Tuesday, September 23, 2008

IM Simulation Day, OOOHHH YAAAHHH!!

What can I say? I made the IM simulation day workout, my bitch.

About two and a half weeks ago, my coach told me that if I could make it through the last two weeks, Kona would seem easy. I think he was trying to break me. It was touch and go. I was exhausted. I didn't think I could make it. I saw the IM simulation day and thought, how am I supposed to do that after two weeks of "let's see if we can break chris?" Luckily, the IM simulation day is pretty important, so I was allowed a day completely off (no work, swimming, wts -- nothing) before, just so I could feel 'fresh'.
For the last few months, Ryan and I have had opposite schedules so we end up doing our workouts solo. IM sim. day was no different. Me and my ipod. Except last night, at 8:00, mine died.
It's always a risk when you barrow someone else's mp3, but I couldn't fathom the idea of a 7+ hour workout without one. Thankfully, Ryan let me take his.
I tend to think using someone else's ipod gives you a little glimpse into their soul.
Using Ry's ipod has only caused me to love him more. All the greats were there. Even some Nelly to get me moving.

The day started with a 3000 yrd, pool swim at 7:00. Nothing too exciting. Didn't push the pace, just smooth. Did it in 44:00. 2 km in about 29:00. With the bike waiting for me in the car, it was a quick transition and off for a 4 hour, moderately hilly, ride.


First 30 minutes were more or less warm up and I hovered around 30 kph. Then the legs started to warm up and it was on!!
The last 90 k were done in less than 2:45, lights, traffic included...
Next up, short drive (transition) to the run location.
Mostly flat, very hot (94 degrees) non shaded, run. The legs felt good. My coach told me not to be afraid of speed. So today, I let go. The garmin told me I was running sub 7 miles. I was supposed to be holding IM marathon pace. But that's my story, always starting out too fast. But, I wasn't afraid. I tried to slow down, but 'The Who', 'Rage Against the Machine' and the fact that the ipod had to be returned before 2:30, made me do it. Sorry coach.
Within my two hour transition run today, I ran a 1:32 half marathon (didn't slow down after that either!).
It's not that I think the time is that great, after all, I had a day taper. It's more how my body felt, or how my mind tricked my body into feeling. I didn't bonk, I didn't even hurt. I could have gone faster.
Today, the competition between mind and body was won handily by the grey matter - just like it will be in Kona.

The IM sim. was the work out I needed, mind and body. I am ready.

Friday, September 12, 2008

j'aime des montagnes

For the non bilingual Canadians, that means "I love mountains". It's true, and um I'm going to yell it from...... the mountain top of course!
For today's ride, I decided to take to the road and head south west of Tucson to yet another mountain range. This one, Kitt Peak has an observatory at the top. Cool stuff.
I started the ride about an hour away to get the full, scheduled time in. This is it from my starting point:

12 mile climb at 8% grade, up to 7000ft. Love it. It's amazing how the environment can change your outlook. Mountain climbs like these were never in my program before I moved here. My first climb up Lemmon (25 miles at an average of 6%), wrote me off for days. Now, I hit mountain climbs 2 or 3 times a week. I use them for TT's, long rides and even recovery rides. In my opinion, they are perfect for any day on a bike. You can have a consistent, no slacking effort for almost as long as you can handle. No street lights and very little traffic = awesome workout. And then of course, you get to go down!! YEEHAW!!


The top:

The white thing in the background is one of five observatorys at the top.

Tomorrow, it's back to Lemmon - it's been a few days since I've been to the top, something might have changed.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What the H*ll is that!!??

No, it's not a lobster in my doorway. It's a scorpion.
Apparently, Arizona has them. This little guy is called a bark scorpion and he's poisonous. I tried to be nice and scoop him up in the dust pan to put him outside, but he attacked me.
He moves a lot faster than he looks capable of and in a rash, scared for my life, moment I grabbed the closest shoe and swung.... hard.
They're not like cockroaches.... he was easily smushed.

I hung him outside the front door as a warning to all others who may be tempted to follow in his foot steps.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Death Run 2008

This past Sunday, my training schedule informed me that I had one very long run, and then another short run. Unfortunately, as is the case for most age groupers, work interfered and I had to alter my plans. My first of three night shifts was Saturday night and the first night always knocks me on my ass. Decided I would take the day off (scheduled for Monday) and move my run to Monday -- mistake #1. Woke up on Monday after 5 hours of restless sleep and headed out the door.... Not able to do the full workout due to time constraints (13 hour shifts do that to your day) I had settled on a two hour run. It was 3:00 in the afternoon, sunny 96 degrees, 60% humidity - it was one of those days that had 'Tready' written all over it, mistake # 2. I thought it would make me tough.
From the very first step I knew it would be a fight against my body/mother nature the whole way.
By 20 minutes, I had almost finished my two fuel belt bottles - it holds four and I decided I didn't need them, mistake # 3. Yet, I kept running...

By the time I decided to turn/cut my run short, I was needing to partake in a little ritual called "ten & ones" and 'squeezing my cheeks' to keep everything in.
I had no choice but to stop early and walk the last km in.... I was dizzy, goose bumpy and had the worst headache ever. Once I was home, I took off my soaked clothes and laid naked on the floor in front of the open fridge for 15 minutes. Not one of my better moments. I had one hour to take in as much fluid as possible (ended up being close to 3 litres) before I had to head off to my last night shift -- perfect recipe for recovery.....

An old coach of mine used to say that it was a good sign to have a horrible long run close to goal race time.... mission accomplished.