Friday's ride was quite uneventful; it was rainy and chilly (37F), but nothing special in either dimension. I did my normal fifteen miles, then got ready for the working day (being glad that I didn't have sick kids to look after again).
This morning, the group ride fell through. The group was riding, but an hour too late for me to join them. Very disappointing.
I hadn't really made a back-up plan. I hemmed and hawed a bit, and finally decided to do my hill route, which I hadn't done in a bit.
I started with a PR on the first section I hit, although that really had more to do with taking that segment gently in the past (ice concerns; it's steeply downhill with turns at the bottoms) than with trying especially hard today.
But I was happier to tie my PR on the first big uphill. The bigger surprise there was that I hit two potholes (one with each tire) at the bottom, before going up (so I was doing about 30mph), so I was a bit tentative to start. I was worried that I'd flatted one or both tires. Thankfully, both survived, so I started pushing. And I guess I pushed pretty well.
From there, I was going hard, but not especially so, until close to the end.
I think I'm getting better at pacing myself, although I suppose it's debatable if that's a good thing. For going well on the ride at hand, it's good, but for training purposes, it probably isn't. I'll need to give that some thought in the future.
In any event, getting back to the end of today's ride. My route takes me to just below the peak of a very steep hill (not from the steep side). I hadn't taken that hill in a while, so I decided to go up and over, then down the road a little. From there, I made a U-turn and attacked the steep side. I've done that a number of times before, but not recently (partially because I have to avoid it, on easy rides. It's steep enough that it isn't possible to keep my heart rate down while ascending), so I wasn't sure what to expect.
I felt good when I got to the top. I felt like I could have pushed a little bit harder (maybe a fair bit harder, if it'd been closer to the beginning of the ride; that's hard to say), but also felt like I'd kicked its ass. When it started leveling out, I was able to downshift a couple times before hitting the peak; always a good sign.
No surprise that it was a PR. I thought I'd completely destroyed my PR, but my PR was a bit better than I'd remembered. I still beat it by 10%, though, which is no small amount. Three seconds faster would be enough to put me into the top ten. I'll need to try again sometime soon. In any event, I averaged 489W over the 36s of the climb; nothing to sneeze at, though quite a distance off my 36s record (701W).
I mentioned improving my peak power numbers each of the last couple months. While I did fairly well this month, I broke that streak. Perhaps I did too many hard rides. For sure, though, I haven't been consistent enough with doing my evening exercises and stretching. In particular, I haven't been doing the tabatas exercises (just haven't been feeling well in the evenings, mostly).
Anyway, tomorrow morning is going to be very cold again (24F), but it should warm up quite a bit after that. I'm looking forward to trying the new jerseys I've collected (almost all at significant to huge discounts) over the last couple weeks. A few of them are really nice, in both look and feel.