Tuesday, May 13, 2008

How I survived Triathlon Boot Camp..

I just couldn't resist the song thing..that tune was stuck in my mind all weekend.

It all started on Friday night, when we arrived in Boulder straight off the high of seeing my new grandchild via sonogram in Denver. After checking into the hotel, we immediately were brought back to earth by the call that H's mom was in a car accident at home-it was not serious but the car was totalled, she was shaken and the reality about not being able to drive anymore was setting in.

With daughter Heather taking care of mom at this end, we dusted ourselves and tried to get it together to go to camp. We arrived at the venue of the camp, which was a health club in Boulder, where I am pretty sure there was a requirement that you had to be beautiful and have a flat stomach to belong there. We met the other campers (11) and got some good info on bike fit from Luis, my coach and camp leader for the weekend. We got our bike fit and met the guys from Zipp on Friday night. They gave us demo wheels to ride on Saturday, which was such a treat. I now have Zipp-envy of course and have to have some!

After a very short night's sleep, we all met at an outdoor pool at 6:30 AM on Saturday morning. Now this would not be so bad except the outside temp was barely above freezing. I jumped in the heated pool and thought, oh well H and I will just take our own little lane and swim our pace, etc..Luis, however, had other ideas for this 3000 meter swim in the wee hours of the morning. Immediately I got moved up a lane so now I was swimming as one of the big kids. Not the fastest lane, but one of the faster ones. So that meant I actually had to swim fast to keep up. Wow-this brought back some fine memories of swim team as a kid and breathing hard for an hour straight. Finally after all the fun in the cold was over, we got dressed and back to the club for lectures and food. By this time the wind had started blowing about 30 MPH so the "long bike" was off for the day but we did head out to Boulder Dam to do a run in the near hurricane force winds. I actually felt pretty good considering. H and I ran together for 2 hours. I kept my HR in the zone. Just to put some perspective on our fellow campers, we did 10.5 miles in those 2 hours, others did 16 miles. These are what I call the "Kona" campers-the ones that win their age group in Hawaii. That's right-that Hawaii Ironman. These people were my idols. Then there was the guy that was on the cover of Runners World a couple of years ago. I was a little out of my league for the most part but H and I did our thing and Luis was great about keeping us all involved. The really fast kids were so nice and I felt included, even with my slow ass 53 year old body.

After the run you would think the day was done but we still had those damn Zipps to demo so we went out for a "short recovery ride". Ha! The "short ride" was actually 2 hours. That was when I started to lose it. Out in the Boulder fields I was struggling to keep up, my chain was giving me problems on my new tri-bike still (I had just had parts replaced). I thought-this is it! I am too old for this, too slow, in general a pity party on the bike. Wow-I was ready to throw my bike and scream again, just like at Rage a couple of weeks ago. What is up with that?? I managed to reason my way out of my foul mood, really just settled my thoughts down-that was good.

Saturday was a very long training, lecture day, which by the way, included really good info from Luis on training, Ironman racing, nutrition-you name it. The info part was priceless...
We opted out of the dinner with the other campers Saturday night. We were pooped!! I ate god knows how much Italian food that evening in our hotel room. We were zombies.

Sunday began at 7:00 AM on the bike. Oh thank you god, the weather finally warmed up to the 40s and sunny-no wind!! We did a beautiful ride up the mountain by running streams and gorgeous scenery-round trip 35 miles. I had done my long ride on Wed so didn't go with the 5 hour people. If I had, I would still be out there, I think. I saw at least 300 other cyclists in the athlete mecca of the world of Boulder that day. I felt much better mentally and physically Sunday. We had more lectures then got our run and swim video taped and critiqued. At one point in that session, Luis called everyone over to look at my video. Oh, please don't let me be bad example here, I thought to myself. He actually said I had very good swim form-oh man, that felt good.

By the end of the day, we were all laughing and joking about training and racing. I learned so much about triathlon and racing this weekend. Just being around all that talent was amazing.
The best news is they are sending me a new bike!! Yea!!! I am so tired of being that customer that complains all the time-I really think I had a defective frame all along, but who knows? I will have the new baby by next week..


Bones said...

Glad to hear you lived through the weekend. It would have been tough to find replacement roomies for IMAZ!

I'm anxious to hear what kind of changes you are going to make to your training and recovery

Calyx Meredith said...

Ok - first I have to say that I love when Bones comments because his skeleton avatar jogging along up there makes me smile!
Then I have to say that I am so impressed by you! You are so fast and strong to begin with and then to hear how you work through things - it's inspiring. I struggle with being intimidated by folks like your Kona campers - and there you are, right there in their midst training, learning, making your way. I'm so glad you had a positive experience (even though it sounds hard!) and I'm doubly glad your bike issues are finally getting solved!!

tri-dogmom said...

I've always wanted to do one of those camps, but I'd feel the same way about all those speedy people!!!

Great job!!

LBTEPA said...

You won't find IM at all intimidating after that!

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

It sounds like a great experience with lots of knowledge and confidence gained.

And you're getting a new bike. Woot! Hope that solves your problems!!

cindy said...

I'm so happy the bike is being replaced for you :)

You are a brave girl going to that camp, and it will pay off big time for you...you're such a great triathlon role model for me!

cindy said...

um...I meant triathlete...funny I called you a triathlon :b