Monday, January 18, 2010

the newleywadventures in Arizona!

Last weekend. I was supposed to ride my bike 375 miles from San Francisco to Santa Barbara. Last minute snafus and inclement weather cancelled the trip, but not my desire for a getaway training adventure. Luckily, Katya was headed to Phoenix to work with Team World Vision and get to know her teammates for the Comrades ultra-marathon that will happen in South Africa in June. Katya and some other athletes, like Josh Cox and Andy Baldwin (remember the Bachelor?), are running to support Team World Vision and raise money to sponsor hundreds of children in Africa. And I was along for the ride! Both recently married, but sans hubbies, we set off without our better halves (which turned out to be quite risky- we're not the "planners" of our respective teams).

We began with a near empty tank of gas and decided to "get out of town" before filling up. uh....bad choice. we hit "0" on the digital gas meter and somehow made it the extra 30-40 minutes by practicing our drafting skills on the highway. seriously. We drafted this truck for a good 10-15 minutes at 50 mph in a 70 zone.

We made it to the gas and eventually to our destination. Once in Phoenix, we were treated to wonderful hospitality by the Team World Vision crew. While Katya had some things to do with the Comrades team, I was able to get in some solid tempo running on desert trails in Papago Park and riding out along the Beeline Highway. I definitely contemplated Ironman Arizona out there- nice and flat- just my style!

After Katya's filming was over (and my "star" sniffing- i definitely enjoyed hanging out with all the running celebs and watching the action) we went to the expo (where i happened to sign up for the half marathon....whoops!) and then packed back up and headed to Tucson to hang out with Hillary B. and her german Ironman, Maiki... (ugh- I feel like such a "chamois sniffer"- more name dropping!!! but, i'm just trying to tell it like it is :) and i'm very lucky to be getting to know such awesome people and friends.)

Out in Tucson, we had the latest dinner i've ever eaten (nearly 11pm!) and a wonderful time catching up with the crew. Our hosts were fabulous: Hillary is hilarious and lovely and Maiki is so sincere, humble, and the most accommodating Ironman machine in the world.

Saturday morning, Hillary had some bugger of a 3 hour run to do, but Katya and I were interested in checking out 4+ hours of Tucson riding. Lucky for us, Maiki offered to be our cycling chauffeur and we had an incredible (and incredibly hard for me) ride around Tucson.
I was sooooooo dropping some watts to not get dropped and for the most part, I held my own more than usual on the back of the Maiki train. The ride goes down as one of my top 3 of all time. For sure. I almost felt like a cyclist. In fact, I told them before the ride that I was cool to ride on my own. Maik said we might be fine but we'll see. At the top of the first climb (Gates Pass), Maik said to me (in his cute german accent), "I think its okay we all ride together". I PASSED THE TEST! Wahoo!!!

Back at the Biscay pad, we did some quick transition runs and packed back up for Phoenix. After all, we had a half marathon to run the next day! When Dirk had given me the last minute "ok" to run the race (on Thursday- thanks for the flexibility, coach!), I expected (and hoped :) ) he'd tell me to run at so and so heart rate or cap it at a certain pace. Instead, he said to go ahead and go out and run it. AND ignore heart rate. ooooh....no excuses, huh? No "training" run? Hmmmmm.... well, Katya still had a "directive" from her coach- "Go out slow and pass people the whole way" so I thought I'd hop on her train for the first half. For her, "go out slow" is about 1:30 pace. I thought, even though I hadn't been specifically training for the half marathon per se, and had a tough ride with two pro Ironman athletes the day prior, I could still squeak out something along the lines of a 1:30.

Race day morning was a bit of a s$%t show. partners in crime...
The shuttles from finish to start line took WAY longer than anticipated and we barely made it to the first corral by the gun time. we seriously had 30 seconds to spare when we got there and neither of us had safety pins for our bibs. WHOOPS!! but, K assured me that the races you are least prepared for are often the best.
Turns out she was right! We ran side by side comfortably for the first 7 miles around 6:40 pace.
see....having fun! (we had gotten 1 safety pin each from a kind soul in the corral just seconds before the start, so looking at our bibs in the race pics is funny... quite crooked, but did the job)
Katya started dropping the pace at about mile 6-7 and there were some gradual uphills (if you can call them that) around miles 8-9. I nearly lost it, but kept her within 5 yds through the rough patch.
see here- i almost fell off the k train (i'm behind mr. gloves, keeping katya in my sights...


