You would think, if you just looked at the efforts yesterday and today, that the pain I'm referring to would be the 25 miles, 2000' elevation, 16.9mph ride yesterday. But it's actually the 6.2 mile, 400', 10.7 mph ride this morning. How is that? Let's take a look.
Yesterday, I actually overslept, and wasn't even able to take a look at the group ride. And I think things worked out just fine, with that (also, I checked, and the Air Force Classic is happening right now; it wasn't yesterday).
In any event, I got out a little late, and did a few miles of warm-up. Once I felt warmed up, I went to my hill route, and attacked that (although not quite as hard as last time; I was trying to make a longer effort). And my effort paid off, I think. I didn't hammer any of the hills as hard as two weeks ago, but I wasn't far off, and I did way better over the distance.
Strava's climbing challenge, this month, references the Nepal earthquake, and suggests a one-day "everest"ing for a climb. I've been thinking about trying that, and to that end I've created a couple of segments lately trying to work out the feasibility.
The first of those was a very short loop (essentially, around a big block) with a huge hill in it, that I tried on Wednesday. It worked out to 86' of elevation in 0.6 miles. I forget the exact number, but that works out to way over 200 miles to "Everest" by looping over it. I also created a loop segment on my hills route that came out to 4.2 miles with 586' of elevation. That's a tiny bit better, but still over 200 miles.
Still, the main point of mentioning that latter segment is that I beat my previous best on that one by half a minute. And my time from two weeks ago (when I just destroyed the first hill) by almost a minute. Interestingly, while I did way better on the initial climb on that first hill the other week, the segment extends a ways, and I ended up tying that overall time. And on the second climb, on Lorcom Ln, I knocked two seconds (coincidentally, improving my placing by two) off my best.
From there, I took a new route that went behind my daughter's school, and into some hills in McLean, then down to Falls Church and onto the W&OD trail. I took that back out to Idylwood, then back on Powhatan. I meandered around a little more, thinking of it as a cool-off, but then found myself on Florida heading towards George Mason. I decided to try for a personal record coming back down George Mason from Rt 29 to Yorktown (I used to always finish off my rides with that sprint, but haven't done so in a while).
How'd that work? Well, I knocked six seconds off my best, bringing me into a three-way tie for KOM. So, even better than expected.
Overall, my power curve spiked a little higher instantaneously than two weeks ago, was significantly worse from there, out to a minute and a half or so, and was comparable or better afterwards. So, about like I wanted it. I also hit 700-ish Watts several different times for 10-20 seconds, which is pretty good. Heart rate had a Zone 4 mode, which was cool, with almost 44 minutes in 4 & 5.
Power zones had about 19 1/2 minutes at/over threshold, which is quite good. And six and a half of that was 390+W, which is awesome.
And while all of that was a little draining, I felt pretty good at the end of it.
Breakfast was a bit different than my usual, of late, and I think that messed me up later in the day. I was fine until shortly before my daughter finished ballet class, when my stomach whomped me seriously and mostly knocked me out for the rest of the day.
Which is what made this morning's ride so difficult. Part of the problem (probably a large part) was that I didn't eat after breakfast yesterday. I didn't want anything until very late at night, and even then, feeling empty, nothing appealed. So I didn't eat. Worse, I didn't drink, so I was probably pretty severely dehydrated by the time I went riding.
How bad was it? I could only push about 80W while keeping my heart rate in my target range. It was bad! If I hadn't had such a long string of daily rides, I would have skipped it entirely.
I thought about making the ride a little bit longer than I did, but I'm glad I didn't. My heart rate being so out of control is a pretty fair indicator that I probably shouldn't have done as much as I did. It also makes me wonder if the reason I've had trouble keeping my heart rate down, in the past, after reaching an hour, is due to dehydration. Not as bad as this morning, of course, but I wonder if a small amount might be having an effect. Something to ponder.
Getting back to today, after finishing the ride and eating a simple breakfast, I ended up going back to bed for quite a few hours. Not a good situation.
Update: I forgot to mention why I associated diarrhea and dehydration. Diarrhea, if you don't replenish fluids, will cause dehydration. In fact, diarrhea kills far more children in Africa than does malaria, and it's all due to that dehydration. Still think clean drinking water is a solved problem?