Right now the work is boring, repetitive and hard. There are no rides. There are only warmups, intervals, and recovery periods between intervals.
This is the output of my PowerTap on my trainer in Memphis. Trainers give a much smoother view of an interval because there are not the variations caused by terrain, wind, or traffic. This is a graph of a 3x15 steady state done at almost exactly 250 watts. The red line is heart rate and that comes right up to lactic threshold of 159. Compared to elite riders this isn't impressive but compared to where I started it is very impressive.
But to get "impressive" improvement takes months--I have now been training with a coach for this ride for 20 months--, lots of intervals, and dedication bordering on obsession (like 5am workouts or Tour de Garage's in the cold). Still, part of me wishes I had more time. I would like to be stronger.
This is about as strong as I am going to get. This is my last weekend of serious intervals. Then an easy week. Then a week of long rides. After that it is a managed recovery all the way until the start of the cross country.