I woke up this morning still feeling a little sore from my ride yesterday; without heart rate data, it was hard to be sure, but I think I must have pushed even more than I'd thought. I certainly didn't help myself by skipping my nighttime stretches and exercises, but it's been quite a while since I've been that sore the day after a ride (probably the last time I did 90-ish).
Regardless, I managed to get out on the road even a little earlier than usual, giving myself time to put an extra three miles (or so) in. And that's what I did. Basically, I did my normal ride, plus went down into Shirlington itself, up the north-side hill, and back down and around. It adds around three miles, plus another 100-150' of elevation.
What was interesting (surprising not in principle, but certainly in degree) was taking the trail from Shirlington. Once you get past Columbia Pike on the W&OD, the temperature typically drops a degree or two. Well, this morning it felt like going through a wall almost immediately after the road crossing. And it turned out to be a five degree drop. Quite a shock, although thankfully I was dressed warmly enough to not make it horrible (I was a little concerned, but only my fingers bothered me).
From there, though, it was the same ride I've done the last couple weeks. It ended up being 18.5 miles with 1100' of elevation; pretty good. And my speed was decent (for a recovery day), at 13.25mph. Perhaps most importantly, I kept my heart rate in check, with an average of 119, and only 94s above 125. And max of 129bpm.
The only irritation about the whole ride came right near the end, as there were a number of other riders on the road (a little surprising, given the temperature, but I guess people are trying to get back into shape for riding season). Anyway, one of them, whom I hadn't yet noticed, went to pass me just as I was about to make a turn. I saw in time to hold my turn, but I was not a happy camper. This being right at the bottom of a hill, I had my hand on the brakes and hadn't signaled; I do need to work on that.
Other than that, a pleasant ride, and one that worked perfectly, goal-wise. Now I just need to do a better job with my evening exercises, and things will do better.
After thinking about it more, I decided that I'll do another gentle ride tomorrow, and hope to do the group ride on Saturday. There are thunderstorms in the forecast for tomorrow, but they're for much later in the day. I'm hoping it'll stay that way; 60 and wet will still make for a pretty decent ride (though sixty and dry would be worlds better, as I wouldn't need to worry about a jacket and could enjoy some of the new (warm weather) clothes I've gotten. Ah well, soon enough, I guess).
The Friday rain is supposed to carry over into Saturday, though hopefully it'll stop before the ride. Fifty and dry would make for a really nice ride. We'll see.