Vitamin D Therapy: Training in Tucson

I don’t even know how this happened. I’m going to go ahead and blame my coach because it was his idea. Secondary blame goes to Sal, whom I allowed to make the final decision for  us, since I was on the fence:

“Sicily or training camp in Tucson?”

“Training camp in Tucson.”

I know, right?  I was surprised too.  But secretly kind of happy.  I mean, really?  Training camp?  Is that like band camp?  Just think of all the crazy crap we’re going to do!

Of course, I was also nervous.  Big miles early in the year.  There weren’t many women signed up to go.  I had visions of caribou and rescue teams. But my coach assured me I’d be ready, so I took a deep breath and one big leap of faith and trained my ass off.

And here I am.

It’s sunny.  In fact, it’s the best weather Tucson has seen all winter.  We rolled out in short sleeves and shorts.  No booties, no leg warmers, no wool base-layer, no thick cap.  No snow!

Shit-eating grins were the order of the day.

60 miles of rolling, climbing and swooping.  Not even the 30 mph headwind on the climb heading out could break us.  Mark attacked, Sal followed, and the game was on.

Eventually I hooked up with Javad and one of our guides, Mike, and we clawed our way into the wind to the top of the climb.  And I did what I do best – sucked wheel like a champ.

The work paid off and on the way back we found the big ring and ripped out a roaring descent.  Wind at our backs.

At Saguaro National Park we ducked in for an 8-mile lap around the scenic loop.  Roller coaster city.  One way traffic, vistas, and big silky turns.  The kind of terrain that makes you feel 12 years old again.

Back at the house we went straight into the unheated pool for an ice bath, slugging recovery drinks as we did.

Lunch was immaculate: lentil soup, naan bread, fresh green salad, and three bean salad.  It nearly rivaled the grilled salmon and rice pilaf of the night before.

I rubbed the road off my calves in the shower and wondered what tomorrow would feel like.  Then, like a kindergartner, I succumbed to nap time and fell asleep with the acute sensation of my legs heavy on the bed.

Tomorrow brings more miles, more climbing, and more sun.

Ride hard, buttercup – road season’s a-comin’!

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  1. Karsten Hagen

    You lucky, lucky person. Tell Owen I said “Hello!”. No trip to Tucson is complete without a trip to El Charo (downtown location) and the Congress. Go!

  2. Its so beautiful there!

  3. Dude, I’ve been to band camp (I’m sure Ty has, too). Training camp is way cooler than band camp.

  4. I’m crazy jealous!

    How was the new bike? Without the burden of all the cold weather gear was it everything you imagined?

  5. Aye aye aye! Vincent – the bike is magical! Really.
    Maybe it was a confidence boost I needed, or maybe it was the near-ten-pound weight loss from the Pino (or maybe it was both) but either way I’m riding strong and staying really comfortable. Yesterday was 4 hours total with 3:25 ride time. We climbed about 3780 feet and it was the “flat ride” of the week.
    I was just sitting there thanking god that I got the Veloforma in time for camp!

  6. Karsten – Owen says hello!

  7. Awesome report, and the site looks very slick!


  1. In the O: Kissy Face Tucson - The Everyday Athlete - [...] In the O: Kissy Face Tucson This week’s Everyday Cyclist column in the Oregonian is all about ...
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