The Good. Since my last round of critical power tests, around August 1, a few good things have happened. I've picked up 30% more power at CP 30 Seconds. I'm still 10% lower than 'in shape' power at that duration, but the VO2 power is coming back quickly. Since I am a fat bastard who relies on that level of power to grind up hills, this is important. The threshold power, or a reasonable approximation of it (CP 20 during a 30 minute all-out effort) has come up 3% since August 1. I haven't been training for improved FTP, so the fact that it's coming up alongside VO2 power as an incidental improvement is heartening.
The Bad. It could have been a bit better. I had a lot of business travel over the last month and missed a good handful of hard workouts, replacing them with elliptical machine workouts or what amounts to an easy spin on a spin bike. The amazing thing about those is you get to level 18 of 20, and it's basically a high zone 2 spin. I'm afraid to try to generate threshold wattage on one of them, for fear I'd be held liable by the Whatever Hotel where I'm staying.
The Regrettable. After riding at Patapsco a bit over a week ago I stuffed my kit to the bottom of the wash basket without letting it dry. I keep a separate wash basket for kit so it doesn't contaminate everything else. All the training clothes worn during the week got piled on top of it. It was a fairly hard ride, combining the nasty sweat from a bunch of hard low cadence efforts on climbs, with the stench of flop sweat from not having ridden a mountain bike to speak of in some months. When I went to wash my kit on Sunday, I could actually see the odors wafting from the bottom of the basket - they were reddish green. The kit I wore to Patapsco was at the bottom, and the smell... it smelled like the place where things that smell like ass go to die.
I tried soaking it in Oxy Clean, I washed it on the long soak cycle, I used extra detergent... nothing worked. It smells hideous.
I totally regret not letting the stuff air dry before putting it in the wash basket.
They'll go in the wash again this week but I think the bibs and jersey may be permanently wrecked. You get within a couple feet of them and the stench is noticeable... not good.