There is something special about that feeling you get when things start to come together. When you get out for a ride and can truly appreciate the progress you’ve made. When that progress finally breaks out from the penumbra of possible statistical variation and becomes unmistakable. It is an entirely satisfying and validating experience. It is a reminder that you are awesome and capable. Not just capable of what you have done but capable of everything you will do. It is a sense of completeness and a feeling of being put together. If training is about breaking your self down to build yourself back up, this is the part where you start to see the outline of your next self.
I had one of those rides last Saturday. Kept a good pace through the climbs and felt like I was starting to get more confidence and stability on the downs. Minus the stops to take pictures and admire the ocean I hit my Breck Epic target pace for three hours, including a good amount of climbing (125 Feet of Ascent per Mile). Now I just need to do that for 5-6 hours six days in a row, at altitude and on a course with 150-175 FoA/M. Right now, though, that seems incredibly possible.