Wednesday, April 11, 2012

And More Tucson...

Almost done with my Tucson recap....I just don't want to forget any of the fun times we had!

Saturday we had to get up early to meet at the store for some team pics and to leave for our "secret workout". We ended up riding around for about an hour and a half before arriving at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) which was a super nice huge place with a pretty sweet pool. 

After riding around for quite awhile to get there I was feeling pretty miserable. I think I was just tired and my hand was sore from falling on it and trying to hold onto my bike. I got into even more of a rut when I was told we were going to do a mini triathlon! OH JOY! I was already signed up for a local race the next day and when I heard we would be racing at the JCC I told myself I didn't have to race the next day anymore...I was too tired and mentally down to handle it. Hoping my mood was being influenced by blood sugar I downed some Clif Bloks and what do you know, I was actually feeling alright after all! Funny what food can do :)

Jaclyn, our sponsorship coordinator, giving us the run down. I look oh-so-excited!

So we started: 800 swim, 2 loops of the bike course they created (made extra complicated because the roads were not closed so you could put a big lead onto someone and then the light changes to red and you sit there letting them catch up) making 16 miles, then a 5K. My swim was alright but I accidentally swam 50 extra. Oh well! The bike was fun and more like playing frogger. I made sure to keep some of my teammates in sight because I had no idea where I was and could not remember where we were suppose to turn. By the time I got to the run it was soo hot out and I knew I had a race to do the next day so I just brought it in at a nice pace. I luckily won for the women on the team so I got $50 to use at TriSports!

Running form: HORRENDOUS. Considering how I was feeling though, I will let this slide :)

I was very happy when this surprise workout was over and ready to go put my legs up for a little bit before the big party! I only ended up getting a little relaxation time because when we got back to the store the EXPO was set up! So many vendors to see and products to drool over. 

Once I got nice and cleaned up we headed back to TriSports for the awesome party. They had tons of food stations set up (my fav being the gelato and mashed potato bars) and after some speeches they gave us some poker chips and had black jack, poker and other gambling tables set up. It was a really fun night and I had no problem forgetting about the race coming the next day and having fun!

**Thanks to for these pictures, taken from their Facebook page

Thursday, April 5, 2012

More Tucson

Mt. Lemmon had me nervous as everyone I asked would sort of sigh and say they were not sure if they were going to ride all the way to the top or they would talk about the cold descent and snow found at the cookie cabin. Since this was my first time in Tucson and I have no idea when I would be back, my mission was to go to the top. The top is at 25 miles from the base. We met early on Friday morning with a HUGE group ride for the TriFest weekend. We probably had about 75 people when we left the store, no joke. Riders, Riders, everywhere. I felt pretty safe in the traffic on the way out to Mount Lemmon...

Here is a video of the ride up and down taken from a helmet. It's nice because it is sped up so you can see the sights. When we got to the base we were at about 16 miles in so I knew by the end of this thing it would be my longest ride ever. Yay! We reconvened at the bottom and then it was every person for themselves! It was fun riding there and up because I got to talk to multiple different people along the climb. You literally start out at mile 0 and it is only so comforting knowing you need to get to 25 to make it to the top and the amaze cookie cabin, where you can chow down after your hard work.

The first 4 miles had me with major doubts as all of a sudden I was feeling the sun big time and huffing and puffing in my smallest gear. The grade did lessen a bit after this so I was able to catch my breath and my confidence to some degree. This was no Tates Creek Ferry Climb...It was fun to see the elevation signs going 3,000....4,000...5,000 on the way up, all the way to 8,200 ft! I stopped about mile 11 where TriSports had a water/food station set up and got some super salty Gatorade and kept chugging away.

None of these pictures are that great cause I only took a few on the way down and some when I was driving on Mt. Lemmon.

Once at the top I bought a hot chocolate and had some of a friends cookie before heading down! I tried to explain to some of my teammates that I would be slow on the way down. They didn't believe me till they had to wait for a while at the bottom. I am a major weeny when it comes to descending.

This hot chocolate doesn't look that great but it was. Esp after the climb since it got cold up there!

By the end I had 83 miles in the bank! Pretty solid for me! We had to quickly shower, stuff our faces and then head out to a trail run at Star Pass with the team. This was such a great place to run. The trails were amazing although a bit rocky but I ended up doing this on one of the non-rocky parts!

