Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Mental Training – The Long Ride

My mind wanders on a long ride this morning; and it does on short rides, too. I am often staring at the road when I’m in the aero position on my tri bike and gaze at my bike shoes. I look at my socks, my watch, my bike gloves, and try to itch my scalp through holes in my helmet when sweat rolls down my head.

I also think of what to write on my blog and think about writing about my gear and what it all means to me.

My blue Colorado cycling socks were given to me as a gift from my Colorado cycling friend, George Davis. When I wear them I think about the thousands of miles I biked with him over many mountain passes and into Rocky Mountain National Park when I lived in Colorado.  

I’m also wearing my Triple Threat Triathlon top. I'm a member of the Triple Threat National Team. What a great group of triathletes and people. We motivate and inspire each other. And, I hope we inspire others on our Facebook page and blog. Collin Swenson has done an amazing job rounding up these triathletes from all over the country. I’m proud to be part of the team.

I am wearing my Rudy Project aero helmet and sunglasses

My Rudy Project Wingspan helmet truly is the best. It’s so light. I know I should really only race in it but I love riding in it. I cannot wait to see my bike times for Ironman Texas 2015. I also am praying for no wind and cool temps, but alas, I digress.

I’ve been wearing these Rudy Project sunglasses for three years and just love how I can adjust the nose piece so they ride high which is very important when riding in the aero dynamic position on my tribike and looking up. Not many sunglasses are great for triathletes but I love these sunglasses because of this; and I can swap out lenses.

I’ve only recently listened to music while cycling. I wear one earphone on the right so I can hear traffic and other cyclists on the left. I only listen to music while biking alone and it does keep me motivated to cycle fast. I have a Rhapsody account so I pay a monthly fee to download to my mp3 - new music all the time. My current favorite songs to bike and run to:

That Girl is On Fire
Everybody stands, as she goes byCause they can see the flame that's in her eyesWatch her when she's lighting up the night

All I Do Is Win

I really like my Suunto GPS watch. I love how I synch it from my iPhone then log into my Daily Mile account to log miles and time.

On short rides I don’t need much but for the long haul I’m a Hammer Nutrition Perpetuem fan. I also love Recoverite but use it only after hard training days. Today, it’s water and Hammer Gel, Montana Huckleberry.

My skin is suffering from all the years of biking and running outdoors. I’ve upped my SPF to 100 but it doesn't save me from years of sitting on the beach when I was kid. Every day, even on the rare cloudy day in Tucson, sunscreen on my face, neck, arms, and legs. Always.

Bike gloves, Pearl Izumi does it best. Always.

These are the random thoughts about gear and triathlon while cycling around Tucson and Oro Valley Arizona during a beautiful spring morning in March training for Ironman Texas. 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Boulder City Nevada Trail Marathon Race Report

Blood, Sweat and Beers trail marathon in Boulder City was one of the toughest, most beautiful trail runs I have competed in to date.

The Las Vegas area has much less prickly plants in the desert than Tucson.I didn’t fall during the race which makes me deduce that either I’m in much better shape, meaning stronger legs and/or that my Pearl Isuzi N2 trail shoes are the best shoe for me. While there wasn't any blood, and the wind prevented large amounts of sweat, and I didn't drink any beer at the end, it was a great trail run.

The trail was very rocky and had several steep ascents and descents. It was incredibly beautiful throughout, with canyons, jagged rocks, winding curves that just kept me in awe of the beauty. There were views of Lake Mead, the skyscrapers of Las Vegas rising from the desert, and just miles and miles of mountains in the distance. This was my first time in Las Vegas and I didn’t think I was going to like it; but I fell in love with the mountains around the city.

The Desert Dash race series is top notch. The race was well organized, the trail was well marked, and the volunteers ….. oh the volunteers were great! At the Rocks Aid Station a woman helped me take my CamelBak off and filled it with water. I just stood there eating a peanut butter and jelly. These sandwiches were like magic beans; they kept me energized and happy. And, they were at each aid station. 

The day was very windy with gusts at about 30 m.p.h. The forecast was rain, but it never rained. The wind prevented me from listening to music so I went the entire distance music-free. The wind also prevented sweating so no worries about sweat dripping in my eyes. It really was a great temperature for a long run during the day.

I realized after the first few miles that trail running is so much more enjoyable that road running. There is more beauty and challenge during a trail run. I decided on Mile 7 that most of my remaining marathon states (45 left) will be on a trail. As I ascended a steep section with howling winds barreling toward me, that this was an adventure akin to climbing Everest and that I wanted this adventure on the trails and in the wind, much more than a road marathon with a thousand people.

So that is what I’m going to do.

The last important revelation during this run, and on this trip: that these adventures are so important to share with friends and family; particularly ones I haven’t seen in years. 

On to Meghan and the Fanciest Lady I know - I met Meghan in Sugarloaf, Maine in 1999 or around that year. She has lived in as many places I have, moved around for work, and landed in Las Vegas a few years ago. She has embraced the placed and showed me her world over the weekend.

We went to casinos and restaurants. We sampled some beauty products and chatted the days away about our good times and bad times. That’s what true friends do. Thank you, Meghan for picking me up from the airport and driving me to the race. Thank you for the tour of Las Vegas and great meals. I loved our #fancyladyproblems like martinis, shopping for bargains, and tapas.