With the last weekend being a long one thanks to Labor Day it was another great opportunity to head out to Tempe and get some more time “on course”. Yes it’s a drive; 420 miles or 6-8 hours depending on traffic, yes it’s hot; it topped out around 105f and yes it’s totally worth it! Thanks to some work flexibility we were able to get on the road and stop off for a quick haircut on the way and still be in Tempe before midnight! Just!
The next morning’s plan was to meet at Tempe Town Lake around 5:00am with Thomas and Carl and anyone else who Thomas could rustle up. Two loops of the three loop course or around 75 miles was the plan and to try and get it done before it got too hot. There was six of us in total and we all set off at different paces. I ended up in between two groups and so rode most of the course alone and without an iPod; good mental training. I missed a turning and so added a few extra miles on and had to make a couple of stops for fluids and ice at gas stations but other than that the ride was uneventful. I was pleased that I successfully managed to navigate the nutrition and hydration maze and used Bonk Bars which will be available on Race Day. The last time I was in Tempe was May and I was a little faster overall on the bike course as an average speed this time which is reassuring as this time the ride was an additional 35 miles longer.
After the ride we hit Jamba Juice and refueled. Later in the day we met up with Thomas and his family for pizza (vegan) and beer (?good!)
The next day was a run day and again we all met around 5:30am to hit the run course. This is a 3 loop course around Tempe Town Lake, there is one small hill (150’ climb) which we made sure to run up. There was quite a lot of cloud cover and this was locking in the humidity…I am not sure I have been anywhere so hot and humid and run! A very sweaty 10 miles later I finished, again some ran shorter and some ran longer…it’s just the unsaid rule that we will all wait for each other at the end which we did. It’s good to know that even though I feel like I am melting I can maintain my forefoot form.
I had obviously underestimated the lack of fluids needed despite drinking two handhelds during the run and got a nasty reminder later in the day when visited the bathroom…and let’s just leave that there.
The last day we had no plans to meet and the drive back to LA was the main order of the day. I knew that there was little chance that I would want to workout after the drive so I made a point of laying out my kit the night before and the plan was one loop on the bike course and a run off of the bike.
This time I wanted to really focus on my ride and be “in-myself”. This plan went really well and I rode the entire course a wee bit faster than before and maintained an average HR of only 120 bpm.
Off of the bike I only ran for thirty minutes but wanted to string the two together, I was a bit stiff for the first mile and eased up on the last mile but it was a successful short run. After this and a quick stop at Starbucks we hit the road and headed home!
The weekend totals were a tad over 120 miles on the bike course and nearly 14 miles on the run course…all of it is in valuable as I got a nasty reminder when I went to the Ironman website!