Mt Graham AZ State Championship. 3rd M35-39 Strava 1:57:29 at 275/284NP watts, 135HR avg

Its been 3 months since my last post but if you follow me on Strava, Kevin Coyle from Sahuarita, AZ, you might know that I have been on it! Today was no different and an absolute dream. But first, after the marathon I DNS in May, I started getting back to it and have increased my fitness CTL from 81 to 125. increasing my training to a max of 21hrs per week and averaging around 17hrs per week. I have done some pretty epic rides and am now cycling long each week outside from 5hr-7hr with rides up to 151miles. This ia different over the last several years where 90-95% has been inside.

I had taken almost 2 months off of running due to my partial stress fracture and plantar fasciitis and that has improved to about 70%. So in preparation for the IRONMAN  70.3 World Championship in St George Utah and IRONMAN Arizona, I have been decently consistent and doing quite well in my training. I am close to the fittest I have ever been on the bike and back to my high levels of swim achievement. On Friday I swam an Ironman 3.8km swim with pullbouy in the 25meter pool in 1:02:21. On Monday I had swam 6KM and then did another 6KM swim on Saturday. I did have Thursday off for a happy hour. I woke up early to train but went back to bed so am kicking myself now for that! Yesterday after the swim and some puzzling (see at the bottom), I ran 9 miles at 8:58/mile which was my longest run since May 28th when I ran 11miles before I broke myself. I also biked easy for 75min on the TT on the trainer. This whole week I was on my roadbike. The same road bike I went up Mt Washington on back in 2010; she gets very little use and the body could tell. I am so used to the TT, the road bike and its use of the quads is quite uncomfortable for me now!

I brought the roadie to Tom of Toms Bicycle Repair who has looked after us the last 5 years since stepping in his old shop in Green Valley, AZ. His new shop opens up this month at 2771 W Nebraska St in Tucson. And Tom is a legend coming all the way up to IRONMAN St George WC just to help me out with my bike! Well he worked on the shifting, alignment, and tuning yesterday afternoon which I desperately needed. He also gave me a much lighter skewer for my rear hub. Legend!

Back in July, a week after getting COVID, I flew to Keuka, NY to see Mom and Tony. I had registered for CLASH Watkins Glen before breaking myslef. I turned it into a relay doing the 1.9km swim and 50mile bike, mom ran the 11miles around the race track. It was a great time out and my first Clash event. I had swam 35:24 in some crazy windy waters of Seneca Lake and then biked hard at 267/279watts for 2hr24min. We destroyed 2nd place. I had 51min on the next place after the bike and mom held on giving back only 28min. I got to meet a ton of the Pros like Starky, West, and Chase. Then we hit up the wine expo. Epic. I also swam across Keuka Lake 2.1 miles in 1:02 with Mom and Tony following me on their boat!

AZ STATE CHAMPIONSHIP MT GRAHAM HILL CLIMB: Strava 1:57:29, 135HR, 275watts (Cycleops)

Fiona had been wanting to do this race for a while now. We had also seen Tucson Pro-Triathlete Heather Jackson’s race video on YouTube in 2020. We had also visited the area and rode the course in April 2020. But, the snow wasnt obvious and at the top it was 38F: coldest experience of my life. I rode it in 2:04 but told Fi to turn around since we were severly cold at 9,000′ and 38F with snow flurries, in a standard bike kit, nothing else. I went back 2 months later in 30 degree warmer temps and went 8min slower to 2:12 this time on the roadie.

We both thought the race would be good for us for Ironman Arizona so we became US Cycling members and registered.

After yesterdays 4hr15min training day, I had a Corona and whole frozen pizza. Bed before 9. We woke up at 430am and ate 2 blueberry muffins, banana, and blue monster. We left at 5. 2hrs later we arrived at higher elevations near Wilcox and the largest wine region in AZ. Down a redbull, 100cal of clif shot bloks, some warmup action picking up my old Cycleops Power Meter, and saw Heather! She said Hi to Fiona wearing TTL Gear ( That Triathlon Life) and I was wearing Team Plush gear that she and her husband Wattie started after WattieInk went away this year. Anthem, seeding, and at the start.

There were 5 in M35-39 masters, Fiona just had to finish. We went off in a mass start and after 1min of hearing people talking me wondering “wtf is going on here?” I saw HJ off the front and I thought, no way. This is my first only ever chance to ride with her in a race (this close). So I cut to the outside at 334 watts up to 607 watts and closed the gap. Then stuck on her wheel into the headwind. I took some pics because I was never going to get this chance again and stuck there for 10min at 335 watts. Now my cyclops is around 20watts lower than my Quarq so I was really holding around 355watts, which makes more sense. HR was at threshold of 146BPM and I loved it. Then she and a large group broke away since I am not used to threshold at all!

Over the next 18miles I clawed back maybe 10 riders but man were these boys fast! Just so damn strong! I was sweating loads and avg 313 ie 333watts for 30min, 295watts ie 315watts for 1hr, and 283watts ie 303watts for 90min which all make much more sense. I had 2 bottles of Gatorade Perform and ate 100cal clif shot bloks every 20min. The road is steeper than Mt Lemmon but even more beautiful and challenging. At the top, I saw someone with 200meters to go. I did actually think it was HJ because the kit was similar. It wasnt her obviously but I held 419 watts up to 691 watts for 23 seconds (at 9,000′) This segment was the highlight because I was 1st on the day and 28th all time out of 1,008. I quickly saw HJ and Wattie and their new dog Steevie they just got this past week and so adorable!

HJ going up a second time for the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawaii in 4 weeks. Go Heather!!!

I headed down a bit and found Fiona was doing great! She finished in 2:29 (Strava) and became the State Champion! She was worried about just getting up it but she is super strong. Proud of you Fi!!!

Mt Graham is in the top 15 of best/hardest hill climbs in the USA. It is not easy but well worth it. Stay tuned as (we) compete in the 40K TT State Championship next week, 70.3 St George (me), and IMAZ (we)!

Building the puzzle one piece at a time.

One response to “Mt Graham AZ State Championship. 3rd M35-39 Strava 1:57:29 at 275/284NP watts, 135HR avg

  1. I commented on Strava!!! This is awesome fir both you and Fiona! I look at Strava each am! So happy your feeling top notch again. Pretty crazy climbs!! Sent from my iPhone



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