Friday, February 29, 2008

Into the Swing of Things

Well, our first couple days of adapting to the altitude seems to be over. Wednesday was a tough day of training.

We started out with 5km in the pool in the morning, with the main set being three rounds of 3 x 100 on 1:30, 3 x 300 on 4:30. I wasn't feeling that great in the water, and just held 1:6's for the 100's and 3:55 or so for the 300's.

After lunch, we met up for a 2.5 hr ride followed immediately by a 40 min run. We rode out Lake Mary road easy for 90 min, then turned around and headed back for 60 min of tempo/steady riding. We had the wind at our back coming home, and the group was flying! I yo-yoed out of the paceline twice, before finally falling out with 15 min to go. We met up with Joel who had all of our running gear, and following a brief road-side change, we started our run which was 10' steady, 10' easy, 10' steady, 10' ez. The legs were quite stiff starting out (first transition run of the year) but felt better as we went along.
We covered 91km in 2:40, so a solid ride all in all.

Thursday I woke up pretty stiff and sore from Wednesday. I had an ez 40' run in the morning before swimming, so I headed out and did a loop through the university, and then home for breakfast. Swimming was a bit of recovery today, with 3500m being covered in the pool. We headed out in the afternoon for our 2nd run of the day. 30' warm-up, followed by 30' tempo, and finally a 10' cool-down. The weather was great (15 C) and made for a good run.

I headed over to the university later at night for the NAU men's basketball game. NAU was playing for 2nd place in their conference against Weber St. It was a good game, with NAU winning by 3 at the end.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

First Couple of Days at Altitude

We're settled in now nicely here in Flagstaff. Everyone (except for Joel) is in the Hampton Inn & Suites. Joel is across the street at another hotel, as pets aren't allowed at the Hampton. I'm rooming with Colin, and we get along great. The rooms here are very spacious, and they have the most comfortable beds and pillows ever!! We get free continental breakfast downstairs every morning, along with copies of USA Today. I'll try to get some photos up in the next few days.

Monday we headed over to the pool in the morning for a swim. We are swimming a bit later this week than we'd normally swim (9:30 rather than 7:30) as the pool is booked solid at 7:30 this week. We ended up swimming 4000m, with a warm-up of 400 swim, 200 kick, 2x100 IM. The main set was an aerobic set consisting of 10 x 300 (swim, pull, mix)

After some running around getting things for our room and some groceries, we had a 90' easy ride to flush the legs out, and get used to the altitude.

Today's workout we were back in the pool this morning with another main aerobic set of 30 x 100 on 1:30 just rolling through them all. Colin and I headed out for a 40' run once we got back to the hotel, and we finished the day off with 2 hrs on the trainer watching some old episodes of American Gladiators.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Victoria to Phoenix to Flagstaff

I flew out to Victoria on Wednesday, and stayed that night at Joel’s. After swimming the next morning, we went to pick up the rental van that I’d be driving down to Phoenix, and ultimately up to Flagstaff. Thursday afternoon was spent driving around collecting cross bikes and extra luggage from everyone, and then the fun task of loading up the van and catching the 4pm ferry to Port Angeles, WA.

The van almost loaded, it's still missing a few bags, and a big heat tent that we brought down for heat specific training for the group going straight to the Mooloolaba World Cup from Flagstaff.

Andrew McCartney and I were in the ferry line at 2:30pm to ensure that we made it onto that ferry. We set sail at 4pm heading for the States. After clearing customs on the other side (6pm), it was time to start the long haul of almost 2600 kms to Phoenix Arizona.

The first stretch of driving is along a single lane highway, and it was dark at that time as well. By 815 or so, we had merged onto the I-5 which we would stay on until we reached Los Angeles CA. I drove until 2:30am which got me to about 50 miles north of Grant's Pass Oregon (750km total). I pulled over to sleep for a few hours, getting back on the road at 5:45am. I figure I had about 2 hrs of fractured sleep....I woke up at one point freezing cold, and had to start the van to get the heat going so it would warm up!

I entered northern California soon afterwards, where there is some higher elevation, and hence some snow. I drove through some snow flurries, even driving past a car that had flipped off the road. I made sure to be extra cautious, especially the downhills, as I wasn't familiar with the big rental van.

I ended up driving 1800km on the last day, which included driving through the outer limits of Los Angeles during rush hour on a Friday evening (6pm). Probably not the greatest thing, but that's how things worked out. Rush hour sucked, as you can see from the following photo.

Andrew was my driving partner, well....let me clarify. He drove with me, but I did all the driving, as he is technically too young to drive the rental van. Instead, he spent a fair amount of the drive in this position, while I was driving through the night and day.

I finally rolled into Phoenix, and arrived at our hotel in Fountain Hills at 2am local time. A total of 31 hours since we left the Port Angeles ferry terminal, and I covered 2575km. The last stretch of the drive on Friday night through the California desert was a bit I had a few caffeine pills, a couple cans of Pepsi, and had the window rolled down for fresh air. I was really looking forward to a cold beer after that long drive, but I couldn't find a gas station from the highway in to our hotel, so I was out of luck.

We raced the Desert Duathlon on Sunday, which on a whole went well for the group. Paul had a wicked race, coming away with the Win, followed by Jordan in 2nd place. Simon was also in the money (4th) while Kyle was the last guy to get a pay cheque in 7th place. Spending 31hrs in the car, without much sleep doesn't lend itself well to racing 27 hours later. Oh well. It done, and out of the way, and we're up in Flagstaff now ready for four solid weeks of training at altitude (7000ft).

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I'll keep this quick...

I'm in Victoria now, got in last night, heading to the pool to swim, then pick up our rental truck, load it up with a bunch of bikes, and I start driving down to Phoenix Arizona later today. Should roll into Phoenix late Friday night. We're racing the Desert Duathlon on Sunday, then we'll head up to Flagstaff for the next 4 weeks.

Next update in Phoenix after 25hrs of driving.