Falling behind

In writing, that is.  More than I thought, in fact.  Lately, I've been chewed up by a game a friend introduced me to, Marvel Puzzle Quest.  Silly idea, the game, take Bejeweled and give it a Marvel Super Heroes twist.  However, it works well; I'll talk about it later.

For now, though, I need to go back over the last several (ok, more than several) days of riding.

Last Thursday was an easy recovery ride, doing my eighteen mile course.  Looking at the data, it seems to've gone reasonably well, with 13.8mph average speed and 109W avg power.  It wasn't great, though, as my heart rate max was 141bpm, which is definitely too high.  Wish I could remember whether it was due to exertion or a car dive-bombing me.  It was close to twelve minutes over 125bpm, though, and that's certainly too much.

Friday did not get off to a great start; I overslept, then did a short ride of just under eleven miles (my wife needed to leave early, so I needed to be back early to get the kids ready).  I think I must not have been feeling well, because the power is only ok, and my heart rate is all over the place.  I think I had battery issues, too, because the plot shows a couple of jumps.  Ahh... I think I remember... I let the battery get down to roughly nothing while playing the game in the morning, then put it in the charger.  Since it was charging, I expected it to record everything ok, even though the battery was very low, but it had some issues with that.  It mostly worked out, but that's annoying.

Power was ok, at 119W avg, but speed was terrible, at 12.8mph.  My only explanation is that I did the toughest part of my normal ride, with almost none of the easy parts (about 700' of elevation in those eleven miles).

Saturday should have been a hard day, but I overslept even more than the day before (by about an hour, really).  Because of that, I just did my usual eighteen mile loop.  Performance was ok; speed of 14.3mph, 121bpm heart rate, 110W power.  But the heart rate was going out of control quite a lot in there.  Max was 137, with eight minutes over 125bpm.  Far less than ideal.

And to top it all off, the ground was a little wet and I slipped and slid pretty hard going around a sharp turn near my house (I am not appreciative of the car that was really, really close behind me coming down the hill before that turn).  Lost a fair bit of skin on my right hip, a bit more on my butt, and a little more on my right arm and hand (what kills me about the latter is that I have gloves that would have prevented that scratching, at least, but wasn't wearing them).  Not fun, especially when it came time to change bandages.

Sunday was a hard day.  Very hard, in fact.  I only did 16.6 miles, but that was in sixty-two minutes, with close to 1400' of elevation.  In fact, I scared myself a bit at one point.  I wanted to beat my record on the big hill on Williamsburg at the end of the ride, so I seriously pushed my way up.  Well, it worked, I topped my previous best by a second, but I looked down just after to see a heart rate of 199bpm.

I never felt any pain, or anything like that, but that's probably higher than I really want it going.  Of those sixty-two minutes, I spent thirty-six minutes in zone four, with almost ten more in zone five.  New record.  But yeah, that was the pain cave.  Still, I was pretty proud of it.

I'm very bummed, though, to not have any power data.  After turning on the cycling computer, I needed to go back to the bedroom to get my heart rate meter, and somehow that meant that the power meter was never found (I originally thought this was a Stages bug, but now I'm leaning towards it having more to do with Cyclemeter.  Still need to get in touch with the latter's company).

After that brutal ride, Monday and Tuesday were both easy rides, as planned.  Monday was my eighteen mile route, and Tuesday was the longest version of my figure-eight course, at almost twenty-nine miles (the one good thing about the injury is that none of the places that hurt touched the bike.  So sitting and laying down were problems, but biking wasn't.  Funny how that sort of thing can work).

Tuesday was mixed, in some ways.  I got a nice photo of the sunrise, which was particularly nice (the sunrise, that is), but I had to do it with my phone.  Good for sharing, less so for photo quality.  The Capital Dome, which is currently covered in scaffolding, looked particularly near, did not come out well at all, which was hugely disappointing.

Both days I had trouble with my heart rate, especially in the latter half, but not really badly.

That brings me to Wednesday, which should have been a hard ride, but it completely slipped my mind (maybe I was worrying about the weather?).  I didn't leave myself much time, though - I had to rush out the door after playing that stupid game some more - and I barely had time for my fifteen mile ride.  And the data certainly bear out that I was rushing.  My average heart rate was 124bpm, which makes it obvious that I was going much too hard.  I spent seventeen of the sixty-four minutes over 125, and that's not good.  And I averaged 133bpm over those seventeen minutes; also not good.  It wasn't just edging over from time to time.

It was another day where I found myself wishing I had a video camera on my helmet; I nearly ran into a bird that flew across my path.  And when I say nearly, I mean a matter of inches.  Neat to watch; would have been neater to have captured.  I'm getting a camera soon; I'll probably not even look at 90% of the recordings I make, but stuff like that will make it worthwhile.

So Thursday, I had to make up for Wednesday's miss.  And I overslept badly enough to not have time to ride in the morning.  I squeezed in a short ride at lunchtime, instead, and what it lacked in length, it made up for in intensity.

I did close to ten miles, with over 1000' of elevation, going at 15.5mph.  I did a calm warm-up for five or ten minutes, and it was all 'GO!' from there.  I was a little disappointed that I didn't set any records in the hills, but at least I was close.

The heart rate distribution was pretty similar to Sunday's, with seventeen minutes in zone four, and over ten in zone five.  Max heart rate was a little lower, peaking at 195bpm, but it got up into the 190s several times.  Power was... rather good.  I didn't set my instantaneous power record, but did set it up through five seconds, which was a nice surprise.  Over a longer timeframe, it was merely pretty good, but I was still pretty pleased.

I'm definitely improving in short-/medium-term power, which is good for my sprinting.  Not sure how much it does for me over longer distances, but it can't hurt.

After that abuse, Friday was obviously a recovery day, and another one where I had to rush out the door to get the ride in.  I did my fifteen mile loop in sixty-six minutes, averaging 13.6mph.  Meh.

Heart rate was 124bpm avg (pushing it, I think), with 113W power.  I should be getting more power at that heart rate.

I'll talk about the last couple days (this update has been sitting in the browser for several days now) separately.

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