Monday, March 23, 2015

Camp


Tucson has some amazing views 
Last week I went to Band camp... just kidding I went to Triathlon Camp.  As an adult and a triathlete, a camp is about as good as it gets!  This was my 4th camp.

My first being a Multisports Camp put on my Paul Huddle, Paula Newby-Frasier, Heather Fuhr and Roch Frey when I was a 100% newbie.  I had done 1 Sprint and was registered for Oceanside 70.3.  I was a deer in headlights, the one with a notepad in jaw dropping awe of the campers who had done a full Ironman.  Taking it all in and scared of every workout. I was afraid of messing up, getting dropped, saying the wrong thing.  It was here in San Diego and it was sooo fun!

Camp 2 was a mini camp and a recon for Ironman St George.  It was 3 days of course recon for an upcoming Ironman.  It was the first time I hung with other triathletes from all over and chatted swim/bike/run for 3 days. Gordo Byrne and Kevin Purcell put it on.  It was not a crushing camp - good fun, work and camaraderie, It scared the heck out of me for Ironman SG.  But it set me up for one of my best races,  I had the opportunity to ride that wicked hilly and hard  beautiful course and run that mf'ing up and down the beautiful hills of SG in November before the May inaugural Ironman.  My coach at the time KP made sure I was riding and running on similar terrain so when the hardest climb came at mile 90 I was ready, we trained for that.  When the 2nd loop of the marathon started for another 900 feet of climbing I was ready for that.  Ironman Course camps are VERY valuable especially for challenging courses.  You know what to expect race day.

new camp friends
happy my hubby came to camp
Camp 3 was an Endurance Corner Camp in Boulder in 2012.  It was a 6 day Ironman camp and I trained for the camp and rested for the camp.  This was challenging.... it took patience to hold back the first few days knowing it was getting harder, we trained very day 5-6 hours.  It was about fueling, training, recovery and hanging on. I had altitude sickness, was puking on the bike, struggled some days and crushed other days.  It about about breakthroughs and testing yourself. We had some amazing speakers and I learned a lot about power, pacing and the science of triathlon. We finished the camp with an Olympic Distance race- baked at 7000ft.  I made friends for life that week.

So camp 4 was last Thur-Sun in Tucson with D3 Multisport, put on by my coach Mike Ricci.  Prior to camp I had only met Mike once at IMAZ (while I was there coachng as was he)  at mile 22 at 10pm last November.  We started working together in December so the "relationship" is new.  I don't have an issue that he is in Boulder and I am in San Diego because are in constant communication.  I have athletes in other locations and it works well.  But there is something great about spending time face to face.  So that was what Tucson was about.  Getting past the swim bike run and understanding the person.  John being there was great- he is a big part of the dynamic.

John and I drove out Wed.  It was a small camp- 7 of us, which was a bonus.  More 1:1 time- 2 coaches and 6.5 athletes (john only did 50%)   We swam 3 days.  I swam alone - poor me, but it was fun having my coach on deck.  I did get some good feedback on my stroke and now am all stressed about my right hand!   I don't think when I swim and now I am thinking.

We rode every day.... Gates Pass was a nice climb for the first day.
 Day 2 was a bit of death wish ride on Oracle Rd and after 3 flats and a blown sidewall McGiver aka John found us an alternate route that was awesome!

Day 3 was the epic Mt Lemmon- we rode from the hotel- 20 miles and then began the epic 25 mile climb.   Holy cow...stunning views, 1000's of feet up to 8200 ft, it got really cold- so cold I begged for socks and Mike the miracle coach produced a pair of socks out of the van.  Mt Lemmon is deceiving because you think you are at the top but then you descend for 2 miies and climb again and than arrive at the ski area but we had to go to the cookie cabin and now I know why.  Holy big ass cookie.... not kidding this was 1 cookie. And it was amazing... I was cold, tired and hungry!!!  1 hour descent and done!

I was not impressed with a lot of the riding in Tucson. We are just too spoiled here in San Diego with good roads and epic riding.  But I was impressed with Mt Lemmon,  It was epic and glad I have done it.

I did not have any great runs... or any runs at all(other than in the pool and well those are simply not fun, but necessary) .  I was most looking forward to the running drills and track but well -no bueno.   Guss I have to go to Boulder Camp in June :)

It was all I wanted.... time with John, time with my coach and meeting new friends.  Pretty darn sweet life.

Oh right we did bike skills and transition practice (which I have room to improve on) We had a great nutrition talk (not that my problems are solved) but we had a good conversation and we talked all aspects of triathlon.   We shared dog and kid stories ....surely a few of the people we met I know we will cross paths with again in the future either at another camp, a race or a training weekend.

At the end of the day.... the people are what make this sport!!!