Yesterday, I got up at 0400, but didn't feel like going anywhere at that early time, so I went back to sleep until 0500. Then I got up, got dressed, and got out on the road. I wasn't feeling great, right away, and my power meter didn't help by crapping out again (battery, after only a week or two. I even tried stopping, a mile in, to reseat the battery, but that didn't help).
Nevertheless, I kept going, and was feeling quite good after a few more minutes. I did, indeed, do a variation of my Old Town loop, which worked out nicely. One thing I noticed, that I normally don't, is that I averaged almost 16mph over the first hour, with which I was very pleased. I was having no trouble with keeping my heart rate down, which also made me quite happy.
I ended up doing thirty-three miles, taking two hours and a few minutes, and covering 1100' of elevation (a bit less than I expected, but still a decent number). That was enough to put me over the halfway point for the Strava Climbing Challenge, with nineteen days left. Again, pleased as punch.
And best of all, I was still feeling great after finishing; I felt like I could have gone another hour without any stress.
Last night, I decided that I really needed to do another hard day, today, just because of scheduling.
Well, events interfered pretty quickly, as I had a flat before I even left the house. I didn't even bother with trying to patch the tube, but just grabbed my spare tube and installed it. That got me on the road fairly quickly, although still considerably later than I'd planned (and to emphasize that point, I saw the first pre-dawn light right by the house).
One good thing: I did remember to replace the battery in the power meter before leaving.
My plan was to attack the hills for forty-five to sixty minutes, then tack on some more recovery miles. Well, getting to the hills starts with some mild uphill, and I wasn't feeling great, even with that. I thought of taking that to mean that I should just go elsewhere for a gentler ride. But I started feeling a little better almost right away, and held with the plan.
The first hill I attacked, I beat my PR by two seconds (again, more with better pacing than with all-out power). But I was already feeling pretty toasted after that. It could be that I was still feeling some residual effects from the century the other day.
Still, I persevered. I can't say as I was pleased with my results (actually, they were pretty terrible), but I stayed roughly with the plan. I didn't bike as far as I'd planned, although that was as much due to not knowing the time as anything. But I still got twenty miles in, with 1700' of elevation.
And I broke my plan a little bit, too, by trying to push a couple times after finishing the hills. I went to Highland Dr in Falls Church, and tried to push up that hill. I was shocked, at the end, to find I'd gotten 9th place on the segment that covers the whole street, because I didn't start right at the beginning (couldn't remember where it started) and blew up while still close to the bottom of the hill. With a decent try, I should be able to get into the top 3-5 without killing myself. Not sure when I'll try, but I will.
Tomorrow and Tuesday will definitely both be easy days, with mileage mostly determined by what time I wake up. I might try to wake up early both days to get 25-ish miles in; we'll see.