It’s 6pm September 18, 2022. I am sitting in our 102F inflated hot tub with some epson salts outside in the 93F heat watching Lionel Sanders and Sam Long at the PTO Dallas Open. I got 2 bottles of Gatorade Endurance before I hit the Red Wine and NY Strip Steaks on the open fire pit. It has been a big, tough week, and a grueling day after competing in the Mt Graham Hill Climb last Sunday. Today, it was the 40KM Arizona State TT Championship.
The week involved 19.5hrs total training, 267 miles, and 1,019 TSS. I stepped up from 19.1hrs last week but slightly behind on the TSS from today’s poor long ride after the TT. But with 5hrs yesterday and 6.4hrs today, it was a big, building week. Monday’s weigh in of 183.8 dropped throughout the week from water retention to 180.6 this morning and 174.4 after the run.
Yesterday I had a good 6KM 1:38:35 swim improving 1:20 from last week. On the bike I did 15x1min at VO2 Max averaging around 409 watts with 1min off on Wednesday. I also increased my long run to 11 miles yesterday taking 1:37 at 8:54/mile. Friday night was frozen pizzas and a bottle of Champagne. Saturday was pasta frusili with onion, garlic, and garden basil.
Brekky was 2 pieces of toast with jam, banana, and 2 redbulls for the 55min drive north from Sahuarita to half way between Tucson and Phoenix. Our destination at Piccacho peak was the farthest western site of a battle during the civil war. It is also where Lionel Sanders frequently trains.
Saturday night I put on a brand new DuraAce 11-28 cassette on my WheelScience disc. I also took off my rear bento box for weight and aerodynamics. I put 1 C02 and levers and tube in my RYD TriSuit. I did a 27min warm up seeing Heather Jackaon, Wattie and their new dog Steevie. My legs felt a little tired, sore, and slightly zapped but sometimes, this is when performances shine, sometimes.
At 20min to go I ate a 200calorie Clif ShotBloks. I had my RudyProject aero helmet with shield, and regular glasses underneath. I lined up after watching Fiona and Heather take off. My goal was 340-350watts holding on and beating my 60min all time power best of 317watts inside from June 2020 or 313watts on Mt Lemmon in April.
I stepped into the pedals with assistant holding the bike. I watched the clock click down with my name present. There were 4 in the A/G and I expected to at least get on the podium. None had done IRONMAN in 2022 from All World Athlete status. There was a headwind but this was go time.
The clock clicked over and I took off holding 405watts the first min up a slight climb of the 36 total feet climb. At 5min and 354 watts I was feeling good at slightly above FTP of which is 328 but is probably 335-345 now. Things settled and I passed 1 and then 2 and then got passed by 1 flying making me quite humbled. 10min was 345 watts. The flat out and back road was garbage and I was holding 20-21mph into the headwind. I knew that would be about 6-8mph faster on the return which meant 24mph, not fast enough for sub1hr. At 20min I was AT FTP of 329 and then knew it was not my day; fatigue was getting higher but I had to continue to fight. The 30min was 317watts and the 60min PB was falling away from me. I turned at 35:38 quite dissapointed and past by 3. I caught up to 2nd in my A/G at the turn on his tail but he really took off and was gone beating me by 1:25 on the return. Again, quite humbled there.
The HR was starting to come down too. I had held 142-144 the first half but that started to slack down to 138. It was also a bit frustrating getting passed by 2nd place on the way out and then for him to not accelerate. So that was a bit back and forth but the road was also getting to me. It was also great to see Fiona and Heather on the way back as well. I tried to bring it back to the finish but finished in 1:02:07 at 24.02mph, lower than my goal 4:39 pace for Ironman Arizona! The laps were at 311 watts and 292 watts. HR was at 141 and 138. Cadence was 86 and 87 with the tailwind. Speed was 20.9mph and 28.1mph. Temp was 78F and 82F. I pushed through the line but was pretty disappointed. Of course, I know why I didnt perform, and that is fact. Although last week I was on my roadie. I am sure I held same power for 2hrs vs todays 1hr. It was my 2nd fastest power on the year after Mt Lemmon but this was only my 13th fastest all-time 60min power this year.
In the end, I got another Bronze, this time out of 4 vs 5 and Fiona is also a State Champion again but no competition.
After the race my intention was Gates Pass to Mission road for 80ish miles. After 1hr I headed into Circle K for an XL Coke-Cola. Once into Marana I passed a fellow triathlete on a TT and then boom. My rear bento and nutrion box totally collapsed. Fuck! This meant 2 bottles of nutrition, tubes, and 1hr drive to get this back from these shitty ass roads!. Seriously, I tightened that thing well, not well enough. Past the airport and the perfect pavement from 2months earlier was totally wripped up. Into the loop and dowsed myself at a water stop and again at another while my power was falling to pieces and nutrition turnung into garbage. By TopGolf I was seriously contemplating Fiona to come pick me up since it was now 98F, my legs were trashed, and I was far from a happy place. I assumed she was on the turbo and knew I had to gut it out to get that mental toughness. On Nogales highway past Raytheon, my work, I headed into my doughnut pitstop and got more water with only 10miles to go, totally defeated. I finally finished. Fiona joined me on the 1hr 20min return drive for the bento box. I really did not want to run but needed to to increase my mileage to 35miles from 30miles and and total volume greater than the week prior. So, another RedBull and Gatorade bottle and I turned on the PTO. Well, I got it done feeling better than expected. Next up? 70.3 World Championship. STAY TUNED!!!