As many of you may know, I will be racing the Ironman 70.3 St. George on May 4th. This race is the US Pro Championships, so I will be up against the best triathletes in North America... including multiple ironman and 70.3 winners, Kona champions, Olympians...etc. Most of the females I will be racing have already competed one, two or three races this year. I will have not.
The reason for this is simple. I am still a "beginner" compared to these other girls, so I need a longer off-season (as in off-racing season) in order to make progress in the sport. Having a long period of time dedicated to just training has allowed me to take the time to improve in the areas where I am weaker. You can't do this and race at the same time. A lot of the seasoned and successful pros have already fixed their weaknesses, so, now they focus more on trying to improve their strengths. The best way to do this is to race. So they race and I do not and that's OK.
My point... if I can't race to prepare for the St. George 70.3, then I can do the next best thing: train in St. George! So that is what has brought me to the south west corner of the US this time :)
I flew into Las Vegas, Nevada yesterday. I was in the row right behind first class and there was no one in the middle seat of my row. So, basically, it was the next best thing to first class. I got to sprawl out during the flight, watch movies...(Life of Pi and then Twilight *LOL*) and I was one of the first off the plane :) I had no issues getting my bike, no problems getting the rental car (I even got a free upgrade!) and no problems getting on the I-15 North to St. George. It was a beautiful 1.5hr drive. Especially once I got to the Northwest corner of Arizone ... I got to go right through the mountains. I attempted to take a few photos while driving, but they really don't do the scenery any justice. Probably a good thing, since if I had paid more attention to the photos I might have ended up crashing into the mountains. haha.
Once I arrived, I threw everything into the hotel room and headed out for my run. Wow, I felt super sluggish and it was very very windy! I barely managed to keep a semi-decent pace, but in the end I put in a 6.5km run in 30 minutes. Not too bad. Next I headed to get groceries. I also found out that Utah doesn't have the same laws as California and Arizona...you can't get wine in the the grocery store! So guess where I headed next? :) A Pro triathlete still likes to enjoy a little wine and chocolate for dessert after a hard training day. Back at the hotel I made dinner, unpacked, watched an episode of Revenge and headed to bed. I was exhausted.
I woke up today still feeling a little bit stiff. I had been going non-stop since Thursday getting ready for the trip, training, preparing for Easter, running errands, so this didn't surprise me. Nevertheless, I was still excited for my morning swim. I grabbed some coffee from the hotel lobby and headed to the pool. I even got to admire a beautiful sunrise on my drive. The colours in the sky and the clay soil on the mountains made everything a blend of orange, pink and red. It was breathtaking.
The pool here is indoors, but still beautiful. I had a good 4800 yard swim and I even met a super nice triathlete who I may ride with later this week. Her husband even called me to tell me a good route for my 2hr easy ride today! And they invited me to dinner on Saturday! Trip was definitely off to a good start.
The bike route that I was told about was amazing. A few steep hills to start and finish the route, but most of the ride was rolling. There was little to no traffic and I was surrounded by pink and orange mountains on all sides. To be honest though, even though the route was great, the ride wasn't all enjoyable...there was a killer crosswind, my legs were sluggish, and I was sooo thirsty! I finished off 1500mL of eLoad in less than an hour and a half, which left me without fluid for the last 30 minutes of the ride. Oh well, getting used to the weather in St. George and how to properly hydrate for it is why I'm here!
After my ride it was time for some relaxing. This meant food (english muffin with peanut butter and banana, a box of blueberries and a cliff bar) and water...then me lying in bed realizing I ate too fast! Would I pay for it on my run? Surprisingly, a couple hours later I was feeling fine and I headed out for my hour run. Legs felt heavy at first, but they seemed to get lighter with every km. The wind was lightening up a little bit too, which was nice, and I actually had quite an enjoyable first 35 minutes. Then I got back to the hotel and hopped on the treadmill for my sprints...but the treadmill maxed out at 3mph! HAHA. So much for treadmill sprints! I ran to a nice bike path that had zero traffic on it and did my 30" sprints there. A PERFECT solution...I was pleased :) A nice way to end Day 2 of training camp.
Tomorrow I get to tackle a 70.3 specific swim set in the pool, and a brick that involves tackling the super tough St. George run course!
*Unfortunately I am unable to post photos, for some reason :( Ill be posting them on twitter, though :)