So in the last weekend I did a long hill climb (loop trip distance was 50 miles, climbed 4500ft) at a very slow pace (avg 9mph) while maintaining my HR at the top of my aerobic zone most of the time. My legs were sore for almost the whole week and I ended up only biking to work (25 miles around trip) 2 out of 5 days instead of everyday like the weeks before.
Yesterday I did the same hill climb. I was going at a much faster pace (12mph) while maintaining my HR at the top of my aerobic zone most of the trip. It felt much easier so I ended up going farther this time (loop trip distance was 70 miles, climbed 6000ft).
And today my legs are so sore and tire just like last week. It's tire and sore when I'm sleeping, it's tire and sore when I'm sitting, and it's tough to even walk up stairs. As a result I drove to work again today. I don't want this to continue. I want to be able to recover, have a fresh pair of legs every morning, and be able to bike to work everyday.
So my question is what seems to be the problem and what can I do to correct this?
I don't think I'm over-training because I don't feel any bone/muscle pain and I'm not psychologically burned out or anything. I don't think it's a problem with in-flight in-takes because I ate 2 fiber one bars, 5 GU gels, and drank 70oz water + 48oz Gatorade during the 6 hour ride. I don't think it's a post-ride problem because right after the ride I had 2 scoops of whey and 2 scoops of accelerate, and shortly after I had a healthy dinner (12oz stead, 2 heads of romaine lettuce, and some brown rice). So I'm puzzled as to what the problem is.