Monday, June 29, 2009

Beat the Heat

Did you know it's hot in Arizona in June. No, really it is. REALLY.REALLY.HOT.

9 years ago, (OMG - it's been NINE years) I packed up my life, my $700 and Citibank credit card and moved to Arizona (along with a few friends) on June 12. It was 112 degrees. Not my smartest choice, for sure.

The first several years of summer did not bother me. I could bask out in the sun all day (sun cancer gods, please forgive me). But, year by year the heat has picked at me more and more, and while 100degrees is fine, add in humidity and 5 more degrees and put a flipping fork in me.

I've trained in the summer. I've done 2 fall marathons, which means 20mile runs in record breaking heat. My peak ironman long rides were in 100+ heat. And my Ironman was June. I have absolutely no idea how anyone trains for a August/September Ironman in Arizona. The heat literally eats me up, spits me out, the smothers me into the sizzling asphalt.

Put me out on a long run in November, 50degrees and I'll knock almost a minute a mile of my aerobic pace. Put me out on a long run last Friday where the low temperature was 85degrees with about 40% humidity - I'm playing chase Shane & the dogs, tongue hanging out of my mouth, HR hovering around 160-165. Not so much fun.

What can I say? I'm from Washington where yes, we have summer - but never will you wake up at 5:30am with those kind of temperatures. I always thought my body would eventually acclimate, but after almost 10 years, I just don't see it happening. So, our ultimate goal? Never have to spend another summer in AZ again! The other 9 months of the year, fantastic. Mid June - Mid September, get us outta here!

The last two years of training for Ironman before the "real" heat sunk in might have been the kicker. We would leave AZ, heading to cooler temps in Idaho, only to return to the dreadful start of monsoon season. With 100-110 degree temps, plus humidity, we just longed to return to the cool weather.

Last year, Shane & I were having dinner on our last night in Idaho. We sat on the patio of the restaurant, overlooking the lake (CDA). It was absolutely stunning. The lake has so many memories for me. Summers days spent floating and playing in the water. The green trees all around. It felt like home. While I don't think you could ever find me back in the Pacific Northwest for good, nothing beats the summer there. Nothing.

While it hasn't been the best financial year for any of us, Shane & I did what we could to make this summer happen. I searched and searched for a house that we could possibly rent for 6-8 weeks. We would love to stay on the lake, however, our two requirements; internet to work and must allow dogs. We can't exactly run away from all responsibilities for so long, as much as we would like to.

After several emails, and phone calls I think I found our home. A sweet woman, also from Arizona offered a great discount on her rental home, and the dogs were welcome. While it wasn't cheap, and we didn't actually start telling anyone it was definite until the entire balance was paid, in our heads we knew we were going back for the summer.

Last Friday, mile 5/10, my cloths soaked from head to toe, face beat red - I told Shane, "Best $XX EVER spent."

In 4 days we will be on our way. A 20+hr drive total, broken up in 2 days of driving, but first a week spent with our friends in Utah. They have graciously offered their homes to us, and our 'kids' (not sure they know what they have gotten themselves into!)

I spent yesterday packing. If you know anything about me, I'm not a stress-er, I'm a pretty well balanced laid back person - but send me on a trip & all I can think about is the packing. I have NO idea why it's so hard for me, but it just is. But, I think I've even surprised myself. Yesterday I felt so organized and got 90% of the packing done.

Now, the only trick, fitting it in my car....

More to come - it's going to be an adventure!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas....

So, I finally have something other than training to talk about, but you know how it goes after a weekend in Vegas - most of it is best left unsaid, back in Vegas where it belongs. Just 17 girls with some very very good memories, some a little more fuzzy than others...

I met some new gals, and got to reconnect with old college friends I haven't seen in almost 10 years. How it got to be so long since I left WSU is beyond me. After 2 nights of drinking in the pool and going to the "clubs" at night, I actually do have a better idea of where the time went.


I posted an update on Facebook after day/night 1. "Las Vegas with 17 girls is harder than Ironman."
Obviously you can tell how I was feeling. But, I sucked it up, I rallied - slipped on my slinky "vegas dress." and out we went. One thing to say about having 17 girls in a group. You do get some VIP treatment. Free passes everywhere, front of the line service, free cocktails & most of all, lots of laughs.

The best part about this group was the vibe. No snooty, stuffy high maintenance gals there. Most of them are the most down to earth, sporty, gals from the Pacific Northwest I've ever met. Don't get me wrong everyone cleaned up very well at night, but during the day it was swimsuits, no makeup & buckets of Bud Light.
Here's to so many memories, friendships and most of all fun times with my bachelorette Shelby! Can't wait for August to see everyone again.

