The week of Oct.13-19 Was my last big training week before my Ironman taper. My week started with a 30 minute run, 2 hour bike and 1 hour 10 minutes in the pool. Tuesday brought a 2 hour 45 minute trail run with lots of hills followed by 2 hours on the bike. Wensday started with a 30 minute run, followed by 2 hours on the bike with threshold intervals and then 1 hour 10 minutes in the pool. Thursday started on the track with 2×4000, an easy hour on the bike and 1 hour 7 minutes in the pool. Friday was 130 miles on the bike. Saturday was a 30 minute run, 2 hour bike and 1 hour 10 minutes in the pool.
To cap the week off I decided to test my legs with the A Mountain half marathon. 13.1 miles that begins flat in downtown Tucson. After which at mile 6.5 you begin the 275 ft accent of A Mountain (over about 1 mile) followed by equal downhill. That is followed by an out and back on the Santa Cruz River path before making your way back to the finish downtown.
Prior to the race I thought that a 1:40 would be a really good day with the training week I had put in. I planned on going out at a comfortable pace until A Mountain and then pick the pace up.
At the sound of the gun we were off. The first 3 miles I was averaging about 7-7:05 pace. My legs were feeling good and I was comfortable. I was just off the back of the lead group, with a few really fast guys off the front. The next 3 miles I was at 6:55 mile pace and still feeling good. As the climb started I began to pass all those that went out to hard. I probably passed a dozen people. he downhill saw several more people picked off as they descended on heavy legs. I made an effort to catch one more guy in front of me and then settled into his pace as we passed several more people. With about 2 miles to go my calves started to tighten up. I could no longer hold that pace and I let my “pacer” start to slip away. I slowed into a manageable pace and continued back into downtown. I was passed by one runner. I turned the last corner and saw the 13 mile sign…1/10 of a mile to go! I crossed the line finishing in 1:34:01 as the 21st male overall (26th overall) and 2nd in the 50-54 agegroup. Far exceeding my pre-race expectations.
My totals for the week came in at 13000 yards in the pool, 305 miles on the bike and 50 miles running. Now it’s time to enjoy 3 weeks of taper before towing the line at HITS Lake Havasu for the full distance (ironman).
I have been neglecting my blog lately so here is an update of what has been going on…
During my time away I have been training and did one race.
I kept putting off my race report for the Toughman Arizona (formerly Deuceman) in Show Low, Az. while I thought about what I wanted to write. My race execution was average. I finished 2nd in the 50-54 agegroup and managed a 14th place overall. I had a good swim which was shortened due to the lakes extreme low level. My bike went very good. Then I wilted away in the heat on the run but soldiered on finishing in 5:08:02.
Now the race directors perfornance…not so good. I sent a lenghthly note to the RD explaining my displeasure with a list of problems that needed to be fixed. Lack of porta potties, running out of water, running out of cups, lack of mile markers, the worst awards ever, and many other problems. Some of these have already been addressed by the RD (They sent out new and improved awards). I am hoping the others will be corrected for next year to bring this once great race back up to the high standards that were set by TriSports Racing.
Since the race, I have taken a few weeks of recovery time and have now started my build up for my Ironman. Last month (July) saw me log 30.3 miles in the pool, 830.01 miles on the bike and 152.36 miles of running. The fun continues!
3 months into the year and the miles are adding up.
The month of January consisted of 76.41 miles of running, 682.95 miles on the bike and 28.52 miles in the pool.
February the mileage bumped up to 93.74 miles of running, 713.63 miles on the bike and 26.14 miles of running.
March continued the climb. 129.75 miles running, 725.83 miles riding and 25.23 miles of swimming.
That makes 299.89 miles running, 2122.42 miles riding and 79.89 miles swimming.
A total of 2502.19 miles covered in 3 months.
The journey continues…
After a winter of base training and a solid first race, last week was the first of “real” intensity in the training schedule. Coach Brian Stover dialed the intensity level up to 11! Interval workouts, track, V02 and tempo are the terms appearing on the schedule. First week completed…legs thrashed!
