Not recovering

The predicted precipitation held off long enough for the temperature to get above freezing, this morning, which worked well for me in a number of ways.  I didn't need to use the hybrid, and so I didn't have any need to turn the ride into a recovery one.

So I went to really push, today.  I probably wasn't quite focused enough on where to push, and where not to (I didn't really pace myself anywhere, except for a tiny bit before a couple of segments I wanted to try to crush).

How'd that work out?  Well, not too badly.  I set fewer PRs than I'd hoped, though I did set a few.  And I was very close to setting a few more.

The one thing that torques me is that Potomac Ave segment that I mentioned yesterday.  I crushed my previous best for power along that segment, with 265W, but it still ended up as only my third-best run, forty seconds behind my best.  I'd like to know what was going on there (the wind was not blowing especially hard, and not in to my face, as best I could tell); I would've expected to do better.

Arlington Cemetary up to Courthouse was another segment I was looking to crush, and it's another where I didn't set a record.  But it was a virtual tie for most power along that segment (a couple Watts ahead of my previous high), and was twelve seconds behind my record.

There's also a sprint from King St (in Alexandria) up almost to Pendleton.  I hadn't planned to try to kill that one, but turned it on as I was getting there.  No record, but it was only a couple seconds off my KOM score.  In fact, this still would be the third best overall.

There's a short climb that goes up Pendleton St as well.  That one I did plan to kill, and I did.  Adding 37W to my previous high got me four fewer seconds and moved me from seventh to second, overall.  I still think I can do better, but not so soon after the other sprint.

Pendleton did get me in trouble, almost, though, when I got to Rt 1.  I wasn't paying attention to which street I was about to cross, and approached to see at a higher speed than one would recommend.  I fishtailed a bit in trying to stop, went over, and then pulled the bike back over top of me to get it off the other road.

A bit scary, but thankfully I wasn't all that close to being run over.  Un-thankfully, I noticed after getting up that I'd popped the chain as well, in the excitement.  But really, the only thing that matters is that I wasn't hurt.  As I said, it was a bit scary.

Thankfully, that was the only bit of scariness on the ride.  Overall, I was pretty happy with my performance.  Weighted average power was a bit low (237 rather than the 245-250 I'm trying to push), but my peak power numbers were very good (552/485/334/298/279/244 for 20s/60s/5m/10m/20m/hr; the first four are records, and the latter two are each off by a single Watt).  I guess that's a sign that I didn't push any extreme (1kW+) power numbers.  Also, I should point out that I was able to identify better numbers for the first two using Strava's analysis tools (573W and 499W, respectively); I think Cyclemeter might have a bug, or something weird's going on with one or both tools.

Hmm... Actually, just looked at Strava's power curve tool, and get even better numbers for both intervals: 623W and 513W.  For the longer durations, however, I get smaller numbers than via Cyclemeter.  Way smaller.  Color me confused.

Also, had a big gap between writing the first sections and the last couple paragraphs.  A couple things occurred to me about why that Potomac Ave time might be worse, despite significantly better power.  I've changed RFLKT mounts (just did that last night), put my tools in a seat bag, had racing blade rear fender on, changed wheels/tires, and was wearing very bulky gloves.  Two of those, though, I would've thought would help.  Dunno.

Oh, and two general notes that I've been thinking about for a while (but haven't written).  I think Strava is a great motivation tool, even without any of the analysis stuff.  Just being able to input goals is quite a help.  And further about that polarized training video I mentioned a week or two ago.  I think the reason it works is the same as the old adage about lifting weights.  "Low reps with large weights builds muscle; high reps with low weights builds strength".

Doing recovery rides are equivalent to lots of reps with low weight, so they help, even beyond the muscle recovery benefits.  So maybe that's why it's a good training philosophy.

Anyway, that's it for today; I should probably try to catch up on the Caps later.

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