Thursday, July 12, 2007

Under the Tucson Sun

That post title was too easy!

First some catch up:

After my last post about getting in some hard rides on the bike, Zach and I followed up with a nice hard ride Sunday night. We did 9.5 miles total, with 7.75 miles at an average of 15 mph! It was tough, but I focused on keeping my peddling cadence up (one of many good tips from the Triathlon book I checked out at the library) and we traded drafting responsibilities. We did an out-and-back ride that had big headwinds on the way up and (weeeeeeeee!) super tailwinds on the way back. Although our average was 15 mph, I think we probably did closer to 12 on the out and 18 on the back. Wow that wind makes all the difference.

So I finished off last week with a TOTAL of 28.1 miles, including a 5k race :)

PLUS 14.5 miles on the bike

and 3620 meters swimming- a weekly record!

This week:

Monday 6.0 miles/50:52/8:29 average pace

Zach and I went out after work and ended up with a pretty hard run. We ran a loop with a big half-mile long hill which we charged up and back down. Our last three miles were 8:16,8:08, and 7:49. Speedsters!

Then I was off to sunny Tucson, Arizona. It was HOT! No surprise there. Tuesday afternoon I took a dip in the (very warm) pool and swam "laps" for about 10-15 minutes. I'll call it 500 m just for fun.

Wednesday morning I got up and went for a run in the beautiful Sabino Canyon. I had met a kid on the airplane a couple of weeks ago who was from Tucson, and he tipped me off on this great place to run there. I tried to get an early start, but didn't start running until 8:00 and it was already over 90 degrees! The overnight low wasn't much cooler than that, so I don't think I missed out on much. Here's the stats and a pic from the web:

Wednesday 6.0 miles/54:10/9:02 average pace

Not only was it hot, but that paved path works its way UP into that canyon. So hot and hilly. Oh, and there were warnings all around about High Mountain Lion Danger! Factor in the informative signs and pictures of tarantulas and venemous snakes, and I was in for an adventure.

I had a water bottle and knowlege of where to refill, I was sunscreened up and ready to go. I huffed and puffed for 2 and a half miles up that road, seeing fewer and fewer people as I climbed. I originally planned to run to the end of the trail at 3.7 miles, but I was ready to throw in the towel at 2.5. I was standing in the shade, chugging my water, when I fellow runner came up behind me. At the last second, instead of just saying hello, I asked "Is it ok if I run along with you?" She said Sure, come on! So we started up the hill together. She was a local Tucson girl about my age and she runs this canyon often. So I shook off my worries and enjoyed her company. We ran to the 3 mile point, refilled our waters, and headed back down the hills. Now that was fun!! I really enjoyed chatting with her and flying down those hills. We were doing about 8:30 pace until the last mile, which flattens out and even has a final hill, but we finished strong. I was so grateful to meet her- I wouldn't have even done 6 miles, and I also would have done a lot of walking and whining. Just goes to show that runners (and other athletes!) are such kind and helpful people. Thanks Tucson runner girl!! :)

Oh, and finally an update on the 5k results!

I finished in 4th place in my AG out of 49 girls age 25-29. Nice! (but no shiny medal. Poop!) I was 22nd woman overall out of 430.

The surprise of the day is that Zach is 38 years old! Ha ha!! Well that's what the results say. That put him in 16th place in that AG, but once the results get corrected (and I get my 28 year old husband back) he got 3rd place in his AG!!!! GO ZACH!!! Only 16 guys in that AG but he smoked most of them. Way to go babe! He was 70th man out of 325. I'm so proud- his first AG medal!!


Z said...

Thanks babe! All your training advice and coaching is paying off -I guess I better bask in my glory now as you will destroy me in the half this weekend :-)

Bob Gentile said...

Way to Go Guys on that Race... and not bad Zach for an OLD Fart--LOLOL

Congrats !! You guys have been training hard, well done!

miss petite america said...

plopping a bay area girl in the desert and expecting her to run?! you're a stronger woman than me. glad you had such a great experience!

Marathon Maritza said...

Hahahaha! 38! You think it might be the facial hair? ;-)

Great job Z! I think an AG medal = time to start your own blog!

Anonymous said...

Great Job both of you... Zach, You are Jens inspiration. what a great run for two people from Helena....

Jen, Glad you found a buddy on the trail in AZ. Keep up all the good works. M&D from Montana

Phil said...

Happy to see you're having fun in Tucson. Sabino Canyon got wiped out last year due to flooding (yes it rained that much) and now recovering. It's still a great area however.

Have a great weekend.

jahowie said...

Poop??? :-) Nice job on the 5k!! Maybe next time you will get something shiny.

jeffem said...

good luck to both of you! I can see Jen looking over her shoulder for that "old man" of hers....

Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

Funny how the times get tougher in those older age groups, huh?

Very cool that you found another runner for your desert run. You get to Arizona quite a bit. One of these times you will have to let us know you are coming and we will get a group of us to go out for a run.

Ryan said...

Excellent week - especially the miles in the canyon of the desert sun. Best of luck in the half on Sunday. Looks like a fun one.