Thursday, January 30, 2020

Gravilla Femenina : An Intro to Gravel for Endurance Women

Baller Women 
Wow, just wow is how I write the recap of my 3 day  Gravilla Femenina (women's gravel) camp experience. 
These views

I finished up Smashcamp, a 6-day triathlon camp felling fantastically fit, exhausted, and filled with mojo and energy.  I was so excited about the biking in January. My run is a bummer, but only because it is slow, pain-free is the best news, and I know it will come, and let's face it Ultraman running is not about being fast, so I keep my eye on my goals.

Gravilla Femenina camp guide said,  "come to camp with fresh legs"  well let's be honest, my legs were far from fresh, but I adhered to the rest of the guide about equipment and gear, and I brought my attitude.

This came was run my Jess Cera and Whitney Allison, women PRO cyclists, and ballers in the gravel.   The crew at this camp were some badass women, top-end cyclists,  including former pro and bad add triathlete (not me), so I am not going to lie, I was scared shitless mildly intimidated with this group.
So not the road! 

Day 1: skills day We rolled out of Canyon Bikes at a faster pace than I would have selected and got to "Lemon Twist," and off we went.  Game on for some new trails, some I did okay on and others I was peeing my pants and scared, it was touch and go, and I did not crash but nearly did and was out of my comfort zone and my element. I crushed some parts and carried my bike on others, I was terrified and laughing and terrified.  I kept saying #thisisgravel

Day 2 Route here  Take a look, right? Cuyamaca, Mt Laguna -yup you got it but not Sunrise Hwy, not the 78 but trails all around, yes the ones that you see on your road bike and think ultra running or mountain biking, but yes we gravel biked them.  Not going to lie, it was the hardest, scariest, emotional day for me on a bike. I cried once, laughed a lot, said fuck so many times,  wanted to throw my bike - but I like her too much, was short with people, was intimidated, had some really proud moments, and was humbled to the core.  Initially, I was angry about how hard it was, but I came around to bucking up and doing the best I could, tried not to worry about the people waiting for me and did what I could.  If that meant bike on my shoulder, then so be it.   I started to learn to trust my bike and to believe in me. 
these views

At dinner that night, we had a great conversation about how hard it was and about growth.  It was 12 strong ass women, and I was proud to be in that group,  Can I tell you how tired I was, how smashed I was- I was!

Day 3: Palomar, I woke up tired, 5 hours of sleep.  I don't sleep well when I am so so tired, and my readiness score 53 out of 100.  Ignore that.  Big breakfast of Kodiak Pancakes with almond butter, extra coffee, and my badass Betty Kit on and out the door.   I had climbed Palomar 9 days before, and here we go again but up Nate Harrison- on the gravel.  My legs hurt, I was not sure, but I found my groove and LOVED it - this is my jam.  When we hit the turn that was steep and on gravel with a few rocks, I laughed, because 3 days ago I would have gotten off my bike and walked, but now, not a big deal.  18% grade in gravel - get after it.  It was great!   We regrouped on top, and the descent was AMAZEBALLS.

So, I laughed, cried, got stronger, was way way out of my comfort zone, but am fired up for more. 
Top of Palomar

a feeling of smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one's achievements.

Jan 3: I wrote out my goal.... and #4 was 
- DO NOT be complacency!  Step out of your comfort zone. 

So I JUMPED out! 

Friday, January 24, 2020

Betty at Smashcamp

11 started blogs, and 0 finished. I deleted them all and well, hello 2020, as we almost end of January.  How can Jan almost be over?

Lots of info to share, in another post, as this is about Smashcamp!   If you know Hillary Biscay, you can only imagine what kind of crazy she can brew up for a 6-day camp! 

I jumped in ready to go.... it was the most fun I've had in a long time, the hardest I have worked in a long time, the most tired I have been in a long time and did I mention the most fun?  The or 5, and the thing about Hillary's camp is you just roll through it.  It's all about the attitude!   When you are suffering, drooling, dreaming of a beautiful warm bed, and Netflix, you have another camper whooping it up about how awesome the day is, and you snap out of it and get after it.
thing about a camp like this is EVERY camper has a low moment

Thursday- shakeout run, which was faster than my current running pace.  A dip, in the 58-degree ocean- which was a 30 min swim that was fucking cold, wavy and choppy on a foggy afternoon. The kind of day that if you were not at camp, you would  text your friends and say, "I'm out." 

Friday was a LCM swim with the forever set, which means lots of bands ONLY swimming LCM- enough said.   Then Palomar from Kit Carson- and well Palomar in January is not only cold but hard, really hard! But thanks to the fantastic sag by Mike Plumb, we had warm, dry clothes and all the food and drinks necessary for the ride.

Saturday kicked off with a legit Swim Run Course in the
lagoon  +running on trails I did not know existed.  It was cold as fck and so so much fun!   3 swims and 3 runs for the first go around, and while I was happy with 1:07 of an adventure, of course, the Hillary touch was an entire 2nd round, that had to be faster.  Holy Shit is all I can say.   Afternoon "shake out " ride through Elfin.

Sunday was THE BIG DAY!  Can you say GWL + Descanso + Mt Laguna + Engineers Road fck m then around Cuyamaca and finishing GWL vie Lyons Valley.   I was a tiny bit terrified nervous, but in the end, it was AMAZEBALLS!!!   So hard, so fun and with the sag, all the food... an entire tube of NUUN, 12+ bottles + no clue how many cliff bars, shot blocks, peppermint patties, red bull, dr peppers but is enough to feel excellent the last hour and really want to break 8 hours!   The goal for next time :)

Monday  - rest day- LMAO not at this camp.   10-mile run that was supposed to be progressive, but for me, it is the longest run since Sept, so I had to suck it up, swallow my ego and run a pace that will not injure me or set me back. But let's be honest, I felt like a total slacker, although not sure I really can go faster, in my mind, I was holding back from that 6:00pace,  LOL - I love when I make myself laugh, And that afternoon we did a neat 10,000 yards,  Did I say fck me?  again :)

Tuesday was Mt Woodson- a few stellar campers ran the whole thing, and well, this old lady with not 100% hamstring did a power hike instead and capped off the week.

Totals for the 6 days

Swim: 19,000 yards
Bike: 215 miles: 20.320 ft of elevation
Run: 22.75 miles
Hike: 9 miles

That is the equivalent of SMASHED! 

As a coach, I have to say it is really fun to be a camper!   So, kids, I coach... I have some good ideas :) But I also get what it's like to suffer, work hard and most importantly EAT ALL THE FOOD, I mean most importantly have all the fun!   

So for this weekend..... Bring on the Gravel Camp!