These long rides are admittedly a bit grueling, just in their nature, but this was much better than last week's.
(I was very glum before I went out, I slept too little and very badly last night, but really as soon as I was riding it was all good. Can't leave before 6 as it's too dark still, but it gets mighty hot as the day progresses - but no, really I prefer not to ride in the dark, especially as cars on the road at 5am Sunday morning are probably still under the influence of Saturday night partying.)
The fourth hour was hardest, as my right toes had become agonizingly painful, but I stopped at Colliers Beach around the 3:45 mark for a FOOT BREAK - I also used the bathroom and ate a snack, but the main point was taking off my shoes and crunching and uncrunching my toes and rolling 'em in the sand.
(My mood also lifted at this point when I saw three gorgeous parrots fluttering from tree to tree as they searched for a suitable midmorning kaffeeklatsch location.)
Didn't get nearly as bad again after that - I was concentrating the whole time on "heel down" and easy relaxed pedaling, but really there must be some pressure on the nerve, it gets ridiculously painful if I'm not careful. Rode quite a bit in the aerobars and was able to manage hand discomfort better than last week - hands still not working quite right, but it never become nearly as painful/immobile as last time. Felt very strong for the last couple hours, and happy to be getting good-quality work done.
Best moment not involving parrots: a pack of riders overtaking me before Bodden Town (they ride from Hurley's) and inviting me to hop on the bus! Which I did, and it was exhilarating - 25mph! - but my heart rate was way too high, so I regretfully let myself drop off the back and ride at my own pace. Saw them at the Frank Sound Road gas station a bit later on and we had a nice chat - cyclists are amiable.
A good solid ride, anyway. Only one more really long one after this - I am three weeks out from race day!
avg speed 17.0, max speed 25.5
avg HR 134, max HR 153
Total hours for the week: a not very impressive (though slightly numerologically sinister) 13:33:30. Nothing to be done about that - other obligations plus residual fatigue were realistic limits on what could or should be accomplished. This coming week's the big week, I've got a much more elaborate schedule that I'm hoping to hew to....