Yesterday, as I'd planned, I did a hard ride around one of the longer of my Arlington loops. This one was about 23 miles, and, as I indicated I was thinking, I went with just the jersey and a baselayer, rather than a jacket.
Clothing-wise, that worked out very well. It was very comfortable, and I was warm enough all the way. I went with the Assos glove tandem (bonka glove and shell), which was also a great fit for the day.
Being so comfortable, I started out riding hard, trying to get at least into second on the long segment on George Mason Dr on which I got fourth on my last hard ride. The first part of that, I was surprised to be eight full seconds behind my time the other day, but I was also feeling much better at the end. I also lost some time at the other end, but made up for it in the middle.
It was the first time I'd really set out to ride hard on a segment anywhere near that long, and it was rough. I was quite tired at the end. And I was semi-successful; I ended up tied for second, meaning that I only beat my time from the other day by a few seconds. And that's without the mechanical stop. So a bit disappointing all the way around, even if it looks better.
Overall, I only had three PRs, but I had a slew of second- and third-best segments. So I guess I'd chalk it up as being moderately successful, if a little less so than I'd hoped. There's a five-minute-ish segment covering four hills right around Ft Myer and Courthouse that I was really hoping to kill.
I felt really good, and did set a PR on the first hill, but the rest of it was second- and third-best times, ending up twelve seconds behind my record. Still, I kept on, and finished the route averaging 18.6mph over the hour and thirteen minutes. Nothing to set the world on fire, but nothing to be upset about, either.
I kept my heart rate solidly in zone four, with a good six minutes in zone five. Loving that last bit, especially.
My power-based zone distribution was not as good, although I think a significant part of that was not having as many hills (just under 900' total elevation) as my hillier hard-riding route. I got eighteen minutes at or above threshold, which isn't bad. Not as much as I hope for (I'd like to get closer to thirty), but again, not bad.
That left today as a recovery ride, with the caveat that snow was forecast to start just before I got on the bike. I was lucky not to see the snow, as I'd decided to not ride the hybrid, and got on the road only a little bit late.
It was raining, however, which was not fun, at a hair above freezing. Also, I wore my Assos jacket, thinking that it was more sealed than the North Face shell/fleece liner that I normally wear on cold recovery rides. That didn't work out well; the FuguJack is not completely sealed, it appears. I finished with damply wet arms. Not enough there to be worrisome, but it definitely didn't feel good.
Also, I went with the same gloves as yesterday. Today, it was not such a good decision; my hands were considerably chilly well before finishing. In fact, I wanted to do fifteen miles, but cut back to only twelve because of that chilliness. Given that the snow was just starting as I finished, anyway, it might have been a good thing regardless. Still, I don't like having that sort of thing forced on me.
I also might have gotten legs a little wet, somehow. I was wearing the PI AmFibs, so I'm not sure how that might have happened. I hope they haven't already lost their waterproofing; I guess we'll see, next time I wear them.
One good thing is that I mostly kept my heart rate down. I was a bit worried, over the long stretch where I couldn't see the meter, but I killed it through there. In that stretch, I kept it entirely between 114 and 123, which is basically perfect. Just after, though, I blew it on a hill where I got up to 140. Very annoying.
But I did keep it going right the rest of the way, so I think things will be fine for the group ride I'm expecting to do tomorrow.
The one thing that bothers me, a bit, is that my power was off, at that heart rate. That was only with an average right around 100, and I should be putting out more like 120W at that heart rate. I'm hoping that's just because I'm (still) not feeling well (although much better than a couple days ago).