Yesterday morning I got up at 0400 to join that group ride. I'd been told by my friend that it would be a small group, likely just the two of us, though a couple of women ended up showing up as well.
Anyway, I had to rush out of the house to get there in time. I tried to adjust the leads on the power meter, and was able to get one of them quickly. I couldn't get the other, but the one was good enough to get the meter to work for yesterday and today, at least.
So I got out of the house just about dead on with my planned time (Strava says I nailed it; I thought I might have been a minute or three late), and got on my way to meet the others in Vienna (about a half-hour ride).
I got there about on time, and met up with my friend and the two women to whom I'd earlier alluded. We got on the way pretty quickly, and headed out towards Herndon.
It was a couple (and I do mean that literally) degrees cooler than I'd've preferred, but it still felt pretty nice. I did wish that I'd worn my turn-signal gloves (yes, I have gloves that have turn signals built in; I haven't worn them yet), but I forgot them at the house.
Still, it was a nice ride; very calm and peaceful. And the sunrise, when it arrived, was very pretty. Peach yogurt, as my wife and daughter refer to it. In fact, I was wishing I had my camera to take a picture at one particular spot, but I'd left it at home.
I did end up pushing my heart rate higher than I wished, although only by about 5bpm on the way out. On the way back, I was pushing it that amount almost the entire way, and got ten beats over, a couple of times (I was worried about making it back in time, and it did turn out that I was a few minutes late).
Still, I had a good time, and am glad I went. I think, next week, that I'll not do Tuesday as a hard ride, and save that for Wednesday. In particular, they do two laps around a little loop out there that I want to really pound. So that'll be the plan.
As for the whole ride, the total was 38 miles, almost 1500' elevation, covered at 15.3mph. Those are all great numbers. Average heart-rate was 120, which is also pretty good, but max was 140bpm and almost an hour (of the 2-1/2) was spent over 125bpm. So that's not so great; probably not terrible, since today and tomorrow are easy rides, but definitely less than ideal.
I did a little more riding (roughly five miles) later in the day, taking my daughter to and from school on her bike, but that was very relaxed, as you'd expect. My daughter didn't do quite as well as last time, getting up the hills on the way there and back, but she still did well. I'm hoping that those hills will become easy for her if we keep going (and taking her new bike, which has gears, might well help. Though it's even heavier than her old one, so that's not guaranteed).
This morning, as earlier mentioned, was an easy ride. I got up a little bit early so I could get in 28 or thirty, but I cut that a little short due to rain concerns (I'm a little worried about getting my new shoes so wet). It turns out I would've been fine, but it really started feeling like impending rain about twenty-four miles in. Since there was an easy way to do so, that got me to turn towards home.
So I did 26.4 miles over 110 minutes, which works out to 14.3mph. Of that, I did about 15.75 in the first hour, so the hills in the second half definitely make a big difference. Those hills added up to nearly 1200' of elevation. Power averaged 108W, weighted to only 110W, which isn't bad.
Heart rate averaged 120bpm, which is pretty good, with a peak of 136 which isn't, although that was rushing through a light that would have been quite long. My power spiked to almost 800W very briefly, there. Total time over 125bpm was just under eight minutes; more than I'd like, but far from enough to be upset about.
All in all, I'm pretty pleased with the ride. I'm pretty reliably pushing 120W at 120bpm, which is pretty good. The big keys seem to be breathing very deeply and keeping my shoulders relaxed. Going into the drops hasn't caused as much spiking of heart rate, lately, and I'm very curious why that is.
In any event, not a bad day, and I might even go out later today, once it stops raining, to get a few more miles in. Not sure. Regardless, I really need to wash the bike and lube the chain (and pedals; one or both is starting to squeak again).
Regardless, tomorrow will be relatively easy and Saturday will be the tough group ride. We'll see how those go.