Lots going on, no time to write, it seems. But let's try to catch up.
Monday was hosed up from start to finish. I played the game too long to get a ride in, in the morning, so I wasn't able to do anything until afternoon. I took my daughter to her piano lesson via bike, with mixed results. That is, we were able to get there, but we had a couple of really steep hills that forced my daughter to walk her bike.
While she was taking her lesson, I got out for a hard ride, which went decently. Except for the fact that my tire flatted while I was out. Check out this graph for the ride, though; I find it hilarious:
It was a bit interesting of a ride, though, as I was going on different roads than the ones I'm used to (since I was starting from a couple miles from home, and because I didn't have a lot of time). I managed a top-ten finish right by her piano lesson, and wandered around some bucolic streets. It was a fairly pleasant ride, despite the heat of the day.
I spent that part of the ride at a 173 average heart rate, with a max of 190bpm. That was pretty good. Overall, it was twenty-two minutes in zones four and five, which was great (almost five of it was in zone five, which was even better). Power-wise, it was almost eleven minutes at/above threshold, which isn't too bad, either.
The next day, though, did not start out well. I'd left the tube with the patch glue drying overnight (overkill, but I like to do it when I can). I woke up, played puzzles for a bit, then went to get the bike. After two tries, I couldn't get the tube to hold air (patch, remove, re-patch, remove), so I finally looked for, and found, a new tube I had sitting around.
I put it on, and got out on the road. And man, was I mad, so I decided to make it a hard ride, even though I'd done somewhat of a hard ride the day before (that is to say, I went plenty hard, but not for quite as long as I would have liked). I didn't have a lot of time, either, so I did my normal fifteen mile loop (how much time? I would never have finished it at my normal speed).
And I did more than ok. Only one top-ten finish (eighth overall on Grove Ave in Falls Church), but a bunch of PRs. And I had a stretch of over a mile and a half (on the W&OD, heading north from Shirlington) where I averaged 187bpm heart rate. I used to not be capable of getting close to that; hitting 187bpm used to get my body to tell me, almost instantly, "stop now". So my threshold must have increased, which is awesome.
For the overall ride, I managed 19.2mph (seriously, I was killing it), with thirty-nine minutes in zones four and five. Pretty obviously, my zone definitions are off. Power-wise, we're looking at sixteen minutes at/over threshold.
I think the numbers I'd used to set the threshold (260W, which I got from 95% of my best twenty-minute stretch) were wrong to begin with. The best-twenty numbers I was using are, I think, weighted average rather than strict average, which means they were (way too?) high. Well, they might be getting closer, now.
Wednesday morning, I decided to use that improvement, and set my target heart rate for my easy rides up to 130bpm. That helped a bit, with staying under target, but not as well as I'd hoped.
I mostly kept it under the target, though I did hit 137bpm at one point and 133bpm a couple of other times (briefly, though). And raising the target didn't result in much improvement in power numbers. I averaged 122W, which isn't bad, but it didn't result in any apparent improvement in speed; I still only managed 14.0mph over the eighteen miles.
The next day is when things really went to hell.