Day 5 of training camp began with an early morning swim. I found my way into the correct pace lane today for a nice long, aerobic set. It was a really cool freestyle set of a mix of 100s, 200s and 400s and some descending. Then, once the arms were already tired, it was time to put the paddles and pull buoy on to really fatigue those arms! You don't get stronger if you don't work hard. Now, I have two days off swimming to allow the muscles to repair and rebuild...you don't get stronger if you don't rest and recover, either. After practice I made a Starbucks stop...and brought home a triple grande latte, a dry triple cappuccino and an americano for Mamma, Papa and me :)
I had a few hours of relaxing. I took a short nap outside under the Tucson sun and performed some minor bike surgery (Tej, my S5, needed new brake pads, some cleaning and a fully charged battery). I was prepped and ready to go for my second attempt at Mount Lemmon...only today I would tackle the hill with Tej instead of my tri bike...and it would be a timed 15km TT up the hill! Ouch. I hoped I could ascend fast to limit the amount of time I had to spend suffering.
Nap time (guess the coffee wasn't too effective)
As soon as I hopped on my bike I knew that today would be a bit of a struggle. The legs were heavy, stiff and burned with every turn of the pedal. "OK", I thought to myself..."I need to find some mental tricks to cope with this"... I didn't have any...I had used them all up in the previous days! haha. Luckily the legs did start to loosen up a little bit on the ride to the mountain...they started feeling better and better and at the 1 hour mark they were much more ready to climb. So, today I learned how important a long warm-up is when you are feeling sluggish! Now, I definitely didn't feel fresh...but who does near the end of the bike leg during a half-ironman? Hopefully, no one or they didn't work hard enough. So that's how I approached the climb...I just wanted to do my best with low energy levels, like at the end of a race. And, before I knew it, I was off...I kept the cadence around 80rpm, power around 4W/kg and counted down: 1km, 2km...oh my god I was only at 3km! 12 more to go...what!?! but I just kept pedaling. I focused on my breathing, keeping my cadence high, engaging my glutes, relaxed elbows and shoulders...I needed to have perfect cycling technique, because I needed any extra Watt it would give me. Every 2km, if the hill was steep enough, I would get up out of the saddle for 30" and push, hard! At 4km to go Mamma and Papa arrived in the car...they were cheering and waving (I later found out that the entire time Papa was nearly having a panic attack because he's afraid of heights!). This gave me a bit of extra energy...I was at an average power of 3.9W/kg (my absolute power number isn't as impressive. lol) and I just wanted to maintain that for the rest of the climb. I don't know how I made it, but I did! 15km, 48:26, 3.9W/kg! Yay! I took a few pictures with Mamma and Papa near the top and then it was time for the descent. I am VERY happy to report that I did not touch the brakes on the way down. In fact, I was on the drops for most of the climb :) I had a nice relaxing ride back to the house and then an easy 6.5km run. Training was done for the day!
More Climbing (my swimmer shoulders just won't stay relaxed!)
At the top with Mamma
Mamma and Papa
Next, we headed out to lunch at La Cocina. We got to sit outside on the patio and I was very excited to order a cheeseburger and an extra-thick milkshake! I am STILL full 4hrs later. If anyone every visits Tucson I would highly recommend this place. On the drive home we scouted out a good route for my 26km run tomorrow. Ugh, my legs start to hurt again just thinking about it! BUT...Sunday is an OFF day!!!
Didn't last long
Mamma and Papa