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The Time When You Truly Need A Friend, Is When You Find Yourself

13 Jul

The Time When You Truly Need A Friend, Is When You Find Yourself.

The Time When You Truly Need A Friend, Is When You Find Yourself

13 Jul

Maybe the title should read: What do you do when your “ride buddy” calls in sick? 

Yes, I did come up with that title on my own. I wrote it down many years ago when I truly needed a friend to talk to. But, that’s another story.

I have yet to meet said “ride buddy”, but hearsay has it that we ride at about the same speed and have the same goals in place. She is racing Ironman Arizona and I continue to train for any and all possibilities! I received a text message about 04:00 that she was too ill to meet for our 05:30 tires down ride through McDowell Mountain into New River and up 9 mile hill. 

So, off I went. I looked to the East and had Golden Earring’s classic “Radar Love” find it’s way into my head. Particularly “Slip into a nude sunrise”.ImageI took off to the West, I wasn’t feeling so hot myself. My gut was a bit “iffy”. I took a pretty slow ride over to Paradise Valley. It was an absolutely gorgeous morning though. I made it to Tatum Blvd., one of the “crossing” hazards of the ride. Four lanes of traffic plus the suicide lane. Ahhh, but it’s SATURDAY at 06:00 and folks are still sleeping! I had a clear shot.

I knew I needed to get something in my gut, I had another 3 hours of riding to get through!

I searched my bento box for some TUMS, found the little bag I keep them in, but wait! There’s something MUCH better in here! GINGER CHEWS! And it wasn’t dried out either!!!! That did the trick! Thirty minutes later I downed a GU Peanut Butter gel and started the “interval training” for the session. A couple of inclines along Cheney up into “Deep Pockets” and “Fancy Pants” neighborhoods at the foothills of Mummy Mountain and Camelback. I hit my goals AND got some pic’s to share. Side note: I also took 4 date and coconut rolls with me. They were amazing fuel!ImageThis is one of my favorite views headed west on Solano Drive, It’s a flat portion of road, so it lends to a beautiful view if you look up. Locally, we call it Praying Monk. I’m not sure what the real name is. 

I cut across Camelback Road just west of Scottsdale Fashion Square. Again, no traffic light to help me out! But, again, the mall doesn’t open until 10:00! I rode through the wonderful neighborhood of Arcadia. (More deep pockets!) What’s nice about “Old Money” neighborhoods is that people don’t really live there. So the roads are pretty vacant most of the time. At least early morning on the week ends! AND they usually are extremely cautious when driving. I mean, who wants cheap ass bike paint spoiling their Bentley?

There aren’t many cars, but let me tell you: The Tour de France brings out EVERY cyclist within 20 miles in this little area! And all the “bad ass” week end warriors on their bikes with their buddies trying to out sprint each other. It’s kind of funny to watch actually!

I head back into PV the way I went out. Here’s a pic of one of the more unusual architectural “old neighborhood” designs. Appropriately, this is on Casa Blanca Road.

ImageI thought the saguaro was kind of comical looking set between the two minarets. 

Another 50 miler in the books. Not too fast, but it got done!

Keep the rubber side down my friends.

Too Hot to Trot, So I better RUN!

30 Jun
Just part of the 'hood I run in.

Just part of the ‘hood I run in.

Okay, let me bring everyone current with my “oh so busy life”.

As evidenced in the prior posts, I’ve been training again for triathlon. My immediate goal is to finish the Mountain Man Triathlon in Flagstaff in August. A half marathon in November, a marathon in January and then Ironman Mont Tremblant in August of 2014.

My training has being going very well. A few hiccups, mainly that I really have a dispassion for swimming. If I skip a workout, it’s usually swimming. Shhhh! Don’t tell my coach!