When you think of winter training in Tucson images of riding, running and swimming under clear sunshine filled skies come to mind.
Sunday I enjoyed a great long ride. Sunny skies and temps nearing 80. Although the 20-30mph wind kept things interesting.
Monday brought more sunshine for another great ride through the giant Saguro’s. Temps in the mid 70’s
Today woke to cloudy sky’s. Weather alerts were calling for blizzard conditions at high elevations. Figured I would try and squeeze in a ride before the rain started but I took my rain jacket just in case. Mid way through my ride the light cold drizzle began to come down a little harder. My trusty rain jacket was dawned and doing it’s job keeping me dry. A big headwind on the way out became a huge tailwind going home. About 4 miles from home the wind picked up even more, from 20-25mph to 30-45mph, the temp dropped quickly and in a matter of minutes the rain became slush and then full-on snow. Conditions quickly became near whiteout. It was cold! Fortuneately 15 minutes later I rolled into my driveway.
This was my front yard as I rolled up.
I had survived the Great Tucson Blizzard of 2013!
Most people come to the “Winter Training Capital”, Tucson, to get away from the cold. This week probably threw a curve in a few of those peoples plans. Temps plummeted, with lows in the teens and highs struggling to reach 40. A rare accurance in the desert for sure. But the training must go on. A few extra layers of clothing, arm warmers, knee warmers and the luxurey of late starts helped to combat mother nature. Thankfully mother nature is returning us to normal…70’s by the end of the week!
365 days ago I purchased 2 pair of Brooks Cascadia trail running shoes from TriSports.com. These where my primary training shoes. I ran on average 6 times a week totaling 40-60 miles per week. I rotated the shoes on a daily basis. 90% of my runs were on trails with hard packed, rocky and sandy terrain in the Arizona desert. These shoes are beasts.
The uppers…I have had no complaints. They look as good today as they did the day I purchased them. They have held up extremely well. The materials show no wear (except for being a bit dirtier) and the seams are still completely in tact.
The soles/mid soles…The soles wear well. Being a mid foot striker, the heel area still looks new and the mid/fore foot area, though worn, still has some lug surface left. The midsole held up well. I began noticing breakdown of the midsole at around 11 months.
Overall this is a very solid, long wearing shoe that I would recommend highly to anybody that spends a lot of time on the trail. Not a light shoe by any means but a great trainer.
I am replacing these with another pair of Cascadia’s and trying out a pair of the new Brooks Grits.
After 2 weeks of couch surfing (AKA off-season), today was day 1 of the next season. Laced up the Brooks and went for an easy 35 minute run focusing on my run form. After nearly 20 years of multi-sport it still amazes me how much fitness disappears in such a short time…but, the mental and physical recovery is a good thing. A few weeks of unstructured training will lead in to my base phase of training. Bring on the miles!
While out on a ride yesterday one of Arizona’s famous monsoon storms decided to roll in. I was about 45 minutes from home when all hell decided to break loose. The sky grew dark, the wind kicked up to 30+ mph, the temp dropped from the 90’s to the low 70’s and liquid sunshine began to dump from the sky. None of that bothers me to much. But, when lightning starts popping all around you at close proximity it kind of motivates you to pick up the pace a bit so you can get some cover. My usual loop of 1:35 was completed in 1:26…this on tired legs after racing a 1/2 Ironman 4 days prior!
Today I finished off my 1st 20+ hour of training since my winter training camp. What a week for it to fall in. Temps all this week were 105 or higher and the monsoon humidity still high. Even the pool was miserable…nothing like diving into nice 90 degree water for a workout. Staying hydrated during long workouts took some thought. I went through 6 large water bottles on todays 4 1/2 hour ride…thank you circle k .79cent big gulps…44 oz. of cold powerade!
Recovery, recovery, recovery…tomorrow starts another long week.