10 days ago the fate of my Ironman Arizona prep was a dreary one. Daylight savings was looming, days were dark, short and cold. Nearly all my training sessions were taking place in the man-cave (God Bless the Man Cave!). Most my Missoula training partners have disappeared deep into the off-season. On tap for the weekend was a 5-6 hour ride. Chris was headed off fishing for the weekend - I was needing some motivation!
The Biscay/Twelsiek household to the rescue… A few text messages later, a plane ticket was booked and I was off to one of my favorite training destinations -Tucson, Arizona. Hillary is training for the UltraMan in Hawaii - no small feat. On November 26th, over three days, she will swim 6.2 miles, she will ride 261.4 miles, and on the last day she will run 52.4 miles. I was happy to accompany her for only a small portion of her training sessions.
Hillary’s better half is Maiki Twelsiek. My new German friend, aptly nicknamed GCM = German Cycling Machine. In case you don’t know Maiki, also a rider for Scott, he was second off the bike at the Ironman Hawaii this year. He knows his way aboard his Scott Plasma 3! Maiki is the first German I have ever trained with, and it was a lot of fun! His job was to make sure my watts didn’t drop on any of my cycling intervals. After ripping my legs off riding, he would then rip my arms off in the pool. The end result were afternoons spent on the Biscay/Twelsiek couch resting (and eating) up for the next session.
I have known Hillary since my first Ironman in 2006 - but we had never trained together. I was really impressed. Anyone that knows Hills knows she is tough as nails with a work-ethic to boot. Hillary is a classic ambassador for our sport. She is positive, caring, willing to share training & racing tips, isn’t afraid to suffer, and knows how to have fun! We need more Hillary’s in this sport!! I hope I played a small part in her Ultra Man training adventure.
It wouldn’t be a trip to Tucson without a trip up Mt. Lemmon, either. If I could pick one of my favorite types of training days - a big cycling adventure has to top the list. The 25-mile Mt Lemmon climb starts in the desert of Tucson and climbs up and up and up trading cactus for pine trees to the ski resort of Summer Haven. The reward at the top, besides cold hands & feet, is the Cookie Cabin with a warm fireplace and cookies the size of your head.
Perhaps the other highlight of my trip was Sam McGlone introducing me to the Sonoran Hot Dog. I hope you are reading, dad! Unfortunately, the camera was missing in action for this adventure. The Sonoran hot dog is a bacon-wrapped hot dog shoved into a soft Mexican white bun topped with pinto beans, chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapeno sauce, cheese, mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard. The only way to do this up right was to visit an undisclosed location in South Tucson that can best be described as a Taco Truck on steroids.
I would rate my week in Tucson a success! Big thank you’s to Hillary, Maiki, Sam, Damon, and the rest of the Motley Tucson Training Crew. I got to train with some new people, enjoy the sunshine, ride my bike outdoors and put the finishing touches on my prep for Ironman Arizona. Its hard to believe, my last race of 2010 is right around the corner. The race in Arizona is a fun one with the highlight being that is a 3-loop bike and 3-loop run course. This makes for many opportunities to see my friends and family!
See you on the sunny-side. I will check-in race week.