The thing is, my last 70.3 triathlon; Honu 70.3 to be precise, went REALLY well on the bike. I held the same time for the distance as I did the last time I raced there, even with the brutal winds this year as I had 3 years ago. AND I had the same swim time as 3 years ago. My run on the other hand, was not so good. That wind that we had on the bike had gone away, and running through the golf course at the Fairmont Orchid, though beautiful to look at, was like running in a steam bath. There is no shade on the course, and the portions that weren’t through the golf course were on blacktop that wound through the lava fields. So, we went from steam bath to bake oven. I finally made a deal with myself: If the wind was blowing in my face or if I was on a downhill, then I would run. Otherwise I walked the majority of the 13.1 miles. It was pathetic. But I finished.

So, today’s schedule was written as a two hour run, building throughout and finish the last 30′ “strong”.
Well, it’s been rather warm here in the Valley of the Sun the last few days. I have to admit I felt rather fortunate that there was a pretty good cloud cover this morning and it was only 93 degrees when I started my run. I’m not sure what the temperature was when I got home. I CAN tell you this much: I weighed myself when I got home and had lost 3.6 pounds of water! That was AFTER I had taken in 1.5 liters of water on the run. If you like to do math, 1 liter is ~ 2.2 pounds. The “finish strong” part….yeah, not really much on the “strong” side.

The “swim workout” (3800 yards) was bypassed in favor of watching the Tour de France and a movie. Again, DON’T TELL MY COACH!
I know what you’re thinking: “Damn, GO swim! Cool off!” If you don’t live in the desert, you wouldn’t know that the temperature of the water in the pools is in the upper 80’s for the rest of the summer, and that “training” for swim is like training for any other discipline. You train to “race”. So, trying to stay “cool” while swimming in water that warm is kind of, well, impossible. You can’t really “sweat” in the water. So, anyway, that’s my reasoning! Oh, and we topped out at 119 degrees, I think that’s somewhere around 45C.

So, where am I going with this? I have NO idea. I’m just trying to get back in the mode of blogging my friends.

Practice Makes Permanent!

14 Apr


I had a swim coach a few years ago repeat this mantra as we were practicing hand placement at “The Wall” as we “finished” our “race”. I’m such a goof that it never struck me to do it in triathlon for transition. Then along came Michelle Simmons.

My schedule for yesterday (2 days pre race) was to practice my transitions for 20 minutes.

WOW! After going through them once, I began to remember the frustration at ALL of my prior triathlons: “Geeze! I should have put the Chamois Butt’r on BEFORE the sunscreen and ALL of it BEFORE I PUT ON MY CYCLING GLOVES! Now I have all this shit on my hands, inevitably it will end up on my sunglasses and I will have slimy hands on my bars! Why didn’t I practice this last week?!” So, now I have. Even stripping the wetsuit! First I had to call my neighbor “C” and ask her to meet me out front and zip UP my wetsuit. I DO have the most wonderful neighbors! I took a couple laps in my pool to see if everything felt okay, no rips/holes etc.

So now practice “nailing jello to the wall”:Swim cap and goggles off and stuffed down tri top. Unzip wetsuit as I run to T1, peel right shoulder off halfway down upper arm, left side same way but the arm of the wetsuit comes all the way off, now the right arm out and start pulling the wetsuit down to my hips. Once I am next to the bike in T1 I start peeling it down and then stepping on one leg with the opposite foot pulling one foot out at a time. PLEASE LET THERE BE WETSUIT STRIPPERS AT THIS RACE! Throw wetsuit, goggles, swim cap on transition towel. Now for the actual transition practice in T1.

I have practiced placing everything exactly where it needs to be as I apply it. Sunglasses UNDER the bike gloves inside my helmet….no sunscreen overspray onto the sunglasses! My bike helmet with glasses, gloves inside sits atop my aero bars ready AFTER everything on the ground is applied: Chamois Butt’r, sunscreen, race belt,shoes. Hit “start” on Garmin for Bike Leg. Mount Bike, SMILE, FOLLOW DIRECTIONS, PAY ATTENTION, SAY THANK YOU! HAVE FUN!