Here are a few photos (that I can actually share)!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I'm back!!

After my 10 days, which in all with the crappy workouts that preceded those 10 days, I'm BACK.

The first few days were flipping ROUGH. HR kinda all over the place, fat feeling and bloated as all get out. I'm sure the Mexico bender had NOTHING to do with all that or anything...

But, I am finally feeling so much more like myself. I did one sweat out booze run in Mexico on Monday, but other than that the bulk of my training has been done Thurs- Sunday where I tallied up about 7 hours. My body is tired, but most of all HAPPY! Agh....

Finished the week off with a fantastic run. Not fast by any means, but pushing it. We had dinner last night with some friends of ours B & J - B has only been racing for about 3 years and he's amazing. A sub 3hr stand alone marathon and a 9:something Ironman (Kona too) time. Yes, he has natural talent, but he also works his flipping ass off. His wife J isn't so far behind him with a few more years behind her belt....

Anyway, so last night we were talking about training. He gave us some descriptions of his key workouts, which happened to prove my theory of how I did well in Tucson at the half marathon. I was taking my last 1-2 miles and negative splitting it, letting myself go anaerobic, into zone 3. He however finishes his key long runs with his RACE pace. He said it's hard as HELL, it hurts... but in the end he knows it works.

So, we did it. We took the dogs out for 5.5 miles, then dropped them off and headed out to finish the run off. I was thinking ugh 8:45 pace, but Shane said - NOPE, your HALF MARATHON pace. And, damn it since I just ran a 1:45 apparently that is an 8min mile. SHIT.

So, we let ourselves slowly move into it. Started off with about 4 mins at a 9:30 pace. Then made a turn and hit the 8min pace and held that for 1mile. I was DYING to say the least.... I turned my garmin screen off so I didn't have to see my HR, although you could hear it in my breathing. I said - no more of this 6am shit - we are getting up at FIVE.....

The next stretch was a slight uphill, and I knew I couldn't keep an 8min pace without dying so Shane said he was gonna pick it up & go a little bit ahead. It was about .7 of a mile & I did what I could to not get to far behind him. I kept about an 8:20pace for the first part, then the last .25mile slowed to an 8:30. I So wanted to walk.. Normally, I would. But I kept thinking in my head about how he was describing his workouts, and the effort and how he feels like he is going to die, but he pushes through, and damn it - it pays off.

I thought why can't I do that. Well, obviously I can. I and did. And I started to get a littler runner's high, even though I thought I was going to pass out. I hit the top of the incline with abou .7 to go and dropped the pace to a 7:30 (slight DOWN) - I was happy as a clam - mostly proud of myself for not stopping, for not slowing and getting out of my head. I ended the run with the last .2miles cooling down & ended up with a 2.5ish mile split around 8:20 including the cooldown.

Now, I'm fired up. I feel like myself, and I'm ready to work my ass off for the next few weeks leading up to a half ironman! I just need to translate that energy and effort to the bike. NO more 130 hrs :-)

Here's the summary of my 1st week back. I am sooooo happy to be back!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Circus Mexicus

Our trip to Mexico this time was centered around a weekend (or day rather) of live music. Circus Mexicus - Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers. A local band from Phoenix, I can't believe I had never seen them perform before...

First up was a live performance by another couple of great singers (and hella fun guys too) Mike & Teddy..... They performed at a little bar in Old Part, Shark Bite.... We got there at 1pm, and well..... the afternoon started out like this.........

Actually, I'm pretty sure that might have been bucket o' beer round 3. And when a small venue of only about 30people listening to really good/fun live music starts at 1pm..... Things can get ugly in a hurry...

No, those people were NOT with us, but they were quite entertaining....

Unfortunately for my husband, his drinking pacing was about as acc
urate as his 5k pacing strategy.

And, a few hours later - when we came home to clean up - this is what I WAS left with. Supa got to hear it, via Skype. Yes, Carrie - that is your hat that is being violated.

Next up, the headliners - after a few more coctails with friends out in cholla bay. Mike & Teddy peformed some more for us.

Roger Clyne onstage in his Festive outfit!

Let's just say I think I came out of this day unusually unscathed....unfortunately, as evidenced by the pictures - others didn't.

All and all it was a great weekend, and now we are trying to recoupe. We're heading back home Wednesday morning where I am more than ready to get my butt back into shape! Bye bye Bender... hello training plan!