You know what I like even less than 5+ hours of shoveling? Doing a bike test on the trainer.
I was supposed to do this Thursday, and I gave it a halfhearted (more like half-a**ed) attempt and gave up because I had a sore throat, wasn't feeling well, had a hangnail. . . you get the picture. Thursday afternoon I took off for a meeting out in the Berkshires. Friday morning I did a 45-minute easy run out there in the dark, on snowy roads. It was beautiful and also sort of freaky, but I had to go early to get to my meeting before 8. Saturday I finished up around noon and drove home, and later that afternoon I did the bike test while my husband made dinner. My sore throat had morphed into a full-on mucusfest of a chest cold, but I just didn't care any more--I wanted it done.
My bike test is a 10K (actually, 6.21 miles, because that's what I get from the course builder on the Computrainer), and the goal is to keep it at an effort that's all out but constant--so I fall apart into a heap of quivering jello just as I hit 6.21 miles. The trick is the part from about 0.5 to 5.9 miles, where I already feel like quivering jello but must stay a coherent heap of quivering jello that is still seated on the bike, pedaling away. Ideally with left and right legs that are roughly equivalent in their jellolike power output.
I really wanted to quit most of the time, but I kept telling myself I'd have to do it again anyway, and all I would be doing if I stopped would be increasing my total time of painful jellohood. Here I am at about mile 4.8:
I don't even like jello, by the way.
So how did it go? I averaged 1 watt more than the last time I did this test in April of 2010. My HR moved steadily upward during the test, and I actually got it a little bit higher than I did last time around. (I can't yet get my HR on the bike as high as I can running for any kind of sustained period. By "sustained" I mean more than 1 second. I think there is a technical term for this phenomenon, and it's called weak-a** biking legs.) You could say, therefore, that I have made no progress on the bike since then. But that would be unkind of you. I choose to look at it this way: from mid-September on I did very little in the way of bike training, relatively speaking, and I have only a few easy (Zone 2 and below) trainer workouts under my belt* this winter. I am therefore thrilled to find that I have not lost any bike fitness as a result of that. This is my story, and I'm sticking to it.
*Technically, I almost never wear a belt, so it seems likely I'm storing those bike workouts somewhere else.