Which wasn't that bad, more of just a nuisance than anything else as I am left handed. My friend Steve said he had a feeling someone was going to bite it on the trails...I was just doing the team a good service! My reward after this run and long day: Starbucks iced goodness of course! I headed there with some friends then to rest up before our team dinner. Good day!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Getting into Tucson!

Where to begin! I had such a wonderful time out in Arizona for the training camp. They truly treated us like VIPs. I got into Tucson on Wednesday and had till the next Tuesday to hammer myself into the ground; considering that I was only able to run 0.8 miles before walking on my last day in town (due to pure tired-ness, not injury) I think I was successful! I had gotten up at about 5 on Tuesday to get to my 6:30 am flight and after 2 flights landed in Tucson at about 10 am. I had strict instructions not to work out. Blah. This was definitely for the best as I was coming off of a hard build week. I was itching to get out into the warm desert and all of the mountains around me anyways so after getting my car and lounging in the hotel for a bit I went out to Sabino Canyon to just walk around. 

Two words: cactus and mountains. Just all around! It was super pretty. I was ravenous for no good reason and got some food at an organic vegan grill that was really good and waited for my roommate, Michelle, from Illinois to get in. I met Michelle at Worlds in Budapest, Hungary, after our race and she also happened to be on the TriSports team. It was really nice to have a familiar face around.

Thursday we woke up and I went back out to Sabino canyon to do some running. I had 6 efforts to do at my 10K pace. The canyon is at about 3,000 feet which isn’t much but enough to inhibit me from making my times on the last 2 efforts. 
I found some bunnies on my way out!

This was going to be a challenging week for sure…after this we found a local pool, swam outside and then grabbed some food and headed back to the hotel to lounge before heading over to TriSports to check in and get our welcome packets. Man did they welcome us well!!! They gave me a Cervelo P2 to ride for the weekend along with tons of stuff in these great TYR transition bags (these bags have a 3 minute YouTube video to explain how to use them).

It was a lot of fun to open everything. Jaclyn, our sponsorship coordinator who is awesome and hilarious gave us an awesome dinner recommendation so after filling up on Mexican food we headed to bed to get ready to face Mount Lemmon the next day!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I had one more running "test race" to get through before my trip to Tucson where I would really be tested. I signed up for the second race in the Triple Crown series, The Charm City 10K, and was in a build week leading into this race. Come Friday night I was excited to drive to Louisville to visit my sister and her husband but not so excited for this 10K as I was feeling fat, tired and sub-par. I did way less preparation for this race and was seriously dreading it. 

I went to bed late because staying up watching fashion police and eating some of my sister's homemade ice cream sounded way more appealing. So after about 6 hours of sleep it was time to get up and go meet the legendary GVM for a nice warm up! Since attending the USAT coaching certification I have become a major fan of the dynamic warm up. So after we jogged around for about 1.7 miles I got in some lunges and jumpies. We then made our way to the front of the pack (much better position than the 5K!) and we were off!

I knew I wanted to try and hold 6:40/6:45. I didn’t really have a goal time in mind, just something below 42 minutes. My running is very behind compared to some of the girls I am going to be facing in April so a sub-42 is like minutes away from where I need to be but I had to start somewhere! The first mile was pretty ugly….George was on fire and his claim of “starting out slow” was a lie, as I look down at my Garmin and see 6:00’s, 6:15’s and the like flash up. This is not slow for me. I knew I would crash and burn at this pace so I let him fight on and fell back. Having his head bob about 30 yards in front of me for the next 2 miles was anything but encouraging. So began the mental beat down from miles .5-2.5. I was telling myself I sucked, I should start walking and this all came together beautifully when I tried to sip some water out of a cup and promptly choked after pathetically climbing a hill. 
This face is about right considering how I was feeling.

Finally, the road took a turn and we started going downhill. There was a LARGE man next to me, just dominating and loving the descent, and I told myself I could not let him beat me. So I bucked up and held his pace. With that we were at mile 3 and I was feeling pretty good! Just like that I had gone from dropping out to feeling good holding about 6:25. Looking at my watch and making some quick math I knew if I could just hang on for the last 3 I could still break 42. So that’s what I did. Honestly, it felt pretty good and I was finally in control of my brain, my biggest enemy.

I crossed the line at 41:32 according to my Garmin and was pleased. I literally came from a dark place full of hate to a good result. I found Mr. Speed demon who seriously crushed it and we finished out with a cool down to bring the mileage for the day to about 10.  I am very glad that I did this race. I learned how much my mental game sucks and how much I need to work on this. It’s crazy how many emotions you can have in 41 minutes and 32 seconds!