You may be interested in the events that occurred over the 5 days spent in Tucson training with some of the best triathletes and coaches around. If not, you should probably stop reading here.
My journey started Monday night after work, December 5th. After a quick stop by the house to grab socks (oops), my travel started with a 3 1/2 hour road trip to my Dad's house. While I was away, my Dad, Brother and niece Josie replaced the brakes on my car - love them!!! I arrived around 8pm, grabbed a quick bite and tried to sleep. Since I was so amped up, that wasn't much of a success. My brother was nice enough to forgo his usual sleep and get me to the airport. I'm glad he was there, or I might have had a complete melt down when they told me how much it was going to cost to ship my bike to AZ. Congratulations, family, for Christmas you get a very fit Sarah...I can’t afford anything else :( He could tell I was nervous and reminded me that the last time I went off to meet a bunch of people I didn't know, was college. Since I loved college so much, my spirits were lifted...and with head high and shoulders back, I was on my way!
I arrived in Tucson to find a driver waiting for me. He wasn't exactly prepared to load a bike into his Lincoln TownCar, luckily it was not my first time. Bike in the back seat and me and driver up front - perfect. As we talked about all the things we were grateful for, like our American freedom, the Arizona landscape surrounded us and I was consumed.
The lodge we stayed at was perfect! It had huge rooms which looked out onto the mountains behind and the lap pool was just a few short strides down the parking lot.
Wednesday morning came fast, and I was incredibly anxious about our swim workout, but it surprisingly went by very quickly. Before I knew it, I was tired and done with probably the longest swim set I've ever done. Whew! Now only a 25 mile climb ahead of us, NBD. I know it's not normal, but I really like climbing. Probably the for same reason I fell in love with hiking as a child, the view! Mt. Lemmon did not disappoint! Not only was the AZ landscape amazing, but the cookie at the top was a sweet reward!! After devouring the gigantic Pumpkin Nut cookie, I soon regretted it...I can handle caffeine, not so much sugar. The rest of the ride was relaxed, but we still had a ways to go before it was over. It took us somewhere around 5-5.5 hours, which is more than my total weekly biking hours have been for months...probably going to feel that one!
Thursday was another great swim, I had been hoping for a recovery swim, but I guess we didn't go to training camp to recover! It was another good set that went by relatively quickly. Up until this point, I have never swam so many yards in 2 days...over 8k! I felt like a rockstar!! Concerned about how my body was going to hold up, I started pounding the H2O...downside = potty breaks. We had a nice break before heading out to run some trails in Sabino Canyon. Again, the terrain did not disappoint. The new scenery and incredible running partners made the time fly by! The only thing making me glad to stop running was rolling my ankle on one of the rocks and it was killing me...ugh! I should apologize to my roomies for complaining about it - sorry for being such a wuss!!!
Just a short (90 minute) recovery ride up the same 4 mile canyon we ran earlier in the day...seems like exactly what I would do. I say that sarcastically, but I could totally see the conversation with myself saying I would just go easy and hills are good to open things up, which would normally end in another conversation about what I was thinking and why do I always have to be so ambitious. This time, I got to do the ride and blame someone else, so much better!
After our 3 workouts, we had an awesome dinner planned at El Charro in Tucson. It was our 2nd night at the restaurant, but I was really looking forward to it. I love big dinners (lots of people), and even though I'm not usually a fan of mexican, I really liked this place. For probably the first time in my life, I turned down margaritas...my mom would be proud! Admittedly, I did take some sips from neighbor Melissa :) We were all exhausted and stuffed, but that didn't stop our excitement to head out for amazing gelato at Frost :) I opted for a combo of Dark Chocolate (antioxidants) and Banana (potassium)...yum (and health?)! Truly, that is the best gelato I have ever had!!!
Friday, day 3 of swimming. As I walked to the pool, I told myself if I can do 2 days, I can certainly do 3! Not surprisingly, before I knew it the set was over :( we did some fun drafting drills, which really helped with my feel of the water. Next up, another ride and a short road trip to Tempe.
Friday's ride was a nice, even pace with relatively even terrain, which lasted a little over 2 hours. By the middle of the ride I started to have some serious pain in my knee, and it was all I could do to make it back to the lodge for some ice. Thank goodness that's exactly what it needed, I was starting to worry I wouldn't be able to run Saturday morning, whew! Just about as soon as we arrived in Tempe, we were ready for bed and the morning came just as quickly as all the other mornings had. We headed out for our 4 mile warm-up, just as the sun was coming up, so nice!! It was a little brisk in Tempe, but sunny and serene! We were a little early on our warm-up, so it was a bit of a struggle to stay warm before the run started.
The run was in honor of Sally Meyerhoff and in support of the Sally Meyerhoff foundation. run4sal.com
I remember when the news of Sally's death first hit me. I had never actually met her, but reading her story hit all too close to home. Life is a gift and I have always believed that one way we show we are grateful for all we have is by doing what makes us happy and fulfilling our passion. It seems that is how Sally lived and I was so humbled to be a part of the event.
The event in itself was a massive success and drew some of the fastest runners around. I settled into a good rhythm and focused on my form, not too concerned about pacing since I wasn't exactly sure how my body was holding up. As I saw the finish line near, I did not want the race to be over...it all happened so fast!! Once we all gathered and cooled down, it was back to Tucson for a celebratory dinner! Needless to say, the place was spot on! Local fare at it's finest...and the best company a girl could ask for!!
Of course we couldn't leave with out one more workout! Sunday morning we gathered for a quick circuit training with Trainer Trish :) And, to tell you the truth, I think I was most sore from that 30 minute w/o than anything!
Thank you all for an unforgettable week!!! Training partners Kelly, Gwen, Trish, Kim, Amie, Melissa, Jennifer, Laura and Meghan, Coach Cliff English and the one and only Jim Whitler.