He was committed. Peter was willing to make triathlon the most important thing in his life, it was his life. Peter was willing to do what it would take to improve and be the best. He talked about joining a swim team when he was first starting out since he wasn't a great swimmer. The coach was willing to accept him on the team but pointed down to the end of the pool and said you'll have to swim in that lane. That lane had 10-12 year old boys swimming in the lane, he was in his early 20's. He said the toughest part was he would have to swim in meets with the kids and he said they beat him. The next season though he was coming out of the water with the leaders. He was committed and willing to put up with some humility to improve.
He was consistent and methodical. One of the big things that I took away from listening to Peter was that he would do the little things to improve. The two big examples of this were his focus on run drills. He said he would do the drills weekly (consistent) and would focus on executing them flawlessly. Peter contributed this to him going from a guy that could only run around a 42 minute 10K in the Olympic distant triathlons to being a 2:42 marathon guy in the Ironman. The other story that stuck out in my mind was his focus on diet leading up to a race. He knew he had to eat healthy for the weeks leading up to key races and he said he would put that as a priority leading to the race cutting out the "bad" foods and things like coffee.
What I took away from my time with Peter aside from some great tips on training and racing was that you need to find your own path in triathlon (why your doing it) and to focus on the little things in your preparation and racing.
With all of his success in the sport of triathlon and his great physical abilities, in the end he is just a man on a journey to find happiness and fulfillment in life. I get the sense that he's well on continuing that journey.
Peter when you're ready to hit the water for some sailing give me a shout and I'll be happy to get you nailing your jibes.
The climb totaled 24 miles and we ascended 6300 feet over that distance. and according to my Garmin we topped out over 8000 feet of altitude. This is really a spectacular ride the roads are beautifully smooth, little traffic and spectacular views. The climb takes you from the desert and cactuses to an alpine forest we even had some snow on the edges of the road. Really great and I understand why it's considered one of the great rides anywhere.
We took a short break in Summerhaven and grabbed a slice of pie at the pie shop. I'm not a huge pie fan but it tasted pretty damn good after 2:50 of climbing.
I was itching to get back on the road as I was getting a little chilled so I headed out (can't get lost just follow the road back down the way we came up). You climb for about 15 minutes before really hitting the actual descent. Just as I was coming back to the true summit a rider was coming up the other direction (this guy was flying up the hill). We ended up heading down together which was wild. We were flying. This is the greatest descent you can literally fly down the entire way without hitting the breaks. This doesn't mean that it's easy. I was on the pedals the entire way looking for more speed and my average heart rate on the descent was just a tick below my average for the climb up. The descent which took me 2:50 to ride up took me just 50 minutes to descend.
There is one section where the road is cobbled sandstone but very rough and as I exited this section I noticed that my garmin was gone. Now I lost my first garmin just a couple weeks ago on a ride so I wasn't going to replace this one just a week after buying it so I turned the bike around and rode back up to the cobble section to look for it. Thankfully I found it.
I hit the bottom of the ride and pulled off to the side of the road to wait for a few other riders for the 10 mile spin back to the hotel. I ended up waiting 25 minutes for the next riders to arrive which included Peter Reid and Garth from Specialized who had raced down from Summerhaven. We did a casual spin (at 22 mph) back to the hotel through Tucson and headed out for a quick transition run.
This was the end of sessions for the week and we capped off the trip with a chat with Peter Reid and and a BBQ with all of the camp attendees and coaches. Overall a great week and I'm feeling energized and ready to keep the training going. I'm going to be posting a few other posts about the trip including my impressions and chats with Sam Mcglone and Peter Reid.
Immediately after the bike we headed out for a 20 minute transition run and I felt really good at the end of the run. Later that afternoon we headed out for some run drill training. Overall I felt like it was a pretty easy day. I think they were resting us up for the big day on the Mt. Lemon ride.
I led the group up the trail today and felt amazing today. Comfortable and very consist. Within a mile or so things separated a bit and we had a group of 4 with Sam McGlone, Harrison (young kid from Vancouver, BC) and Paul Cross. Towards the top Paul stopped at trail Y to give directions and when I looked back it was just myself and Sam. After cresting the top of the trail we headed back down on the road which goes up the canyon bottom. It was a fun, fast, comfortable descent back to the parking lot. The run was a little over 1:20 and about 9 miles. It was really fun getting to chat with Sam during the run and pick her brain on her run training.
We had a great afternoon session in the pool. It was great swimming in an outdoor swimming pool which I've never done. It was a relatively easy workout focusing on drills and a few laps which totaled probably 1700 yards. It was great to stretch things out after the morning run.
We capped off the day with great chat with Sam McGlone about tips for racing in Kona and then headed out for a group dinner which was really fun to chat with Paul Cross and Ian from Specialized at dinner. Off to bed now as tomorrow is the log ride to the border (or nearly to the border).
After a short regroup we headed down the backside of gates pass which is a short steep technical descent before flattening with some rollers. My group headed continued on for a loop of about 10 miles. Everyone else was on tri bikes and things got rolling in the paceline which was smokin fast. The group was rolling along at about 30 miles an hour. I was at the back of of the group trying to hang on but it didn't last long. I was feeling the effects of my sinus infection still. I ended up a couple minutes back at the end but still holding 25-27 mph on my own.
The group I was in were no slouches. It included Sam McGlone (2nd at Kona this year) and TJ Tollakson who was 3rd at Ironman Louisville in 8:46 and 30th in Kona in 9:03 with a 4:44 bike split at the front. Sam was leading this group and this little woman can fly, really impressive.
We then needed to go back up to the top of the pass which wasn't long but it was steep most of the climb was over 20% grade with the last section topping out at 26%. We finished off the ride back down to Tucson and through the city streets including cutting through the University of Arizona.
After a little downtime and refueling we headed out for a short 45 minute run as we're going long the following day. It was a great little run and I had the opportunity to run and chat with Peter Reid which was really cool. I'll post separately about our chat later.
No pictures to post as I forgot my cable for my camera. More updates to come from Tucson.