Wednesday, August 11, 2010

RACE REPORT - Peters Canyon Trail Run #3

It's been an unusually mild summer here in SoCal and that makes for great running conditions. This was the last race in the series and I had set of goal of doing a PR for this race to really test myself and my conditioning. My best time was 42:16 and I was hoping to finish under :42 The race was being run counter clockwise again which I think is the harder direction. Most of the 1,000 feet of elevation gain on this five mile course hits you at the one mile mark whether you are warmed up or not. I kept leap frogging a woman much younger than me when we hit the hills. On the climbs I would race past her, on the down hills she would race past me. She had to be under 5'3" with an inseam of 10" but somehow she is faster than me on the downhills? It was weird. I was thinking if we were both on mountain bikes I would show her who was fast! There's nothing like a race to get the competitive juices flowing. As we finished the majority of the climbing and started back to the finish line with two miles to go I pulled ahead. With one mile to go I caught a guy wearing an Ironman Finisher hat and flew by him. Looking at my watch I knew I would PR...not because of the elapsed time but because my heart rate was at 180! With a half mile to go 10" inseam girl goes flying by me while Ironman Finisher is at my heels. I pick up the pace and jump on 10" inseam girls heels for about... 10 meters and I realize there is no way I can beat her but I've dropped Ironman Finisher. With 50 meters to the finish line Ironman Finisher kicks it in and catches me... I try to stay with him but I'm done and slowing down. I cross the finish line 41:15! To my surprise my wife is at the finish line as well...the woman who eats 7:00 minute miles for breakfast!? She beat me by seven seconds? Now admittedly my wife had a bad day and still beat me by seven seconds...but those seven seconds will go down in Clarke family lore for some time.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


This past week was one of my best overall training weeks. I set a PR at Peters Canyon and the following morning had a great swim which was unexpected with the stress of the race the night before. On Sunday my wife decided to join me for my long run and I had one of my best long runs since I began training for IMAZ. One interesting training note is that my run after the bike on Tuesday is always slower and harder than my run after the bike on Saturday. Maybe it's because I work all day Tuesday? Maybe it's because I'm coming out of an off day? If you look at the numbers you would not guess I would be faster on Saturday.


TUESDAY- Brick. Bike 1:37 (30.1 miles) Run 4.2 miles.
WEDNESDAY - Swim 1,500 yds. Bike 1 Hour.
THURSDAY - Trail Race 5.0 miles 41:15
FRIDAY - Swim 1,500 yds.
SATURDAY - Brick. Ride 2:56 (56.7 miles) Run 5.6 miles.
SUNDAY - Run 11 miles followed by a 1:00 easy bike (14.6 miles).


"When The Levee Breaks I'll have no place to stay" I cant get that Led Zeppelin song "When the Levee Breaks" out of my head. For those of you who don't keep up on local news in Tempe Arizona, the levee or in this case inflatable dam, burst sending all of the water used for Ironman Arizona down stream. Fortunately no one was hurt but it does put somewhat of a cloud over IMAZ. The City of Tempe hopes to have the dam replaced and the man made lake refilled by November 1st just three weeks before the start of my race. It's completely out of my hands so I will just keep training with the hope that all goes well with the repair. I'm trusting WTC who runs everything Ironman has already come up with an alternate strategy if Tempe Towne Lake is dry and maybe my first Ironman will have an added historical footnote.

Here is the lake during the IMAZ swim start.

Here is what it looks like now.

Monday, August 2, 2010


If you look at my training this last week you will notice the increased workload. Of special note is last Sundays run. It' the longest run I have ever done in my life and the longest ever in training. A little more than a half marathon distance. I'm still struggling with my nutrition and making sure I'm taking in enough calories on days like Tuesday and Wednesday and not over eating on days like Thursday and Friday. I've never counted calories although I've been known to look at the calories of food items but now I'm starting to count the calories so I have an idea of how much fuel I need for the days work after work. Speaking of training, with the exception of swimming, I'm doing all of mine after the workday. It seems more people do their workouts in the morning but I prefer to sleep later and do the work after work which makes my caloric intake during the day important so I can get through the evenings workout without bonking. In two more weeks I will be getting in to the more intense training of my plan including Saturdays of doing my own triathlons. I can't wait!
Here is last weeks schedule.

TUESDAY- Brick. Bike 1:38 (30.3 miles) Run 4.2 miles.
WEDNESDAY - Swim 1,500 yds. Run 7.0 miles (track workout)
THURSDAY - Bike 1 hour hills. (17 miles)
FRIDAY - Swim 1,500 yds.
SATURDAY - Brick. Ride 2:27 (43.8 miles) Run 5.1 miles.
SUNDAY - Run 13.8 miles followed by a 1:15 bike (20.2 miles).