Tuesday, April 5, 2011

don't write yourself off yet

It has been a busy couple weeks! The big thing has been a dramatic increase in bike mileage. Those dedicated Ironman fools know how to get some serious work in! Two hours after they got here, we went for a 3-hour hilly ride. The next day was 5 and a half hours and a serious climb (Kitt Peak). Some happy (and cold!) folks at the observatory:

After I ditched this training group for the weekend, they proceeded to put in over 25 hours of training in 5 1/2 days. I think that's pretty impressive. Tom, Matt, and Braydn, hope to see you guys in Tucson again next year. Plan on a trip to Mt. Graham!

Basically, in the first three days I had my new Scott, I put in 10 1/2 hours on it. Yes, I like it just a little bit, and it has encouraged me to ride!!

Then, after a few days of work, I jumped in on two days of a 3 peaks in 3 days challenge with some friends. In three days, these wackos took on Mt. Graham (same elevation change as Lemmon in 20 miles instead of 27), Mt. Lemmon, and Kitt Peak. Friday was Mt. Graham, and it was AWESOME. This was my first time at Graham, and really only the fourth place that I've taken on a serious climb. It is a two-hour drive from Tucson, but well worth it. We parked on the side of the road in front of the prison (safe, right?) and got ready to go.

The climb starts relatively easy (maybe 4%?), but then gets tough--really tough. The switchbacks start around 6 miles in, and the biggest break is probably around 1/4-mile, where the grade is only a few percent, and then the road goes right back to it! At 16 miles, you finally get into some rollers, and the view is just incredible!

After just a few minutes of hanging out (no cookie cabin there...) it was slow going down the technical and sandy descent back to the car. Day 1 (Friday) was done.

On Saturday, Shannon and I packed up the kids to do some neighborhood/house shopping in southeast Tucson. Six hours later, we were back home, and I was off for a hilly 8-mile trail run. I slept GREAT on Saturday night...

Sunday, back to Kitt Peak, only 10 days since the last time I climbed it (note that before this, I had only climbed it once, and that was in 2008). There is a reason. This climb is TOUGH! Between 4% and 8% and it does not relent for 10 miles. If you ride it, do not expect breaks. Don't look around the corners expecting rollers.

What was funny is that it felt relatively easy/fast after Mt. Graham. However, two days later, my legs are still hating me (especially the hamstrings). Oh well, I guess that was the idea. Could be partially due to the rest of my Sunday, which consisted of cleaning, pulling weeds, mowing, etc., etc. to get the house ready for a realtor. Yep, time to move!

Now, my training plan is in hand, and I finally feel obligated to actually get to the pool. Yes, early nights, swimming, intervals, low-cadence repeats...this is what training is supposed to be! Wildflower in 25 days!

Two things I'll be working on for coming posts:
  1. My critter count (look to the right). More discussion of this soon, but my first rattlesnake of the year was seen during my Saturday evening run. This diamondback rattled at me from a good 10+ feet away. Without the rattle, I probably never would have seen him. It was just a quick glance over my right shoulder to check him out as I started an impromptu interval to scoot on by :) He was pretty excited!
  2. Typical training days as a full-time (plus) consultant and dad. People keep saying that they don't see how I keep my schedule without burning out. Stay tuned :)
That's all for now. Off to get some rest before my first day of cycling intervals in a couple months. This is going to hurt in a great way!

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