Check out the 2009 Saipan Championship Gallery. These photos were from the photographer from Triathlete magazine for the April 2009 issue. One thing I'm noticing is that people were wearing their bike gloves on the trail run. Hmmmm...
This is Week 12 of training, and there's 1 month, 3 weeks, and 3 days left until the 2010 XTERRA Saipan. Training has been going well. Scott is having me ramp up into more specialized training now that the base work is done. I did some research on the course, and there's lots of climbing on the bike, and loose, rocky, steep hills on the trail run. So now my training plans come with off-road brick workouts specified, followed by comments of "Please don't kill me afterwards" from Scott. He's not making me swim 3X per week, so he shall live. ;)
I'm averaging around 12-13 hours of training per week, which is more than I've ever trained for an XTERRA. My routine is to come home, empty the bag of workout clothes and gear, and re-pack them for the next day's workouts. As soon as I'm finished with one workout I'm planning and prepping for the next one. Sleep is somewhere in there. I'm trying to keep up on it this week, but being the first weeks back at work from the winter break has made it tough.
So here's how I'm feeling about the 3 sports.
Thankfully it's all coming back rather quickly to me, even though I'm swimming 1-2X per week. Flipturns are part of my workouts now (even though they are not needed for XTERRA). I figure if I get somersaulted in the ocean, I'll be experienced in coming out of it streamlined and knowing where the surface is. But my swim times are right back at where they were before my swimming strike last year.
Lots of work being done here. I'm using all of my bikes. The tri bike goes on the road in the daylight for HR specific work, and stays on the trainer during the week for early morning sessions. The cyclocross bike comes out for recovery rides. The mountain bike comes out on the weekends for trails and brick sessions. I just had my XC mountain bike overhauled at Arizona Bicycle Experts, so everything will be broken in and adjusted by race day. I seem to be climbing a lot better than before, and Zac mentioned I now have muscle definition in my claves on the climbs. I don't know, I can't see them. Guess I'll have to trust him.
Lots of intervals and now the trail runs are on more technical terrain. I need to get used to running on loose rocks on steep hills, so on the trails I'm forcing myself to stay off of the worn-in line and run in the rough where the rocks are at.
Overall I'm starting to see an improvement in fitness and strength. I'm glad I hired Scott's brains. :)
The past few weeks have been spent making all of the travel plans and arrangements for the race. I officially registered for the race, though I'm still waiting for the participant list to get updated for this year. Our flights are all set and are insane. We depart Tucson at 6:10 AM on Saturday, 3/6 and fly to Dallas. We are using Zac's airline miles from American, so we have to go through this hub. Next we fly to Tokyo and arrive there at 4:35 PM on Sunday, 3/7. We depart at 9 PM that night and fly to Saipan and arrive at 1:30 AM on Monday, 3/8. We are in Saipan the whole week and leave on Monday the 15th. My plan is to get there early, adjust to the timezone, swim, bike, and run the course ahead of time, and rest before the race on the 13th. In between we'll do all the touristy stuff.
I've been waiting to see if we would get a discount for the XTERRA at the host hotel, and after much internet scouring I found out they were set up this week. So we will be staying at the Pacific Islands Club resort for only $80 a day! They want to encourage people to travel out to this race, and so they offer this great deal. So that saves us a huge amount, because the normal rates there are not cheap.
I'm still waiting to see if Northwest airlines (the Tokyo to Saipan flight) will be waiving bike fees for the race. They did it in the past so hopefully it goes through. Other than that, we're all set to go!