Rushing along

Wednesday morning didn't get off to a great start, when I needed to get moving quickly, and then overslept by ten or twenty minutes.  I managed to get out of the house only about five minutes late, and rushed to the meet-up for the group ride.

I rode a little faster than I wanted, pushing my heart rate to 130-ish several times, but I did make it in time (sort of; I was a couple minutes late, but people hadn't left).

Really, though, I don't have a whole lot to say about the ride.  It was a little more strenuous than I'd really wanted, but not horribly so.  And really, after the fact, I don't think it was a bad thing, even.  I'm just glad that I took it pretty easy for quite a while, and was very warmed up by the time we started pushing a bit.

I say that not because I know that avoided problems, but just in appreciation that there weren't any problems.  It is relative, of course.  When I'm pushing really hard, I'll get my heart rate (at least briefly) up to 180-190, and I never got close to that on Wednesday.  That day, I maxed at 154bpm, and was probably only within ten of that for a few minutes.

Still, it was a good, sociable ride, especially on the return.  Power was pretty low, only 128W.  Heart rate was almost identical, at 127bpm.  I did 38 miles, with 1600' elevation, in 145 minutes, an average of 15.8mph.  Not bad.

Nothing special, but it was good to get the miles in.

Yesterday and today were pretty similar to each other.  Yesterday, I got up at 0500, and got on the bike pretty quickly.  I did almost 23 miles, and almost 900', finishing in 91 minutes (so I was a few minutes early, for once, getting home).  That was 15.0mph, averaging 122bpm and 118W.

Those are all good numbers, and while my max heart rate hit 137bpm, I think it only cleared 128 twice for a total of 15-30 seconds.  And only one of those was due to exertion; the one that was came from hurrying to make a light, since I was worried about being late.  And the second time was passing some joggers who wanted to take the whole path (group of 15-20 guys); had to keep saying, "On your left" and wait for a couple bikers from the other direction.  Very annoying all the way around.

Today might have been even better.  I woke up fifteen minutes earlier, although I think I only got out the door about five minutes earlier.  Still, it was enough to do a slightly longer course; 25 miles and a hair over 1100' elevation.  I got 120W with the same average and max heart rates, although this time the raising of heart rate came from a van that didn't want to slow down.  And it was only the one time; looks like it got up there for about twenty seconds, judging by Strava's analysis tools.

I felt pretty good about it, especially the 120W avg power.  It looks like I can push 130-140W at 125bpm, which is a pretty significant improvement over the last few months.  Makes me happy.

I am curious about the speed, though; Strava says 14.7mph, but Cyclemeter had me close to 17mph over the first hour.  That's one hell of a drop-off, if it is merely a drop-off.  One thing for sure, I had a lot more trouble with heart rate after that point than I did before.

In any event, the ride went well, and I think I'm finally ready for a hard ride tomorrow.  I don't think the group I usually ride with will be around, though; I think most of them are doing the Air Force Classic later in the day or Sunday.  I wanted to do that, but never got around to signing up.  Have to remember it for next year, though; I love the idea of being able to go like hell on blocked-off streets.

But since I'm staying home, we'll have to see how that affects things.

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