Long run

Yesterday, I was kind of able to do my planned long ride.  I rode out nearly to Gaithersburg to meet my dad for lunch.  That mostly went ok; I got a little lost on the way, though.

I went through much of DC on MacArthur Blvd, then turned right on Seven Locks Rd, both as planned.  At one point, Google Maps suggested leaving Seven Locks to cut over to a bike path (which, it turned out, was just beside the road).  In any event, I saw that cutover, but had previously decided to stay on the main road for the last little bit.  So I was going to go to my road (Wooten Pkwy), cross over, then take the bike path there, then follow some other roads I couldn't remember.

Well, I had the directions in my pocket, but was too lazy to stop and look at them.  I somehow remembered the road I was looking for as Moorcock.  Shortly after the cutover I mentioned, I crossed Montrose.  Kind of close, but I know Montrose, and I knew that wasn't it.  But I didn't see Moorcock, and I knew my road was supposed to be shortly after that cutover.  Finally, I came to Wooten, sure that I had overshot, and turned right onto the road itself.

For a while, that was fine.  Thirty-ish mph speed limit, but three lanes each way, so about what I'm used to.  Not a great situation, but not terrible either (especially as this wasn't a recovery ride).  Then I passed through a light, and there was no shoulder, and woods on the side.  Then I noticed that the speed limit was now 50mph.  Oh, shit!

I booked like you wouldn't believe until there was finally a shoulder, at least (and a wide one, so I felt safe there).  I kept my eyes open (not that there was much to see, in this stretch), until I saw Gude Dr coming up ahead.  I knew Gude appeared at some point in my directions, so, given a generous break in traffic, I turned left there.

Gude didn't start out too bad, but quickly widened to three lanes each way, with, probably, a 40mph limit.  Not good.  When an 18-wheeler decided that he needed to be in my lane (the next lane was empty), and honked his horn when next to me, I was decidedly peeved.  I wish I'd seen if there was a company name or number.

Anyway, the right lane soon became more manageable, and then I ran across Crabbs Branch Way, which was also on my directions.  After gratefully turning there, I finally stopped to check my directions, and saw that I was exactly on them.  Apparently, my directions would've had me go up Wooten on the other side (god, I wish I'd realized that), turn somewhere, wind around a bit, and get on Gude just before Crabbs Branch.

Feeling confident again, I forged ahead.  I'd worked out an alternate route a little ways ahead of there (it seemed safer, based on Street View shots), but forgot it when I got to that point.  Thankfully, that stretch had a dedicated bike path, and was actually quite nice.  From there, the ride was uneventful until I got to my destination.

Thirty-one miles, a bit under two hours, 17.11mph average.  Not bad, especially as I was carrying a bit more than usual.

Also, I forgot to mention the weather.  It was supposed to be a little light rain (maybe) just as I was starting out, quickly tapering into nothing, and about 38 degrees.  I knew I'd be chilly to start, but I left the house with a windproof jersey and shorts on.  There was enough rain, though, that I quickly turned around and returned home to get my rain pants on.  Good decision.

I almost turned around again just after leaving the second time, so that I could get my rain jacket, but decided I could do without it.  Probably not the correct decision, but it was ok.  The rain didn't end up being hard, but it lasted for quite a long time.  My shoes and pants were disgusting, and don't even ask about the bottom half of the bike.  Thank goodness I put the rain guard on the back wheel; I wish I'd done the same for the front.

The other part that was weird was that I was carrying rather more than usual.  Both water bottles (I usually don't even use one), though they were only filled with powder mix, and my bigger camelbak with camera, tripod, and sandals in it.

All in all, probably almost ten pounds of stuff to which I'm not accustomed.  Given all that, I wasn't terribly upset with the average speed.  A little less than I'd hoped, but not bad.

So I met up with my dad, and we had a pretty decent lunch.  And I should point out that I finally ate one of my quest bars up there.  Texture's not great, but the taste is delicious.

Heading home, I actually didn't feel great for the first mile or two after leaving.  But I continued to improve (I blame it on digestion, generally, and suspect that it was milder than it otherwise would've been because of being in ketosis, and not having the huge insulin spike), and kept going.

I went back the same way as I came, except that when I turned back onto Gude, I saw the Charles Henn Millennial Trail on the far side, and got on that.  Wasn't much of a trail at that point, just a strip of asphalt next to the road, but it was a godsend, safety-wise.  I had checked what my designated turn-off was (Dover Dr), but skipped it when I saw the trail continue.  I took the trail all the way to Wooten, and saw that the trail turned there, also.  So I ended up being on the trail all the way to Seven Locks Rd.  Awesome.

So the ride home passed with no drama at all, which made me happy.  The rain had had a chance to largely dry up, as well.  I didn't stop to take the pants off (too much of a pain to go through the process), but did take the shell gloves off.

Plus, I kept feeling better as I went (well, other than somewhat sore muscles), which is why I suspect a mild digestion issue.  Towards the beginning, I was thinking, "I hope I can make it home", whereas at the end, I was thinking, "Maybe I can finish off the century".

I got home, refueled and changed a bit, and was just about to get back on the bike, when my wife called to tell me I needed to pick up my son from school, as he wasn't feeling well.  Ugh.

I hadn't even finished the metric century, so I still got on the bike, but just for a quick loop around the neighborhood to put me safely over that mark (cyclemeter actually had me over already, but only by a couple tenths of a mile, which meant there was a danger of strava disagreeing).  I think it was just as well I wasn't able to go for the imperial century, though, because I wasn't feeling great by the end of that little loop.  And finishing the century would've been two hours of pushing the speed (time would've been a constraint, regardless.  Our lunch just took a bit too long).

So, I ended up with 66 miles, which wasn't bad.  A couple of PRs and, ironically, a fifth overall on that stretch of Gude where the truck honked at me.  At least something good came out of that mess.

But I was really sore afterwards.  In fact, when I got up this morning (expecting a thunderstorm), I still wasn't feeling great.  I did my fifteen mile loop, though, and actually felt better at the end than at the beginning.

And that thunderstorm?  It didn't materialize.  In fact, there wasn't any rain at all until 0930, or thereabouts.  And the day turned quite nice after that.

Recovery again tomorrow, and maybe a hard group ride on Saturday.  We'll see about the latter.

Update: Forgot to mention that the one real annoyance about the rain not appearing was that I was wearing my amfib tights in anticipation of the rain.  I like the tights, but would have preferred to save them (even if only to cut down on laundry space needed) for later.

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