Friday, May 24, 2013

El Tour to Tucson - 2013

I have been remiss in getting this event up on my blog.  Lifetime Fitness in Tempe does a 'Tour TO Tucson' every year in April and what an event it is!  Since moving back to AZ I have told Becky it would be great to ride to Tucson from our house but, of course, I didn't know the route I should take and it is about 118 miles of desert so you better be prepared!  Tucson has a lot of significance given my wife grew up there and it has some awesome Mexican food.  It is also fun to visit and close.  All reasons to make the trip and add a little fitness.

Then I heard about this event...  For $50.00, you ride with a group from the Lifetime Fitness in Tempe to the Westin La Paloma Resort in North Tucson.  Fully supported with SAG crews basically riding out in front of you and setting up tents, massage tables (YES!), food, drinks, music, etc. every 20 miles.  Incredible value and so much fun!  Then, you have the option of coming back home that day (they will provide transport) or staying the weekend at the Westin (which is an awesome resort) at a discounted rate.  I signed up in a flash!  Becky decided to meet me down there and we would stay over after the ride.  It ended up to be an absolutely wonderful event!  Really a highlight of my year.

 This was us getting started at the beginning of the ride.  One of the SAG wagons getting setup in the parking lot of the Lifetime in Tempe.

This was one of the race coordinators going over instructions and how were were going to operate.  Octane even had freebies to distribute during the ride.  Others did too, including TriSports and Clif products.

Our first stop at the Bashas in Sun Lakes....

This is me at the beginning of the ride.  It ended up getting much hotter over the course of the day so the arm warmers came off!
 Did I tell you they had a massage girl at every SAG stop!  Pure luxury.  I am thinking they need to have this setup for IMAZ!

 This is me at the end.  118 miles at 6:01:00 later!

 These are all of the Westin La Paloma resort.  We had a great time!


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness - REVIEW

I just finished my latest book off the bookshelf, "Eat & Run" by famed ultramarathoner, Scott Jurek.  Overall, the book was good and fairly entertaining.  Not like some of the others I have read like "The Secret Race" or even Chrissie's book.  Scotts was more simple.  More down to earth.  Not a lot of scandal or intrigue.  Some good stories about races - nobody can deny this guy is one of the greatest endurance athletes in the world today.  His story is remarkable in a plain way - which made it interesting.  His upbringing in Northern Minnesota resonated with me, in the sense that I made Minnesota my home for more than five years.

The root of Scott's story, though, revolves around his diet - he is a vegan - which is unique in the endurance athlete world.  Throughout the chapters he builds up, not only in his ability to race and win incredible long distance contests, but at the same time he builds up his advocacy for eating vegan.  He sprinkles in some interesting vegan recipies at the end of each chapter.  He has some soul searching throughout the book - trying to recapture what made him desire to run.  All of it was interesting and entertaining and made for a good read.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

AZ Open Water Swimming Series - Canyon Lake 4000 Meters

In my quest to psychologically prove I can do the Ironman distance sports in each of their distances, I decided to sign up for the Canyon Lake AZ Open Water Swimming Series Race - a small group of people that get together in AZ to swim various distances in open water.  This particular race had a 1000 meter, 2000 meter and 4000 meter distances.  When I saw that I could do what amounts to a Ironman distance open water swim, in wetsuit, with buoys, medical support, etc. for $30 in my backyard, I jumped at the chance!

Jason Porter, his son Ren and Joel Betz and his son Bridger came along for the 4000.  Ren and Bridger are high school swimmers for Williams Field and promised to beat us old timers.  They were pretty low key, though, so we werent sure their hearts were really in it.

I think there were 88 swimmers for the 4000.  Some 60 to 80 for the 1000 and 2000 respectively.  Sign up was easy.  Accomodations were sparse but it was neat to see the cross section of athletes getting out.  Older folks, triathletes, younger swimmers.  Really neat.

The course was a big 1000 meter triangle.  4 laps for those of us doing the 4000.

I had some idea of my time - I had swam 3500 meters in a pool on Wednesday so I thought I would be somewhere in the 1.5 hour range.  I came out of the water at 1:34:17 and 19/23 in my Open Mens group.  The two high school boys got out at 3 laps....  Joel came in 17th at 1:14 and Jason at 1:45.  A lot of fun and good practice.