A few years ago the main road I used to ride my bike on was torn up for a new freeway. They said a multi-use path would be built alongside the freeway, but I was skeptical.
Yesterday I got to ride on the new path and it’s pretty awesome!
I was really doing good pedaling during the spring lockdown, feeling strong! Unfortunately I allowed my return to work in early May and the Phoenix summer heat to put the kibosh on my riding (and most other fun outdoor activities).
I’m past ready to get back at it, so it was nice to get back on the bike on such a beautiful day. Did my standard start and cruised down to the new path.
It’s wide, smooth, has some hills, and is super protected from the freeway traffic. As skeptical as I was about it existing, I have to say ADOT really hit a home run with this. I love living in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix and this is just another great addition!
Now there’s really no excuse not to ride, and it’s the best time of year in AZ!!
These are definitely strange times for all of us. Who knew that just a few months into 2020 there’d be toilet paper hording and quarantines! Like many restaurants, the one that I work at is closed, which gives me quite bit of time right now. There is some work stuff to, but right now it’s not a whole lot.
I tend to get cabin fever pretty quickly when trapped in the house, even two days of no activity and I’m starting to aimlessly wander around the house. The one good thing is I enjoy solo outdoor activities. I think road biking is a pretty good for keeping a social distance, as long as you ride by yourself and give others a wide berth when passing.
This weekend I signed up for the Ironman VR race. Basically you have 3 days to complete a 5k run, 90k bike, and 21k run. I’ve got the time and it’s something to do. It’s been quite awhile since I’ve ridden that far, we’ll see how it goes! Did the 5k portion this morning.
I’ve also gotten in some decent hiking, with some more planned this week. We live towards one end of South Mountain Park in Phoenix, and while parts of it can get overly crowded now, I know many places to go were you barley see anyone and it’s easy to feel safe.
I want to do the complete the ridge line traverse from my Pyramid – National – Gila Loop hike on March 20th, by going over the last peak and not the pass, and I’ve got a permit for Aravaipa Canyon at the end of next week. I’ve never been there but, it’s supposed to be amazing! Just going to drive over in the morning, hike into the canyon for a few hours, then hike out. Definitely looking forward to checking out a new place!
What thing are you doing to keep occupied, enjoy the outdoors, and most importantly keep yourself and loved ones safe?
Got in a short Saturday ride. Arizona weather is awesome right now, no reason to not enjoy the outdoors. I love the area we live in, great riding in a cool place, you always see lots of other active people!
Didn’t get out as early as I wanted this morning, things kept getting in my way, but I was able to make it out for a quick, warm bike ride.
It’s been pretty hot here lately, even for Phoenix, so my late start made for a sweat-fest. Still glad I got in a ride, really going try to hike tomorrow morning. Gotta be ready for the Grand Canyon coming up soon!
I haven’t been riding very much this summer, unwilling to fight the heat. I feel like it’s time to get back at it, so i’ll be ready when the weather comes around! This is a great short ride for fitness, a little flatness to get the legs warmed up, some hills, a steeeeep short hill, and some hills on the way back. I feel super lucky to have such a great riding area right in the neighborhood!
I was hoping to have a solid summer of biking and hiking, but I just haven’t had the motivation to go out in the Phoenix heat!
For a long time I’ve been able to deal with and train through the summer, but in the past few years it has really started to effect me. I started noticing this in 2015, there were a few hot bike rides that really sent me sideways. I’m much more careful than I used to be when it comes to afternoon summer activities, always want to make home to the wife!!
I know with proper hydration and getting up early I can safely enjoy outdoor activities all year long, lots of people do it. But, sometimes when I take the dog out at 4am and it’s hot I just don’t feel like sweating it out.
This was a great overall experience, I got to train for the race with two really good fiends, we had nice weather and the IM people put on another great race! I headed down on Friday to get checked in and hang out at my friend’s booth at the expo. It was fun to just be down there and soak up the scene. We cruised around Tempe Beach Park, grabbed some food and hung out, a pretty good day. On Saturday I made it down about 10:15 to check my bike in and jump in the lake for a bit. When I got there the bike check in line was huge, I wrestled the wetsuit on and went for a 15 minute swim, it was nice to get a feel for the water. When I got finished swimming there was almost no line to check in the bike! After a getting the transition bags checked in I headed for home. Amy and I went out for a quick bite to eat and made it to bed around 9:30. I slept pretty well and woke up about 4 am, had a bagel with peanut butter, got dressed, grabbed my gear and headed out.
