We spent this weekend in Tucson, AZ (aka “the Old Pueblo“) for yet another gymnastics meet. This time the whole family went down and turned it into a one night “stay-cation” to finish up the kids’ spring break. It was a bit of a chaotic start of the day yesterday, because Nathan had a football game that was moved, late in the week, from our home field (which is less than 5 minutes away) to a high school on the other side of town … a good 40 minute drive. This put a wrinkle in our plan of leaving for Tucson right after the game – the timing was going to work out pretty well but the extra drive-time caused us to re-work our plan and take 2 cars down to Tucson. This ended up being a good call because apparently the football referees never got the memo about the field location change and were at the field by our house at game-time … and we had to wait another 45 minutes for them to get to the new game site in order to start.
This shuffled driving arrangement gave me an opportunity to get my 4 mile pace run in for the day though. A “pace run” is a training run that you run at the pace you hope to run your race at. So, for the half marathon, my “dream” would be to finish the half marathon in 2:25, which means I need to maintain an 11:04/mi pace. I wasn’t sure if I could do that on a training run – I was able to run a 5K below that pace, but I had not done 4 that fast in a while. But, I decided to give it a try on the high school track while the football players warmed up for the game. I felt really good and pushed and pushed to finish the 4 miles – which was 16 laps around the track. One of the football dads stopped me after I was done to ask me how many times I went around….he was pretty impressed. And, I’m happy to say, I did it – with an average pace of 10:57! Below are some of the graphs from Garmin Connect – I was really happy to see my cadence hit the green zone as time went on. I really tried to increase my foot speed and turnover as I got tired instead of trying to take larger steps. I also notice that if I just push off a little harder with my calves, I can cover a lot more distance with my shorter steps without expending quite as much energy.
Anyway, the girls went down with Paul and Nathan and I finally got to Tucson and the meet after it had already started. We missed her first event, which was a bummer…but, I just saw plenty of gymnastics last week in Utah so I was good. She did OK at the meet – took 3rd place in all 3 events. There are 2 girls from another gym that are very good and she will have a tough time placing higher than them. She did well though and continues to complete her routines successfully.
After the meet, we just had a short drive down the street to check into our hotel. We stayed at the Westin Lapaloma resort (with lots of other gymnast families) and had fun hanging out by the pool at night while the kids swam and had s’mores by their big fire pits. Erin played with the girls that she had just competed against from the other gym which I was glad to see – they had a blast together in the pool.
We got up this morning for some more pool/relaxing time then packed up and checked out. We took one car down to go check out the University of Arizona with our oldest daughter, who is in the preliminary stages of touring college campuses. We parked near the student union and had some lunch there then walked around the west end of the campus. We’ll go back and take a formal tour in the near future, but since we were in Tucson, we thought it was a good chance to at least get a feel for the school. Unfortunately, U of A had a heart-breaking loss in the NCAA tournament for the Final 4 last night, so the campus was kinda quiet.
We drove back home in our 2 cars and I’m embarrassed to admit, my co-pilot was a package of Oreos that I over-consumed. I probably had at least 4, maybe 6. Ugh, mindless eating while highway driving. Poor planning on my part to put them within reach. I also did not get my 9 mile long run in today, so I’ll have that left to deal with tomorrow.
All in all, it was a good weekend but I’m not looking forward to school (and all the craziness) starting back up tomorrow. Just less than 9 weeks of school left but they will be really busy! Lots of fun stuff to look forward to though!