Sunday, March 16, 2008

Tucson Day 1

Many times you'll hear people comment that it takes them a few days to relax and adjust when traveling. For me, it takes one workout.

I was up this morning at 3:45am. My internal clock, although never quite right, was reading 6:45am. I did some computer work, adjusted my bike for the 40th time since being here, and soon enough it was 6:15 - time to round up the troops and head to Starbucks, then to Sabino Canyon.

It was a cool morning, yet the sun was coming up over the mountains when we started the run. There were some big signs at the Canyon warning about Mountain Lions. I told Gus not to worry - that I hid a big raw steak in the back pocket of Bruce's vest, so we were fine. We headed for the telephone line trail, a single track trail that snakes around 30 minutes uphill, then traverses along cliff sides following the ridge of the mountain range. We did this run last year but the upper part of the trail was closed at the time. Even still, I commented how this run was definitely one of the best runs I've ever been on, in terms of scenery, adventure, and challenge. This year the full trail was open and it reconfirmed that this really is one of the best run courses that I have ever done. With the sun peaking over the jagged mountain tops, it was really beautiful, and 10 minutes in, I was relaxed from the travels of the prior day.

Your footing has to be sure since you are basically running on the edge of a cliff. We kept the pace easy and chatted and enjoyed the surroundings. For a big guy, I'm pretty light on my feet. However, I was telling Bruce a story while bounding over boulders and I turned to see if he was behind me and my foot caught a rock. Down hard I went. I was carrying a small video camera in my hand that almost went over the cliff - I guess better the camera then me. Man, I wished I caught the fall on tape, it would have made for a good laugh I'm sure. Bruce took the camera and got the shot of me in the above video. Anyway, we ran on and the 1 hr 45 min later, we finished our first session of this camp. Sam Mcglone, second place woman at Hawaii this year, was just beginning her run on the road at Sabino Canyon as we finished up. There are a ton of athletes out here, many world class. This run was the perfect way to kick off the week, and it certainly allowed us all to relax and adjust and know that we were in for a great week.

After breakfast, we did a nice three hour ride out to Colossal Cave and kept the pace relaxed. I wanted today to be an easier day to adjust to the time change and travels. It was cold here today!!! It probably never went out of the 50's and it actually rained on us a few times. Must be one of my camps. The weather is supposed to get better each day though, so hopefully by Wed, we'll get some of that upper 70 to 80 degree weather. The good thing about the weather here is that these fronts move through so quickly. Last year I mentioned how I never rode longer than 90 minutes on the computrainer when preparing for this camp. this year, I never road over an hour. I did do a lot of strength work over the winter though and some great quality on the bike, even though I rode only two to three times per week, but I think it payed off. I felt absolutely comfortable on the ride today. The true test though will come on Tue or Wed when we ascend Mt. Lemmon. It wasn't bad enough that I crashed while running, so Bruce went down in the first 1/2 mile of the ride. He was wearing so many clothes that something got caught or tangled in the drivetrain and boom, down he went right on his hip. He was fine though. Amazing, first two groups of teenage boys that were walking by stopped to see if he was ok, then a car that saw it happen turned around and came back to check on him! This is a friendly bike town!

We went back out for Mexican food tonight and had a lot of laughs at dinner, and now it's time for an early bed. Gus is living up to his reputation for eating a ton of everything in site. I'm going to see if we can actually make him gain weight this week. Considering all the training ahead, this should be a fun task.



1 comment:

triguyjt said...

looks like the perfect place to train. went to spring training out in tucson for many years and always loved being able to run up "A" mountain by the university. i bet biking there is awesome....
glad your having a great week..