Killin' some Hillin

Yesterday, I didn't ride in the morning.  My shoulder was in serious pain when I went to bed the night before, and I didn't sleep well.  And I was still in pain when I woke up.  Everything seemed to move ok, but doing so was just miserably bad pain.

In the afternoon, I finally finished a work task, so I took a couple motrin, and forced myself out onto the bike.  I wasn't planning on going very far; nine miles or so, but ended up a bit shorter.  Basically, I got about a mile away, and started feeling misting rain.  Concerned that it might get worse, I turned back, and just meandered around my neighborhood, taking it easy.

When I found myself at the foot of the huge hill on Williamsburg, though, I decided I needed to attack that.  And I did.  I went up the 8% grade (avg) in 50/25 or 50/23, which was quite a bit better than that of which I thought I was capable.  That put me at 5th overall on Strava, pushing 622W for the whole 31s climb.

Other than that, it was a pretty uneventful ride, though.  Only 7.3miles and 500' of elevation.  But the good part was that my shoulder was bothering me a lot less at the end of the ride than at the beginning.

Today, I also slept in (relatively; I still got up before 0700, which is way earlier than I ever got up before having kids), and saw the doctor early.  My shoulder was feeling a lot better, and he mostly gave me a clean bill of health.  Gave me a prescription for an anti-inflammatory, along with some exercises to do (and told me to avoid the push-ups and back-bridges that I regularly do), but said everything looked fine structurally.  More importantly, he said biking was fine, which made my day.

I celebrated by going on a ride after taking the anti-inflammatory.  I decided to do my normal 18-mile course, except adding one big hill.  And seriously attacking all the big hills, but otherwise taking it easy.

The results?  Four top-ten finishes on big hills, with PRs on four others.  And I just destroyed my power curve for the year, up to 2:20 (and it stayed close afterwards, all the way out to an hour, at least).

Total ride? 19.4 miles (1250') in 75 minutes, which works out to 15.6mph (remember, very much taking it easy between climbs).  Three minutes in zone five, per heart rate (although that's actually low.  I finished the extra climb with the meter showing only 131bpm, and I know it was at least 181.  I certainly can't push 396W for 46s at 131bpm.  If I could do that, I'd take a few weeks off from writing software to crush the Tour de France).  And four minutes in zone 7, per power, which is pretty awesome.

Because I was relaxing so much, between hills, I didn't get a whole lot of sustained time in zones four or five, but I was really happy with what I did do on those hills.  I pushed my 20s peak power over 1kW, which is better than I thought I'd be able to do.  I raised the one minute peak from 551W to 634W.  According to Cyclemeter, I had a one-hour peak of 306W, although I now suspect that's peak adjusted power, not peak average power (and frankly, I'm not sure what the value of peak adjusted power is).  Still, that's just killing it.

So I'm pretty psyched.  I'm going to be taking it easy for the next two days, though, as I'm preparing for the Tour de Cure on Sunday (that'll be 108 miles).  I won't be pushing any watts, and I won't be doing a lot of miles (maybe as much as 15 per day, but probably less).

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