I was excited with how the climb had gone and was feeling just fine on our way back to the house. A transition run was up next and I was looking forward to strapping on the run shoes. As we pulled up to the house, I was right behind Jen. She took her shoes off, placed her bare feet on the bike shoes and hopped off the bike as if she was racing into T2. Um.....Jen? Do you do that every time?? Yes. She does. '
Note to self: Perhaps this is why you are still clomping in and out of transition with your bike shoes ON your feet. You NEVER practice it!!! I will change this.
I immediately noticed the heat! I had not felt those temps since last October in Hawaii. Actually, Hawaii was 15-20 degrees Hotter but what I mean is I had not felt Any heat since October. I was enjoying it while also noticing how incredibly dry my throat was. No big deal...just a short little T run. Ya right.
We climbed Lemmon, we ran another mountain, we rode long (more later) but comically, that little 30 min T run turned out to be one of the toughest parts of my weekend! Sort of pathetic but...
we were running with Jen. Mary, Jen and I zipped out of the house ready to trot around the neighborhood. I immediately noticed that muscles I haven't used all winter (since I've been stuck to a trainer) were Screaming!!! My shins were on fire. It was as if the muscles were each 3 inches shorter than they should be and each step was the muscle stretching past it's limit. Ouch!! And my throat! I felt like a cat with a hairball. It was dry and my throat was just raw--screaming for water. We were just running along, but to me, the pace was about 45 seconds too fast! But I'll be damned if I was going to slow down the pace!!! Jen is, I'm sure, laughing or shaking her head at this. As Mary and I remarked to each other later, "how stupid. Jen knows every single run we've done for the past few years. she knows Exactly what we are capable of. What on earth did we think we were going to prove during that little T run??" I know. Our competitive little egos weren't yet relaxed enough to just run.....we did all comment about our overzealous pace and yet, nobody slowed down. It's sort of funny now.
The run ended and the day was a success. The 12 housemates showered up and enjoyed a delicious meal at Jen and Jerome's favorite Mexican place. Yum!!!! I was full from that burrito for days after I ate it.
Day 2-- Now we're talkin...... Swim in the Morning followed by a 2 hr run! Yahooooooooooo!!! I was psyched.
We were up early again and at the little outdoor pool by 7:00. I never ever ever get to swim with people any more. I was really happy to have that chance. And to make it even better...my lane mates were Mary, Cheryl (super fast swimmer) and Jen!!! I was really happy Jen decided to hop in with us. The group was a perfect match and we had a great workout. The water was really hot (yes, hot) but since the air was still cool at that hour (40s) it felt very nice. I had a little feedback from Jen and her super swimmer husband Jerome. Apparently, I take a million strokes/length. I knew my stroke count before, but didnt' realize it was so warped compared to others. I'll try to work on it--but I think it's just me.
Someone (Kate?) had an underwater camera. I dont' remember doing that since college. Here's my lane: Jen, Cheryl, me and Mary. I was cracking up!! I was absolutely unable to stay down in the water! I floated away. They all just hung out down on the bottom while I rose up up up..oh well.
After our swim, we headed to a little coffe shop for some grub. We had a few hrs before our next workout...the Sabino Canyon run. I had no idea what that was about to be. All I knew was it was a 2 hr run, in the desert, I had forgotten my fuel belt, and my fellow campers were speedy. So I fueled up well with lots of water, a powerbar, and well, I can't remember what else. Sitting outside in the sun , eating good food, chatting with really great fellow Tri lovers after a swim...well so far the day was just perfect for me. I was missing my 4 boys and yet completely happy to be where I was at that moment. It was proving to be just the right getaway for this Mom.
Time to run. Jen told us it was off road...lots of climbing. Hmmm. Ok. That sounds fun. We drove to Sabino canyon which is a national park. Time to run. After just a little prep we were off. Some were climbing the phone line and others would stay on the main road around the park.
We started down a half paved/half dirt road. Ok. This is fine. After about a mile, a river had crested over the road and there were at least 4 inches of water in our path. Ummm. Jen said, "go through it."
We sat and took off our shoes and socks. Sorry Jen. No blisters for this chica today. Sort of strange to start a run like that. Onward.
Within minutes we began the climb.
Not just any climb. I climb on my runs. This was a Hike...in run mode.
Zone 6 was on me in moments. Seriously!! I was working my butt off...it was very technical. My eyes were on my feet 100% of the time. Up and over rocks and fallen boulders..at times using my hands. We were in a line so there was no shoulder to shoulder running going on. After a little while (25 minutes or so? ) the terrain leveled out and my HR dropped to a very manageable place. However, the strength and total focus this trail required was impressive.
(This is the sign that greeted us as we headed up the trails...)
(Our group is headed on our way. Mountain lions don't scare us!)
Jerome, Kari and Melissa took off ahead of the group. For a while, I was running with Mary and Julia. By mid-climb, it was just Mary and I. We had some nice little chats and sort of forgot how hard we were working. You may recal from previous comments, I am afraid of heights. Big time. I hadn't noticed where we were until about 45 minutes up the trail. I had been looking Soley at my feet. Well, I mistakenly looked. #$&*#(&%#@!!!!! We were on a cliff and the path was skinny and there were sharp corners...I lost total focus. Mary was very cool and allowed me to walk and grab the side of the path with my hands as we went along. Ugh. I wasn't happy. Thankfully, before too long the route mellowed again and I could run. My slow trot through the steep spots allowed Jen, Jon and Tracy to catch up to us. I could hear Jen as she approached, "Let's go girls!!!!" Ooops. We met up with Melissa at our turn around spot..she had fallen and was stopping for a gel.
We turned around and began our descent at this point. Despite my little fearful moments, I was having a blast. The sun was out, I was running, I was with Jen, Mary, Melissa and a few other great women. What more??? My agility and confidence grew with the run. I was able to enjoy the descent without walking. I felt like I could run on for hours. It was fantastic.
At the bottom, the entire group found each other and we sat in that "river" for a perfect ice bath. I felt fantastic that day. I was thankful to have the opportunity to run up a mountain, build extra run strenght and skill all at altitude.