And Off the Bike: Hit “stop” on Garmin. Switch to “run” on Garmin. Helmet off and atop aero bars, gloves off (yes, I once wore them for 13.1 miles. That was one HOT race!) and placed inside my helmet. Bike shoes off, wipe feet while grabbing GU from inside of running shoe (for use as I run out of T2), socks on, running shoes on. Place hat on head as I run out of T2. Race belt is already on from bike. Hit “start” on Garmin. SMILE AND HAVE FUN!

So, tomorrow I race. I AM SO EXCITED!!!! I CAN’T WAIT TO HIT THE WATER! Since I am “old” and racing the “olympic” distance, my race doesn’t actually start until 08:15. It’s gonna be a scorcher! They said the water temp is only 69. But the ambient temp should top out about 80-85 during the race, and expected high of 90+ here in the BEAUTIFUL VALLEY OF THE SUN!

And yes, I have a nice mix of electrolytes and lots of hydration on the short little bike ride!

For anyone interested the race is Lifetime Marquee International (Olympic). Bib # 977

I’ll give a full race report by Monday. I promise!


One Sprint Tri Done, And The Future Is Looking Bright!

8 Apr

Yes, I am back. After months of wondering if I would be able to run more than a few miles pain free, I have realized that sometimes you just have to plan as though everything will turn out okay.

Since my last post I was kind of on a roller coaster of sorts. I was running pain free in December and was fitted for an articulated knee brace to help separate the inside part of my knee and put just a tad more stress on the outside of the knee. The theory being that this would keep any “bone on bone” wear from happening sooner than later. Well, let me tell ya’:  IT DIDN’T WORK!” What it DID do was cause my IT band to become inflamed (On my birthday! ) So, I was out for another 3 weeks, seriously wondering if I would ever be able to pursue my passion.

Thanks to the amazing Dr. Brad Bruns and NSAIDS I recovered and am VERY happy to be competing once again.

The triathlon schedule is the same. I added one as a little “tune up”. The Susan G. Komen Tri for the Cure, which I completed last week end. It was a bit odd, for me, a pool swim of all things. But, it was good preparation for transitioning and letting the horse run so to speak. A very short “sprint”. 400 yd. swim, 16mile bike and a 1.9 mile run. Very odd. But for a worthy cause.

Next week end is the Marquee Triathlon. It’s a bit longer, an “International” distance. It’s really an olympic distance, but the trademark laws are in question when it comes to using “olympic” in the title of a race. So, 1500 m swim in Tempe Town Lake, 28 mile ride and a nice 10k to top it off.  I’m pretty excited about it! I haven’t swam in TTL in over 3 years. Not that I’ve missed the mirky cold water there. I mean, it’s so mirky you truly cannot see your hand as you take a stroke. And the only time you know there’s someone swimming in front of you is you see little bubbles from their kicking….if you’re lucky; otherwise you just get kicked in the head! I do enjoy looking up as I swim under the Mill Ave. bridge and looking at the barn swallows though!

So, I tried on my wetsuit today. Yep, it still fits. And it is still as claustrophobia causing as ever! I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it. I timed myself to see how long it would take to get out of it. 52 seconds. And that was being dry. It comes off a lot easier when it’s wet! So, with any luck T1 will be under 5 minutes. I hope.

I had to change the rear tube on my bike today. As I was letting air out, the valve stem popped out and flew across my car. Why was I letting air OUT? Well, it’s Arizona. It’s 85 degrees, the inside of the car probably reaches 100 easy. SO, if you don’t let some air out in the heat, guess what happens? BANG! There goes a tube! So, it was good practice as the rear wheel is always a challenge for me. But it went without a hitch and I got the gears cleaned up and cleaned the chain too.

So, the training is “in the bank” and now it’s just training mentally. Visualizing race day. The swim, T1, the bike ride, T2 and the run. Grabbing water as I RUN through the aid stations. It’s a 10k after all. Run the whole thing Deb. Run slow if you have to, but run. There’s no place for walking now. I’m a luckiegirl, running is back in my life! Image

Mill Avenue Bridge in the background