by mile 10, i knew i could squeak out 3 faster miles literally following in her footsteps. and i did. I made it back to run next to her for the last couple miles. It hurt! (nice bibs, girls!)

and it was worth it. i was doubled over in the finish chute and katya still looked fresh, fresh, fresh....
I got a nice half marathon PR- 1:26:39 (6:37pace) thanks to my expert pacer. About 2 minutes faster than my previous best. woo hoo! The entire thing was run negative splitting each mile. we started out with steady 6:40's and dropped though the 30's down to 6:20's the last few miles.

I'm starting to think this Dirk guy knows what he is talking about. Hill repeats and tempo runs ARE good for me! Well, coach D knows what he's talking about except for the 2 hour ride he had on the schedule after the half marathon. yeah. that didn't happen.

After the race, we spent some quality time with Travis, Katya's manager and all-around supremely great guy, and then we hit the road. near Yuma, i decided to drive. I also decided to go 85 and get pulled over by highway patrol. considering i didn't have my license on me and K's car insurance wasn't in the car, I was pretty stoked to pull out of there with only a ticket for 75 in a 65. not bad!

good times all around.

22 comments:

runwritetherapylife said...

Wow, that sounds like an awesome running/biking extravaganza trip. Congrats on the half marathong PR -- that is speedy!!

Sue said...

you did marvelous:) and guess who is coming to cda!!

D said...

Way to go on the PR, hot shot. I didn't realize. That's rad! But if you're coach is so smart, why didn't you do that ride? ;P

kerrie said...

so sad that i missed catching up with you - i was so sure you'd be there longer after the race. and i assure you, i'm pretty fun to hang out with...especially when i'm hopped up on percocet. lol. nice job on the pr and the pacing. (i think a friend of mine finished right after you guys!)

GZ said...

well done! Tilted bibs are now a requirement for any fast running.

And absolutely on hills and tempo runs. Amen to that.

runninggunner said...

Nice work on the PB!

Sounds like you got lucky with the ticket.

Tawnee said...

First off, you're not too old for our team, you were just already taken! ;)

Second, holy crap! Way to PR after a gnarly bike ride. Are you moving into 30-34 this year? If so, that makes me happy cause I'll be in 25-29 and don't want to mess w you haha

Ryan Denner said...

sounds like one epic weekend!

I've never heard of chamois sniffer - thats freakin hilarious!

... and nice use of 'bugger'

Beth said...

Congrats on the PR Beth! And after the big bike the day before...I'd say that coach of yours does know what he's talking about. ;)

Jill Costantino said...

Woohoo - nice PR!!! What a fun road trip!
Congrats:)

skinnyrunner.com said...

omg you are fast! and pretty dang amazing!

Pedal Circles said...

Awesome! WTG on the PR and I love the new bike kit.

Colleen said...

yahhh PR!!! and love the kit! so cute! now if we could find a time to ride OUTSIDE together! =)

Charisa said...

Congrats on the PR!

SixTwoThree said...

This post made me giggle from beginning to end. And yeah, thought you ought to be training with some pros already, so keep up the name dropping and give us a vicarious peek into the elite world of triathlon. Way to go Newleywads! (And time to update the bio Mrs. Walsh?)

Jennifer Yake Neuschwander said...

Awesome job!!!!!! Wowzers that is fast.

Sarah Huddyson said...

the newleywadventures... hahaha THE BEST TITLE!!!

IAN said...

Congrats. I had the same realizations about the "Crazy German" (Dirk not Maiki) after a few races. Hopefully they continue.

Kristin said...

Congrats on your PR! I am hopefully moving to SD this fall-ish for work so I would love to pick your brain sometime on clubs, etc.

Yasi said...

Stellar job on the PR!

Stephanie Corker Irwin said...

YOU! ARE! A! MACHINE!! Way to go!
Are you running the Carlsbad marathon or 1/2 this weekend by chance? I'm in town from Vancouver and would LOVE to meet you:)

FatDad said...

Drafting off the truck: Awesome. We used to draft off the bus on our BMX bikes back in high school...