Found a good parking spot pretty easily, I had to put some food in my T1 bag and filled up the water bottle on the bike. After getting body marked, I met up with my friends for a bit and we all went over our plans for the race. Had a little extra time so Amy and I laid down in the grass for a bit. She brought her sleeping bag and I had my big red WKU Diving parka, made for a nice little nap!
The start of an IM race is always a cool experience, the helicopter flying overhead, the national anthem playing, the excitement of what’s to come! The gun went off and the day began! I settled into a pretty good rhythm and tried to keep calm. It seemed like there was a lot of contact in the water, I bumped into some girl a couple times and she must have gotten mad because she kicked me in the side pretty hard. If you get mad about people running into while swimming in the murkiness of Tempe Town Lake you’re probably going to be mad most of the swim. I set a good pace and felt solid the whole way. Got kicked in the goggle about 200 yards from the finish, fortunately it didn’t hurt too bad or knock my goggles off! Swam to the stairs and I was out of the water! Good IM effort swim, about 1 minute faster than my previous races.
Swim to Bike Transition 8:08
The strippers did great, got me out of my wetsuit quickly and I ran off to get my T1 bag. I usually just change in the grass outside the tent, it’s too hot and crowded in there and since I wear the same thing the whole time it’s just easier and nicer this way. Grabbed my bike and away I went!
Felt great leaving transition and had a solid first lap, during the second lap the wind picked up a little. I tried to keep my heart rate down and spin my way up the hill and then roll down at a good clip. On the third lap I backed it off a little to ensure my legs were ready for the run. I could have pushed it a little more but I feel like I rode a smart ride. I did a good job taking in calories and ate 3 bananas from the aid stations. It’s a great feeling to get to Shea Blvd on your 3rd lap, all you have to do is roll on back into Tempe and you’re done with the bike ride!
Bike to Run Transition 5:54
Handed off the bike to the volunteers and headed into the changing tent to get a little break from the sun. Ate some pretzels they were handing out in the tent, got the shoes on and got slathered up with sun screen!
Pretty happy with my run. In the past it has been my undoing in IM Races and this year I was determined not to let that happen. I started out a little fast, but settled into a comfortable, sustainable pace. The first lap was probably the toughest for me, the end seems so far away and it’s been a long day already. About 1/2 way through that 1st lap my right foot was feeling numb, this worried me because I didn’t want to have to start walking. I sat down and took off my calf compression sleeves and this totally fixed things, from here on out I just started feeling better and better! I walked through the aid stations and ran to the next one, these little respites from running gave me just enough rest to keep cranking out some good miles. I wanted to finish under 12 hours and knew it would be close, I picked up the pace about 4 miles out from the finish but just couldn’t make it happen. I was bummed I wasn’t coming in under my goal but dug deep to get as close as possible, while I was hurting pretty good those last few miles it felt great to be pushing that hard. It’s awesome to make the last turn on to the lake path and run past all the cheering people, really helps you keep going! I made the turn towards the finish and the feeling, like usual, makes all those hours of training worthwhile!
This is my best IM run by far, and I’m pretty happy with it!
Total Time – 12:08:07
Found Amy and my parents, grabbed a few sodas and sat down…
Had some time to kill while I waited for my friends to finish, actually had a post race cocktail (something I’ve always tried and failed to do post IM), it didn’t taste that good. Met up with our cheering section and watched my friends finish!
Could have been a little stronger on the bike.
While I didn’t come in under 12 hours it was still a 31 minute PR, I’m happy with that.
They always put on a great show and this race was no different. I think this will be my last IM for awhile, it just takes up so much of your life, but the whole thing was a great experience. I was lucky to have some of my best friends to train with and my wife to support me during the long summer of endless bike rides and runs. Like usual the AZ Tri Clubs folks were great out there, they had an awesome cheering section that kept me going! The support from the volunteers and fans really pushes this race over the top, the energy out on the run course is awesome!
Most importantly the 3 other people I signed up for the race with all finished, so it was a successful day and 2 first time ironman finishers got to hear their name called by Mike Reilly!