Monday, 25 January 2016

A Solid Week of Cycling in Tucson

Enjoying the fantastic weather in Tucson!
So following my marathon in Phoenix I figured I would take the opportunity to put in a solid week of base cycling in Tucson. Seeing as the objective of the week was to put in some Base cycling I elected to travel with my Argon 18 Gallium Pro. If I was in a build portion of my season then I would have probably opted for my Argon 18 E-118. Tucson is a fantastic area for cycling and it is where many Professional Triathletes and Cyclist spend a portion of their off-season. The coolest part of Tucson is there are cyclists literally everywhere. You could literally ride with a different group every day of the week.

I headed to Tucson on Monday afternoon and was thankful to be able to spend the week at Dave Woodruff’s pad.

My accomodations for the week! Tough Life!!!
Here is a quick run-down of the week.

Squaw Peak Climb with Jonathan Coffen (1:00)
Easy Swim at Oro Valley Aquatic Centre  (0:30)

No drop hill ride with Oro Valley Cycle + 2hrs of easy riding heading up towards Twin Peaks. (4:20)
Easy/steady Swim at Paloma Country Club (0:50)

Easy ride with Leo Carillo - Oro Valley to Saddlebrooke Community (1:50)
Fast swim at Oro Valley Aquatic Centre (1:00)
Steady ride out Tanque Verde to Redington Road (nice little hill climb with switch-backs at the end) (1:30)

Mount Lemon Ride – Road from Dave’s to about mile 12 on the climb (3:00)
Easy 2km Swim at Paloma Country Club (0:35)
Another 3+hr ride to Pistol Hill and included a loop of Saguaro National Park – Cactus Trail Loop (3:20)

Gates Pass Ride (4:10)

Twin Peaks with Dave W. (3:30) I was considering riding the “Shootout” all week but given how sore my legs were I wasn’t convinced I wanted to suffer through a hard ride. In retrospect the legs actually felt good for the first time all week.

Dave W on his way down from Twin Peaks.
Total trg for the week…
Swim – 4 swims, 9.8km, 3hr
Bike – 7 rides, 622km, 22hrs, 7,900m elevation gained (25,000ft)
Run - 0
Other – 1 x 1hr hike to Squaw Peak
Total 26hrs.

A special word of thanks to Dave Woodruff for opening up his home to this crazy Canuck.  And now it’s time to get back to the daily routine and the “normal” weekly schedule.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Rock n’Roll Arizona Marathon – 2016 Race Report

Gear all set for the RnR Arizona Marathon: (Compressport Visor - 2012 Kona Edition, Rudy Project Agon, CF Singlet, Brooks Shorts, Compressport ForQuad, Compressport R2 Sleeves - Cdn Army Run Edition, Compressport Racing Socks V2 Fluo, and Brooks Pure Connect 2s)

So in order to start getting myself back in race shape for 2016 I decide that I needed an early season race to get me motivated. I selected the RnR Arizona Marathon due to the typical ideal temperatures, the relatively flat course, and the fact that John and Sue Coffen lived in Phoenix. John and I had finished the 2012 IM Coeur d’Alene race together and have remained in touch ever since

I flew into Phoenix on Friday the 15th to allow myself a couple days to acclimatize to the slightly warmer weather. Spending the weekend with John, Sue, and there kids was a blast. They made me feel like a member of the family and I even got to go and watch Jake (their oldest son) soccer tournament. 

Race member was a breeze. John dropped me off right near the start around 0700 hrs. There were no lines for gear check and the Brooks VIP porta potties meant no line-up for the rest room. The race start at 0750hrs and the weather was nearly perfect with the temperature hovering around 6 degrees C with a slight breeze out of the East. 

The race started right on schedule and I quickly settled into a good pace. There were a few other athletes looking to run a ~2:40 so I was thankful for some early company. The opening couple kilometers were run at a little slower than my goal race pace. At around 5km into the race I decided I would bridge the gap up to Brian Folts who I knew from last year’s results had run a sub 2:40. I ran the next ten or so kilometers with Brian. There were a couple more athletes a little ways up the road so for whatever reason I decided I would bridge the gap (in hind sight this was probably a bad move). 

Over the next several kilometers I successfully bridged the gap and proceed to run with Tom Clarke.
I wasn’t feeling great and shortly after seeing John and Chris (a friend of John’s) for the second time around the 30km mark Tom was slowly able to pull away. With about 9km remaining my legs were really starting to hurt and I knew I needed to dig deep. It was at this point that I was planning on taking my second Gu Gel, but it had unfortunately fallen out of my shorts earlier in the race. I opted for a Glukos Energy Gel at the next aid station. I knew if I could hold on and run 4:00/km I still had a sub 2:40. Everything was fine until I made the left turn onto East Van Buren street with 5km to go. It was a slight uphill and to make it worse we had a headwind.  My pace immediately dropped and despite my best efforts I could barely hold 4:16/km.

In the closing kilometer I watched as both Andrew (finished 7th) and Brian Folts (finished 6th) passed me.  Clearly they had both paced the race better than I had. I finished 8th OA and  2nd in M30-34 with a time of 2:41:09. I was a little disappointed to not go sub 2:40 but I guess I will have to save that for next time. My splits were 1:18:49 (first half) and 1:22:20 (second half).
Post Race Recovery Ride wih John.
The next morning John tool me for a little hike up Squaw Peak. My legs certainly didn't enjoy the hike, but the view was awesome.
Looking out towards Phoenix

John explaining the laydown.

Afterwards I looked up the trail....and this is what it said.

Extremely Difficult HikeTrail #300 - Summit Trail
Length: 1.2 miles
Elevation: 2,608 ft. - 1,400 ft. (hikers gain more than 1,200 feet in elevation on this trail)
Hiking trail only
Difficulty: Extremely Strenuous and Difficult. Long rocky segments with possible drops and exposure.

And now I am in Tucson for the week (instead of recovering) riding all the awesome routes.