I can totally relate - how great it feels to have gotten off the bike after such a hard workout and even though you stink and are dripping and are completely and utterly disgusting....you don't even notice... It is a great feeling indeed!

Jennifer Cunnane said...

You are going to have a great year this year!

Shan said...

I can only imagine the painfulness of that test - even 30 min of focused sub-LT effort on the trainer can be a challenge.

I would have required some major "oontz oontz" music in the background to push through that one! But I'm sure that music is not allowed during these tests...!!

GREAT WORK girl!! Now, I fear you and Charisa will crush me on the Sat bike ride... ;)

Maijaleena said...

Wait, the bike test is going to be 30 mins long at some point? Crap!

Good job!

Ryan said...

Nice job Marit.
I did mine way back when but I have another one coming up in about 6 weeks once the biking comes back around.
I keep meaning to email you back, but you understand how much the actual act of moving blows. We will be living on MCAS New River, great schools and great neighborhood 04 has its advantages ;)
I am way behind with my run training in the midst of all this moving and vacationing but my speed has really increased and I can hold it longer.
I just wanted to thank you for all of your thoughts and way to go with Palomar!

Oh and Rincon...cameras EVERYWHERE!!!!
There will be a youtube video of "pro triathlete Marit peeing on a bush." HA! I'd watch it!!!!!

TRI-ROB said...

My favorite part of those tests? The tunnel-vision prior to falling over... yeah... good times good times.

Congrats on your first power test! You'll LOVE (or should I say hate), what Jen will create with that information! You're going to make the bike at CdA "your bitch"!

Breathe...

BreeWee said...

Oh man, way to ride Marit! Jen killed me just by reading the test she gave you!

Bob Mitera said...

Hey Marit -

One of my favorites...the test.

Best to push hard the entire way. I just did my test for Coach Jeff and had to do it in a stair step method...up 10 watts every 10 minutes. (I took it out too easy but that is a future blog entry.)

Rock the house Marit! 67 days 'til Lorrie, Russ, Dean and I see you. 6" of snow this morning and 9 F

Nikee Pomper said...

Hey Marit! Found your blog via Shannon and Beth's blog. I see you are in San Diego and training for IMCDA, me too! Maybe our paths will cross during this winter/spring.

Killer job on the power test!

Missy said...

Isn't it weird how you can love it and hate it all at the same time?!? That hurts so good feeling, ha!

GoBigGreen said...

Hey kiddo,. I hear ya. I used to do those every other week last winter and so i feel soooo lucky that Jen hasnt sprung them on me..yet.
Good job!
Julia