Monday, June 19, 2017

A Year in AZ

Tomorrow (Tuesday, if I finish this before then) marks the first year of our residence here in Tucson. Somewhat coincidentally, we arrived during the hottest week of the year (highs north of 115), and this week will also be the hottest week (by far) of the year, with temperatures equal to those to which we arrived.

Sure, it's a "dry" heat. But lemme tell ya, 115 is hot AF no matter how much moisture is in the air.  Interestingly, the warmer air is, the more moisture it can hold in the air. So when it's 115 at 60% humidity, there is actually a LOT of moisture in the air. So 60% doesn't sound like a whole heckuva lot (compared to 90+) but it actually can feel humid here in the desert. Especially during monsoon season. Yes, there is a monsoon season here. Who'da thunk it?

Since my last blog was a race recap, I think that this one should not be. Although I have since done another race, so I'll discuss that briefly.

Deuceman Half (yes, that's the real name...) was the first Sunday in June.  A friend and training partner Jesse V was also going to race and given that he is both racing professionally and is faster than me I knew he would beat me. I wanted to stick with him for as much of the race as I could, however. This was accomplished during the swim (we emerged together), decently during the bike (he put about 1.5 minutes into me), and not so well during the run (down another 9 minutes). By the end this meant that I had come in 2nd to his 1st by about 10 minutes. I barely missed going under 4:30, which was a "slow" time but given the race was at elevation in Show Low (yea, real name), AZ (6200+ feet) I was not displeased with this performance. The swim and bike were pretty cake, although watts on the bike were a little low due to the elevation (but conversely, the air was thinner so we moved quicker through it than at the ~2500ft of Tucson), and the run was the real ass kicker.

Swim Start

Jesse and James

Coming into T2


Most importantly, however, was the fact that I executed a better overall race than in wine country. This was pleasing. What was more pleasing was traveling to a new place and having Christine cheer for me. I felt special as I'm usually the one cheering for her...

Since then temps have been going up, but we've managed to get by so far with a combination of complaining, AC, pool time, and staying indoors. Any outdoor working out that isn't a swim should probably be finished up by 10am. Swimming and then running (unless it's on a treadmill) is ill-advised. It's sort of hard to relate to this, I think, for you in the Southeast (which is most people that read this blog). You think anything has got to be better than the 90% humidity and high dew points of the summer, and a lot of the times the heat here is definitely better. But, I could work out in the summer evenings back in NC. You cannot (/should not) workout outdoors in the evening here, as it is still well over 100 degrees. You will bake like a take-home pizza that is left in the oven for too long...! Not worth it. The 3 months of heat advisory here is a small price to pay for the unbelievable winters, however. We'll take it.