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Short, but intense, 27 mile ride yesterday; Few new PRs.

Yesterday's route.

I really should have taken yesterday off from riding. On Wednesday I was already feeling like I was right on the edge of over-training, but I did a pretty tough Sufferfest workout anyway. Yesterday morning, everything from my legs to my energy level was saying “REST!” I was really in the mood to ride, however, so I decided that I’d compromise and do a short ~30 mile road ride.

When I left the house I was thinking, “I’ll just lay back and treat this as a recovery ride.” That never happens, though. It seems the only way I can do a recovery ride is if I do it on the trainer: I just don’t like riding slow outside. So, of course, by the time I arrived at the trailhead I’d talked myself into something else entirely…

Yesterday's route.

Yesterday’s route.

I decided that I was going to ride from the temple (Apopka-Vineland trailhead) to the end of the West Orange Trail (Killarney Station) and back (27 miles) with an average speed of more than 20 MPH. Between riding solo, the numerous intersection crossings (requiring a slowdown at each one), and the viscous crawl through downtown Winter Garden (once each way), 20 MPH was a fairly ambitious pace.

It was pretty tough, but I did it: 26.9 miles with an average speed of 20.1 MPH. My average heart rate over the 1:20:15 ride was 173 BPM, so I was working out there. Feels good to have finally done this route with an average of more than 20 MPH–especially with my legs decidedly less than 100%.

I picked up a few new PRs along the way, and cracked the top 10 on several more segments:

The Apopka Vineland to Killarney segment is the full 13.2 mile outbound route, and I placed 2nd overall (144 riders). My average speed was 20.4 MPH on that first leg of the journey. Missed the KOM by just 29 seconds!

I edged my way into the top ten on the West Orange Trails Fastest Section segment, placing 10th of 454 riders. That section is fast and fun, but I’ve never really hammered it. I’m 10 seconds off the KOM, maybe I’ll give it a shot sometime.

I moved up a few notches on the 3 mile Sector 1 segment, winding up 8th of 464 riders.

The 13.1 mile Killarney to Apopka Vineland segment is the entire return route. I’m presently in 5th of 211 riders on that segment, with an average speed of 20.3 MPH. Missed my best time by just 3 seconds yesterday.

I finally earned a spot in the top 10 on the Last Dig to the Temple segment, placing 7th of 386 riders. Once again I blew the first part of the segment, and did not start my “last dig” effort until I was about 30 seconds into the segment. Now I know exactly where the segment begins, so next time I ride it I’m going for it. Also worth noting, this was the very end of the ride, and I was tired.

Here’s the full ride on Strava.

While I’m happy with the ride, I shouldn’t have done it. I felt like crap all day yesterday–run down, almost like I was getting sick. I went to bed early last night, and I am feeling better this morning, but I can tell that I’m still not at full power.

The “8 Days in California” challenge starts tomorrow, and that’s going to be a tough 8 days of riding. I’m resting today, and will be ready for the first stage in the morning!