Thursday, February 28, 2008

where i did my track workout tonight!!!

feels a little less tough when you do it in such a wonderful setting....

started to freak myself out a little by the end (running alone, in the dark) had visions of mountain lions stalking me....

what it looked like by the time i was done

Monday, February 25, 2008

bike course (although you can't tell from this pic) was hilly -- think peterborough, and windy. also, cold (not compared to london, but for phoenix it was cold -- like 18 degrees or so ;) and a little bit of rain.
the second run was straight out of an xterra magazine article.... rocky, and very hilly (see little white shirted person above).
about 500m into the first run, it turns into a single track, trail run complete with empty creek beds, thorned obstacles and slower runners from the 4 previous waves.

i du!

yesterday was the desert duathlon classic in phoenix. it was my first race of the season (obviously) and only the second du i have ever done (the first was the bluewater 'tri' turned du in 2004).
the venue was gorgeous (see pics). the race was definately unique and although i'm happy with the result..there were a number of lessons from this race.
i started my journey to phoenix with what i felt was more than enough time. the race started at 8 (my wave was 830) and we had to have picked up our chips etc. by 730.... i felt that this meant i would have an hour to warmup and prepare.... so i was on the road at 0400.. assummed that it would take me just over 2 hours to get to the race site (map quest never lies) and there, i would have more than enough time to set up and do the extra little bits of running/riding that was on my schedule before the race.
for some reason, the actual race site was further than anticipated by mapquest. i didn't get to the site until almost 7. there was a 2 mile hike from the parking to the registration. there was a 15 min. wait in line at the registration. before i knew it, the man on the loud speaker said "4 minutes til transition closes!" panic. i had not even racked my bike!
i rushed to find a spot (random organization, not by AG) and started setting up my stuff. no time for a test spin. decided not to preload my shoes in the pedals as there was a long run with tons of rocks. i set my cycling shoes on the towel and notice that my orthotics are not in them, remembering that i had used them in my other shoes for my road bike! guess i'll be riding with no inserts! no problem, i can deal -- just have to pull them extra snug.
now it's a long wait until my wave so i get in a few miles of warm up (not that much for a distance athlete, but oh well) and do a couple of stretches and strides and washroom stops.
i toed the line with all the other women under 39 and off we went!
the first few hundred metres were painful. a sign that i wasn't warmed up enough (ja think??). just as i was settling in, we hit the dirt trail. it was a welcome surprise. the concentration needed to avoid prickly plants and to not roll your ankle, took the focus away from the burning sensation in my quads. every once and a while i would wonder if i was pushing too hard??? but then i would remind myself that it was a 'sprint' and that was the point.
i ended up catching another girl but didn't have the desire to pass her -- not knowing how my body would feel later in the race.
my first transition was painfully slow partially due to the cycling shoes, partially due to me taking off clothing and partially due to not knowing how to do a fast run to cycle transition.... but needless to say, i was happy to get on the bike.
i took the first half of the bike a little more cautiously than i should have (after all, it was a sprint!), as i was worried how my legs would feel on their fourth, non wind trainer ride of the season. i saved too much for the second half of the ride, and definately too much for the second run...
i felt great for the second run! i'm a runner again!! it still hurt like hell but i was able to maintain it... yes!
1. when you can, sleep over the night before a race if it's more than 2 hours away.
2. wind trainer sessions can transfer over to the road
3. check and recheck race gear
4. i enjoy (and miss) the swimming part
5. i still am a runner!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

attempt #2 at mt. lemmon

about 330 into my long ride today, i decided to head up the mountain for the rest of my ride.
everything was going wonderfully (except i was a little chilly and getting colder the higher i went) until i got a flat at about 5000ft (8 miles in).
normally, not a big deal. however, i brought the 650 tube instead of a 700. not good....
strangely enough, the first truck i tried to flag down, stopped and just happened to live a block away from me.
very lucky.... was kinda' scary. might not try to climb it again alone.
below are pics from the first 8 miles.


higher, and close to where i flatted...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

treadmill info...

so, up until this point of the 'season' i have been doing almost all of my runs on the treadmill.
i actually came to enjoy my time with the machine and definately preferred it to what was outside.
even now that i'm in such a gorgeous climate and environment. i'm tempted to head onto the tready for at least part of my run...
found this site which was super interesting and definately educational...

Monday, February 18, 2008

random mountain shots


my street

there's no avoiding the hills!

how i end all my rides/runs (going up it!)


the view from my complex

my first visit to mt. lemmon

yesterday, i headed to the northwest for a 2 hour ride which was pretty educational.
there are bike paths on every road here. nobody honks at you, you don't get yelled at and i wasn't given the finger.... there are cyclists everywhere and the motorists have come to accept them as part of the community. it's amazing.
i've also learned that there really is no such thing as 'a flat' ride here...
my apartment is basically on the side of a mountain, so finishing off rides and runs will be pretty painful. almost all of the other roads (except right in the city) go up and down the sides of hills or mountains.
so far, i've only seen people on road bikes. makes sense with the terrain, but i need some outdoor saddle time on the orbea.

today, i was to put in a hour and a half EZ... but i just couldn't resist the temptation of mt. lemmon.
it took me 35 min. to ride to the mountain, so already i wasn't looking at too much more before i turned around.
the grade is not too aggressive, but constant. i was moving between my second to smallest and smallest gear and holding about 15 km/hour. it wasn't taking too much out of me, but i'm glad it wasn't much steeper... it was just constant and boy was it beautiful. i will be bringing my camera next time, however pictures will not likely do it any justice.
the climb is 25 miles from base to top (town called summerhaven). i made it to 5 miles before i turned around.
the ride down was intense! i was riding my breaks until three riders flew past me. i thought "if they can go fast so can i! so i jumped on and it was so much fun! glad i brought my arm warm!ers cause it got cool. --- oh yeah, forgot to mentioned i was in short sleeve and shorts today!
i have a long ride on thursday, i will climb to the top....if i can!

the northwest tucson YMCA

this is where i swam yesterday. gorgeous.
the air temp was around 55 (it's strange because it feels much warmer -- i think the sun makes the difference), and the pool was around 82..
had a great swim. got a tan.
this pool is an adults only lengths pool. they have another pool for the kids, but it wasn't open yet.
tried to go to a different (closer) pool today, but they were all closed due to the holiday. will probably try a city pool on wednesday. so far, i've only been able to find outdoor, 25 yard pools.