Life as a triathlete, Vehicross's and off-roading

Archive for February, 2011

Day 4…the end of the road.

Day 4 of camp is now complete.

Started off the day waking to an inch of snow…in Tucson’s valley!

Threw on the cold run gear and headed to the Yetman trail for an hour 40 minute run. My legs were feeling the fatigue from the weeks activities. The hills felt WAY bigger than normal. I dropped off the pace of the rest of the group and finished off the run at a slightly reduced pace.

I then took a short rest then it was time for a short ride. The ride was an easy spin of an hour 20 minutes through Starr Pass. 15 minutes from finishing and it began to sleet. Strangely I smiled through it…must of been the fatigue…and the knowledge that some well deserved rest was just around the corner.

A few days of couch surfing and easy recovery workouts are on deck!

Tucson snow…

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Day 3 wrapped up

Started day three with a 2 hour 50 minute ride that included ascending 14 miles of Mt. Lemmon. We were lucky to beat the wind that is accompanying an incoming storm.

A 1 hour tempo run followed that…just in case our legs weren’t tired enough.

We then hit the pool for a 50 minute swim workout that in my case ended with some painful leg cramping.

The incoming storm should make our final camp day interesting. Weather calls for cold, wind, rain and SNOW….in Tucson!

To make up for all the suffering, coach Brian grilled us up some awesome steaks with sauteed onions and mushrooms! Yummy.

Coach Brian manning the grill and the happy campers!

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Day 2…still alive!

Survived day 2 of camp…yea!

Started the day off in the pool…3400 meters! It is a little humbling to look across the lanes and see how effortless others can make swimming fast look. Of course the other lanes were fool of Olympians, future Olympians, Ironman champs and World champions.

After drying off and consuming calories we mounted our bikes for a nice little ride that included an ascent and descent of Kitt Peak…12 miles and 4000 ft elevation change! Throw in a little wind just to keep it interesting.

Polished the day off with an “easy” 40 minute run.

Day 3 starts bright and early tomorrow…time to sleep!

Day 1 of camp has come to an end.

First day of camp is history. 1.25 hour run with Vo2 intervals followed by 1.25 hours in the pool (3600 meters). After a quick lunch we jumped on our bikes for a 3.75 hour ride that included 2 times up Gates Pass, a 3 mile 12-13 percent grade, that saps the little energy I had left in my legs. My legs are pretty much tanked. This is going to be a long week! Now it’s time to recover for tomorrows “fun”.

To be continued…

Bring the pain!

Tomorrow morning I start the 4 day Accelerate3 athlete training camp. 4 days of mega-mileage fun on the bike, in the pool and running the trails of Tucson. The weatherman says good weather…until Sunday when the temps drop and the rain moves in.

Tucson Mountains, Mount Lemmon and Kitt Peak will all be conquered!

First race of 2011 is in the books

Yesterday (2/20/2011) was my first race of the season. The Desert Classic Duathlon was the venue and doubled as the USA Triathlon southwest regional Duathlon championships. This years course was changed from the previous years. The runs were a bit longer and the consensus was they were definately harder than past years. The bike course remained the same,  just started at a differant point on the course. The weekend started on Saturday with the drive up from Tucson. The drive was made a little more challenging by a show put on by mother nature. She blew up winds of 50+ mph and near brown out (blowing dust) conditions followed by pouring rain. Several accidents on the highway made for slow and not moving at all traffic for a 3-4 mile stretch (people drive in stupid mode even when weather dictates otherwise). After arriving in the Phoenix area and picking up my race packet I headed to my Phoenix area race headquarters/home stay at my good friend Victors home. Victor graciously opens his door to me whenever I race in the area…big thanks for the hospitality!

Race morning I awoke to cool and cloudy conditions. After last years cold and rain I had packed my gear with all conditions in mind. I arrived at the McDowell Mountain Park early since I like to take my time getting ready. I set up my gear and then scoped out the conditions to make my clothing choices. I decided on my regular team kit along with arm warmers and light gloves. After a short warm up run with coach Brian it was time to get to the start line. The Pro wave got on it’s way followed by all those “young” guys in the 39 and under wave. 5 minutes later it was our turn. The horn went off and we were on our way. The first run was  3.2 miles. It started off with 3/4 mile on pavement and then turned onto the trail. The trail conditions were soft, wet and some mud. I started off at a comfortable pace knowing the hard parts of the trail came later in the run. There was a small group of  “fast” runners and then I led up the chase. I eased into the pace that I planned on keeping and maintained my position on the run. Mid way through I started to pick off people from the under 39 wave. My nice light race flats had tripled in weight thanks to the build up of mud. I entered T1 feeling good and ready to rock on the bike. T1 went smooth and in a matter of seconds was on the long run-out to the bike mount line. The wet, rough ground did not feel good on bare feet! After mounting my bike I was off on the 21 mile bike. The roads were still wet from the previous nights rains. The  course basically consists of an out and back with large rollers followed by a second out and back with false flats and rough pavement. On the bike I felt strong and quickly settled into my rhythm. I was passed by a few of the ultra fast bike guys and began to pick off a few off the fast run guys. The wind stayed away this year. The last couple miles on the bike are slightly downhill. This allowed me to ease up a bit but still maintain my speed. Coming up to the dismount line I had my feet out of my bike shoes, quickly dismounted and began the run into T2. The rough pavement hurt even more with my feet being partially frozen. I dawned my running shoes, ditched my helmet and arm warmers, grabbed my visor and glasses and was off on run 2. The 2nd run was 3 miles and contained numerous short and steep hills throughout and not much in the way of flat ground. The first 10 minutes my legs were dead and my feet still frozen. After that I put the pedal down and pretty much red lined it to the finish. With less than a mile to go I looked over my shoulder and saw no one. Half a mile later I heard the sound of feet hitting the trail behind me. Shortly after I was passed by 2 competitors.  I quickly glanced at their calves and was relieved to see they were in the younger age groups and not mine. I hit the finish line in 1:45:45…good enough  for 14th overall age grouper and 2nd in the 45-49 age group.

Next up is the Duathlon National Championships!

My ride race ready

A little wheeling time.

With weather back to normal here in the desert had the chance to meet up with a few of my Vehicross buddies and get a bit of wheeling time in. We hit the Table Mesa/New River area for a day of fun. Also got the chance to give my new camera a workout.

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Here are the rest  of the pics.