Yesterday, I did manage to wake up early enough to get out and get my long loop done, even though my daughter needed to wake up early. I didn't make it by a lot (I had to inhale my breakfast, and didn't have time to get a shower before taking my daughter in), but we made it.
And I did do something a little different, yesterday, on that loop. I normally dodge over to the trail to get down into Shirlington, which adds a mile or two, but I decided to instead go straight down on George Mason Dr. I figured that, if I had time, I could add distance on at the end pretty easily.
So I went through a gentle ride of 25 miles, which did end up including a couple extra miles at the back end. And I stretched out the last mile or two as well, to make sure that I had the ride over two hours (cyclemeter said 2:00:15, while Strava said 2:05:10. Given that they're working from the same data, I wonder about that discrepancy. I'm sure some of it is stopped time vs moving time, but I have a hard time imagining five minutes of maybe-moving. One of the big advantages of riding when I do).
As far as heart rate, I think I did a good job except for a second or two of attempted track-stop at a road crossing. I had a hard enough time staying there that I ended up pulling one cleat off, and that ended up spiking my heart rate by 10-15bpm (I was on a very slight uphill, which didn't help). Total, though, I only had five minutes above 125bpm, which isn't bad.
The only irritation about the ride was when I stopped getting data from my power meter with a couple miles to go. In fact, it was a situation I'd never seen before; I was getting readings, but they were all zero.
I felt pretty good when I finished, but my legs felt pretty tired for most of the rest of the day, which had me feeling a bit depressed (after two recovery days, my legs should not be tired, even if I did forty-five miles over those two days). But I forced myself to do my stretches at night and got to bed early. Plus, I didn't try to wake up early.
So I got on the road just before 0530 (my target), and aimed to do essentially the same course as yesterday. My one big change was doing the big hill on Walter Reed Dr, near Shirlington, and killing it (PR by 14s; down to one minute, even. Moved me up 22 spots). I felt killed, at the end, too. Still, I pushed again on the other side of Shirlington, setting a PR by four seconds on the 31st St South segment (moved up eight places on the leaderboard, there). The latter especially surprised me, because I did blow up before the end; I probably would have been another 8-10 seconds faster without that.
Anyway, I kept up the fast pace without trying to set any records for most of the rest of the ride. I was really happy (especially after those two big climbs) to hit 12.6 miles in the first forty minutes (nearly 19mph avg).
The two exceptions I made were when I got to the cemetary. There's a long climb that goes from there, all the way to the courthouse, that I've been trying to improve on for quite a while. Well, I killed that one too. Not as much as the other two; I improved by eight seconds over nearly five minutes (previous PR was exactly 5:00). But just to beat it felt like an accomplishment.
The one other place I tried to push was when I got back to Washington Blvd and George Mason. I took the left there, and started pushing just before Greenbrier St. Unfortunately, that was a segment where I didn't know where the end was. But I did improve my PR by about 8%, which was enough to move me up to fifth, overall.
For the whole ride, I got 26.5 miles in 92 minutes (I stretched out the last three miles or so again, for the same reason as yesterday). I have no idea how, but the elevation ended up a hair less than yesterday. I had expected it to be more by 100-ish feet. Regardless, it was a good continuation of my volume, and work on the challenges.
So, especially given how I felt when starting, it's hard to complain about the ride results. My one complaint was that the power meter was out again, and reseating the battery (one mile in) did nothing to help that. I'll put a new battery in, later. Irritated that I need to, though, as that's less than a week with the current one. At least the heart rate meter wasn't also dead, I guess.
Oh, and the great thing was that it was warm enough to get by with a summer jersey and bibs. Very comfortable. One conclusion I've come to about jerseys; I'm not buying any more (at least not summer ones) that don't have a zip-up pocket. Too worried about dropping my phone. That might well mean that the Assos ones get worn more than I would prefer; we'll see.
Tomorrow and Friday will both be gentle days; all other details TBD.