Sunday, September 30, 2012

Arizona surprises me, every day

I laugh to myself when I see a jack rabbit run so quickly across the street when I’m walking my dog, Daisy. She wants so badly to chase it.

When I hear a bird in the distance, look up, and it’s sticking its head out of the top of a Saguaro.

I love to see the flowering plants and trees. The desert is blooming; it’s not just flat dirt. There are trails to run, and roads to discover. I want to know them all.

On Saturday I biked to the top of Mt. Lemmon, the highest point in the Santa Catalina Mountains. The peak is 9,157 feet. The road to the top is called the Catalina Highway. I didn't really notice the curves in the road on the climb up (8,000 feet of climbing, by the way). On the ride down, biking at about 35 mph, I noticed the curves and it was fun to go fast. Apparently the road has been used by professional cyclists for training. Runner compete in an annual marathon climb, I can’t imagine running up this road.  

I was glad to see pine trees and a lush forest about half way up, and cool temperatures. At the almost top is a ski area. There were a few Aspen trees scattered around the ski area.
At the very top is the Mount Lemmon Observatory. It is only open for special events, closed when I was there.

I'm also trying to do all 101 Things to Do In Tucson according to the Tucson CVB.
Mt Lemmon, and Beat the Heat is Number 11

Just another way that Arizona surprises me every day. As I drive home from the ride, and see the mountains surrounding the city, they serve as a reminder that I have more places to explore and know. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Trail Running Shoes versus Road Shoes

I’ve been running on the Minimus 10 Trail shoe from New Balance.

I wore them on the Catalina 10 mile trail run despite other runner friends warning not to wear them on rough trail runs or for long distance.

Catalina State Park is # 17 on the list of 101 Things to Do in Tucson. My plan is to do all 101 in 365 days.

 I also own Merrell minimal shoes, Barefoot Run Pace Glove. I have worn them once on a trail run and the next day I felt like I was hit by a bus. I might try to mix them in on some runs. After reading some reviews on the Merrell website, I might try starting out on walks wearing them and getting a bit more used to them.

I love training in Tucson. There are so many places to run and bike - trail and road.

Chrissie Wellington and Motivation

According to Chrissie Wellington, the 3 most precious faculties
1.       Remain positive
    2.       Stay focused
      3.       Stay disciplined

        I just finished reading her book, A Life Without Limits. I thought of these three faculties while swimming today. 

        The first five minutes in the pool I felt tired and not motivated. I felt blah. 
        I wanted to stop and go home. Then, I remembered what Chrissie said. Remain Positive.  
        When your mind keeps saying over and over - I'm tired. I should stop, then the body will stop. 

        When I turned off the negative self talk, and started thinking about other things, my pace picked up and I felt better. I couldn't freestyle the swim plan, which was 500 wu. 3X400, 4X50 fast. I just mixed up the swimming, kicking, paddle, pull buoy and enjoyed the water and sun. 

        As I kicked on my back, I looked up to the blue, blue sky without a cloud in sight and watched a bird soar above me. I finished my one hour in the pool, but just not with the original workout. 

        I am thankful to live in paradise. The last 15 years I thought every place I lived was paradise, and it's no different here in Tucson, where a warm breeze drifts through my windows reminding me, there will be no frost tonight. Ha - triathlon training year-round, babe!  

        2012 Training Update September

        Training this past month has been good, not great.I'm worried I'm not getting all the hours in. I'm doing the best I can.
        I love training with other people, which I didn’t do much prior to moving to Tucson.
        Now, I have my Desert Tri Girls and Team Soul Cycling to have biking and running partners. 

        Oney morning I ran 7.2 miles in Sabino Canyon. The Tram line is paved and there are bridges that cross several streams. I like running this in the morning. I wish I could bring my dog, but alas, no dogs allowed in Sabino Canyon. Sad.

        (Sabino Canyon Tram Line heading back to the start, September 18, 2012)
        Number 60 on the 101 Things to Do in Tucson

        Later, that evening I met up with the Desert Tri Girls. Every Tuesday night we meet at the Ironwood Ridge High School track for a speed workout. Today, instead of speed work, we do bleacher exercises.

        The next morning I woke up sore and wanted to bike 30 minutes to loosen up the soreness. The ride turned into 80 minutes. The ride turned long because I love biking in Tucson. It’s September 19 and I’m biking at 7am in shorts and tank top. It’s not cold, there is no frost. I’m loving it.

        The triathlon life is good in September here in Tucson. 

        I am 8 weeks from my full distance triathlon in Lake Havasu City. And 50 weeks from IronmanWisconsin. This will be my first winter training year round, or at least, biking OUTSIDE year-round. So far, so good