So, after two days of recovery, I cut loose again this morning, with mixed results.
Speed-wise, it wasn't great, at 17.0 mph. But my power numbers were very good. The 500W 20s peak was very close to my record (actually, though, that was according to cyclemeter. I found a 20s stretch on Strava that claimed an average of 574W), while the minute number was a bit further off (429W, vs a record of 458). I would bet that both numbers are still my second best.
Anyway, the five-minute number was 326W, which was a record, as was the 293W ten-minute peak. The 277W twenty-minute peak is also a record (and theoretically raises my FTP by a few, though I might not bother to program that in), while the 242W hour peak is a couple Watts off.
Of course, my power meter did cut out at least four times, for a total offline time of at least three minutes. And I'm sure that would have at least affected my hour peak (possibly the 20-minutes as well, though that doesn't seem terribly likely).
But all this definitely begs the question of how my speed could be so much off my record. Unfortunately, I don't have power data from that day, but I averaged a full mile per hour faster with a lower average heart rate (no cadence data either). The temperature certainly had nothing to do with it; it was colder that day than today. There was a lot of rain today, which might have factored in (especially as I had my rear fender on, to cut down on dirty water on my back). I suppose, too, the rain clothes aren't as tight-fitting as the other stuff. But I have a hard time believing those would make that much of a difference.
Overall, I wonder. My speed was frequently way off; why? Just not enough time in the drops? Not enough time standing on the pedals? Color me confused, for sure.
Anyway, biking is all about sustained power, and I feel good about having made improvements on that today. Easy rides tomorrow (actually, with Christmas, I'm going to have trouble getting in any kind of ride tomorrow. But I'll find a way; I don't want to break my streak) and Friday. Saturday remains to be seen.
Update: I just noticed that there's a bit more than a hundred feet of elevation difference between the two runs as well, although I can't see any differences in where I went. Dunno what to make of that, either.