Somewhat better

I woke up a little bit early this morning; needed to go to the bathroom.  Like the last couple days, it was a less-than-pleasant experience, but at least this time I had some imodium to take afterward.  I also downed some water right away, though probably not as much as I should have.

Regardless, I got on the bike, and did roughly what I described yesterday.  That is, I did my 25-mile figure-eight ride, going hard up the hills (and moderate to hard, otherwise).

How'd that work?  Mixed.  The first hill, which climbs S 31st St above Shirlington (going right by the apartment building where I lived for a couple years) went quite well.  I knocked 16s off my previous best (which was 92s, so better than 17% improvement), although I think the segment went ten or twenty yards further than I thought, as I tailed off a bit.  Or maybe I was just tired; I know my heart rate cleared 190bpm there.  Still, that was 7th overall, and I was quite happy with that.

There's another, very short, hill going from Fairfax Dr to the Custis Trail (just before George Mason Dr) that also went well.  I hadn't attacked that one in a long time (and have only done so a few times, actually), but took four seconds (of eighteen) off my previous best.  That put me at 10th overall (and I'm pretty sure several of the ones above me were in a car), which was also cool.

On the long climb from the Cemetary, along Rt 110, up Ft Myer Dr, then the Rt 50 access road, across Rhodes, and up Courthouse, it didn't go nearly as well.  I took four seconds (of thirty-four, and I'd hit that time four times previously) off my record for the first hill, which was great.  But by the time I cleared the Iwo Jima Memorial, I was already a second off my best, and it did not improve from there.  In the end, despite heaving at a heart rate of 195bpm, I lost nine more seconds off my best, the rest of the way.  Ah well.

I also pushed pretty hard from Gravelly Point to the Fourteenth St Bridge (forgetting that the segment extends a fair bit further than that), but ended up way off my best time (almost a minute off; would be interesting to know how the part up to the bridge compared).  And perhaps pushing there was a significant contribution to my lackluster showing a mile later, when I got to the Cemetary.

At the end, I tried to push on a segment shortly after turning from George Mason Dr onto Washington Blvd.  Unfortunately, I started well before the beginning (forgot where it started until I got there) and then blew up.  Twenty-six seconds (of fifty-six) off my record.  Ouch.

But the last hill before home, on Williamsburg, between Harrison and George Mason, I managed to hammer up and over.  I beat my previous best by three seconds (of forty-five), which is decent.  Still need to knock ten seconds off that, if I want to get into the top ten, but I think I might be able to do that if I'm not tired when I get there (not only is there the fatigue, but I didn't start pushing until the hill, and the segment starts a couple hundred yards before that.  Maybe, maybe not).  We'll see.

In any event, as you can see, pretty mixed results.  Overall, 25 miles, 1100', 17.0mph (worse than I thought), just shy of twenty-five minutes Z4-Z5 (heart-based), thirteen minutes Z4-Z7 (power-based).  Power curve?  Meh.  Decent out to 10s (935W there, done on that 14s segment mentioned above), close to my record from 1:08 to 2:27, new record 5:15-5:35 (interesting, that), and pretty mediocre otherwise.

Not bad, I guess, for being in less-than-perfect health, although I must admit to still being disappointed in a few details.  Looking forward, tomorrow and Friday will both be recovery days (although I might do extra, easy, miles on Friday because I might have some time during the day), and hopefully Saturday will be the hard group ride.

Oh, and I forgot to mention; the new wheels arrived very late today without ever indicating "Out for Delivery", for which they did have an indicator.  Don't use PostNL if you can help it.

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