When I say this outloud, I almost can’t believe it, but I went to Arizona last weekend just to train. Sounds like I belong on the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous or something, but the cost of the trip really wasn’t all that much. When I planned the trip several months ago, I figured long bike rides were going to be brutal this time of year here in Chicago and I wasn’t really that far off. The weather prediction for this weekend isn’t making me look forward to my last long ride in preparation for this race. Sure, there’s always the trainer, but….
Of course having someone to share the experience with makes it all that much better, so another fellow IMAZ competitor (SH) flew down to AZ for the weekend also. We arrived on Friday night and, trying to keep expenses to a minimum, we opted not to rent a car and decided to walk to dinner. This was Halloween night and I am now convinced that girls in college use Halloween to get away with dressing like hoochies. We also had some drunk college student talking to us as we walked past and actually burped as he was speaking. It was impossible not to laugh.
The two hour time difference screwed with us a little, but it allowed us to get a good night’s sleep before the ride on Saturday. We headed down the street to get some bagels, bananas and peanut butter to fuel for the long ride. After clearing out the couple of ice machines the hotel had, our Camelbacks and water bottles were full and we were ready to go. It was already warm by Chicago standards – a balmy 68 degrees or so.
I’m not going to give a long, detailed description of the entire ride, but know these important parts:
- The Beeline highway has a very deceiving incline
- You get hot even in a dry heat
- Wind and desert can make for a nasty combination
Though the ride was not brutal, it was tough. The drastic temperature change from the 32 of Chicago to the 97 of Tempe was hard to deal with…and I love the heat. At each stop, we filled up the water bottles and Camelbacks with ice, but our fluids never really seemed to stay cold. Biggest disappointment: I don’t even have any tan lines after being out there all day.
Had my brother come and pick us up for some dinner. It was great to see him and AZ seems to be treating him well. Dinner was fabulous and we ate every bite. It was our first real meal of the day. Another early bed time.
Got a little confused because now the time had changed. But it doesn’t change in AZ. So weird, I walked around the rest of the day not really being sure of what time it was. We ran 1 loop of the 2 loop run course (or something close to it). No real challenging hills, but definitely some ramps that will probably not be all that fun come race day. It was fun to see so many other people out there – on what was Nov. 2 – outside enjoying the day. There was an Autism walk this day and had an amazing turnout! We thought about snatching some water from some of the sponsors, but decided to head over and grab some recovery food at the Einstein’s on the way back to the hotel.
Sunday night brought us right back home. It was not as cold back home as I expected. Of course, I was hoping for freezing, sleeting conditions here while I was away!! This time, my bike and box made it back safe and sound (huge sigh of relief!) and now my hardest training weekend for IMAZ is complete.