Day 10 -Attack on Mt. Lemmon

Mt. Lemmon is probably the most well known of all the climbs in the Tucson area.  It's LONG (at 25miles) and takes you up just over 8000 ft in elevation (see pic).  It's a very scenic ride, though today I don't think many of the guys were noticing.

Justin and I rolled out at 8am from the westside of town and met the group about 30min from the base of the climb.  I actually preferred this because it gave me an extra 45+ min of warm-up. Once over there we fueled up and were off.

I knew the climb up to mile 20.5, which is where most turn around...I then heard that there was a descent of about 2.5miles before climbing and descending again into town.  If you have been following my blog, you know that I am NOT a good descender and I figured at the 20.5 mile mark I would need about 2minutes on anyone who I was going to stay away from to the end.

So my plan?  ATTACK at the bottom.  I wrapped my head around the length of the effort and lifted the pace just enough to slide off the front, then lifted again at the mile 1 marker.  With 24miles to go, the group was happy to let me go. I thought that I could probably manage 300w on the day, taking into consideration the altitude and other training in the legs. So I started out at about 310-20, knowing it would settle.

So how did it turn out?  TJ caught me at mile 9, but I managed to keep him at about 10-20sec for almost the next 10 miles.  I thought this would give me enough of a cushion over the rest of the guys, knowing TJ would eventually pull away.  At mile 18 heard the bad news that JD and Damon were only 90sec back...and the light headedness started to break my concentration.  I knew that I would not hold them off on the I crested mile 20.5 at about 1:35 with a normalized power right at 300w, which i was pleased with.  I descended cautiously per normal and then started the last few miles into town when i finally relinquished my 2nd place on the road.  We rolled in and I think TJ finished in 1:44/45, JD and Damon at 1:47 and myself at 1:48.  Not bad for a solo effort with lots of running in the legs. Happy with the day, our awesome coach bought us pizza and cookies (below) before we turned around and headed home.  All in all a very fun and long day with almost 100mi in the bank and just over 5hrs 30min in the saddle.

For the record I have coke, coffee, water, pizza and cookies in the above picture.

I am now off for a short swim with JD, followed by more coaching work before bed.  We have a big, but fun swim scheduled for the morning. For the first time I think I am actually getting stronger as training camp is going on.  This is a great sign with the first race of the year, Puerto Rico 70.3, only 3 weeks from Sunday.



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