Mt. Graham Hill Climb #2

8 weeks ago the family and I came to Roper Lake State Park for the first time to ride up the 4th tallest Mountain in Arizona. Yesterday, Sydney and I made our way again to this place with sone wine tasting en-route via Wilcox at Carlson and Coronado Vineyards. (wifey started new job and is studying and coming up to speed). I made Pepperoni Pizza and brownies drinking German beer. After I watched the movie Meru about the true story of the first successful ascent of this 20,000′ mountain in Northern India.

8am late wake up then fried bread with 3 eggs and a monster. It was already 85F. I started shortly after 9 with the goal of going Sub2 for the 19mile, 5,595Ascend to 9,000+’. My Trap/Rhombus pain is back and a 10 of 10 in terms of pain so I took the Roadie vs the TT like last time. I believe the Powertap Meter on my roadie is 10-20watts lower than my TT Quarq power meter which means my Total stress score TSS will be lower than I expect.

I have 15 weeks till Ironman St George and this week was a Rest and Test week. On Thursday I did an FTP test to start a race holding 365watts for 20min which is a 346FTP; this is 20min all time best power. On Friday before I left, I did a 5K test in 19:48 which is the fastest I have gone in 2yr4m. It wasn’t a big volume week so expected good results on the mtn.

From the start the legs didnt feel that great which was a result of the threshold work and being on my roadie which is the first time in a couple months. Near the start I passed a Tucson athlete wearing wattie gear. He was probably 55-65yrs old and was killin it. I kept him in my sights while sweat pooled in my glasses from the 97F-99F heat. Once we got through the short 12-13% grade section I overtook him and dropped him. The heat maintained for a while then dropped to 85F before dipping to 72F at the top. I never had the power, my arm killed me, and back was hurting good from the climb. I couldnt believe I was slower today than in freezing 35-40temps with snow but if competing at the Ironman World Championship has shown me anything, it’s that my body doesnt like the heat. Thats probably why some of the other cyclists I saw started at 5:45am. The highlight was looking up mid way to see 2 beautiful deer eating on the side. I stopped real quick and got some photos before they moved. Another highlight was descending in 47minutes (100/547) vs the 2hr11min (last) it took us last time with the cold. I ate 2 bloks every 10min and had 3 bottles of fluids rewarding myself with a brownie and Red Bull at the top.

While I am not happy with the time or power, my HR of 133 for 90min is Ironman Race Intensity and 3rd best HR for the year after Mt Lemon (cooler and rested) and Alpe du Zwift ( a Wed session for 90min). Last analysis here is 90min power on these HRs were 301/62F/135HR Quarq, 303/70F/134HR Quarq Inside, 251/88F/133HR Powertap. As my mother has learned in her running outside in humid heat, your pace will go to shit. So its important to realize that even though your power and pace are shit, if you look at HR, you eill have something positive to reflect on. In the meantime, I will continue to do 95% of my training on Zwift, WahooKickr, and Bowflex treadmill to build my strength and speed. Stay tuned, subscribe or follow me on Facebook at Kevin Patrick Coyle and Instagram at viper30ma. It is still going to be a great year!

P.S. With 10min to go I had a major blowout. I used the trick of putting a $1 bill between tube and tire so that the tube didn’t blow through the hole. It worked again for me. Note to self, always bring a spare tire!!!

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