Friday, March 13, 2009

The Cupcake Booty Call

You know that you're working hard when you get invited for cupcakes at 9 pm after eating a full dinner of sushi and udon, and without hesitation or pause, respond with a resounding "YES!"

Thank you Tri-girl Kate Oliver!

Tuscon Camp has been great. Fabulous coaches (Jen, Jerome, and the legend Spencer Smith), lots of training, oodles of great people, beautiful weather, and lots of funny things being said. Though the workouts have been tough - physically and mentally at times - the strength built from such an exertion is unlike any other. There's something so satisfying about grinding up a mountain at 80 rpms for just under two and a half hours.

Seeing the 8,000 elevation sign was great. Biking down a big hill on the mountain and then climbing yet again - only to see another 8,000 elevation sigh - is priceless. As though you needed that "extra" reminder. My ragged breath coming out in gasps was enough, thank-you-very-much.

Suffice to say, Mt. Lemmon was spectacular. Great views, wind-swept highway, a desert landcape of cacti and rock at the base that slowly changes to pine and snow towards the top, hot coffee, and the satisfaction that accompanies reaching the end result (finishing and surviving!). Thursday's climb was truly spectacular.

And Elizabeth was right: Mt Lemmon and Mt. Palomar are extremely different. Lemmon feels like 2:30 of big ring work - grinding and constant, keeping the rpms at 70-80 the entire time. No segement seems impossibly difficult or too steep. Palomar is downright cruel: much steeper, but a good 60 minutes shorter.

And there's no pie at the top. Although - the (allegedy crazy) Mt. Lemmon pie lady was NOT open on Thursday. That's okay though, as I wasn't interested in paying $12 for a piece of pie. That works out to something like .45 per mile. I think. Worth it if you REALLY need it, but overpriced in any other scenario.

Given the two (climbs), I'm not sure which one I would choose. Both are fantastic in their own right and should be respected for the incredible climbs they are. I love the elevation of Mt. Lemmon and the constant grind. But Palomar is practically in my own back yard - and is really like no other climb in the area.

Today was a long swim, followed by core work, followed by a 2-hour run in Sabino Canyon. I knew I was in for a tough one when Jen told me to run with Jerome and Spencer. "Don't worry - they'll go at your pace!" she assured me.

Then they took off and according to someone's Garmin, we were running a pace that I reserve for my half marathon race pace. Yeah, good stuff. I was afraid to look at my heart rate monitor for fear of seeing the numbers. There are some things better left unknown.

Upon entering the canyon, one of the first signs that I saw read: DANGER! HIGH MOUNTAIN LION ACTIVITY! Excellent! Now when my heart explodes from the pace, my sorry carcass will be picked off by Mother Nature's own. Lovely!

Actually the run felt really good, and I was happy that 1) My legs didn't die 2) I managed to pretty much hang with my group 3) I wasn't picked off by something resembling a really REALLY big House Monster and 4) I got stronger for the final 25 minutes or so. Really, I think I got my "second wind" when it became apparent we were returning to the resort. Nothing says "RUN FAST!" like stopping and then jumping into a cold pool.

Because really - there's a COLD pool at the resort. Right next to the really HOT one. And honestly? I've never been envious of 8-year-olds in the hot tub until today, when I was shivering in 58 degree water up to my abdomen. They looked warm.

But hey - I had just run 2 hours and NOT been eaten by a Mountain Lion. I had nothing to complain about.

Tomorrow we've got another long day in the saddle + transition run. Jen assures me (because I'm doing Ironman) that I'll be running long. And I'm totally okay with that, oddly excited...

So far Tuscon has been absolutely fantastic. I'm really enjoying my time here, the training, the camraderie, the cupcakes... They were delicious. And when Kate inqured if anyone would be interested in cupcakes, I couldn't turn her down. Because me + baked goods (sheet cake in particular) are like 'this' (my fingers are crossed).

And who knows? Perhaps it'll give me that little bit 'extra' to hang with the amazing Spencer Smith on my ride. I highly doubt it - but at least I'm willing to try. That's what its about anyway -right? Putting yourself out there, doing the hard work, and discovering what you're made of along the way.

I'm sad that Camp is half over, but will relish every last moment of it.

Now - to bed. I'm exhausted, ready to crash, beyond tired. My roomie - Kellye Mills - is already asleep. Tomorrow's another big day. Hurrah!

15 comments:

D said...

Sorry lady, but I'm pretty stoked your camp is almost done ;P

Mama Simmons said...

I'm jealous! Would live to be there with you guys... Enjoy!!

Beth said...

Sounds like an awesome time!! Hope you enjoy your remaining days - I'm sure you will... and I know you can hang with the "big boys" on the ride today!! Enjoy!

ADC said...

Sounds amazing. Well done on your run. And the climb. And the cupcake. :-)
D - you crack me up :))))

E.L.F. said...

Kate is the best booty call ever. And I like Palomar better. Lemmon -ah, it was ok. Palomar makes you get all sweaty behind your neck with a little fear like - will I make it?

Missy said...

Mmmm cupcakes! Yep, I'm a sucker too. Good to hear that camp is going very well. Way to hang!

Maijaleena said...

Sounds like lots of fun! CUPCAKES!!!!!!!!!!

Molly said...

It was great to finally meet you! Can't wait to cheer for you in June :)

Shan said...

Awww wish I was there!!! Glad you all are having so much fun and working hard! :)

Kim said...

I love it! You sound so good and the training sounds hard but right up your alley. So glad you enjoyed your cupcake too.. hope it had the really perfect icing like the birthday cake piece we were looking for that night in SD! Great job Marit! Keep up the great work!!

Eileen Swanson said...

Sounds like so much fun Marit! Tell everyone I say hello and keep working hard! Miss ya ;-)

BreeWee said...

Oh fun times... a camp @$$ kick is always fun (you know what I mean!) thanks for sharing, so wish I was there, not really but kinda of... actually I wish you all were having your camp here!

GOOD luck on the second half of camp!

Bob Mitera said...

My favorite part of Mt. Lemmon is the pine section. I couldn't inhale through my nose enough. Real pine smell. Awesome! The pie at the top - I was told I "had to" have some was quite good. One slice was as big as a paper plate - worth it actually. The people there were nice to me, but I've heard the stories of others not getting a good "customer experience".

I'm looking forward to climbing Mt. Palomar and a rematch with Temecula's climbs.

I'm marshaling the California 70.3 pro race (pro men I believe, but it is all subject to change unless Jimmy is involved).

See you soon.

Bob

Charisa said...

Sounds like a GREAT time!! Have fun!

Cy said...

Great recap...I've done Lemmon once, and now I'm very intrigued to give Palomar a try. Climbing is my favorite.

I've been enjoying the photos on FB. The one of you all underwater is SO cute!

Hard training with great friends-That's what it's all about!