My Mom came home from the hospital yesterday and I've been able to get a bit more rest. She's very weak, but getting stronger and is perking up. So, now I can give you all more deets about the Arizona camp. :) :)
I've tried to really condense this post -- a week's worth of workouts into a not-too-boring post. :)
The weather was mild but not hot -- not until the last two days of the camp anyways. I pretty much wore my arm and leg warmers and/or wind jacket the entire time I was there. It was funny, everybody else would be stripped down to shorts and a tank top, but I was bundled up. Hahahahaha!
We biked up Mt. Lemmon the first and the last day -- you gain 5000 feet and it was just an awesome climb. I got such a kick out of seeing all these cacti on the hillsides. I forget at what elevation, but there was snow at a certain point. The roads were clear, but immediately off the road there was a lot of snow. I really, really, really love climbing. It takes me a little bit to warm up, but then something settles and I can keep going and going and going. :) :) :)
The best part was descending the mountain -- WHOOOIIIEEEE!! It was pretty windy that day, but even with some cross wind action, I felt very stable on my Cervelo -- big change from my old bike! :) :) At one point, the wind was so powerful, it blew my left contact out! HAHAHAHAHAH!!! Now THAT is a first! LOL!!!! (I spent the rest of the day with one contact in -- heh-heh-heh!)
Later on we had a run session, and I think we did core. I can't remember! HAHAHAHA!
We had a choice of a 2 hour trail run, or a 2 hour road run. Both were very hilly. I chose the trail run -- what a trip! I blissed right out straight away -- we ran in a national park and the views were spectacular. We ended up running up a mountain -- the best was running back down. I literally felt a light switch go off inside me and the endorphins release -- I was giggling and running around like a little kid. One of the camp members ran with me for a bit and we were both giggling like mad fools. :) :) :) :)
Almost everyone got a little bit of blood from the trail. ;)
Next we had our first swimming session. I learned a number of new drills, and had a go at the vertical kicking thing. Good times!! Hahahahahaha! Over the next two days each of us were videoed from 3 different angles. Our swimming coach graciously made the time to go over each of our individual videos with us throughout the trip. He thoroughly explained what we needed to work on, etc. What an opportunity -- it's amazing how rapidly you can improve when you are shown what to do from a qualified expert. No kidding -- he could tell you one thing, and right away you could feel the difference. He knows his stuff!! AND he knew how to explain it.
We loaded our bikes and drove out to the middle of the desert. :) We started whenever we were ready -- you had to ride two loops of this hilly awesome road, and then run hard for 10 min. It was frustrating on the ride -- our goal was to go hard on the bike, but as my legs were crapped out from Mt. Lemmon, I couldn't get my heart rate up! It was pretty funny -- I went to stand to get over this little hill, and my legs locked down. They refused!! Hahahahaha -- so I know I'll be working to get stronger.
The run was a lot better -- I managed to keep a quick tempo and I did justice to the workout's description of "hard."
Swimming was later, with more fun sets and drills. Again -- I can't remember if we ran afterward or not...
We had a choice of long bike rides -- I chose the longer one --120km. We biked to Patagonia!! And of course we all made jokes about a clothing factory there. This was the day I learned how to ride in a paceline. I was freaking terrified at first, but our massage therapist hung back with me and with just the two of us, taught me all about technique and paceline etiquette. When I say I hung back, I was like 2 km away from everybody else -- I wasn't going anywhere near them!! LOL!!
As the ride progressed, I became more confident and graduated to a 5 person paceline. It was such a blast -- if you have the right mix of people who are pacing properly, you can really go like stink! :) :) :)
Our goal for this workout was to go easy on the way out, and then we could do whatever we wanted on the way back. Another girl and I took off for the return trip -- her name is Michelle and she is an AMAZING athlete and person. She set the pace the whole way while I clung to her wheel. I offered to lead but she was content at her job, so I settled in for a great ride back! She is a fantastic rider and I was very comfortable riding on her wheel -- Thanks Michelle!! :) :) :) :)
The weirdest part of this ride was riding through the border patrol brigade -- of course I was thinking "Make a run for the border.." LOL!!!
We ran hill repeats in the morning where I just about died -- every single person cheered for each other going up and down the hill. Except me! I felt guilty -- I was pushing it from the beginning (like everyone) but I honestly didn't have any extra energy to cheer for anyone else. I went around apologizing to everyone afterward -- nobody cared, but I still felt like a tool!
The swimming session to end all swimming sessions occurred later that day. Basically, we swam as hard as we could for different periods of time, ending with 3 sets of 200 at V02 max. We were all dead tired from all our training, but we did it!!! I got spunky and even led my lane!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA -- I actually LED OUR LANE!!!!! LMAO!!!!
Yoga that evening was a sight to behold. Those of us who showed up, were so fatigued that it didn't take much to set us off laughing. Oh yeah -- and Amber -- you are right the yogi Jen is such a cool chick!!!! :) :):) She picked up on our oh-so-obvious cues and asked if we wanted to try "laughing yoga." Of course, we were up for the challenge.
Here is what you do -- you arrange everybody in two seated lines facing each other -- everyone sits cross-legged. Then all together, we said, "Ho, Ho, Ho!" We said it twice in unison, before the hysterical laughter kicked in. It didn't take long. OMG -- I was looking at my partner who was looking at someone else, and we all couldn't stop laughing. We were doing this out on the pool deck of the condo complex -- so all those old fogeys playing golf behind us and in their units, must have wondered what the hell was going on. Hahahahahahahaha!!
Then we had to say, "Ha, ha, ha!" God -- nothing could stop us. I had tears streaming down my face and I couldn't stop laughing. It was such a chore to settle down into Shavasna after. You'd be lying there and suddenly your face would contort and you'd try to suppress the giggles. It was such a release -- if everyone did this, the world would be a much better place! :):) :) :)
Last climb of Mt. Lemmon with a 20 minute run off the bike. Better climb than the first day, and all of us were high on endorphins -- giggling, cheering each other on, clapping hands, etc.
This camp was such an amazing experience. I met a whole other group of tri folks -- excellent, kind, funny people! Every work out we would do, we would cheer each other on -- each of us would smack hands and say "Way to go!" Sara and Chris were consummate professionals -- they did EVERYTHING for us.
They sacrificed their training to cook, shuttle, change tires, herd us together, etc. Unbelievable -- and all with the utmost tact and diplomacy. To be sure, I believe our group dynamics took their cue from the leadership provided by Sara and Chris. What an amazing experience. :) :) The aim of this camp was to provide us with all the food and support necessary so we could just focus on training. I cannot say enough positive things about this camp -- Man -- I ate 3 shrimp skewers and a salmon steak and couscous AND salad on Friday night!!!!!!! I had a heaping helping of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and assorted fruit every morning. Plus eggs, oatmeal, toast, muffins, the list goes on and on. We did not starve!!! :) :)
Now, I am getting rest so the ole bod has a chance to absorb this extra training. I am so excited about REALLY ramping up my training now!! :) :) :) :)