Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Kitt's Peak

Wow! Big day today. We started with a swim again and got in a nice session, ending with some relays. The losing team of the last relay had to do a 2 minute plank.

Next came breakfast, then we got dressed to ride. We waited a bit for Jeff to get here. What a trooper he is – he took the 6am flight out of Hartford, was here in Tucson by 10am, and on his bike a bit after 11am in the 90 degree heat! We joked that he wore his eh uniform under his clothing on the plane like superman.

The ride: First, todays ride once again proved my cumulative base combined with quality winter computrainer sessions pays off. My longest ride this winter were two 90 minute sessions I did on the computrainer. Most of my ct rides were 1 hr in duration. Today, we rode over 6 hours including a ton of climbing, and I felt very solid.

Brian planned one excellent ride. We headed out of Tucson on one road towards . This road is a gradual uphill and was into a serious headwind for 40 miles. After 20 miles, I had everyone ride a pace line, taking one minute pulls at the front so they could experience the wind. The pace line was going great for about 15 miles and then the headwind and climbing caught up with some and the line was blown apart. Peter and Jim turned around 90 minutes into the ride, opting for an easier day today while still acclimating to the heat. We regrouped at the base of Kitt's Peak. I sent Jeff back, since he was in for a solid 4 hour and 30 minute ride and I didn’t want him too fried on day one. The rest of us started up the 12 mile climb of Kitt's Peak with an 8% average grade. The climb was beautiful, with switchbacks overlooking valleys. I stopped at the 5 mile mark and waited for everyone to regroup. I wanted to send the majority back at this point. We were already 3+ hours into the ride, it was really hot, and it was getting late. I didn’t want everyone spent by day two. I had Gus and Jerry wait with me to continue up for a bit more. Jerry turned at mile six, and headed back down the fun descent. Gus and I went past 7 miles when we both ran out of fluids. Realizing that if we soldiered on, it would be a suicide mission, so we turned and blasted downwards. We caught up with Jerry and turned back on the 40 mile road back to Tucson. Jerry let out a yell of excitement. We finally had a nice tailwind. In fact, we covered the next 26 miles in 1 hr. The three of us stopped at the one lonely convenience shop and scoffed down snickers ice cream bars and a bottle of coke.

A lot of salt tablets have been downed thus far by the campers. In fact, at the pool this morning, they were all holding out their hands like junkies!

It was a great training day, followed up with a nice Mexican dinner and I’m tired so I’m crashing now. We have a 90 minute to 2 hr run planned first thing in the morning and I need some sleep!



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